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Liberals and their place in politics

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posted on Jun, 11 2006 @ 05:43 PM
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Originally posted by KrazyJethro
Money creates property and physical infrastructure.


A common misunderstanding. Money doesn't create anything. Property is created by human intelligence and labor applied to natural resources. Money is only a lever of control, a way of persuading or coercing those with the intelligence and the labor to apply them for the benefit of those who have the money. And the only reason it works for that purpose is that people are denied the ability to support themselves independently, and so put in a position where they have no choice but to serve those who have the money, so they can get a share.



Does that mean the people that put labor into the company should have some form of ownership?

No. They provide labor or intellectual property for money. It's a trade they willingly submit to for their own gain.


No, their submission isn't willing, or if it is, it's because they never question how those with the money came to have it in the first place, or how things have been arranged so that they can't support themselves without that submission.

Ever study experimental psychology, the kind that runs lab rats through mazes? The rats are kept hungry -- the experimenters have control over their food supply, and the rats are denied the freedom to forage or hunt for themselves -- so that the offer of food pellets works as a reward (or "reinforcer" to use psycho-jargon).

The labor market is similar. We are lab rats. To be thankful, in our status of enforced hunger, to those who dole out the food pellets, is only possible when one is ignorant of the fact that the same people ensured that we were hungry to begin with.




posted on Jun, 12 2006 @ 11:39 AM
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TSF: Well, what is there to say? Most people are followers, creating quite a sheep mentality for the most part.

I don't think getting into involved and complicated explanations of things that aren't important, why don't we talk about practical things.

Philosophy rarely does much good and tends to roll on forever.



posted on Jun, 12 2006 @ 01:11 PM
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Originally posted by KrazyJethro
TSF: Well, what is there to say? Most people are followers, creating quite a sheep mentality for the most part.


All too true, I'm afraid.



I don't think getting into involved and complicated explanations of things that aren't important, why don't we talk about practical things.

Philosophy rarely does much good and tends to roll on forever.


But all practical discussion is based on unspoken philosophical assumptions. Otherwise, how do you know what's practical or what's important? Also, Jethro, I get the impression that most of your own economic ideas are based on a free-market ideology, rather than on pragmatics.



posted on Jun, 12 2006 @ 05:31 PM
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Two Steps: I agree all practical discussions are based on philosophy, but how deep ones go into the philosophy should be limited or we'll fall down the rabbit hole.

Hence the reason for my want to move more so into the practical.

We can deal with the basics if you like, but let's at least define the discussion for ease of purpose.

Thanks



posted on Jun, 27 2006 @ 09:07 AM
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Jethro, the points where we disagree involve the philosophical underpinnings to your so-called practical conclusions. I have different philosophical underpinnings and they lead me to different practical conclusions.

I could point out where your practical conclusions have disappointing results, which would be a completely pragmatic approach. I could point out, for example, that the economy has historically done better when the government regulated it and attempted to reduce economic inequality. I could point out the suffering and misery of the working class prior to the New Deal, which was FAR worse than anything that happens today -- the 12- to 14-hour days, the 6-day weeks, the unsafe conditions, the violence directed against unions, the low pay, the total lack of job security. I could point out that measures to relieve this misery -- which you oppose on philosophical, NOT practical grounds -- not only helped do so, but also boosted economic growth, by increasing the income and financial security of consumers. I could point out that, in trying to have it all, capitalists end up having less, because the economy depends on wealth being shared (otherwise there is no market for goods produced).

But you're not prepared to recognize these arguments because you are committed to philosophical beliefs that deny their validity. So the philosophical basis of your beliefs has to be addressed. Until it is, your eyes are closed.



posted on Jun, 27 2006 @ 06:01 PM
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You can do anything you please, but I've little idea of what your ideas are.

So, if you like you can feel free to bring it.

I encourage it in fact and am not adverse to change should it be warranted.



posted on Jun, 27 2006 @ 06:51 PM
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Originally posted by KrazyJethro
You can do anything you please, but I've little idea of what your ideas are.


Ferpetessake, Jethro, I've been blabbin' about 'em on this thread for days and weeks!

OK, well, let maybe I could be more concise than I have so far. I'll try.

1. The so-called "free market" is not free. It is created by laws and enforced by the government, with a view to setting the rules of exchange and ownership so as to benefit the wealthiest and most powerful members of society at the expense of everyone else.

2. The only "natural" system of property ownership for humans is what our precivilized ancestors had. Under that system, each individual owned his or her own clothing, tools, weapons, bed space, and other personal possessions. Capital property (hunting and foraging grounds, flint quarries, streams and beaches, etc.) were owned collectively by the tribe. No one person owned any of it, and the produce of it was shared. It was a true communist system, and probably the model drawn on by Marx and other idealistic dreamers.

We cannot return to that system. It only works for societies organized into small bands, living by foraging and hunting, with no formal government or organized religion. But we should recognize that any departure from it is artificial. That most decidedly includes capitalism, which like all modern economic systems is an artifice of law, not a work of nature, and should be judged by its fruits.

3. Modern industrial economies have been organized in three fundamental ways: capitalism, strong socialism, and weak socialism. Capitalism at its purest existed in the United States between the end of the Civil War and the onset of the Great Depression. Strong socialism existed in the Soviet Union and other so-called Communist countries. Weak socialism exists today in all advanced industrial economies, although a return to capitalism is being attempted. Of those three forms, we may observe that weak socialism outperforms both capitalism and strong socialism, measured purely by economic growth and productivity of wealth. It vastly outperforms capitalism, and only slightly underperforms strong socialism, in the distribution of wealth and the ensurance of a living for all citizens. (It would not be hard to have a weak socialism that didn't underperform strong socialism in these respects at all.) Weak socialism also somewhat outperforms capitalism, and vastly outperforms strong socialism, in its compatibility with democratic/republican governance.

4. We can define these three forms of economic organization in two separate ways, in terms of ownership of the means of production, or in terms of for whose benefit the government regulates the economy. (The government ALWAYS regulates the economy; an unregulated economy is an oxymoron.)

In terms of ownership: In a capitalist economy, the means of production are owned by wealthy and privileged private individuals, with full enjoyment of the benefits of that ownership and little to no public or social responsibility attached to that benefit. In a weak socialist economy, the means of production are mostly owned by wealthy and privileged private individuals, but strong public and social responsibility is attached to that ownership and the enjoyment of the benefits thereof is subject to restraint based on that responsibility. There may also be some state ownership and control of some of the means of production, but this is not the dominant reality. In a strong socialist economy, the means of production are mostly owned by the state or by collectives.

In terms of for whose benefit the state regulates the economy: In a capitalist economy, regulations are designed to benefit the owning class. In a stong socialist economy, regulations are primarily designed to benefit the governing class, and secondarily the working class. In a weak socialist economy, regulations are designed to benefit the working class and the capitalist class, with considerable tension between the two.

(If you get the idea here that I favor weak socialism in preference to either of the other two, you're right.)

5. In all economic transactions, we must recognized the existence of coercion. Just because a person doesn't have a literal gun pointed to his or her head doesn't mean that a contract is "freely" entered into. In the labor market, for example, jobs are accepted because the worker HAS to have a job in order to survive.

Note the difference in meaning between the words "has to have a job" and "has to work." Because the means of production are already owned by others, a member of the working class cannot go out and work for himself to support himself, except under the rarest of circumstances. He "has to have a job," meaning he has to serve someone else and get paid for it. This is the element of coercion, and means that the job with its attendant wages and conditions is not agreed to freely by the worker, but rather agreed to under duress, because he has no choice.

For this reason, regulations requiring minimum wages, protecting the right of collective bargaining, establishing minimum working conditions, and so on do not infringe upon the worker's freedom to enter into agreements that violate those regulations. The worker has little or no freedom in the process to begin with.

6. All wealth is produced collectively. The share of the wealth produced that each individual involved in its production takes home is determined, not by his or her contribution to the production, but rather by how much power and control the individual has over the process. Thus to say that what one has, one has a right to, is unreasonably simplistic. One may reasonably be said to have a right to more, or to less, than one has, depending on the power one brings to the bargaining table.

That will do to go on.







 
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