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Basic Income and Socialist Economics

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#81
kjaggard

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#82
Casey

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Don't have much to say on the actual topic, but  

Your reprehensibility to reversing a system that leeches from the productive to provide for the unproductive is analogous to entertaining disgust for a parent withdrawing a constant supply of housing and food for his 24-year old son.

I do think that's pretty bad, yes. I don't believe in making kids pay rent in order to live with them. (Though 24 isn't as rage-inducingly disgusting as making them start paying rent the second they turn 18. Still strongly disagree with the concept though, unless the parents are so broke that rent's absolutely necessary.)

#83
David Foster

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@David Foster:

 

If I understand you correctly, you seem to have contradicted yourself.  First, you claimed that countries all across the globe are moving more and more to a free market system.  Then you claimed that government always gravitate toward more and more central control.

 

So which is it?  More market freedom or more central government control?

 

While I wait for that answer, a couple of related points come to mind. There is one theme to which you and I return. That is the idea that corporations often due successfully pursue enhancement of government policies and subsidies that have particular benefits to those entities. There may be common ground there between you and I on that point.

 

At a more general level, there are many benefits government can bring to the private sector.  Take the recent farm bill. For years it seemed to me that California farmers were much more hesitant to receive farm and crop support aid than were farmers from the mid-west. There was a deep distrust of strings that might be attached to government aid and a willingness to play the market with out the complication of subsidies or other such government supports.  This last farm bill contained something that western farmers did want to see: more government funding for research and development in agriculture.

 

Corporations also benefit from training programs, from the building up of roads and bridges, from public waste-water treatment systems, from police protection of their private property rights, from the promotion of the general health of their work force, and from innumerable other such services and facilities. So the degree of mixture is in continual float.  More tasks are identified as being appropriate for government to carry out, even as other tasks are turned over to the private sector. Taxation is a way to pay for those government functions. Taxation is often seen as more efficient that to attempt to provide such services through strictly voluntary fee for service mechanisms.  There is a tendency for many in the public to expect high levels of service from the government while, at the same time, they complain of high levels of taxation.

 

Yes, the government sector does often grow in scope and reach, but then so does the private for-profit sector. 

Ah, I should have clarified this.  Thank you.  Both.  Governments do gravitate towards more and more central planning and centralization of power, but mostly due to the internet and increased communications along with education, there has been an increase in the pool of educated workers and educated individuals, which thus translates into a greater understanding of technical operations, business, and economics, leading to more efficiency. I'll use a genetics analogy.  The genotype of government is to expand and control interactions by limiting freedom and increasing regulation, but the phenotype that displays itself is dependent upon the conditions and influencing powers upon government expansion. Yes, as corporations must pursue government subsidy if they are to maintain higher profits in a subsidized market.  Corporations are only interested in profits, and they use the tools that are allowed them by the consumer base, which happens to include government.  Nonetheless, corporations are well aware of the benefits of competition, and appreciate the research and development that such competition mandates.  It's a trade-off between a better product and efficiency in the long-term vs. higher profits in the short-term.  You can guess which wins in the modern crony capitalist system. Research and development is good.  However, it is accomplished just as well, if not more efficiently through private investment endeavors, rather than financed by public debt.  (U.S. debt stands at over the abhorrent amount of $60 trillion as I type this.)   R&D is a complex topic, as it has been severely lacking in many sectors of the American economy, except primarily information technology.  The reasons for this are numerous, but have to do with the centralization of profits and the decentralization of losses that are in the current corporate management system.  An example would be CitiBank, who I recall had to repay a large fine for flagrant violation of the law. SOURCE: http://money.cnn.com...age_settlement/ Here, we have a corporation that has been caught in its underhanded tactics and fined a large sum of money.  However, due to CItiBank's monopolization of the banking industry, as well as due to the laws that recognize corporations as individual entities, the board members of the organization, along with it's CEO, will not pay the fine themselves.  It will be paid by the corporation, which will translate into higher fees for their customers, which it has, and will not prevent further acts of fraud. I completely agree that corporations benefit from these training programs, as they are the ones who lobby for such programs.  I will use the term again; crony capitalism.  Corporations lobby for their own benefit, and not for the benefit of the people.  As for taxation being more efficient than voluntary payment, I have three points. 1. Taxation is theft.  Stealing property against someone's will is just that, stealing, even if it's for "the good of society."

 

2.  Fraud and evasion in personal transactions is much more easily dealt with than in federal or even state taxes, as the transactions occur a decentralized and local level.  Competition in the sectors of services need not be mentioned, as its importance cannot be forgotten.

 

3.  Private roads.  If you've ever driven on public roads, and I know you have, you are bound to come across the $30 per hour orange-hatted union workers that seem to stand around for half the time that they are on the job site.  They take months and months to repair roads that were either not in need of repair to begin with, or so broken down that people were almost unable to drive on them at all, and they always do their work around midday, when traffic is at its peak, forcing you to sit in these long lines of traffic as they funnel you towards your destination at the maximal speed of 8 miles per hour.  It's awful, and private roads are not perfect, but these are issues that are resolved with competition.

 

Thank you for the in-depth response, and please excuse any errors or typos. 

 

 

The Young Turks?  Really?  Well, I guess you could say the same thing about Mises or Cato.

 

So, if I choose not to grow food, and then I don't have enough food to live as a result, is it right for me to steal some of my neighbor's food?

If I do grow food, but I simply don't have the capability to grow enough food to survive, then we must examine this. Healthcare in the U.S. has increased by about 500% - 700% since 1970, depending on your sources.  Why is this?  Shouldn't the cost of all previously available goods and services decrease with the introduction of newer and better technology, as well as efficiency?  Yes, but there are other factors. 1.  The quality of healthcare has increased tremendously. I'm not talking service, per say, as that varies from hospital to hospital, but rather the ability of medicine has increased quite a bit since the 1970s, although not as much as is to come in the future.  Technology, such as MRI scanners, allows for a more comprehensive, accurate, and effective treatment for patients, which increases the quality of the product, therefore justifying a higher price, to a degree. 2.  There has been a massive restriction on the supply of both hospitals and doctors, which would have otherwise been far higher than the present figures.  SOURCE:  Good ol' Mises http://bastiat.mises...e-so-expensive/

 

When you restrict the supply of an asset, whether it be a consumable, capital good, or labor, you increase the price by default, as this is basic economics.  When a monopoly is maintained in the supply structure, which is the case when government intervention is employed, the monopolizer has complete control of the prices.

 

3.  Government regulation. Yadda, yadda, government regulation increases the price of almost everything it touches by bogging everything down in bureaucracy, while promising increased product standards that are seldom, if ever delivered.  It's a little hard to test the differences between government regulation and private regulation, as there hasn't been an unregulated free market since the 1700s.

 

Thanks for the video, and excuse the typos.

Don't have much to say on the actual topic, but  

Your reprehensibility to reversing a system that leeches from the productive to provide for the unproductive is analogous to entertaining disgust for a parent withdrawing a constant supply of housing and food for his 24-year old son.

I do think that's pretty bad, yes. I don't believe in making kids pay rent in order to live with them. (Though 24 isn't as rage-inducingly disgusting as making them start paying rent the second they turn 18. Still strongly disagree with the concept though, unless the parents are so broke that rent's absolutely necessary.)

 

So, are you saying that an 18-year old has the right to steal from his parents because they refuse to provide for his needs, which he can provide for by himself? Thanks for the response.



#84
caltrek

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"Research and development is good.  However, it is accomplished just as well, if not more efficiently through private investment endeavors, rather than financed by public debt.  (U.S. debt stands at over the abhorrent amount of $60 trillion as I type this.) "

 

1) It is not at all clear that R&D can be accomplished more efficiently thrpugh private investment. Think NASA and the landing on the moon.  There are also many medical breakthroughs sponsored in large part through government investment.

 

2) Who says it has to be financed through government debt?  Corporate taxes, income taxes, and even fees for use of research results are also alternatives. 

"1. Taxation is theft.  Stealing property against someone's will is just that, stealing, even if it's for 'the good of society.'"

 

Ah yes, the old argument by definition. Let's just define taxes as stealing and we tilt the playing field toward our side.

 

Why not define taxes as something other than "stealing"? Why not define taxes as "restorative justice".

 

After all, since so much of what the private sector gains is through what many would agree are corrupt means, why not rectify the disparities through taxes? 

 

Sure, taxes have a  coercive nature, but then so does the market place.  If socialism is from each according to his ability to each according to his work, then free market capitalism is from each according to his ability, to each according to his pre-existing wealth.

Why should the coercive nature of the free market be preferred over the coercive nature of socialism?

 

In the end, each relies on the coercive nature of the state.  "Private" property is recognized as such because of laws, rules, and regulations that are enforced by the state.  If the rights of private property are to be protected, then it is only fair that such protection be paid for by taxes. Anarchy is an alternative, but most people simply do not want to go there.

 

 

 

 


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#85
David Foster

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"Research and development is good.  However, it is accomplished just as well, if not more efficiently through private investment endeavors, rather than financed by public debt.  (U.S. debt stands at over the abhorrent amount of $60 trillion as I type this.) "

 

1) It is not at all clear that R&D can be accomplished more efficiently thrpugh private investment. Think NASA and the landing on the moon.  There are also many medical breakthroughs sponsored in large part through government investment.

 

2) Who says it has to be financed through government debt?  Corporate taxes, income taxes, and even fees for use of research results are also alternatives. 

"1. Taxation is theft.  Stealing property against someone's will is just that, stealing, even if it's for 'the good of society.'"

 

Ah yes, the old argument by definition. Let's just define taxes as stealing and we tilt the playing field toward our side.

 

Why not define taxes as something other than "stealing"? Why not define taxes as "restorative justice".

 

After all, since so much of what the private sector gains is through what many would agree are corrupt means, why not rectify the disparities through taxes? 

 

Sure, taxes have a  coercive nature, but then so does the market place.  If socialism is from each according to his ability to each according to his work, then free market capitalism is from each according to his ability, to each according to his pre-existing wealth.

Why should the coercive nature of the free market be preferred over the coercive nature of socialism?

 

In the end, each relies on the coercive nature of the state.  "Private" property is recognized as such because of laws, rules, and regulations that are enforced by the state.  If the rights of private property are to be protected, then it is only fair that such protection be paid for by taxes. Anarchy is an alternative, but most people simply do not want to go there.

Thank you for your detailed response. I agree.  There are massive breakthroughs that are achieved through government research, whether it be nuclear breakthroughs while working on the atomic bomb, or technology breakthroughs while working on various NASA projects.  However, I use information technology as an example of the free market.  The life-blood of IT sectors relies on new innovations and breakthroughs, and this is reflected through a higher percentage of invested capital into R&D departments in various IT companies, such as Google, Microsoft, and Apple.  This is rewarded through very profitable returns, but also comes with a higher risk than more traditional sectors, such as agriculture.  This is a fine example of how R&D can be privately funded in a semi-free market atmosphere. To say that corporations achieve their wealth through corrupt means, and to use this as a justification for wealth redistribution, is an ex post facto justification.  The very act of redistributing wealth allows for the process of corporate lobbying and government subsidy.  Should we remove such a system from operating, corporations would no longer exist, as they would have no status in legal matters, and would instead simply become businesses.  The only way that these businesses could obtain wealth through coercive means in my mind would be through direct stealing or sabotage of competitors, which are preventable occurrences. So, if one were to add fees for use of government-funded research, I am confident that the such a program wouldn't even make it off the ground, as the government is not a fan of efficiency, due obviously to the lack of competition.  As far as taxes go, that would be talking from the perspective of a balanced budget.  If government is to exist, then I would very much like a balanced budget.  However, because government does not reflect my wishes, but the interests of various special interest groups, a deficit will always be a reality.  

A minor correction, which I'm sure you didn't mean to say.  "Socialism is from each according to his ability, and to each according to his needs."  If I understand you correctly, you are saying that the free market values those who have pre-existing wealth, which is to say that the free market values those who have wealth.  Yes, it does, and entirely so.  Wealth is the standard that represents productivity, and on such a standard the allowed consumption of an individual is judged.  You are referring to the problem with the wealth gap, which I agree is a massive problem, as it is responsible for a host of other issues including class warfare, poverty, a disparity between production and consumption, along with a cultural rift formed between the higher and lower classes. I will argue that the wealth gap has not been formed strictly by the free market, but by the perverted system of subsidy and lobbying that is present within the modern-day nation states.  In an unregulated market, co-ops would be formed readily, as workers would desire a larger share of the pay.  However, some businesses would not be co-ops, as some individuals do not wish for the responsibility of managing a company, even democratically so.  The workers would not appreciate the large margins of the hierarchies above them, and because of this, they would go to companies with higher wages.  In this system of wage competition, there would be a wealth gap, but it would be much smaller, with the vast majority of upper classes being wealthier, but not obscenely wealthier, than the lower classes.  The "super-rich" would exist, but be of such small number that they would not have major economic pull in relation to the majority, and due to an absence of a political system, they would have no influence through judicial processes either. I'm an anarchist.  People picture anarchy as primitivist, with chaotic riots and everybody shooting their neighbors.  I don't believe this is the case.  I believe that individuals, when not babied, are far smarter than anyone will give them credit for.  Unfortunately, the Machiavellian leaders of our country do not believe so, and exploit the people to their own advantage.  This is to be expected, but I see that centralization power as the opposite of what should be done.  The decentralization of power is the only way to protect individuals, as it prevents the minority from calling all of the shots. Thanks you so much for your thoughts, and I know we're saying the same things, but unfortunately I empathize with your skepticism, as it's hard to speak for anarchism as there is little evidence of its implementation.  



#86
tornado64

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I will argue that the wealth gap has not been formed strictly by the free market, but by the perverted system of subsidy and lobbying that is present within the modern-day nation states.  In an unregulated market, co-ops would be formed readily, as workers would desire a larger share of the pay.  However, some businesses would not be co-ops, as some individuals do not wish for the responsibility of managing a company, even democratically so.  The workers would not appreciate the large margins of the hierarchies above them, and because of this, they would go to companies with higher wages.  In this system of wage competition, there would be a wealth gap, but it would be much smaller, with the vast majority of upper classes being wealthier, but not obscenely wealthier, than the lower classes.  The "super-rich" would exist, but be of such small number that they would not have major economic pull in relation to the majority, and due to an absence of a political system, they would have no influence through judicial processes either.

 

 

Do you have any evidence whatsoever for this argument?

I think it's highly unlikely and would expect it to go exactly in the opposite direction... (which there IS evidence for)

 

Completely unregulated markets would have even larger walth disparities than we have now. There are many examples that unregulated capitalism leads to low wages, no protection for workers etc. as long as there are more people that want to work than there are paid jobs (which is our current scenario and will even get worse in the future due to continuing automation). The demand for labour will be constantly lower than the supply and in free market competition between companies lead to a downward spiral of wages. Since the companies monopolize labour and have much more power organisations like trade unions will not exist (companies will simply not hire workers that are part of a union). And due to an absence of a political system, workers would have no influence through judicial processes either. The middle class would probably shrink over time and and eventually cease to exist joining the poor working class (already starting to happening in some countries).

If automation continues, the few rich will be the only one that can afford all this stuff and will form their own economy where basically everything is available while the working class will live in poor conditions just be able to survive while working full-time. 

This comes probably very close to what the world in the movie Elysium is like...

 

This to be said I'm not against capitalism (I'm basically one myself and I studied Business and Economics) but I'm strongly against removing any sort of regulation. Markets are not perfect and if unregulated there are a lot of negative externalities to deal with as well as market failures. 

 

When you perceive all kind of wealth distribution as stealing, I perceive all kinds of preventable deaths as murder...



#87
David Foster

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I will argue that the wealth gap has not been formed strictly by the free market, but by the perverted system of subsidy and lobbying that is present within the modern-day nation states.  In an unregulated market, co-ops would be formed readily, as workers would desire a larger share of the pay.  However, some businesses would not be co-ops, as some individuals do not wish for the responsibility of managing a company, even democratically so.  The workers would not appreciate the large margins of the hierarchies above them, and because of this, they would go to companies with higher wages.  In this system of wage competition, there would be a wealth gap, but it would be much smaller, with the vast majority of upper classes being wealthier, but not obscenely wealthier, than the lower classes.  The "super-rich" would exist, but be of such small number that they would not have major economic pull in relation to the majority, and due to an absence of a political system, they would have no influence through judicial processes either.

 

 

Do you have any evidence whatsoever for this argument?

I think it's highly unlikely and would expect it to go exactly in the opposite direction... (which there IS evidence for)

 

Completely unregulated markets would have even larger walth disparities than we have now. There are many examples that unregulated capitalism leads to low wages, no protection for workers etc. as long as there are more people that want to work than there are paid jobs (which is our current scenario and will even get worse in the future due to continuing automation). The demand for labour will be constantly lower than the supply and in free market competition between companies lead to a downward spiral of wages. Since the companies monopolize labour and have much more power organisations like trade unions will not exist (companies will simply not hire workers that are part of a union). And due to an absence of a political system, workers would have no influence through judicial processes either. The middle class would probably shrink over time and and eventually cease to exist joining the poor working class (already starting to happening in some countries).

If automation continues, the few rich will be the only one that can afford all this stuff and will form their own economy where basically everything is available while the working class will live in poor conditions just be able to survive while working full-time. 

This comes probably very close to what the world in the movie Elysium is like...

 

This to be said I'm not against capitalism (I'm basically one myself and I studied Business and Economics) but I'm strongly against removing any sort of regulation. Markets are not perfect and if unregulated there are a lot of negative externalities to deal with as well as market failures. 

 

When you perceive all kind of wealth distribution as stealing, I perceive all kinds of preventable deaths as murder...

 

The wealth inequality is simply a reflection of taxes on the rich in most cases, and there will always be some wealth inequality, as there are those who choose to produce, and there will be those who do not.

 

Fig. 1
Posted Image

 

Source: http://seekingalpha....apse-of-the-u-s

 

Fig. 2

Posted Image

 

Source: http://www.economist...come-inequality

FIg. 3

Posted Image

 

Source: http://www.ritholtz....s-from-average/

Fig. 1, 2, and 3 serve to show the positive correlation between higher tax rates on the rich and a lessening income equality.  Obviously, if a system taxes its upper-class citizens, then it will reduce their wealth.  If this is what you are arguing, then I agree completely.

This does not represent the economic application of the law of diminishing returns.  As a finite and measurable organism, humans have a baseline for their needs in order to live and function.  Although the wealth gap has increased tremendously since the 1970s, and although the consumption of the U.S. has largely been financed on economic bubbles and debt, the standard of living has still managed to increase for everyone.  If I can only afford to buy one pair of shoes every six months, but Rich, who lives down the street from me, can afford to buy ten pairs of shoes every six months, there is a marginal difference between us.  This difference is shown when compared Juan, who lives in Cuba and cannot even afford to buy a single pair of shoes.  The difference between Juan and I is great, while the difference between Rich and I is marginal.

 

However, the point still stands that the rich achieve their wealth through corporatism and subsidization.  A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn is a fantastic source in this case.  Howard Zinn, though socialistic, quotes an innumerable plethora of examples, (basically the whole book) of events that go in this order.

1.  Corporate employers mistreat workers at their factories.
2.  Employers go on strike, and the employers lose money and would normally be forced to give into their workers' demands.
3.  The federal government sends in troops to suppress, beat, and kill the workers.

4.  The workers go back to work with little gained.

These atrocities occur thousands of times throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.

"The demand for labour will be constantly lower than the supply and in free market competition between companies lead to a downward spiral of wages."

 

I don't know where you came up with this statement.  The demand and supply of labor will always remain in equilibrium, as long as it's driven by competition between workers and employers.  Throughout the beginning of the industrial revolution, unemployment rates fluctuated annually, as jobs were constantly being lost and created.  Agricultural jobs were mostly lost, while industrial factory jobs were created.  The standard of living improved, despite the mediocre success of unions during this time.

To say that the rich are the only ones who would be able to afford any of the goods produced would suggest a monopoly of production in combination with an event that rendered human creativity and ability worthless.  I see neither of these events occurring.

You also say that employers would simply not hire workers who belonged to a union.  Well, this happened, actually, through the entire 19th and 20th centuries, as I'm sure you know.  Skilled laborers unionized in organizations such as the American Federation of Labor (AFL,) which I recall was led by Samuel Gompers, who later became a corrupt manager of the union, which is a testament to the need for competition even within organizations that ensure competition.  The AFL organized skilled laborers and was relatively successful in their organizings, withholding the numerous deaths and police brutality, for which the state and federal governments are of course responsible.

Next is the Wobblies, and I urge you to research the Wobblies if you haven't already.  The Wobblies, or Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), were an organization that included both skilled and unskilled workers, and used a different strategy than the AFL.  While the AFL employed tactics of reserving services of skilled metalworkers, mechanics, lumberers, and other skilled professions, the IWW could not do this, as they were mostly comprised of unskilled laborers.  Instead, the IWW relied on communication to accomplish its goals.  They organized and educated their members on the benefits of unionization, and they created a mass restriction in local labor supply to the factory owners, which did work.  The IWW would eventually be weakened through legislation and corruptible influences, but it did serve as an example of how non-government-backed unions can work, even in the face of violence and adversity.

I urge a fellow scholar to study the Austrian school, as I'm sure you'd enjoy it.  So, to say that all preventable deaths are murder is to say that all wealth transfers are stealing.  Preventable deaths occur, as in the same way as wealth transfers, but neither involve the purposed implementation of force.  A better analogy would be to say, "When you perceive all kinds of wealth distribution as stealing, I perceive all kinds of killing as murder."  It would follow from this that an American soldier shooting an Iraqi civilian is murder, which I agree with.

Thank you so much for your rebuttal, as this is one of the most thought-provoking things I've read in a long time, and I really had to spend some time ironing out my argument.  I await your reply.  :bye: 
 



#88
Casey

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So, are you saying that an 18-year old has the right to steal from his parents because they refuse to provide for his needs, which he can provide for by himself?

It's arguable whether he can provide for his needs in this rotten ass economy, but at any rate, I think that treating 18 as some magical number where you're supposed to automatically be self-sufficient (as opposed to merely being the age where one can start down the road to self-sufficiency, and start taking reasonable measures to be independent within the next 3-4 years) is illogical, coldblooded, and has always pissed me off. Anyone who thinks that providing an 18 year old room and board free of charge is 'spoiling' them can go straight to hell. (No, you're not included in this, since your example was 24, which is somewhat more reasonable - though I'm of the opinion that so long as the kid in question is taking the appropriate measures to gain their independence, there's nothing wrong at all with them living with their parents.)

#89
David Foster

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So, are you saying that an 18-year old has the right to steal from his parents because they refuse to provide for his needs, which he can provide for by himself?

It's arguable whether he can provide for his needs in this rotten ass economy, but at any rate, I think that treating 18 as some magical number where you're supposed to automatically be self-sufficient (as opposed to merely being the age where one can start down the road to self-sufficiency, and start taking reasonable measures to be independent within the next 3-4 years) is illogical, coldblooded, and has always pissed me off. Anyone who thinks that providing an 18 year old room and board free of charge is 'spoiling' them can go straight to hell. (No, you're not included in this, since your example was 24, which is somewhat more reasonable - though I'm of the opinion that so long as the kid in question is taking the appropriate measures to gain their independence, there's nothing wrong at all with them living with their parents.)

 

I agree that 18 is an entirely arbitrary number whereat to withdraw charity from an individual.  This age has fluctuated throughout American history, and was 16 at one point I believe, and 12 at an earlier point in the 17th century.  I disagree that this number should be extended to allow for the "preparation of self-sufficiency" of an individual. I take a very extreme position on this topic, as I believe that no individual has the right to demand resources from their parent or anyone else for that matter, regardless of age. From your point of view, and to resist hypocrisy, you must be against abortion.  I am curious to know if you are, and if you are, then where do you draw your arbitrary number that signifies the "coming of age" of an individual. If you are in favor of abortion, and if you accept that a mother has the right to withdraw the supply of nutrients to her fetus, which is fundamentally a biological parasite in how it obtains energy for nourishment, then you must justify why it is immoral to withdraw resources from a 3-month old human, a 6-month old human, but not a 9-month old human or 12-month old human.  Further, why would you choose an arbitrary event such as birth to serve as the switch point for the allowance of this action.  Finally, why would you reintroduce this action as a potential option again at the age of 20 or whatever arbitrary number you picked thereafter.



#90
caltrek

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"Research and development is good.  However, it is accomplished just as well, if not more efficiently through private investment endeavors, rather than financed by public debt.  (U.S. debt stands at over the abhorrent amount of $60 trillion as I type this.) "

 

1) It is not at all clear that R&D can be accomplished more efficiently thrpugh private investment. Think NASA and the landing on the moon.  There are also many medical breakthroughs sponsored in large part through government investment.

 

2) Who says it has to be financed through government debt?  Corporate taxes, income taxes, and even fees for use of research results are also alternatives. 

"1. Taxation is theft.  Stealing property against someone's will is just that, stealing, even if it's for 'the good of society.'"

 

Ah yes, the old argument by definition. Let's just define taxes as stealing and we tilt the playing field toward our side.

 

Why not define taxes as something other than "stealing"? Why not define taxes as "restorative justice".

 

After all, since so much of what the private sector gains is through what many would agree are corrupt means, why not rectify the disparities through taxes? 

 

Sure, taxes have a  coercive nature, but then so does the market place.  If socialism is from each according to his ability to each according to his work, then free market capitalism is from each according to his ability, to each according to his pre-existing wealth.

Why should the coercive nature of the free market be preferred over the coercive nature of socialism?

 

In the end, each relies on the coercive nature of the state.  "Private" property is recognized as such because of laws, rules, and regulations that are enforced by the state.  If the rights of private property are to be protected, then it is only fair that such protection be paid for by taxes. Anarchy is an alternative, but most people simply do not want to go there.Po I agree.  There are massive breakthroughs that are achieved through government research, whether it be nuclear breakthroughs while working on the atomic bomb, or technology breakthroughs while working on various NASA projects.  However, I use information technology as an example of the free market.  The life-blood of IT sectors relies on new innovations and breakthroughs, and this is reflected through a higher percentage of invested capital into R&D departments in various IT companies, such as Google, Microsoft, and Apple.  This is rewarded through very profitable returns, but also comes with a higher risk than more traditional sectors, such as agriculture.  This is a fine example of how R&D can be privately funded in a semi-free market atmosphere. To say that corporations achieve their wealth through corrupt means, and to use this as a justification for wealth redistribution, is an ex post facto justification.  The very act of redistributing wealth allows for the process of corporate lobbying and government subsidy.  Should we remove such a system from operating, corporations would no longer exist, as they would have no status in legal matters, and would instead simply become businesses.  The only way that these businesses could obtain wealth through coercive means in my mind would be through direct stealing or sabotage of competitors, which are preventable occurrences. So, if one were to add fees for use of government-funded research, I am confident that the such a program wouldn't even make it off the ground, as the government is not a fan of efficiency, due obviously to the lack of competition.  As far as taxes go, that would be talking from the perspective of a balanced budget.  If government is to exist, then I would very much like a balanced budget.  However, because government does not reflect my wishes, but the interests of various special interest groups, a deficit will always be a reality.  

A minor correction, which I'm sure you didn't mean to say.  "Socialism is from each according to his ability, and to each according to his needs."  If I understand you correctly, you are saying that the free market values those who have pre-existing wealth, which is to say that the free market values those who have wealth.  Yes, it does, and entirely so.  Wealth is the standard that represents productivity, and on such a standard the allowed consumption of an individual is judged.  You are referring to the problem with the wealth gap, which I agree is a massive problem, as it is responsible for a host of other issues including class warfare, poverty, a disparity between production and consumption, along with a cultural rift formed between the higher and lower classes. I will argue that the wealth gap has not been formed strictly by the free market, but by the perverted system of subsidy and lobbying that is present within the modern-day nation states.  In an unregulated market, co-ops would be formed readily, as workers would desire a larger share of the pay.  However, some businesses would not be co-ops, as some individuals do not wish for the responsibility of managing a company, even democratically so.  The workers would not appreciate the large margins of the hierarchies above them, and because of this, they would go to companies with higher wages.  In this system of wage competition, there would be a wealth gap, but it would be much smaller, with the vast majority of upper classes being wealthier, but not obscenely wealthier, than the lower classes.  The "super-rich" would exist, but be of such small number that they would not have major economic pull in relation to the majority, and due to an absence of a political system, they would have no influence through judicial processes either. I'm an anarchist.  People picture anarchy as primitivist, with chaotic riots and everybody shooting their neighbors.  I don't believe this is the case.  I believe that individuals, when not babied, are far smarter than anyone will give them credit for.  Unfortunately, the Machiavellian leaders of our country do not believe so, and exploit the people to their own advantage.  This is to be expected, but I see that centralization power as the opposite of what should be done.  The decentralization of power is the only way to protect individuals, as it prevents the minority from calling all of the shots. Thanks you so much for your thoughts, and I know we're saying the same things, but unfortunately I empathize with your skepticism, as it's hard to speak for anarchism as there is little evidence of its implementation.  

 

No, I said what I meant, and I meant what I said: "Socialism is from each according to his ability, to each according to his work."  This is distinguished from communism, which is "from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs."

 

I'm sorry, but I just cannot agree that wealth represents productivity. One source of wealth may very well be high productivity, but that is only one source. Think of the very wealthy kings and monarchs of the past.  Their wealth came from such things as military power and the benefits of belief systems that favored monarchies over other forms of economic and political systems.

 

You argue that government should be abolished because it helps the wealthy get wealthier.  there is another alternative, which is to stop government from promulgating policies that benefit the rich at the expense of the poor.  Again, there may be instances where your philosophic system allows you to arrive at the same conclusion regarding a particular issue as mine, so some common ground is possible. 

 

A point of clarification on my part.  I did not mean to argue that the public sector was always better at research and development than the private sector, only that this was true in some cases.  Your counter example of the computer industry is a good one.

 

I am running out of time.  I will try to finish my thoughts later.

 

Edit:  Essentially, I agree with you concerning the centralization versus decentralization argument. I am one who takes to heart the idea that state and local governments should be preferred over federal governments.  I have worked on several projects where services were reorganized to bring them down from regional to local special district control.  I also know of production co-ops in our area, and agree that this form of ownership and production has much to say for it as opposed to centralized large scale corporate control.  Many times these co-ops have received government assistance of one type or another and I do not oppose such assistance as long as the long term goal is greater self-sufficiency as opposed to dependence.

 

Even at the national level, we need to recognize that U.S. based corporations compete against other countries which often subsidize particular sectors.  Many of these countries end up enjoying an advantage over the U.S. in terms of trade. This may not be "fair" or desirable, but it is the way the world works. I am not sure the U.S. should disarm itself in the face of such competition. Personally, I am tired of hearing about jobs being lost in this country because of the loss of our competitive advantage.  Government can partner with the private sector in ways that enhance overall productivity.  You are right in pointing out that this often results in unfair advantages for the politically powerful and well connected. I do agree that we need a different criteria for governmental assistance.  This might involve some planning in which goals are set and progress against those goals is the criteria. With sufficient democratic inputs, it may be possible to counter act the essentially corrupt nature of the present system. For example, the goal of a full employment economy should be set.  Any body who sincerely wants a job should be able to be employed. The problem then is not that government provides too much assistance, but that it does not provide enough to certain sectors, such as organized labor.   


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#91
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No, I said what I meant, and I meant what I said: "Socialism is from each according to his ability, to each according to his work."  This is distinguished from communism, which is "from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs."

 

 

 

I'm sorry, but I just cannot agree that wealth represents productivity. One source of wealth may very well be high productivity, but that is only one source. Think of the very wealthy kings and monarchs of the past.  Their wealth came from such things as military power and the benefits of belief systems that favored monarchies over other forms of economic and political systems.

 

You argue that government should be abolished because it helps the wealthy get wealthier.  there is another alternative, which is to stop government from promulgating policies that benefit the rich at the expense of the poor.  Again, there may be instances where your philosophic system allows you to arrive at the same conclusion regarding a particular issue as mine, so some common ground is possible. 

 

A point of clarification on my part.  I did not mean to argue that the public sector was always better at research and development than the private sector, only that this was true in some cases.  Your counter example of the computer industry is a good one.

 

I am running out of time.  I will try to finish my thoughts later.

 

Edit:  Essentially, I agree with you concerning the centralization versus decentralization argument. I am one who takes to heart the idea that state and local governments should be preferred over federal governments.  I have worked on several projects where services were reorganized to bring them down from regional to local special district control.  I also know of production co-ops in our area, and agree that this form of ownership and production has much to say for it as opposed to centralized large scale corporate control.  Many times these co-ops have received government assistance of one type or another and I do not oppose such assistance as long as the long term goal is greater self-sufficiency as opposed to dependence.

 

Even at the national level, we need to recognize that U.S. based corporations compete against other countries which often subsidize particular sectors.  Many of these countries end up enjoying an advantage over the U.S. in terms of trade. This may not be "fair" or desirable, but it is the way the world works. I am not sure the U.S. should disarm itself in the face of such competition. Personally, I am tired of hearing about jobs being lost in this country because of the loss of our competitive advantage.  Government can partner with the private sector in ways that enhance overall productivity.  You are right in pointing out that this often results in unfair advantages for the politically powerful and well connected. I do agree that we need a different criteria for governmental assistance.  This might involve some planning in which goals are set and progress against those goals is the criteria. With sufficient democratic inputs, it may be possible to counter act the essentially corrupt nature of the present system. For example, the goal of a full employment economy should be set.  Any body who sincerely wants a job should be able to be employed. The problem then is not that government provides too much assistance, but that it does not provide enough to certain sectors, such as organized labor.   

 

"From each according to his ability, and to each according to his work."  Sounds like laissez-faire capitalism, doesn't it?

 

You speak of monarchies as if they are synonymous to businesses.  Monarchies levy taxes through extortion, much in the same way as any government, while customers must voluntary choose to enter into a trade with a business, or not to enter into such a trade.  Where is the similarity here? "...to stop government from promulgating policies that benefit the rich at the expense of the poor..."  I wish that this was possible, but throughout the course of history, the vast majority of oppressors have used the government as the best option in their tool-belt to dominate their fellow man.  They do this through a combination of ideological warfare and military dominance, as you've mentioned previously.  If you remove the center that allows for this abuse of power, you will not have such abuse.  As the U.S. government stands today, the power is divided among 700 or so individuals, which includes congressman, senators, the Supreme Court, the President, the Vice-President, and a few others.  This is far too centralized.  It is not difficult to corrupt 1 men, nor 10 men, nor 50 men, so why do we think it's difficult to corrupt 1,000 men?  The system relies on individual integrity, which I do believe is an extremely rare and fleeting trait in humans.  Never give power to another man, but keep it for yourself.  I don't wish to sound Machiavellian, but I believe that you know what's best for yourself, and the same goes for me.  This is the responsibility of each of us as individuals, and not that of a king, queen, bishop, pope, president, teacher, or parent. Thank you for the compliment. Federal government is superior to a dictatorship.  State government is superior to federal government.  Local government is superior to state government.  Personal government is superior to all of these.  As long as we allow enemies to fight one another, we have nothing to fear, but if they should ever unite, we should be forced to do the same.  In an economic sense, every individual can be thought of as an enemy, as each individual is driven by self-interest.  Businesses will fight amongst each other until a force allows them to unite and form massive central organizations, which is known as a government.  Why will they not unite anyway?  The potential profits from self-interest are too great.  You may have 10 companies, and let's say they form a cartel.  This cartel splits the total profit into 10% towards each company involved.  One of these companies gains a great advantage and has the potential to increase their profits through two avenues.  They can either share their ideas with the cartel, or perpetuate the new product themselves.  If they do so themselves, they will increase their personal profit from 10% to 120%, but if they share the idea, their profit will increase from 10% to 12%.  What would you choose?  This fails to mention the competition that makes such a cartel impossible in most situations. To say that the government enhances overall productivity is a fallacy.  Government may enhance GDP in the short-term, but this is only possible through the creation of economic bubbles, accumulating massive debts, or levying taxes and impoverishing your nation.  Do you want to attract business to your country?  Do not tax them.  Do you want to raise the standard of living for the poor?  Do not tax them, and allow business to propagate, both failing and succeeding in the process.  I disagree that democratic inputs are the answer to the current problems of corruption, as the public is so easily swayed and manipulated through ideological warfare. For unemployment in a capitalist economy, I give a logical syllogism. 1.  Workers desire the highest wage possible in a capitalist system.

2.  Companies desire workers and must compete with other companies to pay adequate wages in the absence of government strikebreakers. 3.  Therefore, workers will receive the highest wage that is possible for a company to pay. Thank you for your thoughts caltrek.  I appreciate your intelligent conversation, and please excuse the typos.



#92
Unity

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David Foster, on 03 Apr 2014 - 3:41 PM, said:

 

Your reprehensibility to reversing a system that leeches from the productive to provide for the unproductive is analogous to entertaining disgust for a parent withdrawing a constant supply of housing and food for his 24-year old son.

 

Isn't that part of why asian families from more conservative cultures tend to outperform Americans?

 

 

 

Thank you for your thought-provoking response, and I'm glad you brought up social security, as I didn't even think of that.  I'll address your second paragraph, and then your first.  I don't believe that Communism is necessary.  If the costs of production reach such unprecedentedly low levels as you say will happen, then a meal for the price of a penny is sufficient.  Asymptotically approaching zero is sustainable, while autonomous systems are not sustainable as they do not exist.  Free pens are given away by businesses and are incredibly cheap to buy as well, so there is no scarcity of pens in the western world.  If food production and water desalination becomes as cheap or cheaper than the manufacturing of ink pens, then I'd imagine scarcity would virtually approach zero.  There will always be a cost of production, due to reality of entropy in any given system.  Minimizing cost and maximizing efficiency will give us low-cost food, healthcare, and "virtual real-estate," but there will always be a cost.  Servers have a limit, food must be transported, and systems must be managed.

 

 

 

The damage that social security has done is under-acknowledged.  It is a scheme that transfers wealth from the hardworking to the old and unproductive.  Not only is it an economic hole in the ground that creates more and more debt, as it doesn't pay for itself due to its ponzi scheme nature, but it creates a political phenomena where it has become untouchable to even question the system.  It is a system that, when tweaked to collect a greater portion of resources from its workers for a more widespread distribution, attracts even more consumers on the receiving end of its dividends.  Social security also undermines private sector personal investment growth, effectively creating a crony investment scheme for large corporations and businesses.

I disagree with your assumption.  Innovation is not driven by global communication and collaboration, but rather these are tools that allow for more efficient growth.  Growth itself results from need.  A plant grows because it needs to reach the point where it may reproduce and continue its lineage.  An office worker goes to work because he needs resources to survive.  A student goes to school because he believes that an education will secure him an advantage over the rest of society in the future.  Competition, by definition, is the desire to be superior to your neighbor in one form or another.  Without a system that provides for this possibility, it is unlikely that innovation will occur more than a stifled rate, if at all.

I do not mean to sound cruel or heartless, but it is well known that self-interest drives humanity.  Abundance does promote friendliness and prosperity within society, but humans will still pursue self-interest, nonetheless.  Without incentive, such as need, humans will not innovate or change.  Personally, I do not agree with the concept of intellectual property, as it isn't physical property at all, but it nonetheless proves to be an effective incentive for economic growth.  I do agree with your proposition for its dismantlement, simply because something that results in no net loss seems permissible to me.

 

 

I would say that you are quite wrong.  I agree that you are likely correct for many people, however there are some that are not this way, not producing for meeting survival needs or reproductive needs, etc but because it is beautiful to create.  Also, I would guess that the nature of motivation is biological and likely could be influenced either directly through a greater understanding of neurology, etc or indirectly by influencing others through city planning and other forms of social engineering.  The truth is that a lot of the above statements are ignorant because nobody understands the brain or how it works precisely which is part of why so much work is being done at EPFL and other areas to get more insight into the variability of human cognition.  So this just reads like the viewpoint of an intelligent aristocrat circa 1600.  There is no reason why we could not for example indefinitely increase the supply of money as its value is fiat as you previously noted.  That will never happen obviously, but then again most of the ideas in this thread could never really be implemented because they require a level of cooperation among various world leaders that is not likely to be actualized (and which you previously stated that you opposed). The difficulty in solving these problems is not technological, it is social.  Ie we can never have a real discussion about which kinds of monetary systems would be most empirically valid in terms of sustaining human need and providing optimal growth because decision makers don't give a shit about that.  If they did, they would be trying to model the economy computationally so try to see which kinds of models create various outcomes.  Instead it's just the same grubby ape politics bullshit that we should have left in the trees 200k years ago.  So what is your real motive?

 

If you're interested in real solutions that could be implemented using our present technology:

 

Aquaponics + Solar Panels could make people much more independent reducing a nation's need for importation of food and energy.  Economics is not my forte and I don't pretend it is, but some sort of subsidy to develop these kinds of systems for individuals would be cheaper over time than subsidies through food stamps.  I believe an aquaponics system can be done for around $2000 which after several months would pay for itself and you can supply much more than a person's daily caloric intake in a relatively small space with potatoes for example (I don't think people should move to an all potato diet, however over the next century as food prices rise and plentiful calories become more scarce I could definitely see such systems being integral to providing stability within communities especially if it was scaled up so that it could become cheaper to provide a larger quantity for a larger population).

 

here is a quick google query on the cost: http://portablefarms...-of-aquaponics/

 

 

It's only socialist to the people whose money is taken to fund it.

 

It's not about money.  It's never about money.  It is about power, control, ego, and stupidity.

 

I do not mean to sound cruel or heartless

 

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#93
caltrek

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No, I said what I meant, and I meant what I said: "Socialism is from each according to his ability, to each according to his work."  This is distinguished from communism, which is "from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs."

 

 

 

I'm sorry, but I just cannot agree that wealth represents productivity. One source of wealth may very well be high productivity, but that is only one source. Think of the very wealthy kings and monarchs of the past.  Their wealth came from such things as military power and the benefits of belief systems that favored monarchies over other forms of economic and political systems.

 

You argue that government should be abolished because it helps the wealthy get wealthier.  there is another alternative, which is to stop government from promulgating policies that benefit the rich at the expense of the poor.  Again, there may be instances where your philosophic system allows you to arrive at the same conclusion regarding a particular issue as mine, so some common ground is possible. 

 

A point of clarification on my part.  I did not mean to argue that the public sector was always better at research and development than the private sector, only that this was true in some cases.  Your counter example of the computer industry is a good one.

 

I am running out of time.  I will try to finish my thoughts later.

 

Edit:  Essentially, I agree with you concerning the centralization versus decentralization argument. I am one who takes to heart the idea that state and local governments should be preferred over federal governments.  I have worked on several projects where services were reorganized to bring them down from regional to local special district control.  I also know of production co-ops in our area, and agree that this form of ownership and production has much to say for it as opposed to centralized large scale corporate control.  Many times these co-ops have received government assistance of one type or another and I do not oppose such assistance as long as the long term goal is greater self-sufficiency as opposed to dependence.

 

Even at the national level, we need to recognize that U.S. based corporations compete against other countries which often subsidize particular sectors.  Many of these countries end up enjoying an advantage over the U.S. in terms of trade. This may not be "fair" or desirable, but it is the way the world works. I am not sure the U.S. should disarm itself in the face of such competition. Personally, I am tired of hearing about jobs being lost in this country because of the loss of our competitive advantage.  Government can partner with the private sector in ways that enhance overall productivity.  You are right in pointing out that this often results in unfair advantages for the politically powerful and well connected. I do agree that we need a different criteria for governmental assistance.  This might involve some planning in which goals are set and progress against those goals is the criteria. With sufficient democratic inputs, it may be possible to counter act the essentially corrupt nature of the present system. For example, the goal of a full employment economy should be set.  Any body who sincerely wants a job should be able to be employed. The problem then is not that government provides too much assistance, but that it does not provide enough to certain sectors, such as organized labor.   

 

"From each according to his ability, and to each according to his work."  Sounds like laissez-faire capitalism, doesn't it?

 

You speak of monarchies as if they are synonymous to businesses.  Monarchies levy taxes through extortion, much in the same way as any government, while customers must voluntary choose to enter into a trade with a business, or not to enter into such a trade.  Where is the similarity here?

"...to stop government from promulgating policies that benefit the rich at the expense of the poor..."  I wish that this was possible, but throughout the course of history, the vast majority of oppressors have used the government as the best option in their tool-belt to dominate their fellow man.  They do this through a combination of ideological warfare and military dominance, as you've mentioned previously.  If you remove the center that allows for this abuse of power, you will not have such abuse.  As the U.S. government stands today, the power is divided among 700 or so individuals, which includes congressman, senators, the Supreme Court, the President, the Vice-President, and a few others.  This is far too centralized.  It is not difficult to corrupt 1 men, nor 10 men, nor 50 men, so why do we think it's difficult to corrupt 1,000 men?  The system relies on individual integrity, which I do believe is an extremely rare and fleeting trait in humans.  Never give power to another man, but keep it for yourself.  I don't wish to sound Machiavellian, but I believe that you know what's best for yourself, and the same goes for me.  This is the responsibility of each of us as individuals, and not that of a king, queen, bishop, pope, president, teacher, or parent. Thank you for the compliment. Federal government is superior to a dictatorship.  State government is superior to federal government.  Local government is superior to state government.  Personal government is superior to all of these.  As long as we allow enemies to fight one another, we have nothing to fear, but if they should ever unite, we should be forced to do the same.  In an economic sense, every individual can be thought of as an enemy, as each individual is driven by self-interest.  Businesses will fight amongst each other until a force allows them to unite and form massive central organizations, which is known as a government.  Why will they not unite anyway?  The potential profits from self-interest are too great.  You may have 10 companies, and let's say they form a cartel.  This cartel splits the total profit into 10% towards each company involved.  One of these companies gains a great advantage and has the potential to increase their profits through two avenues.  They can either share their ideas with the cartel, or perpetuate the new product themselves.  If they do so themselves, they will increase their personal profit from 10% to 120%, but if they share the idea, their profit will increase from 10% to 12%.  What would you choose?  This fails to mention the competition that makes such a cartel impossible in most situations. To say that the government enhances overall productivity is a fallacy.  Government may enhance GDP in the short-term, but this is only possible through the creation of economic bubbles, accumulating massive debts, or levying taxes and impoverishing your nation.  Do you want to attract business to your country?  Do not tax them.  Do you want to raise the standard of living for the poor?  Do not tax them, and allow business to propagate, both failing and succeeding in the process.  I disagree that democratic inputs are the answer to the current problems of corruption, as the public is so easily swayed and manipulated through ideological warfare. For unemployment in a capitalist economy, I give a logical syllogism. 1.  Workers desire the highest wage possible in a capitalist system.

2.  Companies desire workers and must compete with other companies to pay adequate wages in the absence of government strikebreakers. 3.  Therefore, workers will receive the highest wage that is possible for a company to pay. Thank you for your thoughts caltrek.  I appreciate your intelligent conversation, and please excuse the typos.

 

 

"'From each according to his ability, and to each according to his work.' Sounds like laissez-faire capitalism, doesn't it?"

 

Not to me it doesn't.  Laissez-faire capitatlism rewards work and ownership of the means of production.

 

"You speak of monarchies as if they are synonymous to businesses.  Monarchies levy taxes through extortion, much in the same way as any government, while customers must voluntary choose to enter into a trade with a business, or not to enter into such a trade.  Where is the similarity here?"

 

1) People enter into trade to avoid things like starvation. So there is a coercive element to trade.

 

2) The ownership of the means of prodoction is a protected property right. Protcted by the government.

 

"'...to stop government from promulgating policies that benefit the rich at the expense of the poor...'  I wish that this was possible, but throughout the course of history, the vast majority of oppressors have used the government as the best option in their tool-belt to dominate their fellow man.  They do this through a combination of ideological warfare and military dominance, as you've mentioned previously." 

 

No real problem with this statement so far.

 

"f you remove the center that allows for this abuse of power, you will not have such abuse."

 

Now who is advocating that which may be impossible?

 

"As the U.S. government stands today, the power is divided among 700 or so individuals, which includes congressman, senators, the Supreme Court, the President, the Vice-President, and a few others.  This is far too centralized.  It is not difficult to corrupt 1 men, nor 10 men, nor 50 men, so why do we think it's difficult to corrupt 1,000 men?  The system relies on individual integrity, which I do believe is an extremely rare and fleeting trait in humans."

 

Power also resides in people casting their votes, in state and local government, etc.  Economic power is also diffuse amongst both profit and non-profit entities. Remember, I am advocating a mixed system which allows the system I advocate to rely on some aspects of markets. "Never give power to another man, but keep it for yourself.  I don't wish to sound Machiavellian, but I believe that you know what's best for yourself, and the same goes for me.  This is the responsibility of each of us as individuals, and not that of a king, queen, bishop, pope, president, teacher, or parent."

 

"Federal government is superior to a dictatorship.  State government is superior to federal government.  Local government is superior to state government.  Personal government is superior to all of these."

 

This assumes the person in question has a certain respect for the basic rights of others. What happens when an irrational individual decides to start killing people at random. Should he (and it is usually men that flip out in this manner) be allowed to exert his inclination to kill on the grounds that "personal government" is superior to all other levels of government?

 

 

" As long as we allow enemies to fight one another, we have nothing to fear, but if they should ever unite, we should be forced to do the same.  In an economic sense, every individual can be thought of as an enemy, as each individual is driven by self-interest.  Businesses will fight amongst each other until a force allows them to unite and form massive central organizations, which is known as a government.  Why will they not unite anyway?  The potential profits from self-interest are too great.  You may have 10 companies, and let's say they form a cartel.  This cartel splits the total profit into 10% towards each company involved.  One of these companies gains a great advantage and has the potential to increase their profits through two avenues.  They can either share their ideas with the cartel, or perpetuate the new product themselves.  If they do so themselves, they will increase their personal profit from 10% to 120%, but if they share the idea, their profit will increase from 10% to 12%.  What would you choose?  This fails to mention the competition that makes such a cartel impossible in most situations."

 

Monopolies often arise out the "natural" workings of the marekt place.  It is true that government can play a role in fostering such monopolies, but the driving impetus would seem to me to come from the operation of the market. Cartels can be seen as an intermediate step between the competitive market place and pure monopolies (or at least oligopolies). In fact, it is possible that the only way markets can truly be preserved is through anti-trust actions brought on by government entities. "To say that the government enhances overall productivity is a fallacy.  Government may enhance GDP in the short-term, but this is only possible through the creation of economic bubbles, accumulating massive debts, or levying taxes and impoverishing your nation.  Do you want to attract business to your country?  Do not tax them."

 

Private busisnesses also look at the basket of services provided at any given location including infrastructure such as water, sewer, and roads.  Services often provided through taxation. Social stability that is often fostered by good government can also be a factor in locating business activities.

 

"I disagree that democratic inputs are the answer to the current problems of corruption, as the public is so easily swayed and manipulated through ideological warfare."

 

So instead you enlist yourself in defending an ideology that is favored by the rich?  "For unemployment in a capitalist economy, I give a logical syllogism. 1.  Workers desire the highest wage possible in a capitalist system.

2.  Companies desire workers and must compete with other companies to pay adequate wages in the absence of government strikebreakers. 3.  Therefore, workers will receive the highest wage that is possible for a company to pay."

 

Not that it is an easy thing to do, but what if you take the proftis generated and distribute them to the workers. Wouldn't that increase the return on their labor?

 

There are worker co-opertatives operating on this planet that do precisely that.

 


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#94
Yuli Ban

Yuli Ban

    Born Again Singularitarian

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I still say technosticism is a form of socialism, though I'll always believe that communism is like water: we've been making hydroxide when robots are that missing hydrogen atom.

And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.






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