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#151 Skaruts

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Posted 21 October 2018 - 03:50 AM

@Judith, I can try to lay out my reasoning. 
 
A private business (not necessarily corporate) will always be better than any public one. There are a few notions that make it easier to see how that's the case:
 
1- Anything non-competitive can never be as efficient as anything competitive.
2- A thousand or a million heads think better than a few hundred.
3- No one manages other-people's-money as efficiently as they manage their own.
 
To elaborate:
1- The state is non-competitive, it doesn't go out of business, it doesn't get severely punished from failing to provide, etc, thus it has no real incentives to excel, except for the off-chance that people will protest about its failures, in which case the solution will invariably be to neglect some other service of its funding in order to compensate for this one and shut people up, which takes us to that vicious cycle I mentioned before, where they then have to compensate for whatever they neglected. It's only in public services that you see workers going on strike.
 
2- Central planning is very small, contained and restricted, unlike the market in which many entrepreneurs and enthusiasts all over the place are free to try new things (even useless things, that sometimes turn out to be useful!), test their ideas, etc. Perhaps the best example of this that I saw was the tech workshops that went on in the 70s (iirc, or maybe the 60s), where many hackers and enthusiasts from all over the place would gather up and show off experimental gadgetry and share and discuss all sorts of weird ideas. Iirc, the more compact computers originated from that.
 
3- The state is not dealing with its own money, so there's an inherent slack, and it attracts corruption. This also removes or mitigates the liberty to invest in uncertainty or in what may seem unnecessary or even luxurious. This means the state is limited in what ideas it can test. Well, not like the ideas are tested; they are discussed and implemented, and then they're extremely hard to remove if shown to not work. 
 
On top of all of that, as you mentioned, the money is spread thin across many things, so it's always a juggle and something is always lacking funding, and the more things the state does the worse it gets. The gov also operates financed by debt, which is a huge problem, and the businesses it runs are run at a loss, so they can't finance themselves, let alone anything else. As I told Destined, if railroads were built from the ground up in the private market, that would've only been possible if they were made profitable all the way up, while at the gov businesses are grown by compensating losses with tax money all the way, so it inherently builds inefficient businesses, and that's why privatized railroads are still financed by the gov.

 

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On the other hand, the only way you can be successful in the market, is if what you sell is useful or helpful to enough people. A private hospital wouldn't survive if it had half the problems public healthcare has. Any competing hospital that was better than that would get ahead, because that's where people would rather get treated in.
 
The concern that businesses are doing it for themselves is moot, then. They may or may not be, but it really makes no difference if they are. A psychopath that doesn't feel sympathy for anyone and is egotistical to the core, still has no way to make money in the private market other than by selling a product/service that people think makes their lives better enough that they're willing to buy it.
 
Fundamentally there's only two ways to make money:
- by offering something people want in return for the money they're willing to give for it.
- by taking people's money, offering nothing in return (aka stealing -- either by force or by deceit, and I'd argue casinos and similar things are included in the latter).
 
So if they're not stealing, they're engaging in the market, and can only be doing something positive. Well, "positive" isn't the best word to use, and the tobacco companies are the best examples of why. But then governments can't and don't make any difference in that regard. (As far as tobacco goes, govs even capitalized on it, likely for political interests, as those corps probably lobbied). However, eventually it was the market that invented vaping, which is having a greater effect than nicotine patches (I suspect because nicotine patches don't address the physical habituation problems), and it's been gov institutions that have shown the most opposition to it. 

 

The notion to take away from it is that people decide for themselves what makes their own lives better. Some people like smoking. Well, let them have it, but let them have their own health bills too. If we think they're being stupid we can always speak up and spread information, or become entrepreneurial in tackling problems, like is the case with vaping. 

 

If you're concerned about democracy, then that should mean you're concerned about empowering individuals, and that's precisely what the private market does: consumers drive the market, not businesses; and not what the government does: the government empowers groups
 

None of this is to say that private markets are perfect. Nothing is. Private markets and the economy are but an extension of ourselves: markets naturally originate as you put people together, as they will naturally trade and separate tasks, etc. And people aren't perfect. But that doesn't mean problems can't be solved. As far as I'm concerned, governments often only cause more problems on top of the problems that arise. You end up with people dying from a healthcare service that is supposed to prevent people from dying, you end up with prohibitions that inflate crime rates (since lots of crime originates around whatever is criminalized), unsafe schools that perpetually do a horrible job at making students (and teachers!) happy to be in school, and that perpetually use absurdly tedious teaching procedures, among many other things.

 

More often than not the concerns I hear people talking about aren't actually related to the private market. Monopolies are a good example. They are always created/boosted by government intervention, not by free competition. Free competition is the worst fear of any business, big or small. Big corps are often in favor of gov intervention because it usually helps consolidate their dominance on the market.

 
None of this is also to say that there's no place for government. Perhaps if governments had incentives to improve upon the flaws of the political systems they run under, instead of perpetuating them or inflating them due to all sorts of political interests, then perhaps we could be progressively more reassured that we aren't voting for the end of democracy, or into becoming criminals of victim-less crimes ourselves, or for crashing the economy once again. Maybe there's a place for government as an entity that enforces and actually respects the non-aggression principle and protects us against fraud, catastrophe and foreign threat.


Edited by Skaruts, 21 October 2018 - 03:56 AM.


#152 Judith

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Posted 21 October 2018 - 04:49 AM

It seems while I can be a bit idealistic about the role of the state, and promoting the value of citizenship, etc., but you seem to be idealistic about the role of the market and businesses:

 

On the other hand, the only way you can be successful in the market, is if what you sell is useful or helpful to enough people.

 

That's no longer the case, since like 80s or 90s? Use of psychology, neurobiology or sociology to make people love shopping, to make brands rather than products, something people will "fall in love with", addict to, and defend (endless internet discussions about how Apple, Nike etc. are evil and useless, with so many apologists, defending the companies, for free, in their spare time). Seriously, get that Barber book, there's an analysis of how the capitalism went from what you think is its current phase (the "rational phase", as described by Max Weber) to its actual current "childish phase", where we are encouraged to make impulse buys, to be careless spenders and buy things we don't really need. Where adults are encouraged to be like impatient children, and actual children are targeted as self-reliant responsible spenders (everything from ads suggesting kids "to take matters into their own hands" to in-school vending machines etc.).

 

The whole chemistry in food industry sector alone is a proof that there is no underlying need to help people or sell them the food they need. And a lot of "best" researchers in the food industry are more like psychopats you described, they're just curious about the results, many of them don't even feel guilty of what they've created (massive addiction to salt, fat, and sugar in USA), contributing to this cartoony "evil scientist" trope. You can read about it in this book https://www.amazon.c...d/dp/0812982193

 

As for governments vs private business, the main problem with the former is this kind of laziness you described, and that often comes from seemingly innocent principle. At least in my city, there's an obligation that every post in city authority structures has two people of the staff working, in case one of them gets sick or indisposed. That creates an environment where everyone basically works half-time while having full-time earnings (they are low on the basic level anyway, but this is lowering the morale). But apart from the relative chaos of diverse needs and representation, and being a bit sluggish because of the employment structure, that's it.

 

The problem with businesses is this aggressive stance of competition that, as we already discussed, can't be used in every aspect of political and social life. And especially in USA, I'd be afraid of any company taking over any public sector in whole. That Comcast case is one thing, but the real face of a company can be seen in how it treats its customers. I've translated countless American EULAs in my life, and in most case they're written from a position of a rabid dog, not a company respecting their customers. In essence, we, the company, are not responsible for anything, even if the product blows up in your face, while you, the customer, have to defend our good name in court, and if you ever try to sue us, we'll beat your ass up in court so hard, that even your grandchildren won't be able to pay you off. That's every company from video games, IT or even household appliances and hi-fi audio. And that's not the only case, see patent trolling for example. It's kill or be killed more than anything else.

 

Second thing, I know in USA there's separation of jurisdiction by every state, but other countries have more or less uniform legislation on their territory, and that's also something that comes from having one but diverse government. If you were to have companies responsible for everything, all aspects of political and social life would be fragmented by every company that does cover it. It's like having a 1000 countries in some form of federation, with or without physical borders, divided by services they perform. And, without any law but their own EULAs or company policies, we will see either massive exploitation of customers, or all sides arming with lawyers and spending a lot of time to read every line in the contract carefully – which we already have, in form of aforementioned sluggish government, but with better consumer protection.


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#153 Skaruts

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Posted 21 October 2018 - 07:22 AM

In the same way politicians advertise their policies in ways to convince people to vote for them (psychology plays a part there too), so too do businesses advertise their products in ways convince people to buy them more. But then, what do you do about that? I don't know of a good solution for that. We're all learning in this.

 

I think it's up to each person to learn to be responsible. 
 
And I'm not saying the current phase of capitalism is rational. In fact, rationality is irrelevant. The way the market corrects itself, is that if I'm selling rotten fish, that opens a window of opportunity for anyone that wants to sell fresh fish. There's no amount of government intervention that can substitute for letting the market weed out the rotten fish completely. Regulations may stop one from selling rotten fish, but then he's still in the market, and since regulations don't change his reasoning, he's gonna find loopholes and work around those regulations as much as he can so that he can still sell some rot.
 
You only have reasons to be concerned about a company taking hold of the entire market if there's government involvement. It's extremely hard to have 100% of a market; the less gov the meddles in it, the harder it is. I don't want healthcare to be privatized, as that would probably give one single company the whole healthcare burden, and it would likely not be sustainable (the bigger a business is the harder to sustain it becomes -- this on top of that fact that healthcare was created by the state at a loss). There's no easy way to turn the ship around. My hope is that private independent (specialized) clinics will eventually be numerous and public healthcare will be falling into oblivion. It will take a long long time, though.
 

I've translated countless American EULAs in my life, and in most case they're written from a position of a rabid dog, not a company respecting their customers. In essence, we, the company, are not responsible for anything, even if the product blows up in your face, while you, the customer, have to defend our good name in court, and if you ever try to sue us, we'll beat your ass up in court so hard, that even your grandchildren won't be able to pay you off. That's every company from video games, IT or even household appliances and hi-fi audio. And that's not the only case, see patent trolling for example. It's kill or be killed more than anything else.

There's no way to produce perfect products that are guaranteed to never explode. If you sell nitroglycerin, you can't be held responsible if it blows up in their hands. They buy knowing the risks. Their purchase has to be an acknowledgement of them. Besides, if the product explodes, how can you tell it wasn't because of irresponsible usage? 

 

However, the fact that exploding products aren't conducive to consumer preference, that in itself leads companies to perfect their products as best as they can. But their EULAs have to still account for potential court cases from people who may or may not have used hammers to wield their products.
 


Edited by Skaruts, 21 October 2018 - 07:23 AM.


#154 Judith

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Posted 21 October 2018 - 03:40 PM

It's true that politicians play on people's emotions, mostly fear and anger in recent years, but it's amazing how you trying to find bridge between that and companies trying to addict people to their products, it's not only food, it's also stuff like gambling (in video games, recently). And it's super easy to say that somebody buying a product knows the risk. Mostly because it's a very convenient lie. We are all different, if you don't get hooked on attractive products easily, good for you. But you're not other people. There are thousands of people who are much more susceptible to addictive factors, and they will pay the price, both with their money, health etc. The government will try to protect these people from those predatory practices, but from a company point of view, there's no problem with that.

 

And in similar way you don't see problem with the tone and aggressive attitude of EULAs, and you focus on explosives, even if I was talking about stuff like consumer hardware and software. Fortunately, 90% of the stuff written there is invalid in terms of EU law, as it's harmful or downright illegal to set such terms for consumers, and thus it's null and void. Some companies like Bose even forbid to resell their products after purchase, which is downright ridiculous (and null and void everywhere but USA).


Edited by Judith, 21 October 2018 - 03:41 PM.

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#155 Skaruts

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Posted 21 October 2018 - 07:44 PM

Precisely because I'm not other people I can't decide whether certain things are really that bad. Casinos, yea they're scams in my assessment, as are poker leagues and online poker, and any game of luck that involves money and you get nothing back. Loot boxes, not really. Maybe some people are really happy with a TF2 hat. That's great. If they're being taken too much by it, that's for their own families and friends to decide, and to tell them, and help them if they need. But even if they're being outright scammed, it's still up to them, not up to me. All I can do is warn them. After that it's their money, their lives, their decision.

 

Unless you can prove those things are fraud. I wouldn't mind being able to prove casinos are. (There's a book called Adicting By Design, that is about that).

 

With certain politicians I can see their outright lies, the outright fallacies, the outright weasel wording, etc. That's not exactly what I see in advertising. And ultimately people are responsible for themselves

 

With politicians is different because people's votes may affect everyone else. 

 

And I didn't focus on explosives, I used nitroglycerin and explosions in a figurative way, though maybe it wasn't clear. And I don't care about the tone in a EULA. Why would I? I care that the product is worthy of my money. 

 

And yea sometimes they contain dumb things, or maybe they're not so dumb, it depends on what we're talking about. Opinions are divided on what makes more sense with regards to many stuff. Things are evolving.

I wonder what are you're referring to as harmful or illegal, though, that could be found in a EULA.


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#156 Judith

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 02:17 AM

And ultimately people are responsible for themselves.

 

That's another very convenient lie. You can say something like that, when you're from an average income family, where you never had to deal with stuff like poverty, disability, abusive parents, any type of pathological or downright criminal environment. These people have limited field of view, in terms of their possibilities or in how they can escape they fate. They often don't believe they deserve anything better. Even a relatively "normal" family that is just poor, it lives in completely different mindset, because counting every penny, every day, to make the ends meet is awfully exhausting, both physically and mentally. But all of these conditions, along with access to education (or lack thereof) will affect how they think about their role in society, and whether they understand e.g. importance of patience, respect, and long-term policies vs "swift justice" and fast results. So the levels of responsibility vary, and some people need more help than others, because again, we don't choose conditions or environment we're born into, or how physically or mentally capable we are. And it's not about forcing people to have more "enlightened" political views, it's about people being free (in widest possible meaning of this word) to choose and adopt any values they want.

 

That "everybody for themselves" principle is exactly what drives the "wild jungle" market, and it's almost antithesis of what a state is about. It's not caveat emptor, it's being responsible for each other, in front of each other, in equal manner, because this way we can survive as a group on a certain territory (not so much vs nature now, but vs other countries or vs possibility of a nation disappearing or dying out).


Edited by Judith, 22 October 2018 - 02:27 AM.


#157 Skaruts

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 07:46 AM

Sorry Judith, but that's a lot of bullshit.

 

Yea, my father's a cab driver and my mother owned a store. I'm not gonna go into the details of my life, all I can say it's that it isn't pretty. I'm still saying what I'm saying.

 

It amuses me that you think there's any lie in it. Unless you're severely mentally or physically incapacitated, you are responsible for yourself. You make yourself. There's no way around that, and your financial status is completely irrelevant. No amount of people wanting to not take responsibility for themselves will ever change that. No amount of government coddling people will ever change that either.

 

Everyone has problems. Everyone has obstacles and hardships in life. Money makes no difference in that. Most of the richest people on earth came from poverty. Problems breed problem-solvers. 

 
Wealth doesn't make a family happier than poverty, and wealth goes away every third generation for a reason.
 

I've met quite a few people in wheelchair, for example, and they were grabbing life by the balls and making it their own. Possibly because everyone around them were strengthening them and treating them like normal people, rather than making them feel useless poor things. 

 

I may sound blunt, but this is the real world.

 

 

It's not caveat emptor, it's being responsible for each other, in front of each other, in equal manner, because this way we can survive as a group on a certain territory (not so much vs nature now, but vs other countries or vs possibility of a nation disappearing or dying out).

That's not how humans function. We care about ourselves and our own, not about everyone else. We care about everyone else to a much smaller degree, and that's the main reason why collectivist mindsets don't work. We're not ants or bees. Altruism isn't realistic.


Edited by Skaruts, 22 October 2018 - 07:48 AM.


#158 Judith

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 08:11 AM

I think we've reached the point of this discussion. You seem to be stuck on that "everybody for themselves" era, or sort of self-made-man American dream, which died around the 70s, at least in literature and journalism. Or, you're referring to "natural", more biological state of human condition, which is also irrelevant, because the idea of state, social contract, and democracy allowed us to evolve our thinking way, way beyond that, and long time ago. Maybe in USA you have to ask yourselves a question if a state is even needed, but in Europe it's like arguing whether water boils at 100°C, or whether sun comes up every morning.



#159 Skaruts

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 09:06 AM

I'm not speaking in terms of "everybody for themselves". Not even close. I did mention family and friends, and that there's a place for state police.

 

But perhaps there's something to that american dream, actually, though it died way before the 70s. America was ahead of what it was in the 70s almost a century before. And so was Sweden up until ~3 decades ago, and the UK in ~1800s. Those three nations were at different points in time ahead of the world at their most libertarian phases. At the points where people were the most free, and their states were smallest, not at the points where their states coddled them the most.

 

Do take a moment to consider why the West is ahead of the rest, and why the US and Switzerland are economically better than anyone else. Or why Sweden was, up until the 70s or 80s (iirc), and why it isn't now. Or why Chile is the most prosperous nation in Latin America today, and why Venezuela, which once was, is now the poorest of them all, despite oil.

 

The West is also the most healthy and least polluted. 

 

Our individualistic nature is not irrelevant in the least. You can't expect people to care about the rest of the world before they care about themselves and their own. A system that doesn't play along with what we are, doesn't end well.

 

There is this thing called Spontaneous Order that is often explained using clouds of starlings. Each starling in the cloud cares only about himself and 5 or 6 other starlings around him, and he follows them as they follow him and each other. Everything else is irrelevant to him. And that results in the clouds we see where thousands of birds don't collide with each other. Spontaneous Order applies to human societies as well. Each person tending to themselves and the people around them, doing what they need to do for themselves will inherently be useful to everyone else and contribute to the functioning of society.

 

I'm not american though, by the way. You seem to be thinking I am. I'm an ocean away, in portugal.


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#160 Anderson

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 11:49 AM

Precisely because I'm not other people I can't decide whether certain things are really that bad. Casinos, yea they're scams in my assessment, as are poker leagues and online poker, and any game of luck that involves money and you get nothing back. Loot boxes, not really. Maybe some people are really happy with a TF2 hat. That's great. If they're being taken too much by it, that's for their own families and friends to decide, and to tell them, and help them if they need. But even if they're being outright scammed, it's still up to them, not up to me. All I can do is warn them. After that it's their money, their lives, their decision.

 

Unless you can prove those things are fraud. I wouldn't mind being able to prove casinos are. (There's a book called Adicting By Design, that is about that).

 

With certain politicians I can see their outright lies, the outright fallacies, the outright weasel wording, etc. That's not exactly what I see in advertising. And ultimately people are responsible for themselves

 

 

How about going with the addiction idea through the Dialectic Marxism theory? It is said among other things that economics is the prerequisite of all development in society. That is why TF 2 hats exist. And it is true that they help the economy and all that jazz. Each time someone wants to go against this social/cultural fad about getting into microtransactions they will have no success because there are laws that protect this activity of selling hats. Moralists will get defeated. The exception of morals only confirms the rule that economic interests and money wins.

But, does that mean we do not have to regulate in-game microtransaction because of their Skinner Box psychological manipulation? Their compulsive nature can have limits, just like regulating the sale of drugs, alcohol, prostitution, weapons and others. Meanwhile microtransactions are bad rep for good video games which we all appreciate.

Many cases in life with different starting conditions where I would question if I would not fall into old traps that now seem generic. 

 

Btw if you are from Portugal you probably do not agree with this song: 


Edited by Anderson, 22 October 2018 - 12:34 PM.

 "I really perceive that vanity about which most men merely prate — the vanity of the human or temporal life. I live continually in a reverie of the future. I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active — not more happy — nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. The result will never vary — and to suppose that it will, is to suppose that the foregone man has lived in vain — that the foregone time is but the rudiment of the future — that the myriads who have perished have not been upon equal footing with ourselves — nor are we with our posterity. I cannot agree to lose sight of man the individual, in man the mass."...

 

 

- 2 July 1844 letter to James Russell Lowell from Edgar Allan Poe.

 


#161 Skaruts

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Posted 22 October 2018 - 02:50 PM

Like I said before, people naturally develop markets and the economy (and currency), but of course, people aren't perfect so problems will always arise. And that is of course regardless of anything, regardless of which system is in place, and the fallacy that's mostly used against markets and capitalist itself is essentially "it has problems, so it's evil" (and often those problems aren't with markets or capitalism). 

 

That doesn't mean the system itself is to be thrown away, or even that you can throw it away. Throwing away capitalism is like throwing away evolution. At least so far as it's called capitalism. After decades solving many of the problems you might call it something else.

 

I'd rather go on the internet and find people laying out arguments and ideas about how solve the problems, than finding people having to refute those that would rather burn everything to the ground over and over again in the name of compassion.

 

 

Btw if you are from Portugal you probably do not agree with this song: (...)

I don't suppose Venezuelans would now. I wonder if Zimbabweans would, these days: weren't they the ones that kicked out evil white capitalist pigs, only to then cry on their knees for their return because they themselves can't run things properly? I wonder if south africans will agree in some time from now, and if Angolans are still singing that song. Maybe they are, since they're easy pray for sophists of all kinds.

 

I don't agree (and I don't know anyone that does) with the practices of colonialism of previous eras, but one thing they did right was to build working economies in the places they colonized. It's a pity the next generations didn't build themselves upon them. Australia seems to be doing quite well. 

 

When it comes to these things people often (deliberately?) neglect to keep in mind all the black slavers who sold slaves to colonialists, and generally anything that doesn't favor the socialist narrative. (Not saying it's your case. I'm thinking generally.) Probably that's why the newer generations of africans hated the colonialists with a certain degree of exclusivity.

 

You know what the funniest thing is, though? The civil wars in Angola started in 1975. Communism in portugal ended in 1974. Angolans were then freed from the portuguese colonial umbrella, which probably left a sudden Power Vacuum, and we all should know by now what that does (Bush knows that well, as he (and all those who lobbied for the death of Hussein, including Hillary Clinton) created ISIS that way)).

 

So I'm not entirely sure capitalism was the problem there in Angola at that point. That song was written in 1975, which is also ironic.


Edited by Skaruts, 22 October 2018 - 02:58 PM.

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#162 Judith

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Posted 23 October 2018 - 01:14 AM

I'd rather go on the internet and find people laying out arguments and ideas about how solve the problems, than finding people having to refute those that would rather burn everything to the ground over and over again in the name of compassion.

 

It's not about discarding the whole system, but being aware of its inherent flaws and trying to regulate it whenever necessary. The problem is that you believe things that were long ago discarded or proved as false. The market doesn't "naturally" regulate itself. Money is a convenient replacement of trading goods, but the deeper the system goes, the further from reality it is, and when we finally get the reality check, it often ends with economic crisis. The policy of infinite growth is not natural but it's still used by most companies. Once you get to stock market and have to answer before shareholders, the whole thing gets more and more disconnected from reality. You seek methods to generate demand, however stupid and irrelevant, just to have the YOY growth and keep investors happy. You delay introducing new stuff people may need to drive demand, keep prices high and to have something to stimulate that growth, in case you had a worse year. Also, the West isn't most healthy and least polluted, it did destroy a lot of environment during industrial revolution, and it does so even now (fracking, oil sands). Speaking of industrial revolution, in factories there were like 12-hour shifts, no proper H&S systems, and child labor was ok. That's an unregulated industry for you, and that's why this discussion is a waste of my time. All of that is in the books or publications by people much better educated than me, and since they haven't found solutions to problems the economy generated for us, I don't think any random stranger on the internet will.


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#163 Skaruts

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Posted 23 October 2018 - 02:57 AM

You ought to read Thomas Sowell's "Basic Economics". It's a good read.

The market does regulate itself. The market is complex, but simple example are used to explain how that is. If you sell rotten fish, you're giving me better chances of stealing your clients selling fresh fish. Consumers will drive the market away from you.

 

The real questions in all of this are:

 

Which is worse, the market with problems, or the regulated market with more problems? This isn't weasel description of it. Regulations are costly and imply barriers to entry: they inherently hinder competition.

 

And which is more sensible, a few people deciding for everyone else what everyone else should and shouldn't do, or everyone deciding for themselves what they should and shouldn't do?

 

Maybe there's a place for some regulations as I've said before, but how do we solve the problem of "you give them an inch and they want a mile"? The pressure there comes from all sides: politicians want to regulate, big businesses want their market to be regulated, and many of the people ride along. What do we do about those regulations that aren't needed and still get voted in by bureaucrats who refuse to accept they're useless? What do we do about those that get voted in despite being easy to show to be problematic and they still refuse to accept it?

 

Consider this description of the difference between the most regulated part of switzerland and the least regulated part of it. (EDIT: in that link, I mean the first answer by a Stefan Metzeler.)

 

A functioning legal system that punishes harm and fraud goes a long way. Mind you that this is not the same as regulations.
 

Money is a convenient replacement of trading goods, but the deeper the system goes, the further from reality it is, and when we finally get the reality check, it often ends with economic crisis.

Are you aware that the current system is built on fiat money and that the government is what's driving the economy? It's not flowing free, and this money didn't come up naturally. The Fed "despite [their] best efforts" doesn't seem to hold it still, banks have been regulated like hell over the decades as well as most markets. I'm not sure there's anything to suggest a free market can't crash on it's own, but as we've been observing over many, many decades, regulated markets certainly do.

 

Also, the West isn't most healthy and least polluted, it did destroy a lot of environment during industrial revolution, and it does so even now (fracking, oil sands).

I didn't claim it was the lowest polluter, but the least polluted. But even still, can you compare it to china or the soviet union before it fell?

But indeed, there's a lot of pollution from industries. And it's a huge problem. Notice though that regulating the entire West hasn't changed a thing in china and some other countries. It seems things will only change there when the markets move in some other direction. Some people in the Mises Institure argue that full on privatization would mitigate pollution. Their arguments are actually interesting. No one pollutes private property, because they can be sued.

 

Also notice that regulating the entire West, has made many companies move their means of production elsewhere. So there they aren't regulated anymore, so there goes the usefulness of regulations, and on top of that, money is being spent there, people are being hired there, and ship transportation is being bought from there; not in the west. 

 

(It's a thing I haven't touched yet, but is worth keeping in mind, that laws, regulations, taxation, bureaucracies, etc, they all always result in people thinking of and finding ways to work around them.)


Edited by Skaruts, 23 October 2018 - 02:59 AM.

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#164 Anderson

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Posted 23 October 2018 - 11:49 AM

About pollution, first thing about the US that comes to mind is Michigan. In particular the city of Flint and their problems with water. But the situation with pollution is not very much better in Detroit or Cleveland. Probably the decline of the automotive industry helped the environment by having those factories closed though. Same thing for Moldova btw. 

Nothing helps the environment better than a few financial crises :D

Couple that with population migration and there is nobody left to litter. Win-win.


Edited by Anderson, 23 October 2018 - 11:50 AM.

 "I really perceive that vanity about which most men merely prate — the vanity of the human or temporal life. I live continually in a reverie of the future. I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active — not more happy — nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. The result will never vary — and to suppose that it will, is to suppose that the foregone man has lived in vain — that the foregone time is but the rudiment of the future — that the myriads who have perished have not been upon equal footing with ourselves — nor are we with our posterity. I cannot agree to lose sight of man the individual, in man the mass."...

 

 

- 2 July 1844 letter to James Russell Lowell from Edgar Allan Poe.

 


#165 Judith

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Posted 23 October 2018 - 01:44 PM

(It's a thing I haven't touched yet, but is worth keeping in mind, that laws, regulations, taxation, bureaucracies, etc, they all always result in people thinking of and finding ways to work around them.)

 

No, it's exactly the other way around. Laws and regulations are made with the assumption I stated above: that most people will obey them, as most people want to live in peace, and they don't want any trouble breaking the law. It's the "smartass" minority who makes things miserable for everyone and laws are more strict because of them, not the majority. Unless you're living in a predatory state that treats citizens as thieves, it's the minority willing to take time and risk to make bigger profit that forces governments to make more strict policies.


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#166 Skaruts

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Posted 23 October 2018 - 11:47 PM

 

No, it's exactly the other way around. Laws and regulations are made with the assumption I stated above: that most people will obey them, as most people want to live in peace, and they don't want any trouble breaking the law. It's the "smartass" minority who makes things miserable for everyone and laws are more strict because of them, not the majority. Unless you're living in a predatory state that treats citizens as thieves, it's the minority willing to take time and risk to make bigger profit that forces governments to make more strict policies.

It's true that they're made under that assumption, but I didn't argue that that wasn't the case. I said the result that can be observed over and over is that people will find ways around laws/regulations/taxation/etc. They're made under that assumption, but that assumption is wrong.

 

A good way to visualize this is with prohibitions (leaving the rest aside for a moment). What determines how effective a prohibition is, is the amount of demand that there is for what was made illegal. There's an inverse correlation there, the more demand, the less effective the prohibition is. You can see it with drugs. They're illegal, and yet so many people still take drugs. In fact, many will take drugs because it's illegal. That was my case and of many of my peers.

 

It's a lesson that should've been learned 100 years ago in the Prohibition Era. When they made alcohol illegal they created Gangsters (and inflated crime rates). The reason for this is because most people wanted alcohol, and criminalizing something people want, only has the effect of moving it to the black market where people can still get it. When they made alcohol legal again, most Gangsters disappeared (very few turned to drugs) because people will rather buy from the store legally. Gangsters were essentially out of business then.

 

The war on drugs today solves nothing, and inflates crime rates (and gang violence). I suspect if drugs (all of them) became legal everywhere, cartels in mexico would be  mostly out of business, street gang kids would have to get jobs, etc. Well, prostitution would have to be legalized too, and pimps would have to get jobs as well. Meanwhile, crime rates would drop, because there would less shootings, less beatings, less human-trafficking, etc etc. Essentially the same outcome they saw when they legalized alcohol 100 years ago.

 

With taxation is the same thing. In my country the gov had the bright idea of taxing tobacco, more and more over time. When the price started becoming too much of a problem most people didn't stop smoking, they started buying larger boxes of tobacco (for manual tubing), because they're much cheaper. That's how things stand currently. Last year they decided to start heavily taxing sugary beverages (Coke, Pepsi, etc) -- of course, the consumers pay the taxes, not the companies.

 

There's plenty of loopholes out there for people to not pay taxes. People are always coming up with more. No one who's conscious of it likes to be forced to comply to something they don't agree with.

 

And then there's the example I gave about regulations and how companies ran away from them.

 

Speed limits is another good example of a useless regulation. A lot of people probably don't even know the limit of the street they live in.

 

Guns is a good example too. All around europe it's way easier for a criminal to buy a gun than it is for a law-abiding citizen. The former buys it, period. The latter has to get licensing, go through bureaucracies, maybe even do some tests for mental stability, and so on. Regulations around guns only serve to keep law-abiding citizens unarmed.  :rolleyes:


Edited by Skaruts, 24 October 2018 - 05:25 AM.

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#167 Anderson

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 11:05 AM

 

No, it's exactly the other way around. Laws and regulations are made with the assumption I stated above: that most people will obey them, as most people want to live in peace, and they don't want any trouble breaking the law. It's the "smartass" minority who makes things miserable for everyone and laws are more strict because of them, not the majority. Unless you're living in a predatory state that treats citizens as thieves, it's the minority willing to take time and risk to make bigger profit that forces governments to make more strict policies.

 

True, and the people who say that ”instead of me someone would do it anyway” are just continuing the cycle of suffering.

 

 

 

The war on drugs today solves nothing, and inflates crime rates (and gang violence). I suspect if drugs (all of them) became legal everywhere, cartels in mexico would be  mostly out of business, street gang kids would have to get jobs, etc. Well, prostitution would have to be legalized too, and pimps would have to get jobs as well. Meanwhile, crime rates would drop, because there would less shootings, less beatings, less human-trafficking, etc etc. Essentially the same outcome they saw when they legalized alcohol 100 years ago.

 

Speed limits is another good example of a useless regulation. A lot of people probably don't even know the limit of the street they live in.

 

Guns is a good example too. All around europe it's way easier for a criminal to buy a gun than it is for a law-abiding citizen. The former buys it, period. The latter has to get licensing, go through bureaucracies, maybe even do some tests for mental stability, and so on. Regulations around guns only serve to keep law-abiding citizens unarmed.  :rolleyes:

 

Agreed on guns.

 

Speed limits, definitely not. Check out Germany. They have driving licenses for bicycles. Which solves the problem of idiots thinking they can roam around lanes and not get smashed one day. Learn the rules to not get involved in a preventable accident. I guess I do not have to say how pedantic and strict they are to usual drivers. And no speed limits on the highway. Makes sense too. Just go with the pace of the traffic and keep it fluid.

 

The crime thing and legalizing criminal acitivities is kinda true. But in a way it is not clear how to prevent human trafficking. Because all those grants to prevent this phonomenon is just another form of tighter border controls, visa regulations. Not solving the problem at the home country. So things are not so easy with human traffic. People get caught in these situations because they need money. Whether girls who went working to Turkey or latinos from Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico who want to get to the USA. 

Switzerland, Iceland, Nordic countries do not give a crap because they have draconic visa requirements and do not have this culture of accepting people regardless where they come from. So much for tolerance. Nobody gives a shit for war torn countries.


Edited by Anderson, 24 October 2018 - 11:05 AM.

 "I really perceive that vanity about which most men merely prate — the vanity of the human or temporal life. I live continually in a reverie of the future. I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active — not more happy — nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. The result will never vary — and to suppose that it will, is to suppose that the foregone man has lived in vain — that the foregone time is but the rudiment of the future — that the myriads who have perished have not been upon equal footing with ourselves — nor are we with our posterity. I cannot agree to lose sight of man the individual, in man the mass."...

 

 

- 2 July 1844 letter to James Russell Lowell from Edgar Allan Poe.

 


#168 Skaruts

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 11:57 AM

Hardly anyone respects speed limits, that's my point. It's only where they have radars or something. 

 

Yea, human trafficking is actually a broader problem, indeed.

 

As for bicycles, they're forbidden to circulate on the road here (anything that doesn't have a number plate is). Yet there's still plenty of them doing it. The cops don't really do anything. And it's annoying. They could go on the freakin sidewalk, like I do, but they don't!  :angry:  :D


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#169 Anderson

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Posted 03 November 2018 - 05:06 AM

Btw, about freebies, once more a confirmation that we have to encourage work but not give out money for free unless it's verified how they spend it: https://m.youtube.co...h?v=yDH4C0B956Y

Edited by Anderson, 03 November 2018 - 05:07 AM.

 "I really perceive that vanity about which most men merely prate — the vanity of the human or temporal life. I live continually in a reverie of the future. I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active — not more happy — nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. The result will never vary — and to suppose that it will, is to suppose that the foregone man has lived in vain — that the foregone time is but the rudiment of the future — that the myriads who have perished have not been upon equal footing with ourselves — nor are we with our posterity. I cannot agree to lose sight of man the individual, in man the mass."...

 

 

- 2 July 1844 letter to James Russell Lowell from Edgar Allan Poe.

 


#170 Aldo

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Posted 07 November 2018 - 03:05 AM

If we stopped spending so much time and money on war and space and put more effort into running planet earth: new energy sources and delivery systems, food management, ecological lifestyles etc etc there could still be some hope for humans.  Immigration detention is disgusting, every persons life matters.  It seems to me so greedy to live luxury lifestyles and be unable to imagine poor people doing even remotely the same.  We are fighting each other cause we are trained to do this competing from an early age, we judge each other like we are trained to judge products we buy.  I know a old traffic engineer, he says the speed limits were only ever supposed to be suggested speeds, they were never meant to be enforced.


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#171 Anderson

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Posted 07 November 2018 - 01:21 PM

Running rockets into space is necesarry for science. I.e. helps progress and helps us learn what kinds of things happen on Earth.


 "I really perceive that vanity about which most men merely prate — the vanity of the human or temporal life. I live continually in a reverie of the future. I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active — not more happy — nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. The result will never vary — and to suppose that it will, is to suppose that the foregone man has lived in vain — that the foregone time is but the rudiment of the future — that the myriads who have perished have not been upon equal footing with ourselves — nor are we with our posterity. I cannot agree to lose sight of man the individual, in man the mass."...

 

 

- 2 July 1844 letter to James Russell Lowell from Edgar Allan Poe.

 


#172 Aldo

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Posted 12 November 2018 - 09:04 PM

It also contributes to the kessler syndrome, which could eventually put an end to the rocket fun.  Agreed that a lot has been discovered with space exploration, we also slowly coming to the realisation that earth is the only place humans will ever live.  If we colonise any where in outer space we would need to overcome problems such as sustainable oxygen supplies, exposure to radiation, generating power, our reliance on microbial organisms and getting there, all at extraordinary prices.


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#173 Carnage

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Posted 12 November 2018 - 10:01 PM

An interesting documentary that tries to explore the various sides of climate change. Some parts are spoken in German and Dutch, but there are subtitles available.

 



#174 Anderson

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 12:36 PM

It also contributes to the kessler syndrome, which could eventually put an end to the rocket fun.  Agreed that a lot has been discovered with space exploration, we also slowly coming to the realisation that earth is the only place humans will ever live.  If we colonise any where in outer space we would need to overcome problems such as sustainable oxygen supplies, exposure to radiation, generating power, our reliance on microbial organisms and getting there, all at extraordinary prices.

 

Dreamers like Elon Musk and other dudes and their royal dudeness with money and lots of free time talk about space travel.

 

Currently, international space programmes are simply dedicated to exploring scientific thesis valuable on Earth such as from chemistry, physics etc.

 

Also, 5G, many satelites and deeper internet penetration is the way to go especially for countries like mine.

 

At the moment all of this is better then North Korean rockets.


Edited by Anderson, 13 November 2018 - 12:36 PM.

 "I really perceive that vanity about which most men merely prate — the vanity of the human or temporal life. I live continually in a reverie of the future. I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active — not more happy — nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. The result will never vary — and to suppose that it will, is to suppose that the foregone man has lived in vain — that the foregone time is but the rudiment of the future — that the myriads who have perished have not been upon equal footing with ourselves — nor are we with our posterity. I cannot agree to lose sight of man the individual, in man the mass."...

 

 

- 2 July 1844 letter to James Russell Lowell from Edgar Allan Poe.

 


#175 stumpy

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Posted 14 November 2018 - 12:36 AM

if people got rid of money and worked together to reach a goal, space travel would be a doddle because all it would cost is time.

anyway we have to leave earth because the sun will kill us if we dont, unless the great attracter gets here first, then we're dead anyway cos its a big wandering black hole.






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