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Old 03-12-2012, 12:29 PM   #176
Vael
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Re: Mean Republicans

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Originally Posted by Cwocwoc View Post
Research has discovered that you don't need to accumulate money to be happy you just need enough to make you feel secure and your freedom. That's where capitalism fails people. It encourages them to work longer doing things they don't like for money they don't need.
So why aren't people working less if they don't need the money? What's the source of this systematic irrational behaviour? Of course if it's really true that people are earning too much for optimal happiness, perhaps we should do something about it. How about lowering wages?
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Old 03-12-2012, 12:33 PM   #177
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Re: Mean Republicans

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So why aren't people working less if they don't need the money? What's the source of this systematic irrational behaviour? Of course if it's really true that people are earning too much for optimal happiness, perhaps we should do something about it. How about lowering wages?
They are subverted by capitalism which convinces them they need pet rocks and a different mobile phone every six months.
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Old 03-12-2012, 12:41 PM   #178
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Re: Mean Republicans

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So why aren't people working less if they don't need the money? What's the source of this systematic irrational behaviour? Of course if it's really true that people are earning too much for optimal happiness, perhaps we should do something about it. How about lowering wages?
There's a lot of propaganda put out by the 1% that we need to consume, consume, consume, but it's also cultural and it's also human nature.

The point isn't that people are earning "too much to be happy," it's that people get happier as they become able to live at a certain standard. Once you get past a certain point, there is a huge diminishing returns on money you make making you happier.
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Old 03-12-2012, 12:47 PM   #179
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Re: Mean Republicans

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There's a lot of propaganda put out by the 1% that we need to consume, consume, consume, but it's also cultural and it's also human nature.

The point isn't that people are earning "too much to be happy," it's that people get happier as they become able to live at a certain standard. Once you get past a certain point, there is a huge diminishing returns on money you make making you happier.
People need security to be happy. American-style capitalism offers them the opposite so they work their lives away terrified of ending up broke.
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Old 03-12-2012, 01:05 PM   #180
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Re: Mean Republicans

Everyone would be happier if we lived in caves and gathered berries and died of gangrene at age 27 (assuming you're one of the lucky ones to make it out of childhood alive).
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Old 03-12-2012, 01:10 PM   #181
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Re: Mean Republicans

Is it possible to be a liberal conservative?

Or must everyone fall under either category?
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Old 03-12-2012, 01:15 PM   #182
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Re: Mean Republicans

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People need security to be happy. American-style capitalism offers them the opposite so they work their lives away terrified of ending up broke.
Who are you to tell people what they need or don't need?

I need a cellphone.
I need a car.
I need a TV so I can watch basketball.
I need money to pay my mortgage.
I need money to I can eat at nice restaurants.

You're telling me I don't need these things and capitalism is the reason why I WANT these things? Give me a break.

Last edited by Tien; 03-12-2012 at 01:21 PM.
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Old 03-12-2012, 01:19 PM   #183
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Re: Mean Republicans

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Everyone would be happier if we lived in caves and gathered berries and died of gangrene at age 27 (assuming you're one of the lucky ones to make it out of childhood alive).
I lol'd. Then realized some, unknowingly, are actually advocating this.

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Old 03-12-2012, 01:27 PM   #184
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Re: Mean Republicans

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Who are you to tell people what they need or don't need?

I need a cellphone.
I need a car.
I need a TV so I can watch basketball.
I need money to pay my mortgage.
I need money to I can eat at nice restaurants.

You're telling me I don't need these things and capitalism is the reason why I WANT these things? Give me a break.
American style capitalism is increasing the feeling of security for people in terms of going broke(among other things)? Really?

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Old 03-12-2012, 01:45 PM   #185
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Re: Mean Republicans

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Originally Posted by Cwocwoc View Post
Research has discovered that you don't need to accumulate money to be happy you just need enough to make you feel secure and your freedom. That's where capitalism fails people. It encourages them to work longer doing things they don't like for money they don't need.
The reason why this line of thinking is wrong is because you are trying to judge and decide how much is enough for someone to feel secure and free. It isn't up to you to decide what makes someone happy, it's up to them.

I was happy when I was broke. But I am actually lot happier now that I have excess money and blow it constantly on things I don't need.
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Old 03-12-2012, 04:49 PM   #186
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Re: Mean Republicans

Ao long as were talking about "good for society" the more man hours of work that get put into creating wealth, the better off "society" is. The more goods there are to distribute, the more total wealth there is. Arguing on one hand that people should cooperate more and then saying that they work for more then they need is contradictory.

The problem with using the prisoners agenda to prove that a managed market is better then everyone for themselves is that it ignores the fact that the manager is in the game as well. There is no such thing as an unbiased decision maker to decide what's best for everyone.

Finally, you argue that looking out for yourself is worse than cooperating...but being trustful and getting screwed is worse then looking out for yourself. If everybody protects their own self interests, nobody gets screwed. Its when one person is trusting and the other stabs them in the back that true injustice occurs.
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Old 03-12-2012, 05:39 PM   #187
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Re: Mean Republicans

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Which is the entire point. If either player tried to play in a way that would result in the best result for everyone, they would get taken advantage of by people just being selfish. So yeah, not a very convincing argument for why people being selfish yields the best results for everyone.
Being selfish without arbitrary restrictions in the game does result in the best result. Because it's in everyone's self interest to cooperate with people who are cooperating.

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And it's still significantly worse than cooperation every round.
Not really, there are costs to enforce cooperation every round. And by doing tit-for-tat, it enforces those costs by taking some hit yourself, then teaching them for not cooperating. If you are playing with someone who will not cooperate no matter what, you are better off defecting.


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I agree that the prisoner's dilemma is too restrictive, but look at the rest of what you're saying. You're saying that people are wired in a way that makes them not act in their best interest, while trying to defend the claim that people acting in their best interest yields the best results for society.

Assuming that you really want to say something along the lines of "people looking out for their best interested, but with the restrictions naturally put into place by our biology, yields the best results for society," then I would ask why you believe our natural mechanisms are better than anything else we could put in place on top of that, and also why you think natural mechanisms work well in today's world.

Ostracism and feelings of guilt works in some contexts, but when people aren't living in small societies where everyone knows one another, and many of our interactions with people are so impersonal, I wouldn't expect our natural tendency to cooperate to be perfectly suited for our conditions.
No, I'm saying that it results in their best interest. Cooperation in this case *is* self-interested. They try to force cooperation precisely because it's good for them in the long run.

But I do agree that what most people considered self-interested isn't what most people are wired to be rewarded for. But that just means that feeling good for cooperating or punishing evil people are just things that need to be accounted for in self-interest.
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:30 PM   #188
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Re: Mean Republicans

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The reason why this line of thinking is wrong is because you are trying to judge and decide how much is enough for someone to feel secure and free. It isn't up to you to decide what makes someone happy, it's up to them.
I am doing nothing of the sort and you are introducing an irrelevancy. I am just saying that the capitalists create "needs" where none exist eg who needed a pet rock in the 1970s ? People worked hard to save up for pet rocks.
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:36 PM   #189
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Re: Mean Republicans

Yes, the availability of new products can give rise to preferences for those products that didn't exist when those products didn't exist. Startling!

Last edited by Vael; 03-12-2012 at 06:37 PM. Reason: tho product availability is obv not the only variable in preference formation
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:47 PM   #190
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Re: Mean Republicans

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Adam Smith's invisible hand is better than government intervention. Everybody trying to maximize their own self interested goals is what works best for society as a whole.
citation needed?

The fact that many people believe this is true in all cases seems to prove the point you make in the rest of your post.

People believe what they like, then look for evidence to back it up. They don't look at the evidence then form their belief system based upon that. Not that I'm any different. Cognitive bias ftw.
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Old 03-12-2012, 10:10 PM   #191
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Re: Mean Republicans

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I am doing nothing of the sort and you are introducing an irrelevancy. I am just saying that the capitalists create "needs" where none exist eg who needed a pet rock in the 1970s ? People worked hard to save up for pet rocks.
Again, you are defining what people need or don't need.

Do people "need" 400-500$ iPhones? On a survival basis they don't, you can get by easily with a free phone.

But the enjoyment and satisfaction they get from a 400$ iPhone far surpasses the 10-15 hours they had to work to get it.

Do people "need" pet rocks? No they don't. But if the parent is happy working 2 hours out of a day to pay for it so their kid can have a few days fun out of it, who are you to blame capitalism for the parent buying a pet rock?

Last edited by Tien; 03-12-2012 at 10:22 PM.
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Old 03-13-2012, 04:34 AM   #192
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Re: Mean Republicans

Screw you. I need my iPhone!
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Old 03-13-2012, 06:11 PM   #193
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Re: Mean Republicans

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Again, you are defining what people need or don't need.

Do people "need" pet rocks? No they don't.

There you are you've done it yourself by your own standard !


Re phones these have become a fashion accessory so they get changed far too often. I blame Steve Jobs for this consumerist cult.
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