R E D E F I N E
Rant


12.2.1 Return to market pricing. 13.2.1 Overvalued, overpaid, and overemphasized. 14.2.1 Better mathematicians than social psychologists. 15.2.1 Control and dependency. Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2001 11:19:13 -0800 (PST) From: John Yu cyu@oz.net To: ipe@csf.colorado.edu CC: pgunning@aus.ac.ae Subject: Re: Adding to Alfonso's Comments about the California Utilities URL: http://csf.colorado.edu/mail/ipe/2001/msg00201.html Patrick Gunning wrote: > By the way, I think that the idea that people have a _moral right_ to cheap > electricity borders on the absurd. We can certainly imagine cases in which > the sudden loss of electricity would result in deaths. However, there is a > fairly high percent of people in the world who have no electricity and who > lead quite happy lives. Many of these feel no particular need for > electricity. And many who could afford it are quite comfortable doing > without and spending their money on other things. Because disagreements have little hope of being settled when starting from different axioms, I would like to seize this opportunity to discuss your axioms. Let's take as an assumption that there is no moral right to electricity. What, then, is it that you do have a moral right to? Life, liberty, and property? Most fundamentally, what is it that gives you a moral right to life? Why shouldn't anybody just go and randomly kill anyone they feel like? Or are these your axioms that require no explanation because they are "self-evident"? Let's start with the Social Darwinist view that it is competition among companies that drives progress and innovation. The less fit companies die economically and are replaced by more "fit" companies - either more able to satisfy the needs of their consumers or more able to prolong their dominance by "underhanded" efforts that have nothing to do with serving consumers. What we should do, one might say, is to just prevent the second form of self- perpetuation from occurring. However, in the spirit of competition, all is fair. What could be more competitive than murder? From Social Darwinist assumptions, those most able to kill, restrict, and steal would be the most fit to survive, and thus produce subsequent generations of "supermen" or "supercompanies." However, we now have a contradiction, because this violates our axioms of the "moral rights" to life, liberty, and property. Where did these moral rights come from if they are unfit for a Darwinistic world? Common moral rights can be found in every major religion - did they really come from God or did they come from mere insanity? Moral rights can instead be explained from the advancement of society through cooperation rather than competition. From this viewpoint, it is not competition between individuals and groups that are important, but rather competition between various methods of social organization. The legal, moral, and religious systems that better enable their populations to cooperate are the ones that survive and are passed down to subsequent generations. The individuals within these societies are better able to survive because they work together rather than against each other. The aspects of behavior that best enable such cooperation are passed on as legal, moral, and religious laws. Thus, while there is no absolute moral right to electricity, there isn't one for life either. However, the evolution of our "memetic" code favors the enabling of people to help each other - through whatever means available.
Date: Thu, 15 Feb 2001 10:08:23 -0800 (PST) From: John Yu cyu@oz.net To: alfonsoa@prodigy.net.mx CC: ipe@csf.colorado.edu Subject: RE: Adding to Alfonso's Comments about the California Utilities alfonsoa@prodigy.net.mx wrote: > > The islanders have in effect given up much of their ability to control > > their own destinies. > On this issue, one might wonder if the islanders did in effect "control > their own destinies" before, since I do believe that they were subject to > external factors, such as the wheather and the distribution system within > the island. Agreed - but I don't believe "control of destiny" is a binary have-or-have-not condition, but instead a sliding scale all the way from having no control what- so-ever to having total control. The growing dependence on tourism is one of the things that pushes the scale toward having less control. > After becoming dependent on tourism, their concern is to keep tourist > coming back, something that they do have a certain degree of control > over (they keep being polite, conserve the beaches, etc.) Yes, this is true, but it is still less control than they had before, because they have added an extra variable to their economic prosperity that now depends on outside sources. More things could go wrong - the wealth of these tourists could be wiped out by politics, revolution, recessions, or stock market crashes - and there would be very little the islanders could do about it, because the source of this vital part of their economy is not within its own borders. > Regarding the food issue, that they are now dependent on imports fron > other agricultural nations, that might be a less clear-cut case, but in > general terms, with the dollars from the tourists they can access the > world economy for food products. That too is true as well, but again, the source of their security is no longer within their own jurisdiction. Security is not built on trust, but mistrust - even if all nations (and natural forces) are friendly now, there's no guarantee that they will be in the future. The island may become the victim of international trade sanctions for whatever reasons - whether just or unjust. A crop failure in remote parts of the world could drive up prices to the point of deprivation in the local economy. (The converse of possible crop failures locally, however, means the island should not attempt to sever all ties with other countries.) It is, of course, in the interest of the island for all nations it deals with to be prosperous (because they can come to the island's aid if needed), but the island should not rely on the fact that they will always be prosperous because they won't. As the old saying goes, "Trust in God, but row away from the waterfall."
Date: Wed, 14 Feb 2001 13:47:00 -0800 (PST) From: John Yu cyu@oz.net To: ipe@csf.colorado.edu CC: pgunning@aus.ac.ae Subject: Re: Adding to Alfonso's Comments about the California Utilities URL: http://csf.colorado.edu/mail/ipe/2001/msg00172.html > > When all available resources are in use, it is those who are richest that will > > be able to have most of the resources allocated to fulfill their wants and > > needs. The greater the spending disparity, the more skewed the economy > > becomes. > Your view of resources is that they are fixed. However, the supply of > electricity to California is not fixed. Not fixed, but limited - that is, the supply of something isn't constant, but it cannot be increased without bound. At any given time, there is only so much labor, raw materials, and technology available to produce any good. When one small segment of the population can afford to hire away a large percentage of the resources availabe, the result is less resources available to fulfill the needs of the rest of the population. > > Indeed, I agree with you that capping prices is not the best solution. > Of course, the wealthy take a larger share of the goods produced. If one > wishes to change this, he must be willing to pay the price of removing the > incentive to produce wealth in the first place. Of course, some people acquire > wealth through cheating, stealing, corruption, and so on. To take away their > wealth would not reduce the incentive to produce goods for consumers. However, > capping prices does not target this group. Again, I am not defending price caps - I am merely pointing out some of the effects of allowing overconcentration of wealth to develop within a market system. If overconcentration of wealth does hurt the general population and if preventing the overconcentration of wealth will remove the incentive to produce, then we have a dilemma - we'll be damned no matter what we do. However, one misunderstanding shared by many economists is that they believe all incentive derives from material goods - they are better mathematicians than they are social psychologists. There are other ways to create incentive without rewarding someone with so much economic power that they are given the ability to disrupt normal market prices. Why do some filmmakers prefer to make art films instead of box office blockbusters? Why do some otherwise rational-thinking men decrease their wealth by buying flowers for a woman on Valentine's Day? Why would early Greeks waste so much effort competing in the Olympics if all they could get out of it were a few leaves of laurel? Why do people do these apparently irrational (from the economic standpoint) things? Respect? Ego? Self-esteem? The need to feel loved? In any case, these things are not measured economically nor materially. Such alternative ways of spurring incentive should be kept in mind by a company's employees and a company's consumers if they do not want to enable any single individual from disrupting market prices, no matter how valuable that person's contribution. As Woody Boyd might have said, "No I didn't get the raise, but you're now looking at the new Senior Bartender..."
Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2001 18:06:41 -0800 (PST) From: John Yu cyu@oz.net To: ipe@csf.colorado.edu CC: pauldv@vanuatu.com.vu Subject: Re: Adding to Alfonso's Comments about the California Utilities URL: http://csf.colorado.edu/mail/ipe/2001/msg00169.html > I think it just increases demand while the supply is limited, and therefore > prices go up. But here is an example where the demand driven market is > beneficial to the poor: in most Pacific Island Countries, rich tourists create > a demand for transport, making it feasible for investors to run local airlines > profitably with affordable fares. Without these rich tourists, only a very few > wealthy islanders could ever afford to travel (or be flown to hospitals) in > scarce planes. This is true. However, one of the effects of industries springing up to cater to the rich (tourism in this case) is that the economies of these countries changes from an independent one to a dependent one. While it is true that the money paid by the wealthy tourists may enable the islanders to purchase more goods from other agricultural nations than they can grow themselves, the resulting shift in the allocation of human resources on the island results in an economy that becomes dependent on two things: the cash from the tourists and the products from the third-party agricultural nation. Such dependence is dangerous to the security of the local economy - they must now both ensure that wealthy tourists will continue coming and that the third-party nation's agriculture runs smoothly. The islanders have in effect given up much of their ability to control their own destinies. Instead of letting its tourism industry overcome its agricultural industry, it would be a more secure goal for the island to use the money, coming into the country from tourism, to build up its own ability to sustain itself - thus even if wealthy tourists stop coming one day (for whatever reasons), they will not be reduced to begging for tourism, but merely returning to the self-sustaining economy they have built up for themselves. If there are cries of "unfair" protectionism, they may have to change their finance structure such that the industries being protected are more directly reflected in their measures of national wealth - who would then accuse them of irrationality for attempting to preserve their wealth? > The market structure has NEVER had the ability to provide for wants and needs > of the general population. This only happens in the economics manuals. The most > vulnerable in any given population have no chance whatsoever to see their needs > fulfilled through the market structure. > Market-based political economics ARE a political ideology. True, it indeed is - the ideology states that a market is one of the better ways to run an economy, and there are some fairly convincing arguments that go with it. However, economic theories rely on models of the world in much the same way that physical models of the world may not actually correspond to reality. "Consider an ideal pulley operating without friction..." a question in mechanics might say... the trouble is, there are no ideal pulleys, nor systems without friction. One of the reasons economic manuals fail is because they assume participants in the market have fairly equal amounts of spending power - thus each individual's spending contributes to an overall picture that reflects all the participants. Of course, when a capitalist gets a cut of everything produced by thousands and thousands of people and thus amasses vast amounts of spending power, the model breaks down - and market prices no longer reflect what everyone wants, but what the capitalist wants. The things he desires become overvalued, the labor going into producing the things he wants is overpaid, and the skills necessary to fulfill his needs become overemphasized, both in education and in society at large.
Date: Mon, 12 Feb 2001 15:17:54 -0800 (PST) From: John Yu cyu@oz.net To: ipe@csf.colorado.edu Subject: Re: Adding to Alfonso's Comments about the California Utilities URL: http://csf.colorado.edu/mail/ipe/2001/msg00164.html > > In the absence of price controls, the good > > might be on the market, but only accessible for those > > who can dish out lots and lots of dosh - creating what > > is in fact a shortage of AFFORDABLE electricity. > > Now some might respond to this point by saying that > > "hey, that's not an economic argument, that's > > political." But then, remember that many radicals > > don't accept any division between these two 'spheres', > > and questions of 'who gets what' are as economic as > > they are political. > I agree that the market-determined price of electricity in California may be > higher than many people can afford. But so are computers, internet service > providers, good schooling and healthcare, TV sets, new clothes, steak for > dinner, and housing. What, in your opinion, makes electricity in California > special? > If I understand you correctly, you believe that the government should somehow > see to it that people who could not otherwise afford electricity should be able > to afford it. Nothing, in fact, makes electricity different from, for example, health care or housing. You ask what the purpose of government is, and whether one of its purposes is to make electricity available to those who cannot afford it. I ask what the purpose of an economic structure is and whether one of its purposes is to provide for the wants and needs of those who live within it. Indeed, I agree with you that capping prices is not the best solution. Even if there were more than enough electricity for all Californians, capped prices mean buyers will be able to resell their electricity to places where prices are not capped, and thus reaping profit for something they did not produce - hardly an incentive to encourage productive activity. However, let me paint you this picture. You walk downtown on a Saturday afternoon to do some shopping. Incredibly large mega-shopping complexes have been built with polished marble-like stone. The floors in these shopping centers are cleaned to a polished shine. The sun is blisteringly hot outside but it is blissfully cool inside these malls. The doors to these places are wide open, in order to entice shoppers to come inside. While this results in a constant drain on their attempts to cool the building, it is worth it because (1) they can afford the electricity and (2) they want to make it inviting for potential shoppers. All sounds good so far eh? But go down the road just a little bit and you enter the "slum" areas. Here live the people who polish the floors of the shopping centers, the people who poured the cement, lifted the rock, laid the foundation, and constructed these giant buildings, and yet their own homes are not nearly as shiny, and they actually have to close their doors to maintain their air conditioning, if they are lucky enough to afford an air conditioning unit at all. Why is this so? What is it about the economic structure that results in two such starkly contrasting conditions? Surely people should buy what they can afford. What does it matter if some people (or businesses) can afford massive air conditioning bills with their doors wide open, while other people who can't afford it simply have to put up with the hot weather? Just because I'm rich doesn't mean I'm hurting anyone. Actually, that last statement is false in the case of a market economy. The fact that some people can and are buying a lot of electricity "takes it away" from those who can't, because their purchase of it lowers the supply of electricity (and thus raises the price). So what, you may ask, that should just encourage more businesses to be started to meet the demand. Yes, to an extent it does (so long as the existing electricity providers aren't actively trying to keep out competition). However, resources are limited - whether it's people or natural resources. When all available resources are in use, it is those who are richest that will be able to have most of the resources allocated to fulfill their wants and needs. The greater the spending disparity, the more skewed the economy becomes. As a result, even businesses that serve the poor will eventually not be able to afford the electrity (or labor) to keep themselves running, because the rich can afford to pay more. Thus market pricing only best reflects the wants and needs of a population if all participants in the economy are fairly represented. Because market representation comes from the amount of money one can spend, market pricing is only an accurate determinant of relative values between goods when all participants exercise fairly equal amounts of spending power. If they do not, the market structure will lose its ability to provide for wants and needs of the general population (and overvalue goods and services wanted only by the rich - such as paintings by long dead artists). As for how an economy can return to the point at which market pricing represents the entire population, possibilities have been proposed by various contending political ideologies and would be the subject of another thread.
From: "E. Zapata" cyu@geocities.com Organization: Dark Side of the Rainbow Newsgroups: alt.tanaka-tomoyuki, sci.econ, soc.culture.japan, soc.culture.korean, alt.anarchism, alt.politics.economics Subject: Re: counterfeit US $100 bills (Super K's) from N. Korea Date: Sat, 01 May 1999 11:54:23 -0700 Shi Hwang Ti wrote: > > As opposed to other currencies which are backed by what? Shiny rocks? > The Argentinian peso is backed by the US dollar. The HK dollar and > Malaysian ringgit are pegged to the US dollar at 7.8 and 3.8 resp. > No currency is backed fully by gold these days which is IMO a big > mistake although nations like Switzerland, Italy, Germany, France, > UK,US still keep thousands of tonnes of gold just in case. Why do > they do that if gold is worthless? Why do some nations back their money with dollars if it's worthless? The truth is, their are many reasons for people to keep things - ignorance and fraud are among them. In fact, it is in the best interest of any country other than the US to not run their economy on dollars, just as it is in the interest of any non-gold producing country to not run their economy on gold. Here's an example. 3 groups engage in trade. By whatever reason (whether by force, fraud, or honorable means), group #1 manages to accumulate almost all the gold. So group #1 decides to retire, and live out the rest of their days just buying up the goods produced by groups #2 and #3. Since group #1 no longer produces anything, groups #2 and #3 no longer need it. But if #2 and #3 continue to engage in trade with gold, they have less to trade with each other, since part of their production is always bought by #1. It would be in the best interest of #2 and #3 to merely switch to a different medium of exchange, thus rendering the gold held by #1 far less valuable, and forcing group #1 to be productive once again if it wishes to acquire the goods made by #2 and #3. The real wealth of nations is how easily they can survive a total trade embargo. There's no security in assuming any type of currency will always be honored, even by the countries that issue them.
Date: Thu, 22 Apr 1999 21:28:50 -0700 From: "J. Calvin" cyu@geocities.com Organization: Dark Side of the Rainbow Newsgroups: alt.anarchism, alt.society.anarchy, rec.org.mensa, alt.politics.socialism.libertarian, alt.politics.libertarian, talk.politics.libertarian, alt.politics.socialism, alt.politics.socialism.trotsky, alt.politics.socialism.mao, alt.society.resistance, alt.current-events.clinton.whitewater, alt.society.revolution, alt.politics.radical-left, alt.society.labor-unions, alt.org.food-not-bombs, alt.org.earth-first, alt.thebird, alt.anarchism.communist, alt.anarchism.syndicalist, alt.anarchism.individualist Subject: Re: Libertarian Socialism Michael J+S wrote: > > Libertarian Socialism recognizes that the concept of "property" > > (specifically, the means of production, factories, land used for profit, > > rented space) is theft and that in a truly libertarian society, the > > individual would be free of exploitation caused by the concentration of all > > means of wealth-making into the hands of an elite minority of capitalists. > Then who would manufacture computer keyboards for fuckbrains like you > to short-stroke all over? The same people who have always done it. Namely, the working class. Only difference is, they control the factories... keeping profits for themselves rather than giving over to capitalists, with a self-staffed local militia to defend themselves, if need be. During the years of the American Revolutionary War, minute men patriots behaved in a way quite like the farmers who fought with Emiliano Zapata: they worked their fields with rifles on their backs, were called to battle at a moment's notice, and returned to their fields at the end of the day. They owned their land because they worked it and personally defended it... not because of deeds drawn up by lawyers. -------- Who is John Galt? Emma Goldman's retarded kid brother.
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 1999 21:48:15 -0700 From: "J. Calvin" cyu@geocities.com Organization: Dark Side of the Rainbow Newsgroups: alt.anarchism, alt.society.anarchy, alt.politics.radical-left, alt.fan.noam-chomsky, alt.politics.socialism, alt.politics.communism, alt.thebird, alt.punk, alt.society.labor-unions, alt.politics.socialism.trotsky, alt.politics.socialism.mao, alt.politics.libertarian, talk.politics.libertarian, talk.politics.theory, talk.politics.misc, alt.current-events.clinton.whitewater, alt.individualism, alt.philosophy.objectivism, alt.politics.economics, alt.politics.socialism.libertarian, alt.anarchism.communist, alt.anarchism.syndicalist, alt.anarchism.individualist Subject: Re: The Anarchist Movement (And Anarchist Theory FAQ) Michael J+S rhinox@frogged.org wrote: > My problem is that you're an intellectually dishonest heel from the > word "go", starting with the name you choose to post under, because you > aren't one. For instance.... > ....no real "(L)ibertarian" complains about capitalism. It's always amusing to read something written by someone who's been subjected to so much propaganda that one can only chuckle as his misguided misconceptions. Consider this (that's me in the corner): http://flag.blackened.net/llr/ Libertarian Labor... you might want to read what they say about capitalism. The fact that the word "libertarian" is associated with pro-capitalist ideas is pretty much only limited to the United States (one would expect no less from the world's prime source of capitalist propaganda). The word was an interesting history. The word "anarchist" was originally used as a pejorative during the French Revolution to associate opposing factions with murderers, rapists, and criminals in general. It wasn't for another few decades until a communist named Pierre-Joseph Proudhon became one of the first to refer to himself as a political anarchist - as much out of sheer individualism and to spite his opponents as a representation of his ideology. It was the more accommodating "anarchists" that coined the word "libertarian" to avoid the connotations of assassins and criminals associated with the word "anarchist". This was back in the 19th century. If you asked a capitalist back then what he thought of "libertarians", he'd probably tell you to hang the lot of them... mainly because their brand of anarchism called for workers to simply take control over their place of work. http://flag.blackened.net/intanark/faq/secA1.html#seca13
17.4.99 Timid tactics. 18.4.99 Still slaves. Date: Mon, 19 Apr 1999 22:15:52 -0700 From: "E. Zapata" cyu@geocities.com Organization: Dark Side of the Rainbow Newsgroups: alt.society.labor-unions, alt.politics.economics, alt.society.liberalism, misc.education, sci.econ, alt.anarchism, talk.politics.theory Subject: Re: The Real Meaning of May Day James A. Donald wrote: > Been tried, does not work. Very funny. I'm sure there must have been a duke in the 14th century who claimed that democracy was tried in Greece and didn't work either... or a slave in the 19th who claimed that Nat Turner tried to create a society without slavery, and that also didn't work. The fact is, lots of things "work". Slavery works, monarchy works, military dictatorships work... just with varying degrees of satisfaction among the participants. > To get the money, you need a network of relationships based on > property rights. If you violate property rights, people will not > trust you to do business with you. There are two kinds of property: personal property, as in what you have at home, and the second kind, you might call capital, or the means of production, as in what you use at work. If only rights over the second are "violated", then the only people you have to fear are your employees. > Many governments, particularly in South America, have been highly > tolerant of worker occupations, and have forcefully prevented the > owners from defending their property, seeing such occupations as a way > to achieve socialism. Ever heard of paramilitary mercenaries? Kill a few peasant leaders here, assassinate a few labor organizers there, then it's easy to say these movements never work, isn't it? While I admire the bravery of the Catholic Church in South America, it's a shame that Christ's teachings of meekness also tends to make them sitting ducks. The government, meanwhile, can just twiddle its thumbs or bury them in paperwork. Y'know, it's really non-strategic for capitalists to rail against the government so much. If you drive a wedge between yourselves and those who have to enforce back to work injunctions on strikers, who will you turn to? Of course, if capitalists are only putting up a false opposition, to give the illuion that there are two sides, business vs government, when in fact there is only one side, that is much more strategic. The illusion of choice satisfies the masses much more easily than the truth that there is no choice. http://198.62.75.1/www2/mst/chrono.html
Date: Sun, 18 Apr 1999 09:46:32 -0700 From: "T. Hobbes" cyu@geocities.com Organization: Dark Side of the Rainbow Newsgroups: alt.society.labor-unions, alt.politics.economics, alt.society.liberalism, misc.education, sci.econ, alt.anarchism Subject: Re: The Real Meaning of May Day Ernesto Nevarez wrote: > What will be accomplished? > No, not the proleteriate revolution. > But the exercise will be educational and will help develope > organizational structure. If we're going to wait for the corporate dominated political system to institute workplace democracy and local self-government, our children and grandchildren will be waiting a long long time. Democracy is claimed, not asked for. > In Nov. of 1993 we got our first contract at Calko in Los Angeles during > the strike. There are small steps and there are large steps. A contract still rests on the assumption that the boss is still in charge. Who does the real work? Who has to ask permission to pay themselves more out of the money they themselves earn? Slaves that manage to convince their master to give them more time off are still slaves. http://www.au.spunk.org/texts/groups/wsa/sp000044.txt ------- We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes. - John Swinton, Chief of Staff New York Times, 1953
From: "J. Calvin" cyu@geocities.com Organization: Dark Side of the Rainbow Newsgroups: alt.society.labor-unions, alt.politics.economics, alt.society.liberalism, misc.education, sci.econ, alt.anarchism Subject: Re: The Real Meaning of May Day Date: Sat, 17 Apr 1999 12:39:29 -0700 Zepp wrote: > On Fri, 16 Apr 1999 18:40:24 -0700, Ernesto Nevarez > wrote: > >Truckers are currently working 15 hour days, 70 hour weeks. > >In 1973 the first massive labor action occurred. > >Nov. 1993 there was an attempted National Shutdown, the harbors were > >strong. > >There is a growing movement in its infancy to have a national truckers > >shutdown on July 5. > >Will history repeat itself? > As I recall, scab drivers were a big problem in the last two actions. The fact is, the work stoppage strike is one of the weakest forms of protest. Why else do you think the powers that be have legalized it? The fact is that the work stoppage strike is always acknowledged as a temporary situation. Both workers & bosses go on the assumption that this strike will end, one way or another. The orginal anarchists & anarcho-syndicalists of May Day would have quite a chuckle at the timid tactics being used by today's labor. Keep the trucks running, collect the money yourselves, stop paying the bosses. A strike like that could last indefinitely, without even needing a strike fund. http://www.iww.org/direct_action/s8.html
Date: Sun, 28 Mar 1999 01:22:05 -0800 From: "T. Hobbes" cyu@geocities.com Organization: Dark Side of the Rainbow Newsgroups: alt.politics.economics, sci.econ, talk.politics.theory, alt.politics.usa.republican Subject: Re: rate of inflation FTUN wrote: > The rate of inflation is 100% worldwide. > 100% inflation--when none of the paper currency is redeemable > in specie. You're placing of ultimate value in specie is incorrect. The value of currency is measured by what the individual holding that currency needs. And the last time I checked, humans do not survive on either gold or silver. What if specie could not be redeemed for food? What if specie could not be redeemed for payments on your mortgage or rent? In fact, it is not how much specie you can get for paper currency, but how much food & shelter you can get for paper currency. Then again, maybe you do eat goldburgers. In which case, paper currency that can't be redeemed for specie is obvious completely worthless to you.
28.3.99 Land tax. 11.4.99 A little history. 13.4.99 Majority of value. 15.4.99 7:46 Emphasis on non-essential product. From: Thant Tessman thant@acm.org Newsgroups: alt.politics.economics, sci.econ, talk.politics.theory, alt.politics.usa.republican, alt.politics.radical-left, alt.anarchism Subject: Re: Keynesian Economics Date: Thu, 15 Apr 1999 09:37:58 -0600 Organization: XMission http://www.xmission.com/ "J. Calvin" wrote: > Ah, but if dollars were a commodity, the effect of having > a large percentage of the population converting their > assets to other forms means that there would suddenly > be much more dollars in circulation than real goods. The > result is inflation. [...] I'm not sure I understand the point you're trying to make. Do you mean that if (as I claim) dollars are "stay-out-of-jail tokens" and therefore are a commodity, that if people convert their assets to other things, then inflation will result? I would claim this has already happened (although not suddenly). > I would argue that both gold and paper are inferior to > a commodity that people use on a regular basis, like > grain. [Of course, you'd carry around notes that represent > real amounts of grain rather than the grain itself... > rather like a grain standard, as opposed to a gold > standard.] [...] In a system of free banking, nothing would stop people from doing exactly this. I suspect that in a system of free banking, several commodities would serve as the basis for moneys. I suspect that as a matter of convenience one would dominate for smaller transactions and I suspect it would be gold or some other precious metal, but yes, the availability of several kinds of moneys would further reduce money's susceptibility to shock and manipulation. (I don't think grain would make for good money, but maybe there are people out there that know something I don't.) And it's interesting that you bring up the example of grain. In his book "The Case Against the Fed," Murray Rothbard uses the example of grain elevators to illustrate the consequences of fractional-reserve banking. Apparently there was a time when grain elevator operators would issue more receipts for grain than they actually had grain stored. Of course the result was that there were occasional runs on grain elevators exactly analogous to runs on the bank. The "cure" for this problem in the case of grain elevators was simply to recognize the practice as fraud. But banks are far more politically influential than grain elevator operators, so instead, banks eventually won the privilege of not having to redeem notes at all. -thant
Date: Thu, 15 Apr 1999 07:46:14 -0700 From: "J. Calvin" cyu@geocities.com Organization: Dark Side of the Rainbow Newsgroups: alt.politics.economics, sci.econ, talk.politics.theory, alt.politics.usa.republican, alt.politics.radical-left, alt.anarchism Subject: Re: Keynesian Economics Thant Tessman wrote: > > Feel free to hold all your wealth in gold, or land, or canned > > food, or whatever, then convert some of it once a year to pay > > for taxes. > That one can hold their wealth in forms other than > dollars doesn't relieve one of the need to convert it > to dollars when paying taxes. The demand for dollars > is still there, and is still a product of government > force. Ah, but if dollars were a commodity, the effect of having a large percentage of the population converting their assets to other forms means that there would suddenly be much more dollars in circulation than real goods. The result is inflation. The loans that you owe in dollars are now worth less, and the money that you owe the government is worth less. Then again, if you object to paying taxes in principle, I suggest you move to a different country or start your own. [Kind of like the standard capitalist suggestion to find another company to work for or to start your own.] > The influence of gold mining companies on the supply > of gold is minuscule compared to the influence of the > banks and government on the supply of dollars. And the > influence they do have isn't nearly as centralized > and unpredictable and subject to political manipulation. > That's why gold is better than paper. I would argue that both gold and paper are inferior to a commodity that people use on a regular basis, like grain. [Of course, you'd carry around notes that represent real amounts of grain rather than the grain itself... rather like a grain standard, as opposed to a gold standard.] The fact that mining companies can dig up more gold is rather like governments printing more paper: inflation. The fact that gold mining is more difficult than printing money just means inflation happens at a slower rate. Since officially using gold as currency would increase its value, and therefore result in more effort being put into gold mining, the result is that the economy would put more emphasis on producing a relatively non-essential product... as opposed to grain, which even if there's overproduction, it would tend to solve a good deal of society's other problems if that happens.
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 1999 07:36:07 -0700 From: "T. Hobbes" cyu@geocities.com Organization: Dark Side of the Rainbow Newsgroups: alt.politics.economics, sci.econ, talk.politics.theory, alt.politics.usa.republican, alt.politics.radical-left Subject: Re: Keynesian Economics Thant Tessman wrote: > Money is not a creation of the government. Anything that facilitates indirect exchange is > functioning as money. The only prerequisite for a good functioning as money is that there must be a > market for that good INDEPENDENT of its function as money. The difference between gold and paper > money is that the market for gold exists even without government-imposed exchange rates such as that > of your Hammarabi Code example. In truth, your average person doesn't do much with gold other than use it as a decoration. It's use by those with jobs in electronics or dentistry is limited to a small segment of the population. It's easy to think up "markets" for anything. Paper money could be used as insulation, wall paper, even fuel for a fire. Collectors form a market for old money that's no longer valid. But the majority of the value placed in paper money derives from its current use as currency. The majority of the value of gold derives from its traditional use as currency (and its current use as a "basis" of the banking systems of various countries). > The only reason dollars have value at all is because people need > them to pay their taxes, thereby guaranteeing a market for them. > As for gold in particular, advocates of free markets don't care what people use as money so long as > the government doesn't have control over its supply. Feel free to hold all your wealth in gold, or land, or canned food, or whatever, then convert some of it once a year to pay for taxes. Who would you rather have control over the money supply? Gold mining companies? Banks? Who controls the government, gold mining companies, and banks? (Probably the same set of people considering where the campaign money of political candidates comes from.)
Date: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 00:04:00 -0700 From: "J. Calvin" cyu@geocities.com Organization: Dark Side of the Rainbow Newsgroups: alt.politics.economics, sci.econ, talk.politics.theory, alt.politics.usa.republican Subject: Re: Keynesian Economics FTUN wrote: > FDR obliged, via the NY Fed and shut down the > banks for 4 days in 1933, kept the peoples gold and gave them a green shit rag > instead. Pieter, what if your govt declared wives illegal and ordered all > subjects(as FDR called them) to bring in and surrender thair wives, and in > their place you were issued green piece of paper that said, "this wife > certificate is a real wife, by act of CONgress" would you take that piece of > paper home and try to make love to it? Actually, an analogy can be drawn to gold. If all the major economists claim "this gold bar is a real wife" because of thousands years of history, would you take that peice of rock home and try to make love to it? Gold is gold. Paper is paper. You can decorate your house with gold. You can decorate your house with paper. You can't eat either one. If you want to eat, you must exchange it for food. A little history on gold from the misc.invest.stocks FAQ: http://www.cis.ohio-state.edu/hypertext/faq/usenet/investment-faq/general/part15/faq-doc-10.html "According to the Hammarabi Code, the Dinar was worth todays' equivalent of about $325 (ie., an ounce of gold - only it weighed slightly more). Within their agricultural economy, it was a piece of metal (more easily transportable) equal in value to a bushel of wheat, which, according to the Code, weighed 1 Stone (the Sumerian Standard), which, by our standards, weighed about 60 pounds. To Sumerize (pun), an ounce of gold was equal to about 60 pounds of wheat in value. This was established since it was obviously easier to carry a bag of gold to the other side of the empire to exchange for a large quantity of, say, wool, than it was to caravan several tons of wheat for the same purpose. And so on. The whole process probably dates back even farther, but the Code of Hammarabi is basically the oldest known documentation of such things." In other words, the Sumerians used gold to represent a bushel of wheat in trade. So the tradition really started when a fairly arbitrary metal was chosen to be backed by a real necessary good - wheat. As for how banks started issuing more paper than they had gold for, that goes way back. Following in the tradition of the Sumerians, people kept their fortunes in the form of gold. The local goldsmith had to hire a good deal of security in order to keep his business safe. As a result of this security, the goldsmith offered to guard the gold of other people as well. When a person deposited a certain amount of gold, the goldsmith issued him a piece of paper indicating how much gold was deposited. People discovered that instead of exchanging gold, they could instead just exchange the pieces of paper that the goldsmith issued. Thus, not only did traders not have to carry caravans of wheat around, they no longer even had to carry pounds of gold around either. Now, with all that gold on his hands, the goldsmith could put it to some use. He could loan it out in much the same way banks do today. But since the loanee was going to keep his physical gold at the goldsmith's anyway, all the goldsmith really had to loan out was the paper indicating the amount of gold that was loaned. Goldsmiths quickly discovered that in this way, there would be more "gold" being used in the economy than actually physically existed. The same is true of today's banks with respect to paper money. There is much more "wealth" (as measured by dollars) being used in the economy than there exists physical paper bills. In any case, there are only 2 kinds of people who advocate using gold over paper money. Those with a vested interest in gold because of prior investments, or those who are stupid. Neither gold nor paper money would be as coveted as they are if it weren't for their being used as a medium of monetary exchange.
Date: Sun, 28 Mar 1999 01:10:14 -0800 From: "T. Hobbes" cyu@geocities.com Organization: Dark Side of the Rainbow Newsgroups: alt.politics.economics, uk.politics.economics, talk.politics.theory, alt.anarchism Subject: Re: Keynesian Economics Brian Bell wrote: > It all depends on what is tax. Any tax diminished the entity taxed. If you > tax windows, the result is bricked-up windows. If you tax work, the result > is unemployment. If you tax land values, the result is that people put land > to the most productive use and thereby create employment. Actually, by your logic, taxing land will cause farmers to give up on food production and go into less land intensive pursuits like investment banking. But we can't all do that can we, unless we all want to eat stock certificates. Some of the most profitable businesses today (like the software and financial sectors) use very little land. You can bet that it's those businesses that will lobby the hardest for a land tax. What it really should come down to is what the tax money is used for. If you need more labor to provide the services you expect from your government, you should expect to pay more taxes. If you expect no services from your government, then don't pay.
28.3.99 The threat of making loans. Date: Tue, 30 Mar 1999 07:52:08 -0800 From: "T. Hobbes" cyu@geocities.com Organization: Dark Side of the Rainbow Newsgroups: alt.politics.economics, sci.econ, talk.politics.theory, alt.politics.usa.republican, alt.anarchism Subject: Re: IMF says gold sales would need US Congress backing John Doh! wrote: > Selling gold in an already depressed gold market isn't wise. It could be that > the millennium bug crowd want to prevent the debunking of the financial system > by people who want hard money, gold, by making it worth - less. In reality, the contest between paper and hard money is useless. It is basically a discussion of standards of exchange. Gold just happens to be an older tradition than paper as a representation of wealth, but in the end, it is still just a medium of exchange, like paper money is. Imagine if all the paper money and gold disappeared from the world tomorrow. Did all the planet's wealth suddenly disappear? No, not really. All you need to do then is to set a new standard medium of exchange. And if nobody wants to agree to a standard, a barter economy works just as well (if slightly more inconvenient).
Date: Sun, 28 Mar 1999 00:48:50 -0800 From: "T. Hobbes" cyu@geocities.com Organization: Dark Side of the Rainbow Newsgroups: alt.politics.economics, sci.econ, talk.politics.theory, alt.politics.usa.republican Subject: Re: IMF says gold sales would need US Congress backing David Cross wrote: > Of course, if the IMF continues to be as stubbornly idiotic as they have been > in the past, Russia will need to carry out that threat they made which is "We > need this money, or we will be forced to turn to the printing press." > Actually, I heard Russia's already been printing money to the point where > inflation as measured by growth in the money supply is hovering at 15%. Actually, the threat of printing money is little different than the threat of making loans. Every time a loan is made, money is being "created". This is why a run on banks leads to bank failures. Because of all those loans, people think they have more currency than actually exists. If everyone withdrew their cash, there would not be enough to go around. That's why the Federal Reserve believes low interest rates (easier loans) leads to inflation just as printing money leads to inflation. So what is the real difference bewteen making lots of loans and printing lots of money? The difference is who controls economic activity. If the government prints money, it's the government that has the most influence over what businesses will have customers. If it's the banks that make all the loans, it's the heads of banks that have most influence over what businesses will get off the ground.
From: gcf@panix.com (G*rd*n) Newsgroups: talk.politics.theory,alt.politics.socialism,alt.anarchism,alt.flame.right-wing-conservatives,talk.politics.libertarian,alt.society.anarchy,alt.fan.noam-chomsky Subject: Re: Capitalist vs Capitalism, free expression vs force Date: 1 Sep 1997 13:36:44 -0400 Organization: }"{ }"{ }"{ }"{ David Winslow: | > There are other kinds of Capitalists, passionate people driven by dreams | > and dragging along with them thousands of others. We see the notable | > examples in the computer industry. They are enabled by Capitalism and | > Capitalism is enabled by them. "Justin Flude" justinf@xara.com: | Still gotta make a profit, though, haven't they? How many people have | Apple laid off recently? I worked for one of these guys for awhile. He was passionate about making money, though, not computers; computers were incidental, although they were a good fetish in the sense of still being mystical to most people, including the investors he more or less conned. Actually, you don't have to make a profit. What you can do is sell stock, borrow a lot of money, and go bankrupt while paying yourself well (and maybe salting a bit away). It's almost as much fun as success, and, who knows, some dumb old big corporation making money the old way might buy you out before you go over the brink. What kind of dream costs ten or twenty or 100 million dollars? Electronic shears dreaming of electronic fleece, I guess. -- }"{ G*rd*n }"{ gcf@panix.com }"{
From: "J. Hancock" cyu@geocities.com Newsgroups: sci.econ,misc.int-property,talk.politics.theory,talk.politics.libertarian Subject: Re: A Gem of an Essay: _Equality and Efficiency_ Date: Tue, 02 Sep 1997 20:11:20 -0700 Organization: Dark Side of the Rainbow jim blair wrote: > > The only problem I have here is the assumption that people > > who favor free markets are politically conservative and that > > those that oppose free markets are likewise liberals. To be > > a conservative or a liberal means more that just supporting > > or opposing free markets.. > I agree, and go on to say that in the USA today, the terms Liberal and > Conservative have just about lost all meaning. National Review is > "conservative" and wants to legalize drugs, Buchannan and Jerry Browm > oppose NAFTA, etc. Lets get back to issues rather than labels. Good riddance too. Political parties, nationalism, ethnocentrism, etc. are all concepts that grew out of competitive Darwinism, the stupid assumption that every gain is someone else's loss. What may be true for lower animals is not true of the species that have evolved communication. Knowledge is meant to be shared, not just out of the goodness of our hearts, but because the more people that have it, the more that can be produced. The fact that various trades and corporations refuse to give away secrets or information for free is merely a flaw with our economic system. Individualism and collectivism are actually very similar concepts in that they differ from limited individualism and limited collectivism: refusal to belong to a greater whole and yet afraid to be alone... and so they fight tooth and nail for whatever little group, religion, opinion that they share with their small faction, associating a loss for their faction with a personal loss, an irrelevant victory of their faction with a personal victory. ----------- When all the boasting is over, what is any man but just another man? And, even though a crooked world came to admit that men should be honored only according to merit, even human honor would be of no great value. It is smoke that weighs nothing. -St. Augustine
2.9.97 19:14 Some banker's whim. From: "J. Hancock" cyu@geocities.com Newsgroups: talk.politics.libertarian,alt.society.labor-unions,alt.society.anarchy,alt.politics.economics,alt.fan.noam-chomsky,alt.politics.radical-left,alt.anarchism,sci.econ,talk.politics.theory,alt.politics.socialism,alt.fan.banacek,alt.gobment.lones Subject: Re: Socialism without a state?? Date: Tue, 02 Sep 1997 19:27:20 -0700 Organization: Dark Side of the Rainbow Caliban wrote: > In alt.fan.banacek JMH jmhall@erols.com wrote: > : Labor also gets to appoint a number of the firm's > : directors--though not a majority, but then neither > : to the owners because lending Banks get to name > : a few. > In any company, if the workers own some or all of the > stock -- which I personally think is a good idea -- > then they can appoint some or all of the directors. > And the Japanese practice, and also that recommended > by such business gurus as Stephen Covey and Eliyahu > Goldratt, is to consider the employees to be "stakeholders" > in the organization just like the stockholders. In > my opinion, the more receptive any organization is to > _all_ of its participants, the better . . . but, of > course, that's just my opinion. Some workers might > not be interested in a company that encourages initiative, > or they might prefer higher pay to more pleasant working > conditions. It's all a matter of personal taste, and > my argument is with those who want to impose their > personal taste on groups that don't want it. As so, we shouldn't impose democracy on autocratic nations, unless the people there actually want it. They wouldn't be living with a king or tyrant if they didn't like the benefits they got from it, correct? Do you know why monarchy lasted so long? Because "democracy" is a dirty word in those countries. Say it within earshot of the king, and you better start voting with your feet (and fast). Third parties don't stand a chance in this election system for the same reason... throwing away your vote. Would peasants under a monarchy vote for democracy? If the election fails and all democrats will be setenced to death, who would be so stupid as to campaign for democracy? ------------------ Yet if we proceed by analogy with the ideal of political democracy, which we conceive as a politically classless society with a rotating aristocracy of leaders, we can at least surmise that an economic democracy must somehow be conceived as an economically classless society, and that, too, with a rotating aristocracy of managers. -M. Adler, The Capitalist Manifesto
From: "J. Hancock" cyu@geocities.com Newsgroups: talk.politics.libertarian,alt.society.labor-unions,alt.society.anarchy,alt.politics.economics,alt.fan.noam-chomsky,alt.politics.radical-left,alt.anarchism,sci.econ,talk.politics.theory,alt.politics.socialism Subject: Re: Socialism without a state?? (was: ... killing fields) Date: Tue, 02 Sep 1997 19:14:47 -0700 Organization: Dark Side of the Rainbow jw wrote: > A member of the commune, if > fed up, can leave; so can an employee of the corporation. > However, the former cannot take away > his earnings: all he has produced is sunk > into the communal property; now he can enjoy it > only on condition of remaining a member. You are assuming there's one commune, a tiny island surrounded by a sea of capitalism, rather than the other way around. It's like asking if you lived in the world's only democracy and became fed up with it, why leave it for a dictatorship, instead of just choosing a dictatorship in the first place and earn a high rank as someone's favorite servant. > Capitalism, then, differs from even *voluntary* > collectivism as freedom differs from unfreedom. By what definition of freedom and what definition of capitalism? The freedom to be commanded by someone else? The freedom to be told, at some banker's whim, that society should be digging up shiny yellow rocks instead of researching agriculture, should be building fancy corporate buildings instead of places for people to sleep? -------- Yet if we proceed by analogy with the ideal of political democracy, which we conceive as a politically classless society with a rotating aristocracy of leaders, we can at least surmise that an economic democracy must somehow be conceived as an economically classless society, and that, too, with a rotating aristocracy of managers. -M. Adler, The Capitalist Manifesto
2.9.97 21:52 Suddenly unable to eat dinner. 2.9.97 22:10 Wealth by propaganda. 3.9.97 The dollar bill voted. 7.8.97 Advanced-stage capitalism. From: "J. Hancock" cyu@geocities.com Newsgroups: sci.econ,alt.politics.radical-left,talk.politics.theory,alt.politics.libertarian,misc.invest.stocks,alt.society.labor-unions,talk.politics.libertarian,alt.politics.socialism,alt.politics.economics,alt.fan.rush-limbaugh Subject: Re: Keynes' Biggest Mistake: The Snapshot Fallacy Date: Mon, 08 Sep 1997 15:58:54 -0700 Organization: Dark Side of the Rainbow Quetzalcoatl wrote: >> capitalism eventually leads to great inequality of wealth and >> power, thereby creating a new monarchy in which essential >> goods are only produced to the minimum of keeping labor alive >> while the rest of society is too busy making luxury goods >> only the elite can afford. > Where has this happened? How about the Gilded Age? How about the various "bastions of anti-communism" (and pretend-democracy) in various Third World nations? > The way to stop the monopolists is to keep the > government in check, otherwise the rich gain control of the politicians and > use the taxpayer-funded police and military to put down strikes, etc... > With a small government, the people would have a chance against the > "monopolists." Otherwise the rich gain control of the press, creeping totalitarianism. But that's not all, because when you control the press, you can also destroy the credibility of competing companies, or give great reviews to your own products. With that pesky democratic government out of the way, why bother with safe beef when you can feed them sheep brains to your heart's content? Selfish market anarchy doesn't work. You may think if one company lowers prices by $5, every company must also do so. But if one company RAISES prices by $5, when would all the companies ALSO raise prices by $5? When these companies finally realize they're not competing with eachother for money, but with consumers for money... inflation. Monopoly is actually great because it prevents the inefficiency of trade secrets... no wasted effort reinventing the wheel. The difference between an autocratic monopoly and a democratic one is whether the large scale decision makers are there to serve only themselves and whether these decisions are made behind closed doors or out in the open. The same applies to where banks make "loans" (thereby dictating what people should be producing). Whether you want to call democratic control a "government" or autocratic control a "government" is all up to you.
From: "J. Hancock" cyu@geocities.com Newsgroups: sci.econ,alt.politics.radical-left,talk.politics.theory,alt.politics.libertarian,misc.invest.stocks,alt.society.labor-unions,talk.politics.libertarian,alt.politics.socialism,alt.politics.economics,alt.fan.rush-limbaugh Subject: Re: Keynes' Biggest Mistake: The Snapshot Fallacy Date: Sun, 07 Sep 1997 01:47:26 -0700 Organization: Dark Side of the Rainbow Steve Conover, Sr. wrote: > Glad you agree with most of my definition of "wealth." But I > have an idea at this point. Rather than theorizing about which > socio-economic system is better, worse, fair, unfair, greedy, > oppressive, etc., etc... Why don't we just check the track record > of capitalism, and then try to find another system that's done > better? There's a historical record right there for everyone to > see. Ah, but how do you know you're looking at the track record of "capitalism" and NOT, for example, the track record of democracy? Or the track record of free speech? Gun rights? High immigration? Unregulated capitalism eventually leads to a victorious monopoly. Only immigration and free speech have created an environment of diverse ideas. Unregulated capitalism eventually leads to great inequality of wealth and power, thereby creating a new monarchy in which essential goods are only produced to the minimum of keeping labor alive while the rest of society is too busy making luxury goods only the elite can afford. Only democracy and gun rights have created an environment in which those on the bottom are less afraid to challenge those in power, and force the establishment of free education for the many, instead of the few. What you consider to be "tradional communism" is merely advanced-stage capitalism: one huge company, all-powerful CEO, who not only can lay off employees at will, but kill them as well. -------- The absent are always wrong. -English proverb
From: "J. Hancock" cyu@geocities.com Newsgroups: sci.econ,talk.politics.theory,misc.invest.stocks,talk.politics.libertarian,alt.politics.socialism,alt.politics.economics Subject: Re: Keynes' Biggest Mistake: The Snapshot Fallacy Date: Wed, 03 Sep 1997 19:42:18 -0700 Organization: Dark Side of the Rainbow Steve Conover, Sr. wrote: > >> Don't forget social organization. Western democratic capitalism > >> has fostered wealth creation better than any other form so far. > >"Wealth" creation? As defined by marketing? We could also say > >autocratic communism produced lots of wealth simply by using > >propaganda to make everyone love their leaders. > "Wealth" as defined by life expectancy, nutrition content of > diet, square feet of living space, and the range of choice of > what to buy. > A society's move toward "wealth" is a move away from death, > disease, famine, illiteracy, superstition, ignorance, discomfort, > and overcrowding. > But it is not defined as a move toward "marketing." Who thought > that one up, anyway? And what could they have been thinking? Certainly life expectancy. Certainly food, health care, housing, education and the like. So the question is, who or what produces those things and who gets them? Democratic capitalism is as much an oxymoron as autocratic communism. Either the wealthy buy power or the powerful take wealth. Democratic welfare state is more like it, because the people of some nations actually believe in education, and a safety net for the old, infirm, or simple victims of fate, at the price of taking from the haves if need be. The real question is should economic decision making be concentrated in the few or the many? Who has the power to make investments, loans, whatever you want to call them? The new kings and their feudal aristocracy? What is this money commanding a nation's people to make? Plastic boobs and peach fuzzed pates? Because there's no profit in supporting education and research? That's EXACTLY what capitalism has given us. Make a profit or die, doesn't matter if you're a financial institution, health care provider, technology researcher, or supermarket tabloid. Investment banks can't retain the power to invest in socially beneficial projects if they don't turn a profit. The dollar bill voted them into office and will vote them out again with a snap of its Almighty finger. We are slaves to paper. ------------ The Law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich, as well as the poor, to sleep under the bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread. -- Anatole France
From: "J. Hancock" cyu@geocities.com Newsgroups: sci.econ,talk.politics.theory,talk.politics.libertarian,alt.politics.economics Subject: Re: Keynes' Biggest Mistake: The Snapshot Fallacy Date: Tue, 02 Sep 1997 22:10:50 -0700 Organization: Dark Side of the Rainbow Steve Conover, Sr. wrote: > Don't forget social organization. Western democratic capitalism > has fostered wealth creation better than any other form so far. "Wealth" creation? As defined by marketing? We could also say autocratic communism produced lots of wealth simply by using propaganda to make everyone love their leaders. Instead of an ounce of yellow rock worth hundreds of dollars, they have an emperor worth billions. Both sides eventually believe their own mindcontrol... it always happens under censorship. If communication defines poverty, then poverty is the lack of control over communication. ------------- Don't believe everything you hear. Don't believe everything you say. -S. Beattie
From: "J. Hancock" cyu@geocities.com Newsgroups: sci.econ,talk.politics.theory,talk.politics.libertarian,alt.society.labor-unions Subject: Re: Keynes' Biggest Mistake: The Snapshot Fallacy Date: Tue, 02 Sep 1997 21:52:01 -0700 Organization: Dark Side of the Rainbow Steven Hales wrote: > > It isn't just a matter of excess inventory, it's a matter of excessive > > production *capacity*. Someone mentioned (here?) that Ford built > > extra capacity in Germany so they could ignore labor demands in > > the U.S. A specific case well known to me is the semiconductor > > industries penchant for hastily increasing production capacity in > > a boom time, then finding itself in deep trouble in the next recession. > Sure, fixed costs can be a problem when plants are idled. But what's > your point? We have been running at about full capacity in the high > eighty percent range for quite some time. Our last recession during the > Gulf War was mild and we are not likely to have a downturn like the > recession of 1980 or 1982 in the near to mid-term future. We consume > almost 90% of what we produce. Foreign markets are relatively > unimportant to us. Japan is so dependant on foreign markets that if we > sneeze they get the flu. The whole rest of the industrial world has > been in a sluggish growth mode since 1991 and won't pull out of it for a > few more years. There is excess capacity in Europe and Asia but it > won't effect us because we import so little. And so the question is, is this a good thing? The fact that science increases production is a good thing. The fact that we or other nations are able to produce more than ever is a good thing. The fact that imports (that is, real wealth coming in) hurts an economy by creating unemployment and an associated drop in standard of living is stupid. If real wealth is coming in why are people being hurt? The answer is that the economy is stupid. If your son brings home a loaf of bread, are you suddenly unable to eat dinner? ----------- Economics is extremely useful as a form of employment for economists. Economists have forecasted 9 out of the last 5 recessions.
2.9.97 This simple stuff. 4.9.97 Printing money and mining gold. From: "J. Hancock" cyu@geocities.com Newsgroups: alt.conspiracy,sci.econ,alt.politics.radical-left,alt.politics.economics,alt.society.labor-unions,talk.politics.theory,alt.politics.socialism,talk.politics.libertarian,alt.fan.rush-limbaugh,alt.politics.libertarian Subject: Re: Antidote to the Debt Virus Date: Sun, 07 Sep 1997 01:20:36 -0700 Organization: Dark Side of the Rainbow Robert Sturgeon wrote: > > At some point > > in history, the ruler of some empire decided s/he was going to > > use gold to mint coins. Why? Because it was easy to identify > > and difficult to duplicate. The exact same can be said of > > today's printed currency. > Printed currency (today's included) difficult to duplicate? Tell that > to the Germans, circa 1923. All they need do is crank up the presses, > and add zeros if they really want some action. Again, tell that to the same "economists" circa 1942. All they need do is dig gold fillings out of the teeth of concentration camp victims. It's typical capitalist self-delusion. Wealth is created NEITHER by printing money NOR digging up gold. Wealth is created by human labor, or machine labor. You can waste human labor digging up gold just as easily as you can waste machine labor printing money. How different is a gold rush from printing money? Inflation in both cases. One lowers the value of gold with respect to bread, the other lowers the value of paper money with respect to bread. > > Two societies > > land on 2 planets. One goes right to agriculture and building > > shelter, inventing numbers along the way. The other says, "Hey > > wait, don't we need to go dig up yellow rocks first before we > > can trade food for housing?" THINK man, THINK! > If I don't agree with you, I'm not thinking? Do you know of any > society, anywhere, that mined gold before it built shelter and gathered > food? What is your point? We disagree as to the best arrangements for > currency. Why EVER mine gold if it already has a form of currency? And how much do you mine? It's the same question as how much currency to print. Basing the value of a dollar on gold is almost as circular as basing the value of quarters on dimes - it's just one form of currency for another. Whether it's gold, paper money, or electronic inventions is not the point. The point is whether the government (or Gold Mining Corp) uses that to buy existing products, thereby raising prices, OR instead uses it to hire idle machine/human labor to create MORE products or research easier ways to make those products.
From: "J. Hancock" cyu@geocities.com Newsgroups: alt.conspiracy,sci.econ,alt.politics.radical-left,alt.politics.economics,alt.society.labor-unions,talk.politics.theory,alt.politics.socialism,talk.politics.libertarian,alt.fan.rush-limbaugh Subject: Re: Antidote to the Debt Virus Date: Thu, 04 Sep 1997 16:59:13 -0700 Organization: Dark Side of the Rainbow Robert Sturgeon wrote: > Gold differs from paper in that you can change the claimed value of > paper money by merely changing the printing on it. > Gold differs from pyrite and lead in that it is much scarcer and much > more valuable per unit of weight. So scarcity determines value? Would you rather have a pound of greater Himalayan yak shit or a gallon of water? At some point in history, the ruler of some empire decided s/he was going to use gold to mint coins. Why? Because it was easy to identify and difficult to duplicate. The exact same can be said of today's printed currency. The difference is in the effort needed to keep your economy going. "Inventing numbers" is the whole point, so we DON'T have to waste time doing useless things just to have a unit of monetary exchange. Two societies land on 2 planets. One goes right to agriculture and building shelter, inventing numbers along the way. The other says, "Hey wait, don't we need to go dig up yellow rocks first before we can trade food for housing?" THINK man, THINK! > We don't HAVE to base a currency on some arbitrary rock. Your last > point sums it up- if we can "just invent numbers," meaning if the > government can just invent numbers, the government can inflate the > currency at will. The non-stupidity of using a real material as a basis > for a currency is that the government cannot arbitrarily inflate the > amount available. The reason people have, throughout history, used real > things as repositories of wealth is that their value cannot be > arbitrarily destroyed by third parties, including governments. Good, arbitrary destruction is bad. So we prevent the government from inventing numbers for no reason. Shall we also pass laws making it illegal to mine gold? Shall we also pass laws making it illegal to pick up gold if you happen to find some in the forest? Numbers, paper, random rocks: there's NOTHING THERE. What IS there is the production ability of a society and how that society decides what to produce and how to distribute what it produces. A government, a bank, an investment firm can make these decisions autocratically or democratically, with large scale inequality or small scale inequality. THAT is the difference. ---------- We have 2 classes of forecasters: Those who don't know . . . and those who don't know they don't know. - John Kenneth Galbraith
From: "J. Hancock" cyu@geocities.com Newsgroups: alt.conspiracy,sci.econ,alt.politics.economics,talk.politics.theory,talk.politics.libertarian Subject: Re: Antidote to the Debt Virus Date: Tue, 02 Sep 1997 21:27:12 -0700 Organization: Dark Side of the Rainbow Robert Sturgeon wrote: > The BIG difference between wheat and gold is not just that gold is more > compact. Warehouse certificates could satisfy the need for compactness > and portability. Gold does not rot or get eaten by pests (other than > tax collectors). And an ounce of pure gold is exactly like any other > ounce of pure gold. Wheat is variable- one bushel is not necessarily > equal to any other bushel. The "wheat standard" would have to include a > long and detailed specification as to moisture content, protein content, > milling qualities, variety, foreign matter, etc. Gold is gold. Gee, I > thought people already knew this simple stuff. But how is gold different from paper money? Or pyrite? Or lead? All are compact, and none spoil. All equally useful as a means of representing wealth, representing wheat, or representing labor. BUT they are NOT wealth, nor wheat, NOR labor. If we drill for oil to use as an energy source, that's great. At least it has a use. If we mine for gold, or pyrite, or lead as a decoration, that's fine too. But if we have to base a currency on first digging up some arbitrary rock, that's pure stupidity. With today's technology, we don't even have to print paper money anymore. We can just invent numbers on computers. ------------- Old Economist: "If you eat shit I'll give you $20,000!" Young Economist runs his optimization problem and figures out he's better off eating it and collects his money. Young Economist: "If YOU eat shit I'll give YOU $20,000." Old Economist evaluates the proposal and eats it. Young Economist: "We both have the same amount of money we had before, but I don't see us being better off." Old Economist: "That's true, but you overlooked the fact that we've been just involved in $40,000 of trade."
From: Caesar@augur.demon.co.uk (Caesar) Newsgroups: alt.philosophy.objectivism,talk.politics.misc,talk.politics.theory,talk.politics.libertarian Subject: Re: Exploitation - What is it and Why Should we Care? Date: Mon, 25 Aug 97 14:18:15 GMT Organization: Pompeii In article EFFJA9.355@mv.mv.com David@Winslow.mv.com "David Winslow" writes: > Well big blocks of votes can bully the minority and big government can > bully the business man but how does the busines man bully? If he buys me > out, I will be glad to sell. If he fires me, I really don't wish to work > for him anyway. If he cuts his price below mine as a competitor, that is > all part of the game business people knowingly willingly play. In the same vein, it could be argued that government doesn't bully you because you can always emigrate to get away from it. -- ---------------------------------------------------------- Caesar@augur.demon.co.uk "Today is the tommorrow that you worried about yesterday" ----------------------------------------------------------
Newsgroups: alt.politics.socialism,alt.anarchism,alt.politics.libertarian,talk.politics.libertarian,alt.politics.radical-left,talk.politics.theory,talk.politics.misc From: petrich@netcom.com (Loren Petrich) Subject: Re: socialistic whinings... Organization: Netcom Date: Sun, 24 Aug 1997 20:32:33 GMT In article 5tpmu8$94m@panix2.panix.com, G*rd*n gcf@panix.com wrote: >However, in a capitalist system, the profits of the company >ultimately depend on the extraction of surplus labor value >-- capital sitting in a room by itself does nothing. A >company which constantly downsizes is putting itself out of >business, as a good many have found out -- the essence of >business, in capitalism, is hiring people and finding or >creating profitable work for them to do. I'm always amazed >when the stock market rewards layoffs -- it's a sign of >doom. I think that many of the ultracapitalists are guilty of a naive sort of rationalism here (a common vice, it must be said). One can make the argument that such things would not happen without there being a good reason for that, but one can also argue that politicians always make the best possible decisions, or else they would not get elected. -- Loren Petrich Happiness is a fast Macintosh petrich@netcom.com And a fast train My home page: http://www.webcom.com/petrich/home.html Mirrored at: ftp://ftp.netcom.com/pub/pe/petrich/home.html
From: Caesar@augur.demon.co.uk (Caesar) Newsgroups: talk.politics.theory,alt.politics.socialism,alt.anarchism,alt.flame.right-wing-conservatives,talk.politics.libertarian,alt.society.anarchy,alt.fan.noam-chomsky Subject: Re: socialist lie Date: Sun, 24 Aug 97 08:50:17 GMT Organization: Pompeii In article 34090699.69761395@news.lava.net jhavok@antibot.stuff.lava.net "James R. Olson, jr." writes: > jamesd@echeque.com (James A. Donald) wrote: > ->Caesar@augur.demon.co.uk (Caesar) wrote: > ->> Tell that to the Irish of the 1840s. 1.5 million of them starved because > ->> of the enforcement of capitalist private property rights. > ->Funny, I thought they starved because of the potato virus. > Ah, I understand now! When people starve in China, it's because of > SOCIALISM. When people starve in the British Empire, it's because of > a POTATO VIRUS. How could I have missed that? The Irish and Chinese famine issues are IMO examples of libertarian double standards. They say: "Of course, the British laissez-faire capitalist regime wasn't to blame for the famine - even though it could have stopped it". But they also say, "Because it didn't stop the famine when it could have, the evil communists in China caused the famine". -- ---------------------------------------------------------- Caesar@augur.demon.co.uk "Today is the tommorrow that you worried about yesterday" ----------------------------------------------------------

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