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Old 12-24-2012, 03:45 PM   #1
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Why should I care about your private property rights?

Definitions:

I: Anyone who lives without wealth.

Wealth: An allocation of individual resources above and beyond anything that could be considered subsistence, or beyond which has a relative utility towards human's need hierarchy.

So to put things boringly, this is a 99% vs. 1% question. If the argument in favor of the relative power of the 1% is a moral one (private property rights), why should anyone in the 99% care about this, as apposed to the other moral interests in the world?

There is a fable that goes a dog sees a donkey burdened with a too heavy load, and becomes empathetically concerned. The dog runs through the town, and talks to some cows in a pasture. The dog says, "you will never believe, there is a donkey being enslaved, his load is too heavy for his back, this is awful!" The cows say, "what do you care, you're a dog, not a donkey." The dog says, "but who will cry for me when the dogs are enslaved?"

*Is this the idea? That we wouldn't like it if it happened to us? The problem that I have with this whole concept is that it is essentially saying that a certain class of people deserves special moral treatment -- which is fine if it is over some retarded bull**** like skin color or ethnicity -- but I have a hard time saying that those with the most ability to help themselves are any sort of victims. I have a hard time caring, essentially, when there are so many more important moral interests in the world.
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Old 12-24-2012, 03:49 PM   #2
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Re: Why should I care about your private property rights?

I have no idea what point you are trying to make.
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Old 12-24-2012, 03:54 PM   #3
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Re: Why should I care about your private property rights?

Wealth racism.
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Old 12-24-2012, 04:21 PM   #4
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Re: Why should I care about your private property rights?

Why should I give a **** if you starve to death? Your existence is hugely likely to be a net drain on my well-being.
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Old 12-24-2012, 06:51 PM   #5
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Re: Why should I care about your private property rights?

For starters, much more than 1% of people have more property than they need to survive. In the US, I'd guess your numbers should be reversed.
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Old 12-24-2012, 06:55 PM   #6
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Re: Why should I care about your private property rights?

Because property rights are a founding element of a civil society which is not totalitarian. Without it you need a perfect society to reduce your risk of failure and support your survival and choices in life. We do not have such society yet so individual property is your hedge against the reality of inept, corrupt government etc. It is no different than storing food and other raw materials for example. You need these to survive and reduce uncertainty and if you cant own them, the stronger will prevail near term and society will become a jungle and eventually all even the strong will fail.

One can claim a state hardcore strict system can install order to avoid the jungle but if its doing so under a fist that sees the individual as a worker and nothing better limiting their access to resources, offering limited possibilities to design their own path in life (often supported by access to resources and "wealth") then we have created a worse nightmare than the one the abuse of power supported by wealth can create inside an otherwise free in many levels only partially corrupt and inept system.

A healthy society will always require to treat the individual as precious and unique in potential and in principle to a degree independent and free from the broad will of the state (other than a bare necessary minimum as member of that state enjoying its benefits of course). The individual needs to be able to dictate a great deal about their lives without being forced to behave completely organized and restricted from access to means to change the world, essentially what the possession and control of resources provide. How else will you be able to offer a legitimate alternative to a state trajectory in any area if you have no access to property when this access is exactly what allows you to initiate something new and different that is not supported by the state as idea yet? A healthy society needs both the individuals to have freedom and yet at the same time engaged in cooperative behavior for the common good in order to enjoy a bare safe minimum and support the grand scale plans of that state that will achieve amazing results the individuals are typically unable to deliver left alone at random competing and opposing actions (pick any large scale research or ambitious state efforts). But the ability to go out of that state and be on your own only minimally supported by it (in terms of security, health, minimum food and housing and education or other vital details one cant easily offer themselves unaided permanently) must exist and the way to survive such challenging choice requires ability to own wealth/resources...

The problem is not with accumulating property. This has to remain the ability of all of us in a scientific society. The problem starts when the accumulation takes place at the expense of others in a very disturbing manner or when that property/wealth is used to bypass/distort manipulate democracy and take the society in directions that hurt the people at large and strengthen only those with the property/excessive wealth.

The problem is that many people who have substantial wealth do not use it to improve the world (in spirit with the original idea) which is the very reason they are rich anyway because they took from it with work and opportunity and luck. So when you take something from a system that is good at large you better use it properly or you are undermining that system with that control of resources, wealth, power etc.

I propose a world where all are able to individually accumulate wealth but do is in a scientifically responsible manner that doesnt harm society (at least easily spotted near term because we cant always know it in absolute terms) and which is heavily taxed to unreal levels (say 70% on huge incomes and massive proerty) if indeed that individual is behaving in ways that "harm" society completely selfish and arrogant while still sucking wealth from that very system or alternatively tax them with a very low rate (say sub 15%) if they do the opposite (stimulate a better behavior by them and force a real "trickle down" and more - in fact true wealth creation for all - instead of the joke we have seen). Anyone who uses their wealth to create jobs and improve society with constructive projects is enjoying only a tiny overall taxation as a bonus. They can therefore this way continue to become super rich but only while improving society. The others are still allowed to become very rich but will be forced to pay heavily for their arrogance/selfishness but mostly in terms of income not taking their assets as much.

To allow them to be rich and play a role to the world is necessary because we still have a society where money is material in financing projects that possibly the state system would not initiate/endorse (risky , out of the box etc) and miss opportunity for success/progress. Of course an advanced state system that cares and shows very limited corruption and high efficiency and which maximally enjoys the creative participation of most of its members (scientific society) will not require private powers to stimulate progress as much. However it is necessary to continue to have them even then to keep the system in check. In other words it is important to continue to allow individuals to control the wealth they build within reason as it is a motivating aspect of human behavior. Obviously it is more motivating in systems that society is hard, dangerous, unfriendly and risky/unreliable. It is then that wealth proves your defense. As society improves of course and convinces the citizens of its healthy nature, intentions and reliability (not as it operates today of course) it is natural to assume people will aim for other utilities, virtues etc and focus less on material wealth accumulation unless it is heavily supporting something more important than personal gain.



Have no doubt though that a great deal of our modern problems stem from the fact many of those that have power and wealth use it completely irresponsibly in a way that hurts economy and society at large, effectively raping the system, having it enslaved working for them, producing little to no utility (given the alternative potential under better application of that wealth ->opportunity loss ) even negative utility or wasting their capacities that 90% of others are missing.

"In 2007 the richest 1% of the American population owned 34.6% of the country's total wealth, and the next 19% owned 50.5%. Thus, the top 20% of Americans owned 85% of the country's wealth and the bottom 80% of the population owned 15%. Financial inequality was greater than inequality in total wealth, with the top 1% of the population owning 42.7%, the next 19% of Americans owning 50.3%, and the bottom 80% owning 7%.[10] However, after the so-called Great Recession which started in 2007, the share of total wealth owned by the top 1% of the population grew from 34.6% to 37.1%, and that owned by the top 20% of Americans grew from 85% to 87.7%. The Great Recession also caused a drop of 36.1% in median household wealth but a drop of only 11.1% for the top 1%"

How can the above facts be great ?

Last edited by masque de Z; 12-24-2012 at 07:19 PM.
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Old 12-24-2012, 07:19 PM   #7
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Re: Why should I care about your private property rights?

Quote:
The problem is that many people who have substantial wealth do not use it to improve the world (in spirit with the original idea) which is the very reason they are rich anyway because they took from it with work and opportunity and luck. So when you take soemthing from a system that is good at large you better use it properly or you are undermining that system with that control of resources, wealth ,power etc.
Certainly many rich people could do more to help society, but unless they are socking their gold away in a vault and swimming in it like Scrooge McDuck, their money is likely contributing somewhere. If it's in a bank, that money is beling loaned out to businesses and individuals. If they invest it in the stock market, mutual funds or private ventures it is also contributing as capital to businesses, jobs and overall growth of the economy.
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Old 12-24-2012, 07:23 PM   #8
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Re: Why should I care about your private property rights?

The wealthy pay taxes. That's a lotta money.
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Old 12-24-2012, 07:46 PM   #9
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Re: Why should I care about your private property rights?

Regarding taxes and wealth an important detail missed is that in fact the rich do not pay at all as much as they should or are not motivated properly to risk their wealth to create jobs and instead choose other ways to apply their wealth that often hurt or hold hostage the system.


Members of middle class or the poor probably spend 90% of what they earn each year or more. It goes back to the economy! Someone that makes millions and more is not even going to 30-40% of that as spending. Instead they continue to accumulate money that is not returning back to society to help the economy or is invested overseas. Investing in hedge funds, sending your money overseas, buying properties to milk more the society and engaging in all kinds of selfish behavior definitely doesnt help the system nearly as much as the middle class usage of their income that directly goes to the economy.

The old expression with great power comes great responsibility is never more true.

If you force the rich to use their money constructively (fund research new jobs , even jobs protected by government in some sense to reduce their risk etc) and reward them for that with low taxation you will make them even more rich while improving the system.

The sad fact is that the filthy rich love the massacre that is going on worldwide right now. They get to crash the markets or keep quality companies under ridiculous valuations super cheap giving them opportunity to buy them gradually under stress and accumulate more power, they buy land at deprerssed prices, they engage in all kinds of exploitive ideas that become only possible in a depressed system. It is unacceptable that since 2007 the top 1% has actually increased their holdings as the rest of society is crashing and in fact they partially caused it by not using their wealth creatively to stimulate new technology and research and keep jobs in the US say (if you make it a US argument) etc.


My point is also this; If i am rich because of things i did in this country to then take my wealth and power and use it to send jobs overseas in order to continue to milk the system as much as before or more even while killing step by step the very society that made me is unethical and unpatriotic. The more responsible thing is to accept even less profit but support my society. I owe it to them. And if i do invest responsibly and government also helps by creating the right conditions and rewarding such behavior i will even if initially have less profits, eventually be more wealthy because of this choice.

The problem is that often the rich are missing the vision. Most certainly do not expect that those that created the wealth will be followed always by kids and grandkids that are equally bright...

And something else very ugly. Often the rich with the power will control the pace of innovation and restrict progress if that comes with reduction of their profitability. They operate selfishly and hurt the long term progress of the system by buying politicians and decisions and pressing the economy in directions that manipulate the middle class and hold it hostage and less potent, unable to resist the manipulation. Again nothing wrong with creating wealth. Just do it in a healthy ethical form as much as possible maintaining higher priorities in the process than the absolute profit rates say. There has got to be higher values in the world than simple profit making.

Last edited by masque de Z; 12-24-2012 at 07:52 PM.
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Old 12-25-2012, 02:13 AM   #10
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Re: Why should I care about your private property rights?

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Originally Posted by masque de Z View Post
And something else very ugly. Often the rich with the power will control the pace of innovation and restrict progress if that comes with reduction of their profitability. They operate selfishly and hurt the long term progress of the system by buying politicians and decisions and pressing the economy in directions that manipulate the middle class and hold it hostage and less potent, unable to resist the manipulation. Again nothing wrong with creating wealth. Just do it in a healthy ethical form as much as possible maintaining higher priorities in the process than the absolute profit rates say. There has got to be higher values in the world than simple profit making.
It has little to do with manipulation. If a competitor comes into the market with a new innovation that will hurt my bottom line, I will do everything in my power to smother it in the crib (or buy it and use it against my more established competitors).

This is, to head you off, as it should be. Competition isn't supposed to be nice. Any decent innovation will cruch the status quo. Dvorak keyboard doesn't quite make the grade.
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Old 12-25-2012, 02:31 AM   #11
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Re: Why should I care about your private property rights?

The wealthy play the poor against one another and promise some of them that they'll pay them for protecting the wealthy. It's basically game theory for the employees of the wealthy- either join in with the 99% and get a tiny share, or help the 1% and get a bigger share. That enough of the poor are bought off by the wealthy and turn into middle class (in exchange for protecting the wealthy from the other poor) is why poor people don't take the wealth of the wealthy by force.
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Old 12-25-2012, 03:50 AM   #12
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Re: Why should I care about your private property rights?

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Originally Posted by Iconoclastic View Post
The wealthy play the poor against one another and promise some of them that they'll pay them for protecting the wealthy. It's basically game theory for the employees of the wealthy- either join in with the 99% and get a tiny share, or help the 1% and get a bigger share. That enough of the poor are bought off by the wealthy and turn into middle class (in exchange for protecting the wealthy from the other poor) is why poor people don't take the wealth of the wealthy by force.
And there I was, thinking it was lack of high education that causes why poor people are poor....
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Old 12-25-2012, 05:14 AM   #13
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Re: Why should I care about your private property rights?

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Originally Posted by BrianTheMick2 View Post
This is, to head you off, as it should be. Competition isn't supposed to be nice.
You don't agree with today's competition law and how it's enforced? It's making competition a little nicer.
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Old 12-25-2012, 12:44 PM   #14
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Re: Why should I care about your private property rights?

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Originally Posted by Iconoclastic View Post
The wealthy play the poor against one another and promise some of them that they'll pay them for protecting the wealthy. It's basically game theory for the employees of the wealthy- either join in with the 99% and get a tiny share, or help the 1% and get a bigger share. That enough of the poor are bought off by the wealthy and turn into middle class (in exchange for protecting the wealthy from the other poor) is why poor people don't take the wealth of the wealthy by force.
The reason I think this view is so attractive to the pessimist is that there is a certain element of truth to it. But it isn't even close to the full picture. This view and the one articulated by Masque relies on a presumption that new wealth cannot be generated. That somehow the super rich are preventing me from chasing my dreams and building my own paradise. It is simply not the case.
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Old 12-25-2012, 02:01 PM   #15
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Re: Why should I care about your private property rights?

As far as investing goes, mdz, I agree with you. That is why I find consumption task to be appealing.

If you are mark cuban, and you need money to invest in projects for society, then you should have that money and spend it how you need to. But when you are buying yachts and mansions and what not that is where it should be taxed >70%. If mark cuban wants to live in a two bedroom apt and give his kids christmas presents <200$, I think he should be taxed the same as everyone else.

Last edited by Hector Cerif; 12-25-2012 at 02:02 PM. Reason: What was my point again?
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