Economic Crisis, What are the causes?

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Economic Crisis, What are the causes?

Here's what I think are the main causes of the Crisis. Curious to know what others think.

1. Government policy of making mortgages available to people who could not afford them. To solve the fact that some people could not afford to live in expensive homes, the government created Freddy and Fanny and manipulated interest rates to make them affordable. In the end all this did was drive up the price of homes making them even more expensive and causing an overbuilding of homes during the housing bubbles.

2. Government allowing uncollateralized insurance contracts. High risk mortgages were sold as low risk investments because they had default insurance through companies through AIG and others. Capitalism or any system can not work unless parties to a contract can prove they can fulfill the terms of the contract. AIG and investment banks did not have collateral to cover their insurance policies, so they should not have been allowed to issue insurance.

3. 401k tax breaks. The government encouraged investment in the stock market through deferred tax breaks. All this did was artificially drive up the price of stocks. Too much money chasing after too few good investments. Too many investors disconnected from the operation of the company with no management oversight.

4. Home Mortgage Interest deduction. People overbought housing and borrowed tons of money as means of reducing the burden from the unfair income tax system.

5. Deferred Employee Compensation. Companies like GM and the California government making long term commitments to employees to cover their pensions and health care for life. Cash should be paid to employees who make their own retirement/health care decisions. The Union system has failed both the workers and companies.

6. Encouragement of lending. The lending industry is simply a way for the rich to get richer without work and the working poor to remain their slave. It should not be 'vital' to our economy, it needs to be discouraged and regulated as much as possible. No more bailouts.

7. Failure fix economic disparity. The fact is there is a wide gap in demand/supply in services among our workers. This problem must be solved and not a redistribution of wealth through socialism and income high taxes.

8. The Fed. The Federal Reserve was continually changing interest rates and money supply. Along with being an illegal tax and being unaccountable to the taxpayers/citizens, it created volatile conditions and bubbles. Strong economies need stability and some predictability, they need to stop continually manipulating the market and give us stability.

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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ZuS wrote:Your argument

ZuS wrote:

Your argument about China undercutting us - are we supposed to sink to their level of public service, so that Lockheed Martin can get another 0 on their profit margin this year? This is lunacy, of course. Our political as well as our economic effort should be directed towards lifting China up, not cutting our own countries down.

I did not say 'China.' I said Hong Kong and Ireland. Hong Kong is distinct from China when it comes to economic matters. They even have their own unique currency. Don't pretend as though I was wishing that we would be like China. I merely like Hong Kong's economy; which is of course nothing at all like China's. China may be technically in control of Hong Kong, but Hong Kong gets to run its own economy separate from China's. Hong Kong has wisely used that autonomy to make a very free market and low taxes. That is what makes Hong Kong the world's favorite tax haven. So when you bitch about tax havens, you are really bitching about Hong Kong's attractive markets and low taxes. Ireland is also recognised as a tax haven for similar reasons to what I have outlined about Hong Kong.

http://www.shelteroffshore.com/index.php/offshore/more/hong_kong_best_offshore_tax_haven/

So are you really afraid that we will 'sink to [the] level' of Hong Kong and Ireland? Both of those countries are doing great. We could learn a bit from them. And what the hell does that have to do with Lockeed Martin? Lockeed is an example of (perhaps reckless) government spending. I'm advocating that we don't give quite so much money to them. And yet you seem to imply that I wish we could lower taxes to boost big government contractors like Lockeed. That makes no sense at all. Your arguments against a position that I don't even hold don't make any sense.

 

Wow. That is a lot of money. I still don't see how higher taxes would stop people from using tax havens though. Increasing taxes would only increase the desirability of tax havens. This is a big problem, but I don't think increasing taxes is the solution. I can think of a few possible ways to cut down on the use of tax havens, but I wouldn't like them to be implemented.

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


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EXC wrote:Vastet wrote:They

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

They still are.

No the socialist have largely made health and other services rights. This means you get them no matter what you do or don't do. A contract requires both parties to give something.

That would qualify as one of the more ridiculous suggestions you've made so far. Socialists as being discussed didn't even exist when services such as police, health, and fire were formed.

And nor do you get them regardless of what you do. The only way you can pay for these services in our two nations is through taxes. If you don't pay your taxes, then you go to jail, where those services are massively reduced to the point of practical non-existance. Fires and policing are almost exclusively handled by employees. So is health, though to a lesser extent.

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:
Feel free to point at some people who don't need emergency services, so I can show you how they do.

OK, myself and at least half the population can afford to pay private insurance for security, fire and ambulance services.

All of the population can, and you all do. It's called taxes.

Remove the social aspect of it, however, and costs will increase exponentially. Proof is in the exponential increases of insurance costs in every company that deals with insurance. And you will start seeing a lack of services creep in too, since these companies will refuse to provide services at any point they can get away with it to save money.

EXC wrote:
 

Feel free to point at some people who don't need food, clothing and shelter. Yet these industries are largely privatized and run more efficiently than government services.

Patently false, as there is a significant portion of both our nations populations who are homeless and without food or clothing.

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:
Yes there is: A society based in capitalism.

Explain how a free market prevents you from starting a non-profit health insurance company?

I have already done so in at least 2 seperate posts in this topic alone. Probably more than 2, since you keep repeating the same arguments I already blew apart.

EXC wrote:
 What socialist rule can't you have in a non-profit you may start? Surely their is enough socialists that you could all volunteer your time to start whatever co-op you want to provide services.

Show me these legions of rich socialists who have plenty of free time and money to put into such endeavours.

EXC wrote:
But the capitalists have time to start new companies all the time.

The capitalists have capital, and their time gives them a return in profit. 

EXC wrote:
 Does this mean you are admitting socialist are lazier than capitalists?

Laziness is hardly applicable to the fact that a capitalist society intereferes with and restricts a socialist system.

EXC wrote:
 And your basic concept is to prevent non-lazy people from making more money and getting better things like health services.

Ridiculous. My basic concept is an educated society where everyone who participates has a roof over their heads and food on the table. People who don't participate are on their own.

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:
 Everyone is stopping a socialist from doing this.

You never mention one specific thing that is stopping you.

I have mentioned dozens of specific things that stop me. You are lying.

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:
I won't, because you won't leave me alone.

What???? What is anyone doing to you socialists to stop you from starting your non-profit co-ops?

The entire economy stops socialists from starting non profit organizations.

EXC wrote:

You on the other hand are trying to tax people to death and take away all their hard-earned property.

Strawman. Again.

EXC wrote:

EXC wrote:
 Start your little socialists utopia.

Vastet wrote:
Impossible. People like you won't let it happen without a fight.

What the fuck am I doing to you???? Do whatever the fuck you want just tell the tax man to leave me alone!

I will. I'll also tell the police and fire and ambulatory services to leave you alone. And the home buyers industry, and the food industry, and you can't use roads without paying a toll, and more. All because you're unwilling to participate in a community and contribute to its success, and your own in the process.

EXC wrote:

Fine. There is the solution. Just let people like me sign a waiver that we don't want crappy government services and we don't pay.

Sure. Enjoy your life in the woods without anything from society to assist you in any way, save charity from those in society that may feel sorry for you.

EXC wrote:

You can live in a fantasy world that government services will always be there when you need them(as in Katrina).

You cannot reference any current or previous government in this topic as to the success or failure of socialism, as no government in history has embraced it. So you keep living in your own fantasy world where a capitalist government is somehow identical to a sociallist one.

EXC wrote:
 That social security and medicare will pay out. And that Canada won't go broke paying for free unlimited medical services after they deforest and over-mine the entire country to pay for it.

 

We can thank you Americans for our difficulties in the forest industry. And we aren't deforesting the nation either. We put trees in for the trees we take out. In fact, we started that before anyone else did.

Overmining is impossible, or all mining is overmining.

Your comment regarding social security and health care was far too vague to be capable of being responded to, let alone making some kind of point.

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Vastet wrote:And nor do you

Vastet wrote:

And nor do you get them regardless of what you do. The only way you can pay for these services in our two nations is through taxes.

No, you don't pay income taxes if you stop working or work in a low wage job. You don't pay sales tax on food. But you still get the services on someone else's dime, their is no incentive to change.

Vastet wrote:

Remove the social aspect of it, however, and costs will increase exponentially. Proof is in the exponential increases of insurance costs in every company that deals with insurance.

The reason prices go up is medical services have been made an entitlement. This means the medical industy has no incentive to keep prices low, whatever they charge and whatever expensive treatment they invent will be paid by the governments(until they go broke).

Proof is that automobile and homeowners insurance don't go up 'exponentially'.

 

Vastet wrote:
Patently false, as there is a significant portion of both our nations populations who are homeless and without food or clothing.

And what is the problem, a lack of food in grociery store? A lack of homes on the market for sale(we have an oversupply now). No the problem is that these people can't or won't get the jobs that are available. FIX THIS PROBLEM ONLY.

We see food and housing shortages when socialism and communism are introduced.

Vastet wrote:

I have already done so in at least 2 seperate posts in this topic alone. Probably more than 2, since you keep repeating the same arguments I already blew apart.

All you've done is complain that capitialists overpay their CEOs and managers, they provide lousy service and they make to much money. This is a reason why it would be easy to start a non-profit to compete.

Again why can't you start a voluntary non-profit to provide medical services? No capitalist is putting a gun to your head to prevent you.

Vastet wrote:

Show me these legions of rich socialists who have plenty of free time and money to put into such endeavours.

George Soros could finance it. All the people that gave time and money to Obama's campaign because he promised socialized medicine. They won't because it's easier to get the tax man to confiscate wealth through high income taxes.

Vastet wrote:

I have mentioned dozens of specific things that stop me. You are lying.

You haven't mentioned anything anyone is doing that is stopping socialists from starting a voluntary system.

The entire economy stops socialists from starting non profit organizations.

All you say is the system is stopping you. Again HOW?

Vastet wrote:

I will. I'll also tell the police and fire and ambulatory services to leave you alone. And the home buyers industry, and the food industry, and you can't use roads without paying a toll, and more. All because you're unwilling to participate in a community and contribute to its success, and your own in the process.

Why would they listen to socialists that don't have money? But, I'm sure they'll be there if they know they'll get paid. When socialism bankrupts the government, they'll stop working for you.

I can hire private security and fire protection services. There is no reason the government should have a monopoly. I find with paying for my home, food and toll roads as long as the price is fair. I do participate in the community by working in the private sector and buying whatever services I need.

Vastet wrote:

Sure. Enjoy your life in the woods without anything from society to assist you in any way, save charity from those in society that may feel sorry for you.

We'll we all end up foraging for food after socialism goes bankrupt.

Vastet wrote:

We can thank you Americans for our difficulties in the forest industry. And we aren't deforesting the nation either.

I suppose we're putting a gun to Canada's head to force them?'

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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EXC wrote:Vastet wrote:And

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

And nor do you get them regardless of what you do. The only way you can pay for these services in our two nations is through taxes.

No, you don't pay income taxes if you stop working or work in a low wage job.

And you don't have a home either. Or food. Or clothing. Or entertainment. Or anything.

EXC wrote:

You don't pay sales tax on food.

The only province in Canada that you don't pay sales taxes on everything is Alberta. And even it still has the GST. Yes, you pay sales taxes on food. Unless it's less than a $5 purchase, or something in that range.

EXC wrote:
 But you still get the services on someone else's dime, their is no incentive to change.

And you don't get the same services, not even close. You go ahead and roam the streets and ask the homeless how often the police respond to their needs. How often an ambulance has picked them up. Fire is pretty well irrelevant, since they don't have any property to burn in the first place, but they don't tend to have access to it either.

EXC wrote:
Vastet wrote:

Remove the social aspect of it, however, and costs will increase exponentially. Proof is in the exponential increases of insurance costs in every company that deals with insurance.

The reason prices go up is medical services have been made an entitlement.

Prices were going up a long time before this was the case, meaning you are quite wrong.

EXC wrote:
Proof is that automobile and homeowners insurance don't go up 'exponentially'.

And yet they do, which proves you wrong.

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:
Patently false, as there is a significant portion of both our nations populations who are homeless and without food or clothing.

And what is the problem, a lack of food in grociery store? A lack of homes on the market for sale(we have an oversupply now). No the problem is that these people can't or won't get the jobs that are available. FIX THIS PROBLEM ONLY.

Since neither you nor any other capitalist in history has any strategy at all to fix this, I can conclude that you cannot fix this, and that capitalism will never fix this, and that only socialism can.

EXC wrote:

We see food and housing shortages when socialism and communism are introduced.

Never happened, because real socialism has never been put into practice.

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

I have already done so in at least 2 seperate posts in this topic alone. Probably more than 2, since you keep repeating the same arguments I already blew apart.

All you've done is complain that capitialists overpay their CEOs and managers, they provide lousy service and they make to much money. This is a reason why it would be easy to start a non-profit to compete.

I've done far more than that.

EXC wrote:

Again why can't you start a voluntary non-profit to provide medical services? No capitalist is putting a gun to your head to prevent you.

Not putting a gun to my head, but one doesn't need to use violence to prevent activity. They're taking all the resources I'd need to pull it off. The very system takes all the resources I'd need to pull it off. I have pointed this out in exacting detail to you, and you just ignore it and keep making the same baseless assertions without any supporting evidence at all.

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

Show me these legions of rich socialists who have plenty of free time and money to put into such endeavours.

George Soros could finance it.

I don't know him. Why would he give me money? And does he have enough? Will he give me enough?

EXC wrote:
All the people that gave time and money to Obama's campaign because he promised socialized medicine. They won't because it's easier to get the tax man to confiscate wealth through high income taxes.

You keep asserting a great many things that are so outside the ballpark of socialism that it is really impossible to respond to them. They aren't an issue in the first place. High taxes for one perfect example.

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

I have mentioned dozens of specific things that stop me. You are lying.

You haven't mentioned anything anyone is doing that is stopping socialists from starting a voluntary system.

I have laid the entire thing out. A 6 year old could understand it. So you are willfully ignorant and as such are incapable of discussing the subject with any pretense of authority on the subject at all.

EXC wrote:

All you say is the system is stopping you. Again HOW?

I told you already.

EXC wrote:
Why would they listen to socialists that don't have money?

Why would they listen to a capitalist who isn't contributing over a socialist who is contributing?

EXC wrote:
 But, I'm sure they'll be there if they know they'll get paid. When socialism bankrupts the government, they'll stop working for you.

And when capitalism results in our extinction, I'm sure you'll be quite happy.

EXC wrote:

I can hire private security and fire protection services. There is no reason the government should have a monopoly. I find with paying for my home, food and toll roads as long as the price is fair. I do participate in the community by working in the private sector and buying whatever services I need.

There is no private sector, so you cannot participate in such a manner, so you do not participate.

EXC wrote:
Vastet wrote:

Sure. Enjoy your life in the woods without anything from society to assist you in any way, save charity from those in society that may feel sorry for you.

We'll we all end up foraging for food after socialism goes bankrupt.

We won't even make it that far when capitalism leads to a full out war that ends with our extinction. Or maybe we'll get lucky and just be slaves for the rich. Though that hardly seems better to me.

EXC wrote:
Vastet wrote:

We can thank you Americans for our difficulties in the forest industry. And we aren't deforesting the nation either.

I suppose we're putting a gun to Canada's head to force them?'

Yep. Metaphorically speaking, of course.

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Vastet wrote:EXC wrote:Proof

Vastet wrote:

EXC wrote:
Proof is that automobile and homeowners insurance don't go up 'exponentially'.

And yet they do, which proves you wrong.

No automobile insurance rates have gone DOWN. This happened when the government required everyone to have insurance. Before, the people that bought insurance subsidized those that didn't have any. So more people quit getting insurance until the law was changed. The socialists all complained that this was a cruel policy.

Vastet wrote:

Since neither you nor any other capitalist in history has any strategy at all to fix this, I can conclude that you cannot fix this, and that capitalism will never fix this, and that only socialism can.

First off I'm not a capitalist. I'm for free markets, which means I support you having the freedom to start any VOLUNTARY system you want. Same goes for anyone.

The only areas I'm not a libertarian is the government policy must be directed toward correcting the chronic oversupply of unskilled labor and under-supply of natural resources. If the policy doesn't correct these problems but only encourages behaviors that make the oversupply/under-supply problem worse, I'm against them.

I'm not Democrat, Republican, Socialist or Capitalist. I'm a rationalist. OK.

Here's a proposal. Get rid of an educations system that protects teachers and schools that fail. And measure their sucess on whether the students can support themselves and not depend on welfare.

Vastet wrote:

I don't know him. Why would he give me money? And does he have enough? Will he give me enough?

He supports a lot of left wing candidates and propaganda. He's a billionaire. I don't see why not unless he's a hypocrite.

Why do you need a lot of resources anyway? Just start a small socialist utopia in one small county in Canada, the rest of the world will quickly see how much better your system is than capitalism. I will be forced to admit I was wrong. With evidence I would support your position.

Isn't that the rational way to do things? When a drug company makes a claim about a drug being a 'cure-all', we make they follow a rational scientific process to prove this and prove there are no bad side effects. We don't just let them sell their 'miracle cure' to the whole world without evidence to back their claims.

So why don't all the socialists provide us with the evidence? I would support a small no-capitalist zone where the socialists can test their theories. Stop waisting your energy on politics and arguments, focus on creating a small socialist utopia that would grow with the hard evidence that it works.

Would you support the same for me, a small test group where ideas such as mine could be tested?

 

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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EXC wrote:Vastet wrote:EXC

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

EXC wrote:
Proof is that automobile and homeowners insurance don't go up 'exponentially'.

And yet they do, which proves you wrong.

No automobile insurance rates have gone DOWN.

No they haven't. I stopped driving because they kept going up and I could no longer afford it and gas which was also going up.

EXC wrote:
 This happened when the government required everyone to have insurance.

It has been the law that one must have insurance to legally drive my entire life. You get a sticker to put on your license plate to prove you've done so, and if your sticker is missing or out of date then you get pulled over by the cops and your car is impounded. 

And rates have gone up my entire life. I don't know where you think you're getting your figures, but they are dead wrong.

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

Since neither you nor any other capitalist in history has any strategy at all to fix this, I can conclude that you cannot fix this, and that capitalism will never fix this, and that only socialism can.

First off I'm not a capitalist. I'm for free markets, which means I support you having the freedom to start any VOLUNTARY system you want. Same goes for anyone.

A capitalist supports the free market. A libertarian is a capitalist. You are a capitalist.

Yet the free market is anything but free. It is free only for those with capital, it is not free for everyone else. It is slavery.

EXC wrote:

The only areas I'm not a libertarian is the government policy must be directed toward correcting the chronic oversupply of unskilled labor and under-supply of natural resources. If the policy doesn't correct these problems but only encourages behaviors that make the oversupply/under-supply problem worse, I'm against them.

I'm not advocating a system of inefficiency and waste. I'm advocating the opposite.

EXC wrote:

I'm not Democrat, Republican, Socialist or Capitalist. I'm a rationalist. OK.

I'm a rationalist too. Yet we are at odds. So obviously rationalism isn't sufficient to describe our positions. From all of your posts, it certainly appears that you are a capitalist.

EXC wrote:

Here's a proposal. Get rid of an educations system that protects teachers and schools that fail. And measure their sucess on whether the students can support themselves and not depend on welfare.

That would be one of my highest priorities. In the system I envision, no post would be of greater importance than that of an educator. And educators would be very much required to be accurate. Failure in education is not tolerable. You often get one chance per student. Wasting it means the student is wasted.

As such, unlike today, no educator would have freedom of speech while they were educating on the job. Freedom of speech in education is self destructive when educators use that free speech to undermine the education they are supposed to be providing, and they are being paid to provide.

EXC wrote:
 

Vastet wrote:

I don't know him. Why would he give me money? And does he have enough? Will he give me enough?

He supports a lot of left wing candidates and propaganda. He's a billionaire. I don't see why not unless he's a hypocrite.

How did a socialist become a billionare in the first place? I'd guess simply from the fact that he is rich that he's a hypocrite. The only way I could ever become rich is if I won a lottery. And it wouldn't last long. I'd keep enough to be comfortable the rest of my life, and give the rest away to various institutions I thought could use the resources best for the advancement of the species as a whole.

EXC wrote:
 

Why do you need a lot of resources anyway? Just start a small socialist utopia in one small county in Canada, the rest of the world will quickly see how much better your system is than capitalism. I will be forced to admit I was wrong. With evidence I would support your position.

Except I've already laid out multiple times how a socialist system surrounded by a capitalist framework cannot function indefinately. A country may be able to pull it off, should it have sufficient resources and diversity of populace, but a county certainly cannot.

EXC wrote:
 Isn't that the rational way to do things? When a drug company makes a claim about a drug being a 'cure-all', we make they follow a rational scientific process to prove this and prove there are no bad side effects. We don't just let them sell their 'miracle cure' to the whole world without evidence to back their claims.

I hardly think that widespread socialism is going to arise overnight. I'm certainly not expecting it to. It will likely be a gradual process. Hopefully it will be a directed gradual process, else we might end up with statism instead. Thus I've chosen to be one of those to espouse a proper way of doing it, and attempt to clear up misconceptions of and improper planning in current and previous forms of socialism.

EXC wrote:
 

So why don't all the socialists provide us with the evidence? I would support a small no-capitalist zone where the socialists can test their theories.

If enough others did too then someone might be able to try such a thing. But while you might support such an experiment, enough others do not to make it improbable at best.

I couldn't do it alone. Just because I've come up with a potentially superior system doesn't mean it is properly refined and ready for instant application. There would be concerns that didn't even appear until it was put in place. I'd need sufficient time, expertise, and resources at my disposal. I have none of these.

EXC wrote:
  Stop waisting your energy on politics and arguments, focus on creating a small socialist utopia that would grow with the hard evidence that it works.

If I had the impression I could do so or knowledge of how I'd go about doing so then I might do so.

EXC wrote:
 

Would you support the same for me, a small test group where ideas such as mine could be tested?

Sure, though I'd be concerned that you would face a similar possible problem of lack of resources and diversity to be self sustaining long enough for any flaws that will exist to be worked out.

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Vastet wrote:A capitalist

Vastet wrote:



A capitalist supports the free market. A libertarian is a capitalist. You are a capitalist.





No I'm for you being able to form a group where you voluntarily live under what ever rules you voluntarily agree to. So you can have your socialist utopia. No one will bother you.



Now you're going to say the capitalists own everything so we can't. A problem with free markets in the current form is that individuals and corporations buy and sell property they didn't create through work. Namely land and other natural resources. The free market would would work if the earth were infinite in size.



The current system needs to be modified so that you can't get wealthy by taking advantage of the shortage in natural resources to buy up even more. This problem can be addressed through taxation that discourages wasteful and greedy usage of natural resources. I want to use this tax wealth to help people to create an education/social services system that enables people to be successful and independent when they ask for help.



But a system that allows socialists to take wealth they didn't earn through work or that punishes success through high income and profit taxes, I can not support.



Vastet wrote:



How did a socialist become a billionare in the first place? I'd guess simply from the fact that he is rich that he's a hypocrite.





Ironic. But he did it with currency trading. By understanding that government intervention in the market is doomed to fail. The government of England decided it wanted to keep the Pound high relative to other countries that it was running a trade deficit. So the government used the treasury to buy up Pounds held in foreign countries. He bet in the long run that the Bank of England could not sustain this, that supply and demand would force the Pound down. Eventually the treasury went broke buying up Pounds and the value of the Pound collapsed. He won his bet and became a billionaire.



They say he made his money from capitalism but he actually made it from government intervention in the free market.



Vastet wrote:



Except I've already laid out multiple times how a socialist system surrounded by a capitalist framework cannot function indefinately. A country may be able to pull it off, should it have sufficient resources and diversity of populace, but a county certainly cannot.





I don't see why. If socialist could make their own rules and keep all capitalists out. So this seems like two strikes against Socialism. The start-up costs are very high and it's not scalable.



Does this mean if humans were to colonize space and mars, they'd have to start off with capitalism? Because socialism is not self-starting and applicable unless the population is already in the millions or billions?



Vastet wrote:



If enough others did too then someone might be able to try such a thing. But while you might support such an experiment, enough others do not to make it improbable at best.



I couldn't do it alone. Just because I've come up with a potentially superior system doesn't mean it is properly refined and ready for instant application. There would be concerns that didn't even appear until it was put in place. I'd need sufficient time, expertise, and resources at my disposal. I have none of these.





Yes, but you can go on the Internet and find other committed socialists and communists. What do they think about developing small communes to demonstrate the superiority of your system? Why wouldn't they be willing to sacrifice to make sure the experiment was a success. The fate of humanity is dependent on the collapse of capitalism before it destroys us all, is it not?



To me, the fact that socialists don't do this demonstrates that they don't really believe in their own propaganda. They're just out to steal wealth they don't earn. Why don't you all get started?



Vastet wrote:



Sure, though I'd be concerned that you would face a similar possible problem of lack of resources and diversity to be self sustaining long enough for any flaws that will exist to be worked out.





No. The only problem with my system is a lack of rational thinking and excessive wish thinking in the world today. Politics and Economics is a lot like religion, people will hold onto their beliefs despite a dearth of evidence in favor of their view. They refuse to do experiments that would prove if their beliefs are true or not.



People choose a political position such as Socialism, Libertarianism or Conservatism based on how they wished the world worked instead of accepting how it really works through science and experimentation.




 

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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Jormungander wrote:I did not

Jormungander wrote:

I did not say 'China.' I said Hong Kong and Ireland. Hong Kong is distinct from China when it comes to economic matters. They even have their own unique currency. Don't pretend as though I was wishing that we would be like China. I merely like Hong Kong's economy; which is of course nothing at all like China's. China may be technically in control of Hong Kong, but Hong Kong gets to run its own economy separate from China's. Hong Kong has wisely used that autonomy to make a very free market and low taxes. That is what makes Hong Kong the world's favorite tax haven. So when you bitch about tax havens, you are really bitching about Hong Kong's attractive markets and low taxes. Ireland is also recognised as a tax haven for similar reasons to what I have outlined about Hong Kong.

http://www.shelteroffshore.com/index.php/offshore/more/hong_kong_best_offshore_tax_haven/

So are you really afraid that we will 'sink to [the] level' of Hong Kong and Ireland? Both of those countries are doing great. We could learn a bit from them. And what the hell does that have to do with Lockeed Martin? Lockeed is an example of (perhaps reckless) government spending. I'm advocating that we don't give quite so much money to them. And yet you seem to imply that I wish we could lower taxes to boost big government contractors like Lockeed. That makes no sense at all. Your arguments against a position that I don't even hold don't make any sense.

Are you fucking with me here just a little bit? Hong Kong is the practical capital of China, the government is in Hong Kong dressed in business suits, it collects taxes from the rest of the country and does not tax itself at all. The "corporate state", how many are calling what is going on down there, is basically what the US system is headed towards. Cheney has federal health insurance, while he preaches tough love and insane health service prices for the ordinary US citizen and no taxes on the corporations. You can go ahead and call Washington and the Wall Street for the "remarkably autonomous region of US". Sort of like Hong Kong is to China, only about 1000 times as aggressive, powerful and bloodthirsty.

How about just do what Denmark does when it comes to health and social insurance services? General public health care with a small, controled and specialised private sector gives: optimal choice for the citizens, much better price for the state (and thereby citizens), no beyond belief tax haven money drain. Corporations are held in check and kept far the fuck away from public money. You guys could have paid for the social security bill to the year 2050 just for the amount that was drained in the last couple of years, but this will not happen until you take charge of your own pooled resources. That's right, pooled - individually you will be ripped a new one.

Jormungander wrote:

Wow. That is a lot of money. I still don't see how higher taxes would stop people from using tax havens though. Increasing taxes would only increase the desirability of tax havens. This is a big problem, but I don't think increasing taxes is the solution. I can think of a few possible ways to cut down on the use of tax havens, but I wouldn't like them to be implemented.

You asked me why it was a problem to have privatised social security. I listed many problems, including the tax haven issue. And believe it or not, it's the smallest of the problems. People are not getting services, because profit of the industry is based on not providing services - it's a conflict of interest. This has detrimental effects on the health level of the citizens and is fatal for the economy. US health industry magnates are like the US military industry magnates - they take money that doesn't belong to them, kill people and stick the tax payer with the bill. Washington is just the PR department of those redicilously powerful "interest groups" and you listen a bit too much to their bullshit propaganda and out of this world definitions, like: "wow, isn't Hong Kong something?"

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Vastet wrote:A capitalist

Vastet wrote:

A capitalist supports the free market. A libertarian is a capitalist. You are a capitalist.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian_socialism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left_libertarian

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian_communism

You are painting with a pretty broad brush. The libertarians that I personally know are all economically far right, but leftist libertarians do exist. Libertarian ideology is broad. It is as broad and varied as conservatism or progressivism.  There is no one official libertarian creed or docrtine. Some libertarians are in favor of market anarchy, others are in favor of communism or socialism and others still merely want freer markets without going all the way to government-free market anarchy.

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


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EXC wrote:Vastet wrote:A

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

A capitalist supports the free market. A libertarian is a capitalist. You are a capitalist.


 

No I'm for you being able to form a group where you voluntarily live under what ever rules you voluntarily agree to. So you can have your socialist utopia. No one will bother you.

The essence of what I'm promoting is the same. There just needs to be a balancing act before it can be put into place without inevitably returning to a capitalist structure again within a generation or two.

EXC wrote:


 

Now you're going to say the capitalists own everything so we can't. A problem with free markets in the current form is that individuals and corporations buy and sell property they didn't create through work. Namely land and other natural resources. The free market would would work if the earth were infinite in size.

And resources, though I'd agree that space is currently our biggest impediment.

It's going to be interesting seeing what happens with Antarctica should it ever warm up enough to become habitable.

EXC wrote:


 

The current system needs to be modified so that you can't get wealthy by taking advantage of the shortage in natural resources to buy up even more. This problem can be addressed through taxation that discourages wasteful and greedy usage of natural resources. I want to use this tax wealth to help people to create an education/social services system that enables people to be successful and independent when they ask for help.

It's interesting how we want the same thing but are going in different directions to get there.

I just find it so much easier to see a socialist system working like this than trying to envision how one could get a free market to pull it off. Every idea I've had to fix problems with capitalism loses almost all of its power after a generation or two has passed. So I gave up trying.

EXC wrote:


But a system that allows socialists to take wealth they didn't earn through work or that punishes success through high income and profit taxes, I can not support.

I can't either. I'm looking at a system of enforced cooperation for the benefit of all, not theft for the benefit of some. The only theft could occur during the transition from capitalism to socialism. Once the socialism was in place, there would be no motive for theft short of greed. And greed would be easy to identify and correct. Hoarding, price fixing, insider trading; all of these would be visible for all to see. Complete transparency. And since the culture is one of cooperation, it behooves those who are a part of it to make sure that noone is abusing it.

I'll use a little example here to illustrate my point on the off chance I haven't presented it well enough. I'll grant ahead of time that I don't have any actual statistics to work with, I am utilizing my understanding of the human psyche for presentation. If you disagree with it, I won't be able to utilize it at all. So you only have to say as much to relegate this to an unsupported assertion, yet I remain confident you won't disagree.

Lets say you've got ten people to work with. These ten people all witnessed a poor eleventh person stealing money from a rich twelfth person. The first five people know the financial status of the 11th and 12th people. The last five do not.

Of the first five, perhaps one person will inform us that a theft occurred. Perhaps none of them will. They mentally put themselves in the position of the theif, and likely accept that they would do the same thing. After all, the poor person needs the money to get food. The rich person possibly won't even notice it go missing, and certainly doesn't need it.

But with the second group of five, all the people have no idea about the context, they just know a theft occurred. Of these, almost all if not all of the people are likely to tell us about the theft when asked/offered the opportunity to do so. The only reasons not to are laziness and disinterest.

Now lets change it so that the poor 11th person didn't steal from a rich 12th person, but from the group of ten individuals. Those individuals were blatantly and literally offering the money to the 11th person in exchange for work before the theft occurred. In this scenario, all 10 individuals are aware of the financial status of the 11th individual.

Due to simple outrage, all 10 people will report the theft. There is no motive for not doing so, and every motive for doing so. This is the kind of personal and group security that I can see socialism providing due to self interest, that capitalism can never provide due to self interest. In socialism, the theft is against the collective where an observer has a vested interest in the collective due to individual participation in the collective. Whereas in capitalism, the theft is against an individual who the observer may or may not have an interest in defending.

EXC wrote:


 

Vastet wrote:

How did a socialist become a billionare in the first place? I'd guess simply from the fact that he is rich that he's a hypocrite.


 

Ironic. But he did it with currency trading. By understanding that government intervention in the market is doomed to fail. The government of England decided it wanted to keep the Pound high relative to other countries that it was running a trade deficit. So the government used the treasury to buy up Pounds held in foreign countries. He bet in the long run that the Bank of England could not sustain this, that supply and demand would force the Pound down. Eventually the treasury went broke buying up Pounds and the value of the Pound collapsed. He won his bet and became a billionaire.

Lol. Ok, that explains well enough how he got the money, and as a socialist I basically consider this income equal to winning a lottery or a poker game(which is to say, I don't consider it hypocritical). However, he is still (presumably anyway) a billionaire, which raises the question of hypocracy.

EXC wrote:


 

They say he made his money from capitalism but he actually made it from government intervention in the free market.

From what I've seen through history and my own lifetime, any forced intervention in the free market is unsustainable unless one controls the entire market, which means it isn't a free market. I have seen the same story dozens of times, though the actual details are often different. Hence my removal of the free market entirely. I use some of its definable and relevant traits, such as supply/demand, but not the market in its entirety. I'd be removing plenty of freedom of commerce.

The biggest problem I find with capitalism, above the seperation of classes, is that wasteful strategies can actually generate income. In properly structured socialism, that would be far more difficult to pull off, if not completely impossible.

EXC wrote:


 

Vastet wrote:

Except I've already laid out multiple times how a socialist system surrounded by a capitalist framework cannot function indefinately. A country may be able to pull it off, should it have sufficient resources and diversity of populace, but a county certainly cannot.



 

I don't see why. If socialist could make their own rules and keep all capitalists out. So this seems like two strikes against Socialism. The start-up costs are very high and it's not scalable.

This isn't as tricky for socialism as you think.

First of all, the fact of the matter is that the start up costs for any activity are enormous. Capitalism included. We've simply been using capitalism for all of recorded history, so we don't know what the original costs might have been, and cannot even guess since it wouldn't have been a price paid by our species, but by one of the first species to exist on Earth. Though the continuation costs are far too high.

Take technology for example. I almost used Microsoft for this, but if you know anything about the games market you'll obliterate me by doing so, so I'll use Sony instead. When Sony released the PlayStation, the PlayStation 2, and the PlayStation 3, they were taking losses on every sale. It cost money to develop the system. It cost money to advertise it. And it cost money to make the system available for purchase (shipping). This is the tip of the iceberg, but it will suffice.

Sony used this strategy of self destruction because they knew that with sufficient penetration in the market, and with sufficient advances in manufacture (both of which being inevitable should their product be of value to customers), costs of production would fall and at some point the system would no longer be selling at a loss, but at a profit. I haven't stayed current enough to know if the PS3 has passed this hurdle yet, but I'd be surprised if it had already. However, both the PS and the PS2 did exactly that.

Hence, start up costs are completely irrelevant if the end product is cheaper than the original by a factor that allows for profit. Socialism is cheaper than capitalism by a factor that allows for profit despite start up costs.

Regarding scalability, it is not that socialism is unscalable, but that socialism is surrounded on all sides by competing capitalist structures. The two economical strategies are not on equal footing, and have never been close to it. If I could start a socialist system completely free of outside interference, then I could work with as low a number as 2 people. 

The same would be in reverse if socialism were the prevailing method of economy. No capitalist structure smaller than a nation could be built to be self sustaining in such an environment.

EXC wrote:

Does this mean if humans were to colonize space and mars, they'd have to start off with capitalism? Because socialism is not self-starting and applicable unless the population is already in the millions or billions?

Actually, colonization of space and Mars seems to be the most acceptable and non-violent method to introduce a socialist structure, and is my greatest hope for its arrival(for the near future anyway, other methods will take much longer). The distances involved are sufficient to keep capitalism from interfering long enough for the socialist structure to solidify.

EXC wrote:


 

Vastet wrote:

If enough others did too then someone might be able to try such a thing. But while you might support such an experiment, enough others do not to make it improbable at best.
 

I couldn't do it alone. Just because I've come up with a potentially superior system doesn't mean it is properly refined and ready for instant application. There would be concerns that didn't even appear until it was put in place. I'd need sufficient time, expertise, and resources at my disposal. I have none of these.



 

Yes, but you can go on the Internet and find other committed socialists and communists. What do they think about developing small communes to demonstrate the superiority of your system? Why wouldn't they be willing to sacrifice to make sure the experiment was a success. The fate of humanity is dependent on the collapse of capitalism before it destroys us all, is it not?
 

To me, the fact that socialists don't do this demonstrates that they don't really believe in their own propaganda. They're just out to steal wealth they don't earn. Why don't you all get started?

I think religion is that much more dangerous to our future, and that much more certain of a danger. I have plenty of allies to work with in that field, and so I focus my activities on that. My plate isn't large enough for both, and there aren't nearly as many socialists to draw upon as there are atheists and agnostics. Nor are they as clearly defined. I've seen more diversity within socialists than I have within atheists. Which makes perfect sense, since socialism is a complicated political and economic structure, while atheism is simply the rejection of theism.

I see the end of organized authority of religion as something that could actually happen in my lifespan, or soon afterwards at the least. Socialism is likely much further away, and much more virulently hated today thanks to propaganda during the cold war. A great many people won't even listen when the words "socialism" or "communism" are mentioned, regardless of whether they would support the concept if they took the time to understand it.

EXC wrote:

 

Vastet wrote:

Sure, though I'd be concerned that you would face a similar possible problem of lack of resources and diversity to be self sustaining long enough for any flaws that will exist to be worked out.



 

No. The only problem with my system is a lack of rational thinking and excessive wish thinking in the world today. Politics and Economics is a lot like religion, people will hold onto their beliefs despite a dearth of evidence in favor of their view. They refuse to do experiments that would prove if their beliefs are true or not.



 

People choose a political position such as Socialism, Libertarianism or Conservatism based on how they wished the world worked instead of accepting how it really works through science and experimentation.

Actually, seeing as how most of the world uses capitalism anyway you probably wouldn't have that much problem economically. Politically is a different story though. Both of our systems would be vulnerable to outside politics if attempted on Earth.

As for experimentation, my experimentation was done in my head. I don't base my beliefs on wishful thinking, I analyze the competing methods and choose a superior system. I have found socialism to be superior to capitalism, with the only flaw being perpetuation of inventiveness. Something that can be removed as a problem by retaining a portion of the capitalist structure within the society for the sake of competition.

My analysis of capitalism has produced no method of dealing with the flaws inherrant in the system without resorting to political methods such as fascism and statism, which I consider to be unsustainable. Even Orwell's Big Brother could and would be defeated eventually. I cannot support a political structure which is inherrantly self destructive.

Which is not to say there isn't and cannot be a desirable solution, but I haven't seen one or any signs of one. Since I have seen no flaw within socialism which cannot be addressed thanks to the ordered nature of socialism, my support goes to socialism.

Jormungander wrote:

Vastet wrote:

A capitalist supports the free market. A libertarian is a capitalist. You are a capitalist.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian_socialism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left_libertarian

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian_communism

You are painting with a pretty broad brush. The libertarians that I personally know are all economically far right, but leftist libertarians do exist. Libertarian ideology is broad. It is as broad and varied as conservatism or progressivism.  There is no one official libertarian creed or docrtine. Some libertarians are in favor of market anarchy, others are in favor of communism or socialism and others still merely want freer markets without going all the way to government-free market anarchy.

My error. I had understood that the foundational principal of Libertarianism was the free market, and that economically Libertarianism was undivided. There would have to be a hole in that box. I hate political terminology.

Shit. Libertarian Socialism on the surface seems close to what I'm talking about with Socialism, only instead of very little or no power/authority invested anywhere, the power/authority of government is diversified throughout the entire populace instead of concentrated in groups and individuals.

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Vastet wrote:My error. I had

Vastet wrote:

My error. I had understood that the foundational principal of Libertarianism was the free market, and that economically Libertarianism was undivided. There would have to be a hole in that box. I hate political terminology.

Shit. Libertarian Socialism on the surface seems close to what I'm talking about with Socialism, only instead of very little or no power/authority invested anywhere, the power/authority of government is diversified throughout the entire populace instead of concentrated in groups and individuals.

Libertarian ideas are very good, going as far as Participatory Economics - look that up. There is always a flaw in them: the possibility of groupation of few ambitious against many not so ambitious. Of course, this groupation is almost unavoidable.

Every system will be ambiguous in this way and most will be bastardised in nanoseconds by the witty and industrious motherfuckers. Of course some of the systems, like capitalism, establish unalienable rigts of the arbitrarily small number of people to own the whole society and do with it what they please, which is a good starting point for a system of pain, suffering and human selfdestruction.

No matter what the system, personal development in social context (not the cult of self we have today), substantive culture of responsibility, transparency and a sense of belonging must apply to 99% of these industrious people, just to keep the things on some balanced level. Modesty must be a respected virtue in the public discourse and history must mean something. This is just the bottom line of necessity and in this struggle we are very far behind. The system of unlimited private ownership will get us exactly nowhere in this respect.

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ZuS wrote:Vastet wrote:My

ZuS wrote:

Vastet wrote:

My error. I had understood that the foundational principal of Libertarianism was the free market, and that economically Libertarianism was undivided. There would have to be a hole in that box. I hate political terminology.

Shit. Libertarian Socialism on the surface seems close to what I'm talking about with Socialism, only instead of very little or no power/authority invested anywhere, the power/authority of government is diversified throughout the entire populace instead of concentrated in groups and individuals.

Libertarian ideas are very good, going as far as Participatory Economics - look that up. There is always a flaw in them: the possibility of groupation of few ambitious against many not so ambitious. Of course, this groupation is almost unavoidable.

Every system will be ambiguous in this way and most will be bastardised in nanoseconds by the witty and industrious motherfuckers. Of course some of the systems, like capitalism, establish unalienable rigts of the arbitrarily small number of people to own the whole society and do with it what they please, which is a good starting point for a system of pain, suffering and human selfdestruction.

No matter what the system, personal development in social context (not the cult of self we have today), substantive culture of responsibility, transparency and a sense of belonging must apply to 99% of these industrious people, just to keep the things on some balanced level. Modesty must be a respected virtue in the public discourse and history must mean something. This is just the bottom line of necessity and in this struggle we are very far behind. The system of unlimited private ownership will get us exactly nowhere in this respect.

I have recognized this flaw ("the possibility of groupation of few ambitious against many not so ambitious" ), in the systems being discussed, and it is why I cannot support libertarianism or capitalism. There must be a way to gather power to combat a threat both internal and external, without allowing the power to be self perpetuating or self defeating. There is not sufficient "grouping" tools in capitalism to pull it off. The best tool that currently exists causes more problems than it solves: religion.

A solution is to centre power and authority into something both harmless and foundational. A constitution works perfectly for this. One that everyone must sign (should they choose to, which would be a requirement for citizenship) when they reach the ability to comprehend it. A simple constitution using clear and simple language and concepts that is self defining and is easy to both comprehend and defend. One that lays out the most basic rights and responsibilities of citizenry.

To avoid the possibility of the constitution becoming dated linguistically and technologically as the US has experienced, a rewrite every say ten years that must be examined by and voted on by all of the populace which is eligible to vote(citizens).

Editted for formatting error

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EXC wrote:Here's what I

EXC wrote:

Here's what I think are the main causes of the Crisis. Curious to know what others think.

1. Government policy of making mortgages available to people who could not afford them. To solve the fact that some people could not afford to live in expensive homes, the government created Freddy and Fanny and manipulated interest rates to make them affordable. In the end all this did was drive up the price of homes making them even more expensive and causing an overbuilding of homes during the housing bubbles.

2. Government allowing uncollateralized insurance contracts. High risk mortgages were sold as low risk investments because they had default insurance through companies through AIG and others. Capitalism or any system can not work unless parties to a contract can prove they can fulfill the terms of the contract. AIG and investment banks did not have collateral to cover their insurance policies, so they should not have been allowed to issue insurance.

3. 401k tax breaks. The government encouraged investment in the stock market through deferred tax breaks. All this did was artificially drive up the price of stocks. Too much money chasing after too few good investments. Too many investors disconnected from the operation of the company with no management oversight.

4. Home Mortgage Interest deduction. People overbought housing and borrowed tons of money as means of reducing the burden from the unfair income tax system.

5. Deferred Employee Compensation. Companies like GM and the California government making long term commitments to employees to cover their pensions and health care for life. Cash should be paid to employees who make their own retirement/health care decisions. The Union system has failed both the workers and companies.

6. Encouragement of lending. The lending industry is simply a way for the rich to get richer without work and the working poor to remain their slave. It should not be 'vital' to our economy, it needs to be discouraged and regulated as much as possible. No more bailouts.

7. Failure fix economic disparity. The fact is there is a wide gap in demand/supply in services among our workers. This problem must be solved and not a redistribution of wealth through socialism and income high taxes.

8. The Fed. The Federal Reserve was continually changing interest rates and money supply. Along with being an illegal tax and being unaccountable to the taxpayers/citizens, it created volatile conditions and bubbles. Strong economies need stability and some predictability, they need to stop continually manipulating the market and give us stability.

Let me provide an example of how to put the firggin topic in a nutshell:

Topic:

"Forgetting the cause of the World economic crisis (for the moment), ... Did deregulation of a wide variety of "industries" cause the economic crises?"

Answer:

Fuck yes, and it began decades ago with the god of the Repugnants, Ronny R., accelerated greatly by the Demonrat hard-on Billy C., ultimately crashed under the guidance of the idiotic economic and foreign policy of GWB, and will continue under Obama, and (I predict) the next 1 to 2 Centuries, simply because Americans are too fucking stupid to understand what's going on and what the hell they are doing to themselves. --- You're gonna see the shit fly in 10 to 15 years, as huge numbers of people are going to discover that they can't live off of S.S., and will not have any health care, despite the garbage about Universal Health Care Coverage the Demonrats are promising.


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Vastet wrote:I have

Vastet wrote:

I have recognized this flaw ("the possibility of groupation of few ambitious against many not so ambitious" ), in the systems being discussed, and it is why I cannot support libertarianism or capitalism. There must be a way to gather power to combat a threat both internal and external, without allowing the power to be self perpetuating or self defeating. There is not sufficient "grouping" tools in capitalism to pull it off. The best tool that currently exists causes more problems than it solves: religion.

A solution is to centre power and authority into something both harmless and foundational. A constitution works perfectly for this. One that everyone must sign (should they choose to, which would be a requirement for citizenship) when they reach the ability to comprehend it. A simple constitution using clear and simple language and concepts that is self defining and is easy to both comprehend and defend. One that lays out the most basic rights and responsibilities of citizenry.

To avoid the possibility of the constitution becoming dated linguistically and technologically as the US has experienced, a rewrite every say ten years that must be examined by and voted on by all of the populace which is eligible to vote(citizens).

Editted for formatting error

This flaw will exist in any system and there is no definite cure for it. You are right that a foundation against this form of grouping is necessary, but I don't think this foundation is institutional.

You are also right that some systems nudge the society in this direction much more readily, but again this is because they promote value systems appropriate to a predatorial world. You can have perfect socialist institutions and a value system of a fascist state, the results will be horrendous.

The system of values is the only solution and it must be maintained throug constant struggle, both with our selves and with the industrious few that are driving the human race into oblivion.

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The values and goals of

The values and goals of society would be written into the constitution.

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Found this regarding the

Found this regarding the original question:

Edit: this video is probably better:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHJrMUa1HBQ

 

Lecture:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12kf1aW8Biw

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Vastet wrote:And resources,

Vastet wrote:

And resources, though I'd agree that space is currently our biggest impediment.

If you think about it, limited space/natural resources is the only impediment. If the earth were infinite in size, socialists could just seperate from the rest of the world and start their utopia. So politics(and war) and economics all boils down to how to divide up the earth.

Vastet wrote:

It's interesting how we want the same thing but are going in different directions to get there.

What you're missing is you don't assign a value to individualism and freedom. Few people want to live under a military style dictatorship that tells you where to work and what you can have. Also, you can't assign an infinite value to human life, it is not a practical solution.

Vastet wrote:

The biggest problem I find with capitalism, above the seperation of classes, is that wasteful strategies can actually generate income. In properly structured socialism, that would be far more difficult to pull off, if not completely impossible.

Waistful use of natural resouces. Capitalism went wrong when it allowed land owership and mining rights. Any libertarian/capitalist that supports the priciple that whoever claims land/mining rights first should own it, do what they want with it, sell it or pass it to children, should leave America and give his land back to Native American tribes. I've been call a communist for taking this view.

But socialists are also wrong when they claim that something an individual creates, builds or invents becomes the property of the state.

Vastet wrote:

 

Regarding scalability, it is not that socialism is unscalable, but that socialism is surrounded on all sides by competing capitalist structures. The two economical strategies are not on equal footing, and have never been close to it. If I could start a socialist system completely free of outside interference, then I could work with as low a number as 2 people. 

The same would be in reverse if socialism were the prevailing method of economy. No capitalist structure smaller than a nation could be built to be self sustaining in such an environment.

The religious cults are able to start their own colonies to seperate themselves from the rest of the world, no one bothers them. It's all a matter of believing in your cause. The Mormon fundamentalist were able to live with polyagamy.

Actually you have an underground economy when you have socialism or communism. The only way to stop it is to invade everyone's privacy. Do you want a camera watching you 24/7/365?

 

Vastet wrote:

 

Actually, colonization of space and Mars seems to be the most acceptable and non-violent method to introduce a socialist structure, and is my greatest hope for its arrival(for the near future anyway, other methods will take much longer). The distances involved are sufficient to keep capitalism from interfering long enough for the socialist structure to solidify.

But before anything is tried in space, we need to experiment and prove that such a society is sustainable here on earth and work out all the bugs. So why don't the socialists/communists get started with the colonies to prove they are right and everyone else is wrong?

Vastet wrote:

 

I see the end of organized authority of religion as something that could actually happen in my lifespan, or soon afterwards at the least. Socialism is likely much further away, and much more virulently hated today thanks to propaganda during the cold war. A great many people won't even listen when the words "socialism" or "communism" are mentioned, regardless of whether they would support the concept if they took the time to understand it.

OK, well why not adopt "rationalism" as a political/economic philosophy? But with rationalism, you have to accept the fact that you could be wrong. In fact you want to know if you are wrong. You want to verify that want you think is true or false. You want to do experiments without bias to prove this.

But you also need to open minded enough that there could be no perfect solution. Things are a tradeoff. People trade freedom for economic security. You also need to accept that people don't share your values. Socialists put a very high value on economic security and health care security. Fine, but others have a different set of priorities. It is not practical to place an infinite value on every individuals life or freedom.

Perhaps it is possible that a system could be designed that could let people live under the values they want and make the tradeoffs themselves.

Is this too much to ask?

 

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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EXC wrote:Vastet wrote:And

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

And resources, though I'd agree that space is currently our biggest impediment.

If you think about it, limited space/natural resources is the only impediment. If the earth were infinite in size, socialists could just seperate from the rest of the world and start their utopia. So politics(and war) and economics all boils down to how to divide up the earth.

You are both on drugs.

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

It's interesting how we want the same thing but are going in different directions to get there.

What you're missing is you don't assign a value to individualism and freedom. Few people want to live under a military style dictatorship that tells you where to work and what you can have. Also, you can't assign an infinite value to human life, it is not a practical solution.

You assign too much value to individualism and freedom. Sometimes you want to be an individualist and free, other times you want to belong to groups and relate to people, but all the time you want to be alive.

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

The biggest problem I find with capitalism, above the seperation of classes, is that wasteful strategies can actually generate income. In properly structured socialism, that would be far more difficult to pull off, if not completely impossible.

Waistful use of natural resouces. Capitalism went wrong when it allowed land owership and mining rights. Any libertarian/capitalist that supports the priciple that whoever claims land/mining rights first should own it, do what they want with it, sell it or pass it to children, should leave America and give his land back to Native American tribes. I've been call a communist for taking this view.

But socialists are also wrong when they claim that something an individual creates, builds or invents becomes the property of the state.

Vastet: Profit from waste is not the problem with capitalism, it's the problem with any system: what pays off most for the individual in the short term is usually detrimental to the collective. This is why only a few people can ever be "super-rich". This is in quotes, because it is really relative to the standard of living.

EXC: That's not what socialists state, they state that it becomes the property of all of us. This is because we are ALL stakeholders in things that happen in our society. Individual freedoms are ONLY respected if everyone's stake in the society is protected.

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

Regarding scalability, it is not that socialism is unscalable, but that socialism is surrounded on all sides by competing capitalist structures. The two economical strategies are not on equal footing, and have never been close to it. If I could start a socialist system completely free of outside interference, then I could work with as low a number as 2 people. 

The same would be in reverse if socialism were the prevailing method of economy. No capitalist structure smaller than a nation could be built to be self sustaining in such an environment.

The religious cults are able to start their own colonies to seperate themselves from the rest of the world, no one bothers them. It's all a matter of believing in your cause. The Mormon fundamentalist were able to live with polyagamy.

Actually you have an underground economy when you have socialism or communism. The only way to stop it is to invade everyone's privacy. Do you want a camera watching you 24/7/365?

Vastet: many communities in the US are actually operating with local socialism, even Wall Street does. In fact, this is far the most competitive system out there and certain people fight tooth and nail not to allow it to cross the border between rich and poor.

EXC: I think you have a fetish of some sort with these isolationist tendencies. I don't want to go to some secluded spot in the amazon to practice socialism, I just want some ideas of socialism that are already widely practiced to be acknowledged, so that we can start bridging the gap between rich and poor and making some kind of sense as a species.

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

Actually, colonization of space and Mars seems to be the most acceptable and non-violent method to introduce a socialist structure, and is my greatest hope for its arrival(for the near future anyway, other methods will take much longer). The distances involved are sufficient to keep capitalism from interfering long enough for the socialist structure to solidify.

But before anything is tried in space, we need to experiment and prove that such a society is sustainable here on earth and work out all the bugs. So why don't the socialists/communists get started with the colonies to prove they are right and everyone else is wrong?

You both must be fucking with me. You will not be trying and practicing anything, so long as the rich socialists from the wall street are opressing all the poor socialists from the main street and are spending all their energy on keeping the status quo and surviving, respectively.

EXC wrote:

Vastet wrote:

I see the end of organized authority of religion as something that could actually happen in my lifespan, or soon afterwards at the least. Socialism is likely much further away, and much more virulently hated today thanks to propaganda during the cold war. A great many people won't even listen when the words "socialism" or "communism" are mentioned, regardless of whether they would support the concept if they took the time to understand it.

OK, well why not adopt "rationalism" as a political/economic philosophy? But with rationalism, you have to accept the fact that you could be wrong. In fact you want to know if you are wrong. You want to verify that want you think is true or false. You want to do experiments without bias to prove this.

But you also need to open minded enough that there could be no perfect solution. Things are a tradeoff. People trade freedom for economic security. You also need to accept that people don't share your values. Socialists put a very high value on economic security and health care security. Fine, but others have a different set of priorities. It is not practical to place an infinite value on every individuals life or freedom.

Perhaps it is possible that a system could be designed that could let people live under the values they want and make the tradeoffs themselves.

Is this too much to ask?

Vastet: organised religion has been the source and a promoter of socialism since time immemorial, while religion exists BECAUSE people are social beings. Religion and socialism are practically indestinguishable at times. People understand socialist ideas perfectly well, even though they would tell you they don't. This is why great social leaders came from the ranks of religious leaders - not because they were religious, but because they were socialist.

EXC: How about we discuss what we will do AFTER we agree we will not allow a split between the top 1% and the bottom 50% to run our lives?

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


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ZuS wrote:You assign too

ZuS wrote:

You assign too much value to individualism and freedom. Sometimes you want to be an individualist and free, other times you want to belong to groups and relate to people, but all the time you want to be alive.

Well it's a balance between extending life and enjoying life. Universal good medical coverage may be so expensive that everyone would need to be workaholics that can never enjoy life.

I don't assign an infinite value to my life, no one does. Otherwise they would just live in a bunker and never leave.

Saying everyone has a right to whatever medical treatment they need to prolong their life is impractical. It's like saying we should all drive our cars at 20MPH or less and drive tanks so no one would ever be in a life threatening accident.

ZuS wrote:

Vastet: Profit from waste is not the problem with capitalism, it's the problem with any system: what pays off most for the individual in the short term is usually detrimental to the collective. This is why only a few people can ever be "super-rich". This is in quotes, because it is really relative to the standard of living.

Many capitalist would argue that we need a class of super-rich to take risks and start new businesses. If everyone lives at a subsistence level, we would never have had venture capitalism creating the computer and aviation industries. Plus they often employ a lot of people building mansions, yachts, etc...

The super-rich only become a problem when the buy up tons of land, oil, gas, minerals, etc.. and try to monopolize these natural resources. If they are discouraged from doing this and only use their wealth to create jobs, they are a net benefit.

ZuS wrote:

EXC: That's not what socialists state, they state that it becomes the property of all of us. This is because we are ALL stakeholders in things that happen in our society. Individual freedoms are ONLY respected if everyone's stake in the society is protected.

Because we share the same natural resources. Not all activities affect others equally. You draw no distinction between property that is a natural resource and property created through someone's hard work?

But here is what leftists do:

I could be a computer programmer that was home schooled uses almost no natural resources and bothers no one to make my income. The socialist want to tax me at 60% or more with nothing in return for all those taxes.

I could be a farmer, I waist water because the government gives it away for almost nothing. I don't make efficient use of the land because high tech equipment investment is very expensive. I can go low tech with pesticides, herbicides and fertilizer that gets into the environment.

The leftists want to subsidize this ineffieciency because taxing inefficiency would drive up food prices and "babies would starve". The right-wingers scream about their god-given right to enjoy the land god gave them. So there is no incentive on either side to fix this ineffieciency

How do we avoid this dilemma and efficiency through technology and discourage inefficiency?

ZuS wrote:

EXC: I think you have a fetish of some sort with these isolationist tendencies. I don't want to go to some secluded spot in the amazon to practice socialism, I just want some ideas of socialism that are already widely practiced to be acknowledged, so that we can start bridging the gap between rich and poor and making some kind of sense as a species.

What do you have against the Amazon?

In the free market if something is a good idea and people believe in it, people find a way to make it happen. When a technology works well it's quickly adopted.

Well then capitalism must not be that bad, if you don't vote with your feet against it.

ZuS wrote:

You both must be fucking with me. You will not be trying and practicing anything, so long as the rich socialists from the wall street are opressing all the poor socialists from the main street and are spending all their energy on keeping the status quo and surviving, respectively.

So then all the rich socialists like Soros and the Hollywood liberals are all phony with their compassion?

ZuS wrote:

EXC: How about we discuss what we will do AFTER we agree we will not allow a split between the top 1% and the bottom 50% to run our lives?

Can we agree that the problem is lack of access to natural resources that are monopolized by the rich? In the past, you tell a poor person with limited opportunities "Go west, young man, go west". Why? Because America was a place with small population relative to natural resources. That is why capitalism took hold, it works perfectly when there is unlimited resources. Since we don't live in a world like that, we have to figure out a rational solution to the competition for resources.

What you are missing with your socialism is How people make there money. A high tech company could create a technology that enables us to grow our food with less land and water. A farmer using old technology could dump pesticides and waste land and water. You treat their money the same. Tax them the same. Why?

 

 

 

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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In short, another Zionist

In short, another Zionist plot.


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EXC wrote:Many capitalist

EXC wrote:

Many capitalist would argue that we need a class of super-rich to take risks and start new businesses.

Many fascists would argue one party system is the only way to keep the high standard of the community. 

EXC wrote:

If everyone lives at a subsistence level, we would never have had venture capitalism creating the computer and aviation industries.

Number one biggest breakthrough in computer science was paid by public money - the internet was a military project, free of charge, handed over to communications and computer industry. Billions of dollars that are hidden away in tax heavens can be considered a huge subsidy to the computer industry by the tax payer.

Aviation industry in the US would NOT EXIST without public subsidy and aggressive protectionism.

Same goes for agroculture, energy, defense, intelligence, health care - if it's important, it's heavily supported by public funds. I can provide documents, will take a bit of time.

Super-rich take no risk, the tax payers do. You need proof to that effect, I would point you to the ongoing collaps of global economy and the obscene bailouts.

There is no such thing as a free market, US project it is higly protectionistic and destructive of client countries economic systems. Longer you spend time dreaming, the longer the dick they shove up all of our asses will be.

EXC wrote:

Plus they often employ a lot of people building mansions, yachts, etc...

Hitler employed a lot of people building tanks and guns, does not make it a smart thing to do.

EXC wrote:

The super-rich only become a problem when the buy up tons of land, oil, gas, minerals, etc.. and try to monopolize these natural resources. If they are discouraged from doing this and only use their wealth to create jobs, they are a net benefit.

In other words, super-rich are always a problem.

EXC wrote:

I could be a computer programmer that was home schooled uses almost no natural resources and bothers no one to make my income. The socialist want to tax me at 60% or more with nothing in return for all those taxes.

Nothing in return? Health care, fire department, police, national guard, schools, hospitals, universities, free education, and most importantly INFLUENCE ON THE POLITICIANS. Why should we give the money to the super-rich, when it can be put in the collective piggy bank.

EXC wrote:

I could be a farmer, I waist water because the government gives it away for almost nothing. I don't make efficient use of the land because high tech equipment investment is very expensive. I can go low tech with pesticides, herbicides and fertilizer that gets into the environment.

The leftists want to subsidize this ineffieciency because taxing inefficiency would drive up food prices and "babies would starve". The right-wingers scream about their god-given right to enjoy the land god gave them. So there is no incentive on either side to fix this ineffieciency

How do we avoid this dilemma and efficiency through technology and discourage inefficiency?

By taking the super-rich fuckers out of the agrocultural institutions and lobbies and replacing them by the majority elected? It's called democracy.

EXC wrote:

In the free market if something is a good idea and people believe in it, people find a way to make it happen. When a technology works well it's quickly adopted.

Well then capitalism must not be that bad, if you don't vote with your feet against it.

The insanity in this comment is about to knock me out. Does Shell promote electric cars? Does Pentagon promote peace? Does Lockheed Martin promote less public investment in the Middle East, mostly bullets and bombs?

Capitalism is the single biggest barrier between us and a sensible policy of ANYTHING, let alone making good ideas happen and good technology adopted. THEORY is NOT reality. In this case it's a blindfold.

EXC wrote:

So then all the rich socialists like Soros and the Hollywood liberals are all phony with their compassion?

Nobody is phony with anything, they just do 1% good, 99% harm, and all you hear about is the good, them included - they probably think they are the shining star of good deeds. Put any of them in a position to actually loose a meaningful amount or give away their power to help others, and you will discover why it is that they continue to be super-rich - they will keep their cash and power and tell you to go fuck yourself in a very nice way.

EXC wrote:

Can we agree that the problem is lack of access to natural resources that are monopolized by the rich? In the past, you tell a poor person with limited opportunities "Go west, young man, go west". Why? Because America was a place with small population relative to natural resources. That is why capitalism took hold, it works perfectly when there is unlimited resources. Since we don't live in a world like that, we have to figure out a rational solution to the competition for resources.

Bullshit. The competition is with the top 1% who want to run the show. Of course there is shortage of everything, they want all of it and they don't give a fuck who they step on in the process. The only rational solution capitalists will allow is based on the principle: you in the mud with my boot at your throat. If you get some time, I can introduce you to about a hundred places where corporations raped the population with govemental help, in US as well as outside. It's a modus operandi, not a theory. Then you can investigate last couple of thousands of years of the same and why it is we should do something about it.

EXC wrote:

What you are missing with your socialism is How people make there money. A high tech company could create a technology that enables us to grow our food with less land and water. A farmer using old technology could dump pesticides and waste land and water. You treat their money the same. Tax them the same. Why?

I don't even know what the fuck you are talking about.

The ONLY profitable business that is being run in the US is government. People who run it know it and they will do everything to keep the shares out of your hands. Wake the fuck up.

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


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I still like the free market

I still like the free market while it benefits society and if society  (= government for Americans) decides you are no longer benefiting society you get regulated.

It's not perfect but its what most of the advanced economies use, of course you can argue about 'benefit' but thats what elections are for


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ZuS wrote:Number one biggest

ZuS wrote:

Number one biggest breakthrough in computer science was paid by public money - the internet was a military project, free of charge, handed over to communications and computer industry.

I'm not saying there is no role for public investment. One of the problems of capitalism is that they only invest in short term projects. But rich investors took what was started with ARPANET(which used pleanty of commercial technology) and made it commercially available. This would not happen if we taxed the fuck out of everyone with any money.

ZuS wrote:

Hitler employed a lot of people building tanks and guns, does not make it a smart thing to do.

Guess I win this one.

ZuS wrote:

In other words, super-rich are always a problem.

No, only when they try to monopolize our planet's limited natural resource. And in doing so eliminate competition and opprotunity for others. If they spend their wealth investing in things society needs and creating jobs, this is good.

ZuS wrote:

Nothing in return? Health care, fire department, police, national guard, schools, hospitals, universities, free education, and most importantly INFLUENCE ON THE POLITICIANS. Why should we give the money to the super-rich, when it can be put in the collective piggy bank.

But with our current tax code services received is not in proportion the the quantity one uses. This imbalance will continue to bankrupt governments and drive business away from high tax states.

Some super-rich created products people like you bought. So. why did you buy it, knowing your purchase would make some fucker even richer? Others got that way exploiting natural resources, this problem needs to be fixed.

ZuS wrote:

By taking the super-rich fuckers out of the agrocultural institutions and lobbies and replacing them by the majority elected? It's called democracy.

OK but one super-rich fucker may start a technology company that enables food to be grown with pesticides. Another may get rich by growing food with tons of pesticides. They are taxed the same and both are "fuckers" to you. How you make and spend your money seems to be irrelevant to you, they are all "fuckers".

 

ZuS wrote:

The insanity in this comment is about to knock me out. Does Shell promote electric cars? Does Pentagon promote peace? Does Lockheed Martin promote less public investment in the Middle East, mostly bullets and bombs?

Shell is working on hydrogen fuel cells and building filling stations. Electric cars are still not on the road much, if they were Shell would immediately install electric charging stations. 

The Pentagon is a government monopoly, not free market. Lockheed Martin sells to governments, not the free market. So this is an argument against a government run economy.

ZuS wrote:

EXC wrote:

What you are missing with your socialism is How people make there money. A high tech company could create a technology that enables us to grow our food with less land and water. A farmer using old technology could dump pesticides and waste land and water. You treat their money the same. Tax them the same. Why?

I don't even know what the fuck you are talking about.

What would happen if the electric company charge people based on their income instead of how much electricity one uses? Everyone would just waist tons of electricity. The utilities would have no incentive to lower their costs because they could just raise the tax on everyone at will. This economic model would eventually collapse. But this is exactly what we do with government services and it is unsustainable.

 

EXC wrote:

The ONLY profitable business that is being run in the US is government. People who run it know it and they will do everything to keep the shares out of your hands. Wake the fuck up.

So then have the government run health care and other businesses so they can fuck them up too. Is that the plan?

Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success. --Mark Skousen


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EXC

EXC wrote:

.........................................

I don't have the nerves to go through this one. Listening to your economic theory is a bit like listening to a 5 year old tell me about his day - everything is so relevant in some imaginary world.

Do me a favor and listen to Jeremy Scahill, a rare breed of an actual journalist doing real jornalism, interviewed on Moyers' Journal: http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/06052009/watch.html

If you understand the magnitude of what is going on, there is really only one thing to say: to counter private interest that today is dominating every aspect of our lives, we need a serious, legitimate and powerful tool. Government might not be perfect, but it is a tool and it's here for the taking. Incremental reform, preassure and in dire cases even brisker action must lead to loosening of their iron grip on our official posts. We can discuss what to do with the government once that the government is the main problem - today it's private interest.

You talk about Shell and how they would "jump on the electric car", leaving me speachless. These guys are on trial for damages in the amounts of tens of billions for the waste dumped in the Ecuadorian jungle. They are being sued for complicity and actual bribing of local government to supress local workers and environmental organisations, even on trial for instigation of assassinations of non-violent community leaders in Nigeria. Here's one very recent look on the matter: http://www.democracynow.org/2009/6/4/headlines#12

All that is going on uninterrupted, while you tell me how they would go for the electric car the MINUTE they can profit from it, and that we JUST need to make it so that it is profitable for them. Man, are you fucking with me? The kind of company that is Shell is not the shiny rational example found in your book of microeconomics, they and their buddies are a real international power, de facto government without borders of statehood and certainly without democracy, pushing real policies detrimental to the environment, economics, security and social welfare of billions of people, and they like to be accountable to noone.

None of your economic theory applies anywhere in the world. We need influence on our policies, not a lousy vote every 4 years on something that is literally no choice at all. We need a system of bullshit filtration which does not fail the before the most shallow review, the way media, education and the political system of today do. We need to SLOW the capital down, so that we can follow who is doing what and with what purpose. We need to open the private books. All business related law enforcement starts with being able to trace and disclose and any financial crime investigator will tell you this right off the bat. This is not news to anyone, except economy majors: "It would damage their competitive ability.." Shell's competitive ability is damaging people's ability to live, how did that little external cost leave the discussion table? You have to be thoroughly educated to be that ignorant.

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


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Rarely have I more desired a keyboard. One day...

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You feelin' OK Zus? That

You feelin' OK Zus? That last post was all kinds of crazy. EXC's comparison between that kind of crazy and listening to a 5 year old's rambling was pretty apt. Take a deep breath and just remember that Shell can't come and get you. Shell doesn't have assassination squads and they will support electric cars if they genuinely think that would make them more money than not supporting electric cars.

"This is not news to anyone, except economy majors"

So the people who study economics are wrong; yet you are right on this issue. The people who actually bother to learn about this lack the deep understanding that you hold on the matter? Get off your armchair and learn about this rather than ranting about how wrong the economists and their "book[s] of microeconomics" are. The wild hyperbole about the evilness of Shell doesn't help your "argument" (I'm using that word loosely here) either.

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


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Jormungander wrote:You

Jormungander wrote:

You feelin' OK Zus? That last post was all kinds of crazy. EXC's comparison between that kind of crazy and listening to a 5 year old's rambling was pretty apt. Take a deep breath and just remember that Shell can't come and get you. Shell doesn't have assassination squads and they will support electric cars if they genuinely think that would make them more money than not supporting electric cars.

"This is not news to anyone, except economy majors"

So the people who study economics are wrong; yet you are right on this issue. The people who actually bother to learn about this lack the deep understanding that you hold on the matter? Get off your armchair and learn about this rather than ranting about how wrong the economists and their "book[s] of microeconomics" are. The wild hyperbole about the evilness of Shell doesn't help your "argument" (I'm using that word loosely here) either.

Buddy, I studied economics and still do. I have learned enough to know that none of the fancy models in the book of microeconomics apply in reality.

The industry you are talking about does business in the most profitable sector, namely state supported crime. The decisions they make have got nothing to do with what you studied in school.

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