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Old 06-23-2012, 07:35 AM   #51
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

The ends don't justify the means. If it's not done voluntarily, it's immoral.
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Old 06-23-2012, 12:02 PM   #52
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

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However, we can change the way the government is organized. If the government is set up in such a way that protects individuals' freedom and liberty (eg. strictly following the constitution), then rent seeking businesses will not be able to lobby for things that provide them with above normal profits while screwing everyone else.
Except for the fact that there has never been a government that was chained by a piece of paper. The constitution of the US was violated by the US government almost as soon as it was created. Also, it was written to be especifically vague, but that's not the issue. Republicanism and democracy are forces of de-civilization.

If you want limited government, then what you want is monarchies. Of course, that's impossible nowadays. And it doesn't really solve the core problem. But it's important to understand that the transition from monarchies to republican democracies was not a transition towards more freedom and prosperity, but rather a transition away from respecting property rights and away from civilization, towards barbarism and chaos.

For more on this read Democracy: The God That Failed by Hans-Hermann Hoppe, or just listen to this short 40 minute lecture: World War I as the End of Civilization, by Hoppe
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Old 06-23-2012, 12:02 PM   #53
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

At the end wealth is created by manual labour. The miners and workers who actually build the iphone just dont get the share they would actually deserve. They struggle to survive whereas others take the main profit out of their work.
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Old 06-23-2012, 03:18 PM   #54
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

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At the end wealth is created by manual labour.
50 years ago that was still partially true.
Today wealth is created by intellect, not muscles. And what remains of human assembly (most is automated today) is commoditized, which is why it's mostly done in Asia. A free market will always optimize the allocation of resources if left alone. That's practically a tautology.

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Old 06-23-2012, 04:03 PM   #55
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

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At the end wealth is created by manual labour. The miners and workers who actually build the iphone just dont get the share they would actually deserve. They struggle to survive whereas others take the main profit out of their work.
No, it is not. This concept that labor creates wealth was destroyed over a hundred years ago. This falsehood has destroyed civilizations and I cannot believe to this day people still get indoctrinated to believe it.

Go bust rocks in the middle of no where with a maul for the next ten years and tell me how much wealth you create.
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Old 06-23-2012, 04:27 PM   #56
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

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Go bust rocks in the middle of no where with a maul for the next ten years and tell me how much wealth you create.
Ah, but where will he get the maul?
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Old 06-23-2012, 05:04 PM   #57
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

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No, it is not. This concept that labor creates wealth was destroyed over a hundred years ago. This falsehood has destroyed civilizations and I cannot believe to this day people still get indoctrinated to believe it.

Go bust rocks in the middle of no where with a maul for the next ten years and tell me how much wealth you create.
Go watch whats left of your wealth without the manual labour and physical work of the vast majority of the population. Have fun running around naked, picking your own grapes for your whine, your beans for your coffee... pretty much anything.

The working class is dependent from the upper class, so is the upper class from the working class. The working class could exist without the upper class though, the upper class couldnt.

Its just that the wealth isnt spread equally or at least a little more fair... and its getting worse day by day

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Old 06-23-2012, 08:25 PM   #58
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

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Except for the fact that there has never been a government that was chained by a piece of paper. The constitution of the US was violated by the US government almost as soon as it was created. Also, it was written to be especifically vague, but that's not the issue. Republicanism and democracy are forces of de-civilization.

If you want limited government, then what you want is monarchies. Of course, that's impossible nowadays. And it doesn't really solve the core problem. But it's important to understand that the transition from monarchies to republican democracies was not a transition towards more freedom and prosperity, but rather a transition away from respecting property rights and away from civilization, towards barbarism and chaos.

For more on this read Democracy: The God That Failed by Hans-Hermann Hoppe, or just listen to this short 40 minute lecture: World War I as the End of Civilization, by Hoppe
Just because it has yet to be done, does not mean that governments can not be made to follow their constitutions. For example, if legislators faced criminal penalties for proposing anti-constitutional legislation, then that would go a long long way. I'm sure that there are many ways to keep the government in check.
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Old 06-23-2012, 08:27 PM   #59
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

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Go watch whats left of your wealth without the manual labour and physical work of the vast majority of the population. Have fun running around naked, picking your own grapes for your whine, your beans for your coffee... pretty much anything.

The working class is dependent from the upper class, so is the upper class from the working class. The working class could exist without the upper class though, the upper class couldnt.

Its just that the wealth isnt spread equally or at least a little more fair... and its getting worse day by day
So you think that the guy that builds the iphone could have invented it himself? You're just pissed off that you don't have the ability to invent something like the iphone imo.
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Old 06-23-2012, 09:10 PM   #60
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Go watch whats left of your wealth without the manual labour and physical work of the vast majority of the population. Have fun running around naked, picking your own grapes for your whine, your beans for your coffee... pretty much anything.

The working class is dependent from the upper class, so is the upper class from the working class. The working class could exist without the upper class though, the upper class couldnt.

Its just that the wealth isnt spread equally or at least a little more fair... and its getting worse day by day
On iPhone only for next few days but I'll respond then, til then look up the marginal revolution circa 1871 when virtually the entire civilized world (re)discovered that labor does not create wealth.

Also, wtf are these seemingly homogenous "working class" and "upper class"?
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Old 06-23-2012, 09:13 PM   #61
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

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So you think that the guy that builds the iphone could have invented it himself? You're just pissed off that you don't have the ability to invent something like the iphone imo.
No I dont think he could invent it. As I said there is a dependency both ways. Its just that the revenue isnt spread fair at all.

The 7 billion of Steve Jobs are kind of a lot arent they? A worker who earns 12000 Dollar a year which, for the production chain of an iphone, is probably already exaggerated would have to work 583333 thousand years to earn that much.
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Old 06-23-2012, 09:14 PM   #62
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

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Just because it has yet to be done, does not mean that governments can not be made to follow their constitutions. For example, if legislators faced criminal penalties for proposing anti-constitutional legislation, then that would go a long long way. I'm sure that there are many ways to keep the government in check.
Even if you could somehow ensure that a government will not overstep the boundaries of a constitution, constitutions have always had a clause in them that allows for ammendments.

Also, the very fact of there being legislators is anti-civilization. If you want freedom and prosperity, then nobody should be able to create new laws or modify existing laws. Law should be discovered by the legal process itself and not cast down from some group of overlords above.

Law should be simple, and everyone should both know and understand it. Basically, all you need is laws that protect private property, and that set what the requirements are for appropiating previously unowned property. Crimes against persons should be treated as simply an offense against their property (their body). Law should also be static. It shouldn't change from one moment to the next as it does nowadays. Legal uncertainty is one of the most harmful effects of democratic republics / republican democracies.

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Old 06-24-2012, 01:08 AM   #63
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

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Its just that the revenue isnt spread fair at all.

The 7 billion of Steve Jobs are kind of a lot arent they? A worker who earns 12000 Dollar a year which, for the production chain of an iphone, is probably already exaggerated would have to work 583333 thousand years to earn that much.

What is the fairness issue?

Because you have no idea what you are talking about. Zilch. In your world there would be no iphone. People would be standing in line to get their toilet paper for the month.
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Old 06-24-2012, 05:56 AM   #64
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

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What is the fairness issue?

Because you have no idea what you are talking about. Zilch. In your world there would be no iphone. People would be standing in line to get their toilet paper for the month.
If you would have to work in the Indian textile production company 12-15 hours a day for 3,50 $ a month, struggling to survive, you would realize pretty quick what the "fairness issue" is.
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Old 06-24-2012, 12:51 PM   #65
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

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Even if you could somehow ensure that a government will not overstep the boundaries of a constitution, constitutions have always had a clause in them that allows for ammendments.

Also, the very fact of there being legislators is anti-civilization. If you want freedom and prosperity, then nobody should be able to create new laws or modify existing laws. Law should be discovered by the legal process itself and not cast down from some group of overlords above.

Law should be simple, and everyone should both know and understand it. Basically, all you need is laws that protect private property, and that set what the requirements are for appropiating previously unowned property. Crimes against persons should be treated as simply an offense against their property (their body). Law should also be static. It shouldn't change from one moment to the next as it does nowadays. Legal uncertainty is one of the most harmful effects of democratic republics / republican democracies.

Typically amendments must have a super majority to implement so there is a pretty good safeguard there. Its not like there will ever be a government that has 0 chance of turning bad. We have to do the best with what we have. If our laws actually followed the constitution there would be much less legal uncertainty. The laws would indeed be close to what you are advocating. Thing is, there are always grey areas so it needs to be deciding where the line is. This doesn't mean that the government is all knowing, it just means that a line must be drawn so it is best drawn by people that we vote for. Laws must be able to change, because our world constantly changes. We cannot foresee what laws may be absolutely necessary in the future. I agree that the law should be as simple as possible. I believe that you would find it incredibly simple if you followed the US constitution. It would all basically come down not interfering with anyone else's property rights.
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Old 06-24-2012, 12:53 PM   #66
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

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If you would have to work in the Indian textile production company 12-15 hours a day for 3,50 $ a month, struggling to survive, you would realize pretty quick what the "fairness issue" is.
Capitalism is the only system which produces an objectively fair price. If apple was forced to pay more, then the jobs would be in the US and those people struggling to survive would instead, be out of work, and soon dead. You think that is fair?
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Old 06-24-2012, 02:55 PM   #67
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

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Capitalism is the only system which produces an objectively fair price. If apple was forced to pay more, then the jobs would be in the US and those people struggling to survive would instead, be out of work, and soon dead. You think that is fair?
An objectively fair price on the market isnt necessarily a fair price for human beings. Very often the opposite is the case.

You would be amazed to see how low the production costs for a t-shirt in Bangladesh are.
A Shirt which costs 15 Dollars in the U.S has production costs as low as 1 Dollar. The rest of the costs go in marketing, transport, margin etc. To significantly improve the situation of the ones who produce those shirts, the price would only have to rise about 10-20 cents.
The sewers earn about 1$40 ....a day.
We are nowhere near transfering the jobs back to the U.S here !!!!

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Old 06-24-2012, 03:23 PM   #68
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

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You would be amazed to see how low the production costs for a t-shirt in Bangladesh are.
A Shirt which costs 15 Dollars in the U.S has production costs as low as 1 Dollar.
And so the point of that is...?

Shirts are not commodities. Selling price isn't based on production cost. If people don't want the shirt for $15 then the market will reduce it. On the other end, wages are also set by the market, with all parties agreeing to them.
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Old 06-24-2012, 04:12 PM   #69
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

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And so the point of that is...?

Shirts are not commodities. Selling price isn't based on production cost. If people don't want the shirt for $15 then the market will reduce it. On the other end, wages are also set by the market, with all parties agreeing to them.
Describing how the market works does not contribute to the discussion.
To have a productive discussion here we would have to agree that free markets create injustice and that there is something to do about it. So what are your opinions?

a)its all fine the way it is

b)there is injustice, but the benefits predominate and we cant do anything without jeopardizing them

c).....

Honest question

Greetz
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Old 06-24-2012, 05:00 PM   #70
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

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Describing how the market works does not contribute to the discussion.
To have a productive discussion here we would have to agree that free markets create injustice and that there is something to do about it. So what are your opinions?

a)its all fine the way it is

b)there is injustice, but the benefits predominate and we cant do anything without jeopardizing them

c).....

Honest question
A free market* creates the most fairness with the least "injustice" (and I use that word reluctantly as it doesn't really fit) compared to anything humans have thought of to modify it. Over time, every "improvement" ever tried results in an overall reduction in wealth and a reduced average standard of living.



* by free I mean normal market forces with honest actors participating, notwithstanding some regulation to keep participants honest so that the market is allowed to find equilibrium freely.

Last edited by NewOldGuy; 06-24-2012 at 05:08 PM.
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Old 06-24-2012, 06:18 PM   #71
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

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A free market* creates the most fairness with the least "injustice" (and I use that word reluctantly as it doesn't really fit) compared to anything humans have thought of to modify it. Over time, every "improvement" ever tried results in an overall reduction in wealth and a reduced average standard of living.



* by free I mean normal market forces with honest actors participating, notwithstanding some regulation to keep participants honest so that the market is allowed to find equilibrium freely.
Sounds nice, but fails in reality. The divide between rich and poor is getting bigger and bigger. The resources of the earth diminish drastically. The environment is also a big issue. I admit that it is going to be hard to change sth. without any reduction of wealth for the industrial nations.
But wealth doesnt necessarily mean quality of living, does it?
Also failed "improvements" in the past dont prove the failure of new ideas in the future. If you can add 2+2 you are going to realize that we have to make changes anyways, pretty soon.

The free markets work like the online poker world, only difference is that you cannot refuse to play the best. And the best are going to win by nature and accumulate all the wealth and leave you in poverty. They will only stop when they realize that there is no one left to profit from.

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Old 06-24-2012, 09:05 PM   #72
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

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Typically amendments must have a super majority to implement so there is a pretty good safeguard there.
A super majority in the legislature hardly represents a super majority in the population. Because legislators are not elected by super majorities, but by simple majorities. Also, even a 66% majority amongst the population is not that hard to get. If it was a 99% majority, then you could be closer to getting serious. Then again, it's always a State entity that counts the votes.

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there are always grey areas so it needs to be deciding where the line is. This doesn't mean that the government is all knowing, it just means that a line must be drawn so it is best drawn by people that we vote for.
Not at all. Democracy will always lead to chaos & barbarism. Giving each person an equal vote is essentially communism. As what they are voting on is everyone's property (or what laws will apply to said property), each person is essentially given an equal share on all property of all the nation. Restricting what type of things they can vote on simply means that the process of decivilization will not be as fast as in outright communism, but eventually the result will be the same.

If you want to learn more about the history of the difference between having a person that is voted in in power, versus having someone that has inherited the position, and what each type of system has led to compared to the other (as well as the theory that predicts why this will always tend to be so), check out the link I posted or even better, read the book.

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Laws must be able to change, because our world constantly changes. We cannot foresee what laws may be absolutely necessary in the future.
Yet the process you propose to create new laws is precisely what has led to the situation that exists today in almost all the world, where there are so many laws that it would take a single person a whole lifetime to read them all once, let alone understand or memorize them.

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Old 06-25-2012, 12:05 AM   #73
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

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A super majority in the legislature hardly represents a super majority in the population. Because legislators are not elected by super majorities, but by simple majorities. Also, even a 66% majority amongst the population is not that hard to get. If it was a 99% majority, then you could be closer to getting serious. Then again, it's always a State entity that counts the votes.



Not at all. Democracy will always lead to chaos & barbarism. Giving each person an equal vote is essentially communism. As what they are voting on is everyone's property (or what laws will apply to said property), each person is essentially given an equal share on all property of all the nation. Restricting what type of things they can vote on simply means that the process of decivilization will not be as fast as in outright communism, but eventually the result will be the same.

If you want to learn more about the history of the difference between having a person that is voted in in power, versus having someone that has inherited the position, and what each type of system has led to compared to the other (as well as the theory that predicts why this will always tend to be so), check out the link I posted or even better, read the book.



Yet the process you propose to create new laws is precisely what has led to the situation that exists today in almost all the world, where there are so many laws that it would take a single person a whole lifetime to read them all once, let alone understand or memorize them.
We can argue about what % would be best to change the constitution but clearly there needs to be safe guards.

As long as the principles of capitalism, property rights and individual liberty are respected then democracy will have a fantastic outcome. Allowing people to vote on laws pertaining to private property does not even slightly resemble communism as long as property rights are respected. If you are looking for a government in which private property will be respected even in 90% of people don't want to respect property rights then you are dreaming. No government will be able to deny the will of 90% of the population regardless of what rules are set up. Just because it should be the case does not mean that it ever will be. All we can do is set up the best safe guards possible.

I wholeheartedly agree that the way laws are written must be totally redone. I think, ideally every law that is passed would be 1 page or less. It is not at all "my" process that led to this legalese garbage. In the system that I have described there would be very few laws needed or even allowed. Respecting individual freedoms and private property rights would instantly strike down 95%+ of the current US law.
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Old 06-25-2012, 12:19 AM   #74
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

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Sounds nice, but fails in reality. The divide between rich and poor is getting bigger and bigger. The resources of the earth diminish drastically. The environment is also a big issue. I admit that it is going to be hard to change sth. without any reduction of wealth for the industrial nations.
But wealth doesnt necessarily mean quality of living, does it?
Also failed "improvements" in the past dont prove the failure of new ideas in the future. If you can add 2+2 you are going to realize that we have to make changes anyways, pretty soon.

The free markets work like the online poker world, only difference is that you cannot refuse to play the best. And the best are going to win by nature and accumulate all the wealth and leave you in poverty. They will only stop when they realize that there is no one left to profit from.
A large divide isn't actually a problem when you realize that even the poor are better off under a free market system than an alternative.

Wealth does mean quality of living actually.

It should be noted that not just some improvements failed. ALL improvements fail and would contradict economic logic.

Your last paragraph is totally wrong. In poker one guy wins and another guy loses. In markets one guy wins and the other guy wins. You have yet to grasp this concept. This is the issue with all of your arguments. The wealthy will never end up with all of the wealth because they can only get wealth by creating an equal amount of wealth for others. If a billionaire created $1,000 in wealth for 1 million people, then and only then, does he deserve to make $1 billion. That is how a market system works. BOTH sides win. Rich and poor, middle class and the starving, ALL benefit from a free market, capitalist system. And they always will.
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Old 06-25-2012, 04:09 AM   #75
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Re: The greed of the rich is destroying the worlds economies

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As long as the principles of capitalism, property rights and individual liberty are respected then democracy will have a fantastic outcome. Allowing people to vote on laws pertaining to private property does not even slightly resemble communism as long as property rights are respected.
But a democratic system won't respect property rights, and that's the point. Because the very act of voting on what the State will do next is a violation of someone else's property rights. The State is the only entity that can legally expropriate whatever it wants. It can also conscript, imprison, enslave, torture or kill people as it deems in it's best interest, and it can do all of that legally because it is the only entity that can create laws, as well as interpret them, and it can exclude itself from the laws (i.e. if a private person steals, it is theft or robbery, but if the State does the same thing, it's "taxation"). In fact, everything the State does, whatever the system of government, is a violation of somebody's property rights. So voting to get it to do more will only increase those.

Democracy gives everyone an equal share in the State. As such, everyone will have an incentive to organize in political action groups where they vote themselves other people's property. However, because the cost is diluted amongst the whole population, nobody will have an incentive to organize such political action groups to oppose a single piece of legislation that transfers wealth from themselves onto others. And even if they do, the masses will always have an incentive to organize and vote themselves the property of the few individuals who are very successful.

This effect is generally known as the tragedy of the commons, and it applies especially to the State.

In the case of representative democracy, it's not the majority who rules, but a number of representatives of the majority, who after winning a popularity contest, become the temporary owners of the State. This popularity contest will again tend to be won by those who promise the masses the most free things. But this is actually not that relevant because they don't have to sign any contracts that bind them to abide by their campaign promises, so while they will keep their promises to a certain extent to mantain some sort of a decent reputation and good appearances (and to increase the chances that they will be re-elected), from the point that they're elected onwards, they are free to use the power of the State to maximize their own gain, irrespective of what promises were made to the voters. (which can be seen as a good or a bad thing, I think overall it is a good thing, due to the fact that it limits the abovementioned effects of direct democratic rule; but of course it also evidences that the whole idea of representative democracy is ludicrous, even if all it's premises were valid, which they aren't).

The temporary owners of the State will always have a tendency to make the most out of the short time that they're in office, using as much of the power of the State as they can get their hands on, to transfer wealth from the general population onto themselves, their family, and their friends. (as well as campaign contributors and bribers). This is because they know that they will only hold the reins of power for a short period of time, and then somebody else will hold them. But because they usually can't just take the property of others directly, they will have to do it indirectly, through legislation or expenditures that benefit some at the expense of everybody else, and taking whatever small cut they can out of that. As such they will only be able to acquire a tiny amount of all the resources they steal; and they will only be able to gain a relatively small amount of revenue from their monopolistic legislation, as opposed to all the production they will be hampering in the process.

If you look at the history of democratic governments, this is exactly what you see. Democracy is a path to the total State, total war, capital consumption, reduced productivity, increased taxation and other acts of expropriation by the State, increased crime, and chaos in general.

In contrast, permanent owners of the State will have an incentive to maximize the value that they can extract from the population over the long term (for themselves, and their heirs after their death, and all of their family lineage for the foreseeable future), therefore they will tend to value economic growth and generally stay out of the way of productive endeavors, and instead be content with extracting a minimal tax that doesn't interfere with the process of capital accumulation too much. And because they can simply keep the taxes for themselves, there is no need to engage in indirect measures that waste most of the loot or that end up severely disrupting production or otherwise causing tremendous destruction of property and life.

Permanent owners will also be made personally responsible if something goes wrong in the economy at large, or if taxes are too high, or if they otherwise abuse their power too much; whereas temporary owners can simply expect that the blame will lay on somebody else; and that, at worst, they will be removed from power sooner than expected and replaced by some other ruler. When a permanent owner is removed from power however, the way this is typically done is by assassinating them before someone else can come take their place.

Last edited by soon2bepro; 06-25-2012 at 04:38 AM.
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