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Gift-Economy and Incentive

FREEDO
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12/30/2010 12:11:07 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
I have heard complained about here before that a gift-economy must fail because it eliminates incentive. I think this is horribly inaccurate. Here is why.

Firstly, in a non-monetary society, it is true that wage incentives would be completely eliminated. But what most people who point this out fail to realize is that the disincentive of false-scarcity is also eliminated. With this taken into account, you may not want to produce as much but, if you do, you are able to produce much more than you could have under the monetary system. The factors neutralize each other.

Secondly, as Dan Ariely points out in his book Predictably Irrational(a fantastic book), people separate their services to others into two categories, the "market-norms" and the "social-norms". According to market-norms, you expect to be paid what you think your labour is worth. According to social-norms, being paid is actually a negative thing. He described an experiment where participants were asked to drag as many circles into a square on a computer screen as they could in 5 minutes. One group was paid $5 to do this, another 50cents, another 10cents and another for free and told that it was "a favor". Those who were paid the most, understandably, put more effort into the work and accomplished more circles than those paid 50 or 10 cents. What about those who did it for free? Did they do the worst? Exactly the opposite, they did better than any of the other groups. Why? Because their motive was no longer market but social. People generally work harder for a cause than they do a wage.

So, with false-scarcity gone and all services lead by social rather than market-norms, we may just have more incentive and thus more production under a gift-economy than a monetary system.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
FREEDO
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12/30/2010 12:45:47 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
The Burning Man festival is even brought up right after that part in the book. He said it was one of the best experiences to ever happen to him and that it convinced him that an economy which focuses more on the social than the market would bring much more satisfaction.
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fnord
wamba
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12/30/2010 1:23:13 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/30/2010 12:11:07 AM, FREEDO wrote:
According to social-norms, being paid is actually a negative thing. He

People generally work harder for a cause than they do a wage.

So, with false-scarcity
wamba
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12/30/2010 1:27:22 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/30/2010 12:45:47 AM, FREEDO wrote:
He said it was one of the best experiences to ever happen to him and that it convinced him that an economy which focuses more on the social than the market would bring much more satisfaction.
Caramel
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12/30/2010 1:50:16 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/30/2010 12:11:07 AM, FREEDO wrote:
I have heard complained about here before that a gift-economy must fail because it eliminates incentive. I think this is horribly inaccurate. Here is why.

Firstly, in a non-monetary society, it is true that wage incentives would be completely eliminated. But what most people who point this out fail to realize is that the disincentive of false-scarcity is also eliminated. With this taken into account, you may not want to produce as much but, if you do, you are able to produce much more than you could have under the monetary system. The factors neutralize each other.

To produce "false-scarcity," wouldn't producers need to collude? I'm sure the berts on here are just going to point out that if company A produces less, company B is just going to pick up the slack... Monopolistic conditions are not present in most markets, after all.

Secondly, as Dan Ariely points out in his book Predictably Irrational(a fantastic book), people separate their services to others into two categories, the "market-norms" and the "social-norms". According to market-norms, you expect to be paid what you think your labour is worth. According to social-norms, being paid is actually a negative thing. He described an experiment where participants were asked to drag as many circles into a square on a computer screen as they could in 5 minutes. One group was paid $5 to do this, another 50cents, another 10cents and another for free and told that it was "a favor". Those who were paid the most, understandably, put more effort into the work and accomplished more circles than those paid 50 or 10 cents. What about those who did it for free? Did they do the worst? Exactly the opposite, they did better than any of the other groups. Why? Because their motive was no longer market but social. People generally work harder for a cause than they do a wage.

Exactly; but that's just the tip of the iceburg. Consider the breadth of jobs one could undertake in a society where the barriers to entry are eliminated. I'm working on my master's degree right now and I was lucky, real lucky, just to get a job that has nothing to do with my field. It's difficult to practice what I learn when any firm hiring me is taking such a huge risk by dealing with me. If I walk into the nearest factory and ask them for an opportunity to learn the trade, they will likely tell me they want a minimum 40 hrs/week out of me and will prefer for me to have experience in the field already (which is paradoxical in and of itself). I wouldn't even be allowed to watch them work, most likely, because of some capitalistic-caused insurance liability or fear that I may be a spy from the competition.

I think this would be much more broad then just getting us into our focussed careers more easily; it will allow us to become much more multifaceted as people. Your average citizen, including us, is quite stupid - because we work such a limited range of jobs. Working many different jobs makes us smarter, more interesting, more resilient... And we have more fun and endure less stress when allowed to do a wide range of activities. I had a job (at this place: http://www.fulfillnetinc.com... )where 40 hours a week I was to:

A) open a box
B) take out the 3"x5" cards inside and stack them on a table
C) stagger the stacks (of roughly 20 cards) so that they could enter the machines more easily.

Can you imagine getting into work every day, punching in at 8am, and then not having anything else to do than this until 5pm? The supervisor chuckled one day and told us "...I think we'll do it without any talking..." because, of course, talking slows down the pace at which we can sort cards. This place is still in business and I drive by it on the way to work everyday and think of the people in there. Then I look out into the businesspark and wonder how many other people have jobs this bad. On the website, of course, the workers look happy and proud of their jobs. Capitalism dictates that we give people horrible jobs then put pictures of other people (models) doing our jobs and smiling.

This particular firm just sent this spam mail to rich folks... So not only was the job absolutely horrific (it's hard to see why anyone wouldn't choose maximum security prison over a life like this) but it was absolutely senseless; no one needs to do this work. NOBODY. Jobs which are absolutely senseless will vanish. I would estimate that half the work we do does not increase overall utility (debate me).

There will be jobs that are necessary, and these can be split up into bitesize pieces for many people. People will be excited to go to work everyday and find out what new skills they will learn - much like we currently get excited about buying a new hat. Forcing people to work will be pointless; work needs to be done to be productive, and it will be socially stigmatic to be unproductive - much like we currently stigmatize people with low incomes.

So, with false-scarcity gone and all services lead by social rather than market-norms, we may just have more incentive and thus more production under a gift-economy than a monetary system.

More production =/= more benefit for society... and I think we will probably produce less because we will be less prone to waste when the externalities of our activities are not exported tens of thousands of miles away. We can have less "stuff" and still have more ability to enjoy different things. But this would require another seven paragraphs of explanation so I will quit now and go to bed.
no comment
FREEDO
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12/30/2010 2:36:09 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/30/2010 1:50:16 AM, Caramel wrote:
At 12/30/2010 12:11:07 AM, FREEDO wrote:
I have heard complained about here before that a gift-economy must fail because it eliminates incentive. I think this is horribly inaccurate. Here is why.

Firstly, in a non-monetary society, it is true that wage incentives would be completely eliminated. But what most people who point this out fail to realize is that the disincentive of false-scarcity is also eliminated. With this taken into account, you may not want to produce as much but, if you do, you are able to produce much more than you could have under the monetary system. The factors neutralize each other.

To produce "false-scarcity," wouldn't producers need to collude? I'm sure the berts on here are just going to point out that if company A produces less, company B is just going to pick up the slack... Monopolistic conditions are not present in most markets, after all.

I wasn't particularly speaking of monopoly. What I meant is that in a monetary system only a certain amount of something can be produced because only a certain amount can be afforded. Only so much corn can be produced because some people can't afford it even though the resources exist to produce it and people are starving. We have the ability to feed everyone in the world yet we simply don't because imaginary restrictions are in-place.

Secondly, as Dan Ariely points out in his book Predictably Irrational(a fantastic book), people separate their services to others into two categories, the "market-norms" and the "social-norms". According to market-norms, you expect to be paid what you think your labour is worth. According to social-norms, being paid is actually a negative thing. He described an experiment where participants were asked to drag as many circles into a square on a computer screen as they could in 5 minutes. One group was paid $5 to do this, another 50cents, another 10cents and another for free and told that it was "a favor". Those who were paid the most, understandably, put more effort into the work and accomplished more circles than those paid 50 or 10 cents. What about those who did it for free? Did they do the worst? Exactly the opposite, they did better than any of the other groups. Why? Because their motive was no longer market but social. People generally work harder for a cause than they do a wage.

Exactly; but that's just the tip of the iceburg. Consider the breadth of jobs one could undertake in a society where the barriers to entry are eliminated. I'm working on my master's degree right now and I was lucky, real lucky, just to get a job that has nothing to do with my field. It's difficult to practice what I learn when any firm hiring me is taking such a huge risk by dealing with me. If I walk into the nearest factory and ask them for an opportunity to learn the trade, they will likely tell me they want a minimum 40 hrs/week out of me and will prefer for me to have experience in the field already (which is paradoxical in and of itself). I wouldn't even be allowed to watch them work, most likely, because of some capitalistic-caused insurance liability or fear that I may be a spy from the competition.

I think this would be much more broad then just getting us into our focussed careers more easily; it will allow us to become much more multifaceted as people. Your average citizen, including us, is quite stupid - because we work such a limited range of jobs. Working many different jobs makes us smarter, more interesting, more resilient... And we have more fun and endure less stress when allowed to do a wide range of activities. I had a job (at this place: http://www.fulfillnetinc.com... )where 40 hours a week I was to:

A) open a box
B) take out the 3"x5" cards inside and stack them on a table
C) stagger the stacks (of roughly 20 cards) so that they could enter the machines more easily.

Can you imagine getting into work every day, punching in at 8am, and then not having anything else to do than this until 5pm? The supervisor chuckled one day and told us "...I think we'll do it without any talking..." because, of course, talking slows down the pace at which we can sort cards. This place is still in business and I drive by it on the way to work everyday and think of the people in there. Then I look out into the businesspark and wonder how many other people have jobs this bad. On the website, of course, the workers look happy and proud of their jobs. Capitalism dictates that we give people horrible jobs then put pictures of other people (models) doing our jobs and smiling.

This particular firm just sent this spam mail to rich folks... So not only was the job absolutely horrific (it's hard to see why anyone wouldn't choose maximum security prison over a life like this) but it was absolutely senseless; no one needs to do this work. NOBODY. Jobs which are absolutely senseless will vanish. I would estimate that half the work we do does not increase overall utility (debate me).

I wouldn't debate you, I agree. Do you support a gift-economy? Sounds like it.

There will be jobs that are necessary, and these can be split up into bitesize pieces for many people. People will be excited to go to work everyday and find out what new skills they will learn - much like we currently get excited about buying a new hat. Forcing people to work will be pointless; work needs to be done to be productive, and it will be socially stigmatic to be unproductive - much like we currently stigmatize people with low incomes.

So, with false-scarcity gone and all services lead by social rather than market-norms, we may just have more incentive and thus more production under a gift-economy than a monetary system.

More production =/= more benefit for society... and I think we will probably produce less because we will be less prone to waste when the externalities of our activities are not exported tens of thousands of miles away. We can have less "stuff" and still have more ability to enjoy different things. But this would require another seven paragraphs of explanation so I will quit now and go to bed.

When we have people without homes and food I am quite sure that producing enough to meet that is a good thing.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
darkkermit
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12/30/2010 2:38:53 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Similar to what Caramel state.

The study fails to take into consideration opportunity cost. While money might not increase motivation, it effects one's decisions and how one chooses to allocate time and skills.

For example, I could choose a job that I enjoy less, in order to receive a higher salary. Or if I want to specialize in a specific skill, I would specialize in a skill that could achieve a high salary.

This, was the case for me deciding to major in chemical engineering rather than chemistry. Although I enjoy chemistry more, chemical engineers receive higher pay then chemist and only require a bachelors, while chemist usually need a master's.
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FREEDO
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12/30/2010 2:45:32 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/30/2010 2:38:53 AM, darkkermit wrote:
Similar to what Caramel state.

The study fails to take into consideration opportunity cost. While money might not increase motivation, it effects one's decisions and how one chooses to allocate time and skills.

For example, I could choose a job that I enjoy less, in order to receive a higher salary. Or if I want to specialize in a specific skill, I would specialize in a skill that could achieve a high salary.

This, was the case for me deciding to major in chemical engineering rather than chemistry. Although I enjoy chemistry more, chemical engineers receive higher pay then chemist and only require a bachelors, while chemist usually need a master's.

How does this attack a gift-economy? Are you saying that certain jobs wouldn't have any incentive because people don't want to do them?
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
darkkermit
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12/30/2010 2:51:24 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/30/2010 2:45:32 AM, FREEDO wrote:
At 12/30/2010 2:38:53 AM, darkkermit wrote:
Similar to what Caramel state.

The study fails to take into consideration opportunity cost. While money might not increase motivation, it effects one's decisions and how one chooses to allocate time and skills.

For example, I could choose a job that I enjoy less, in order to receive a higher salary. Or if I want to specialize in a specific skill, I would specialize in a skill that could achieve a high salary.

This, was the case for me deciding to major in chemical engineering rather than chemistry. Although I enjoy chemistry more, chemical engineers receive higher pay then chemist and only require a bachelors, while chemist usually need a master's.

How does this attack a gift-economy? Are you saying that certain jobs wouldn't have any incentive because people don't want to do them?

Exactly. Even if we assume everyone is willing to be 'productive', there's no way to measure which jobs there is a shortage are and which there is a surplus of.
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FREEDO
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12/30/2010 2:59:04 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/30/2010 2:51:24 AM, darkkermit wrote:
At 12/30/2010 2:45:32 AM, FREEDO wrote:
At 12/30/2010 2:38:53 AM, darkkermit wrote:
Similar to what Caramel state.

The study fails to take into consideration opportunity cost. While money might not increase motivation, it effects one's decisions and how one chooses to allocate time and skills.

For example, I could choose a job that I enjoy less, in order to receive a higher salary. Or if I want to specialize in a specific skill, I would specialize in a skill that could achieve a high salary.

This, was the case for me deciding to major in chemical engineering rather than chemistry. Although I enjoy chemistry more, chemical engineers receive higher pay then chemist and only require a bachelors, while chemist usually need a master's.

How does this attack a gift-economy? Are you saying that certain jobs wouldn't have any incentive because people don't want to do them?

Exactly. Even if we assume everyone is willing to be 'productive', there's no way to measure which jobs there is a shortage are and which there is a surplus of.

Sure there is. It's easy to see what has a lot of production and which has little. And, assumabley but not absolutely, people would not be "hired" in a gift-economy so to be set with a certain job, you get to do any number of jobs. So, people could take turns with the less desirable jobs or eventually automate them.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
FREEDO
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12/30/2010 3:01:31 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/30/2010 2:59:04 AM, FREEDO wrote:
At 12/30/2010 2:51:24 AM, darkkermit wrote:
At 12/30/2010 2:45:32 AM, FREEDO wrote:
At 12/30/2010 2:38:53 AM, darkkermit wrote:
Similar to what Caramel state.

The study fails to take into consideration opportunity cost. While money might not increase motivation, it effects one's decisions and how one chooses to allocate time and skills.

For example, I could choose a job that I enjoy less, in order to receive a higher salary. Or if I want to specialize in a specific skill, I would specialize in a skill that could achieve a high salary.

This, was the case for me deciding to major in chemical engineering rather than chemistry. Although I enjoy chemistry more, chemical engineers receive higher pay then chemist and only require a bachelors, while chemist usually need a master's.

How does this attack a gift-economy? Are you saying that certain jobs wouldn't have any incentive because people don't want to do them?

Exactly. Even if we assume everyone is willing to be 'productive', there's no way to measure which jobs there is a shortage are and which there is a surplus of.

Sure there is. It's easy to see what has a lot of production and which has little. And, assumabley but not absolutely, people would not be "hired" in a gift-economy so to be set with a certain job, you get to do any number of jobs. So, people could take turns with the less desirable jobs or eventually automate them.

I would recommend a counting system so that each time something is taken that same thing must then be replaced--a message being sent to the producing establishment.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
darkkermit
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12/30/2010 3:18:08 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/30/2010 2:59:04 AM, FREEDO wrote:
At 12/30/2010 2:51:24 AM, darkkermit wrote:
At 12/30/2010 2:45:32 AM, FREEDO wrote:
At 12/30/2010 2:38:53 AM, darkkermit wrote:
Similar to what Caramel state.

The study fails to take into consideration opportunity cost. While money might not increase motivation, it effects one's decisions and how one chooses to allocate time and skills.

For example, I could choose a job that I enjoy less, in order to receive a higher salary. Or if I want to specialize in a specific skill, I would specialize in a skill that could achieve a high salary.

This, was the case for me deciding to major in chemical engineering rather than chemistry. Although I enjoy chemistry more, chemical engineers receive higher pay then chemist and only require a bachelors, while chemist usually need a master's.

How does this attack a gift-economy? Are you saying that certain jobs wouldn't have any incentive because people don't want to do them?

Exactly. Even if we assume everyone is willing to be 'productive', there's no way to measure which jobs there is a shortage are and which there is a surplus of.

Sure there is. It's easy to see what has a lot of production and which has little. And, assumabley but not absolutely, people would not be "hired" in a gift-economy so to be set with a certain job, you get to do any number of jobs. So, people could take turns with the less desirable jobs or eventually automate them.

One also has to consider which products are demanded by society. One could produce these products and be 'productive, however there isn't enough demand for them.

Also, one has to consider that specialization in labor takes time. One can not take turns with less desirable jobs, since less desirable jobs might require years of training. Not to mention, there is also the calculation of how much training one should receive.

Here's an example. A medic and an emergency physician.
Both of these fields are similar. However, Iit would be a waste of resources to train the medic to the level of an emergency physician. It would also be a waste of resource to have a person trained as an emergency physician to spend time as a medic.
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FREEDO
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12/30/2010 3:33:18 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/30/2010 3:18:08 AM, darkkermit wrote:
At 12/30/2010 2:59:04 AM, FREEDO wrote:
At 12/30/2010 2:51:24 AM, darkkermit wrote:
At 12/30/2010 2:45:32 AM, FREEDO wrote:
At 12/30/2010 2:38:53 AM, darkkermit wrote:
Similar to what Caramel state.

The study fails to take into consideration opportunity cost. While money might not increase motivation, it effects one's decisions and how one chooses to allocate time and skills.

For example, I could choose a job that I enjoy less, in order to receive a higher salary. Or if I want to specialize in a specific skill, I would specialize in a skill that could achieve a high salary.

This, was the case for me deciding to major in chemical engineering rather than chemistry. Although I enjoy chemistry more, chemical engineers receive higher pay then chemist and only require a bachelors, while chemist usually need a master's.

How does this attack a gift-economy? Are you saying that certain jobs wouldn't have any incentive because people don't want to do them?

Exactly. Even if we assume everyone is willing to be 'productive', there's no way to measure which jobs there is a shortage are and which there is a surplus of.

Sure there is. It's easy to see what has a lot of production and which has little. And, assumabley but not absolutely, people would not be "hired" in a gift-economy so to be set with a certain job, you get to do any number of jobs. So, people could take turns with the less desirable jobs or eventually automate them.

One also has to consider which products are demanded by society. One could produce these products and be 'productive, however there isn't enough demand for them.

Like I posted afterwards, a counting system would fix that. It wold replace the monetary supply and demand system with a new one. When one thing gets taken a message is sent to produce that thing again.

Also, one has to consider that specialization in labor takes time. One can not take turns with less desirable jobs, since less desirable jobs might require years of training. Not to mention, there is also the calculation of how much training one should receive.

That is a fine point. However, if there are really any jobs which no one wants to do that would require all their time, frankly, I would suggest it just be abolished. Can you give an example of such a job which nobody wants and requires all their time AND is also a necessity--is there such a job?

Here's an example. A medic and an emergency physician.
Both of these fields are similar. However, Iit would be a waste of resources to train the medic to the level of an emergency physician. It would also be a waste of resource to have a person trained as an emergency physician to spend time as a medic.

Um..why?
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fnord
Walrasian_Equilibrium
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12/30/2010 3:57:20 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
If monetary incentives lead to worse results that social incentives, why don't profit-maximizing businesses pay their workers zero? The OP's argument is that Greedy Capitalist faces a choice between:

Situation A: pay worker $10.00 an hour, worker produces $10.00 an hour, profit 0 an hour

and

Situation B: pay worker $0.00 an hour, worker produces $15.00 an hour, profit $15.00 an hour

and chooses A over B.

How very strange. In any case, the sweeping generalization is absurd and entirely unjustified.
darkkermit
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12/30/2010 4:17:13 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
@Freedo

How is the counting system any different from the monetary system we have today? Money essential is an easily traded item that determines a product's worth and one's labor worth.
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FREEDO
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12/30/2010 4:49:49 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/30/2010 3:57:20 AM, Walrasian_Equilibrium wrote:
If monetary incentives lead to worse results that social incentives, why don't profit-maximizing businesses pay their workers zero? The OP's argument is that Greedy Capitalist faces a choice between:

Situation A: pay worker $10.00 an hour, worker produces $10.00 an hour, profit 0 an hour

and

Situation B: pay worker $0.00 an hour, worker produces $15.00 an hour, profit $15.00 an hour

and chooses A over B.

How very strange. In any case, the sweeping generalization is absurd and entirely unjustified.

This is a good question which I can explain away quite easily. You see, further experiments showed that mixing market and social doesn't turn out very well. You ask "If monetary incentives lead to worse results that social incentives, why don't profit-maximizing businesses pay their workers zero?", the very reason is stated in your question--that they are seeking a profit. People view it through market eyes and not those of the social, so they won't do it. What do you call it when they are not seeking profit? A charity. And guess what--we have plenty of those.
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fnord
FREEDO
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12/30/2010 4:54:06 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/30/2010 4:17:13 AM, darkkermit wrote:
@Freedo

How is the counting system any different from the monetary system we have today? Money essential is an easily traded item that determines a product's worth and one's labor worth.

I can't imagine why you would ask how they are different.

Monetary: You have ___ much money, you buy stuff with it, you make more by finding a job which in-turn provide other with what they have enough to buy.

Gift-economy with a counting system: There is no money, you do work for free and get stuff for free. When you take something it is counted so others know to replace it.
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fnord
juvanya
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12/30/2010 4:54:30 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/30/2010 12:11:07 AM, FREEDO wrote:
Secondly, as Dan Ariely points out in his book Predictably Irrational(a fantastic book), people separate their services to others into two categories, the "market-norms" and the "social-norms". According to market-norms, you expect to be paid what you think your labour is worth. According to social-norms, being paid is actually a negative thing. He described an experiment where participants were asked to drag as many circles into a square on a computer screen as they could in 5 minutes. One group was paid $5 to do this, another 50cents, another 10cents and another for free and told that it was "a favor". Those who were paid the most, understandably, put more effort into the work and accomplished more circles than those paid 50 or 10 cents. What about those who did it for free? Did they do the worst? Exactly the opposite, they did better than any of the other groups. Why? Because their motive was no longer market but social. People generally work harder for a cause than they do a wage.

That conclusion is most incorrect. Its cognitive dissonance. When you are paid, you feel that you are doing the pointless task for the money. When there is no reward, your mind cant reconcile why you are doing something pointless for money, so it says it is because you are doing a favor.
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12/30/2010 4:59:05 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/30/2010 4:54:30 AM, juvanya wrote:
At 12/30/2010 12:11:07 AM, FREEDO wrote:
Secondly, as Dan Ariely points out in his book Predictably Irrational(a fantastic book), people separate their services to others into two categories, the "market-norms" and the "social-norms". According to market-norms, you expect to be paid what you think your labour is worth. According to social-norms, being paid is actually a negative thing. He described an experiment where participants were asked to drag as many circles into a square on a computer screen as they could in 5 minutes. One group was paid $5 to do this, another 50cents, another 10cents and another for free and told that it was "a favor". Those who were paid the most, understandably, put more effort into the work and accomplished more circles than those paid 50 or 10 cents. What about those who did it for free? Did they do the worst? Exactly the opposite, they did better than any of the other groups. Why? Because their motive was no longer market but social. People generally work harder for a cause than they do a wage.

That conclusion is most incorrect. Its cognitive dissonance. When you are paid, you feel that you are doing the pointless task for the money. When there is no reward, your mind cant reconcile why you are doing something pointless for money, so it says it is because you are doing a favor.

Actually, as further experiments showed, doing it for no money actually made it no longer pointless to you. People actually enjoy things more when they are not being paid to do them.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
wamba
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12/30/2010 8:46:45 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/30/2010 4:59:05 AM, FREEDO wrote:
Actually, as further experiments showed, doing it for no money actually made it no longer pointless to you. People actually enjoy things more when they are not being paid to do them.

HA
Caramel
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12/30/2010 3:08:12 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
To produce "false-scarcity," wouldn't producers need to collude? I'm sure the berts on here are just going to point out that if company A produces less, company B is just going to pick up the slack... Monopolistic conditions are not present in most markets, after all.

I wasn't particularly speaking of monopoly. What I meant is that in a monetary system only a certain amount of something can be produced because only a certain amount can be afforded. Only so much corn can be produced because some people can't afford it even though the resources exist to produce it and people are starving. We have the ability to feed everyone in the world yet we simply don't because imaginary restrictions are in-place.

If consumers had feeding the world in mind, we would be dumping money into charities to grow and distribute food. Instead we choose to buy more things for ourselves. But we can't stop buying these things because there are invisible forces at work... Trying to keep up with the Jones's, trying to buy things expensive to reduce chance of replacement, addiction, and of course, the need to offset our stressful work-lives with something meaningful in return.

The problem is giving consumers the decision in the first place. Giving us whatever we could desire when we wave a dollar at it? A bad idea. Power corrupts, and the consumer's power to self-satiate is corrupting us considerably.

Your example is interesting, considering corn has been largely unavailable in Mexico due to ethanol production, which is being pushed to offset externalities of oil use, which is in turn IMO only being used because of capitalism. I believe that the original oil crises would have gotten us largely off of gasoline if it hadn't been for the private sector guiding us away from alternative tech like a mother guiding her toddler away from a rack of candy by his little hand. Can you believe that every year since I've been born they've come out with some spiffy looking electric future-car and displayed it as if its only a few years off, just to scrap it and come out with a new SUV or something? How can one say the auto companies are not working against us when it took until 2010 to release a decent electric car yet we've had fuel cells and electric cars for over 150 years? I'm not just talking about a rare prototype, I'm talking about fleets of taxis and the infrastructure to charge them - before the turn of the 20th century. Now all of a sudden we're hoping innovation is going to take off? The technology that matters in the Nissan Leaf shouldn't have taken 150 years to develop.

This particular firm just sent this spam mail to rich folks... So not only was the job absolutely horrific (it's hard to see why anyone wouldn't choose maximum security prison over a life like this) but it was absolutely senseless; no one needs to do this work. NOBODY. Jobs which are absolutely senseless will vanish. I would estimate that half the work we do does not increase overall utility (debate me).

I wouldn't debate you, I agree. Do you support a gift-economy? Sounds like it.

That was directed at the steaming capitalists watching. Sieben probably back-handed his monitor off the table already and is now going to accuse us of unchallenged masturbatorial rants.

"Gift-economy" is not a term I have used but probably just as well. Is this considered a subset of AnCom?

More production =/= more benefit for society...

When we have people without homes and food I am quite sure that producing enough to meet that is a good thing.

Point taken... but consider that we as Americans waste up to 40% of our food. Is more production really what we need?

Not only is food wasted, but it is used in questionable ways. Labor that could be used to grow food is used in bulk food preparation (both service-based [e.g., fast-food] and product-based [e.g., pre-shredded cheese]). Food, labor, and resources are dumped into non-nutritious food-products. We eat meat with every meal, even though every ten calories of meat throws away 90 calories of plants to make it. We have no gardens throughout our neighborhoods, even though it would take no resources (only labor) to produce them. Why aren't there gardens in every neighborhood? Oh yes... property rights. There are so many angles on this it isn't funny... With that said, you could certainly take the angle that you have the edge on productivity, but realize that we could decrease productivity and still feed more people. yaseewutimsayin'?
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Caramel
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12/30/2010 3:37:49 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/30/2010 3:57:20 AM, Walrasian_Equilibrium wrote:
If monetary incentives lead to worse results that social incentives, why don't profit-maximizing businesses pay their workers zero? The OP's argument is that Greedy Capitalist faces a choice between:

Situation A: pay worker $10.00 an hour, worker produces $10.00 an hour, profit 0 an hour

and

Situation B: pay worker $0.00 an hour, worker produces $15.00 an hour, profit $15.00 an hour

and chooses A over B.

How very strange. In any case, the sweeping generalization is absurd and entirely unjustified.

I'm surprised Freedo even gave you a straight answer to this... If someone doesn't work for wages THEY DIE OF STARVATION. Any questions?
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FREEDO
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12/30/2010 3:54:33 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/30/2010 8:46:45 AM, wamba wrote:
At 12/30/2010 4:59:05 AM, FREEDO wrote:
Actually, as further experiments showed, doing it for no money actually made it no longer pointless to you. People actually enjoy things more when they are not being paid to do them.

HA

Ha, yourself.

It's obvious that when people are given the choice to be payed to do something or have pay do something they would choice to be payed. But lets say they don't have that choice and are presented with the same thing and it must be bought. Without their knowing, they are going to see this thing as much more enjoyable than anyone who is being payed to do it, especially if there's no reputation attached to the thing as being something you get payed to do.

Get yourself some learnin.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
FREEDO
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12/30/2010 3:56:55 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/30/2010 3:08:12 PM, Caramel wrote:

"Gift-economy" is not a term I have used but probably just as well. Is this considered a subset of AnCom?

A gift-economy doesn't actually have to be Anarchistic. It is however Communistic, though Communism does not necessarily have to be a gift-economy.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
Caramel
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12/30/2010 3:58:20 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/30/2010 4:54:30 AM, juvanya wrote:
At 12/30/2010 12:11:07 AM, FREEDO wrote:
Secondly, as Dan Ariely points out in his book Predictably Irrational(a fantastic book), people separate their services to others into two categories, the "market-norms" and the "social-norms". According to market-norms, you expect to be paid what you think your labour is worth. According to social-norms, being paid is actually a negative thing. He described an experiment where participants were asked to drag as many circles into a square on a computer screen as they could in 5 minutes. One group was paid $5 to do this, another 50cents, another 10cents and another for free and told that it was "a favor". Those who were paid the most, understandably, put more effort into the work and accomplished more circles than those paid 50 or 10 cents. What about those who did it for free? Did they do the worst? Exactly the opposite, they did better than any of the other groups. Why? Because their motive was no longer market but social. People generally work harder for a cause than they do a wage.

That conclusion is most incorrect. Its cognitive dissonance. When you are paid, you feel that you are doing the pointless task for the money. When there is no reward, your mind cant reconcile why you are doing something pointless for money, so it says it is because you are doing a favor.

You may have a point with this; capitalism produces a strong effect on one's values and one's morality. Has capitalism damaged us so badly that we aren't even able to do a favor without mental damage? Possibly...
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TheAtheistAllegiance
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12/30/2010 4:15:03 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I wish the idea of abolishing "money" would just disappear. If people remove currency, then transactions become highly costly and inefficient, which doesn't help anyone in terms of economics, unless the goal is to become poorer. Not to mention, currency naturally arises in even the most limited economies, such as in jail with cigarettes.
J.Kenyon
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12/30/2010 4:39:18 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/30/2010 4:59:05 AM, FREEDO wrote:
People actually enjoy things more when they are not being paid to do them.

That's a huge hasty generalization. Chances are people prefer doing things they pay to do because:

(a) They don't enjoy doing things they are paid to do; that's why they have to be paid in the first place.

(b) They're not willing to pay to do things they don't already enjoy anyway.

Do you have link to the actual study? What was the methodology? How many times was the experiment repeated on the same group of people? Sure, you may enjoy doing someone a favor every now and then, but when you're repeatedly asked to do it over and over again, it starts to get tedious.

Here's my life for the next 14 years:

3 1/2 years: study my a*s off so I get into a good medical school.

4 years: study my a*s off so I can graduate from medical school.

5-7 years: work my a*s off 80 hours a week during residency for close to minimum wage.

Now, as fascinating as I find neuroscience, I'm not planning on going through this hell on earth just so I can have the privilege of operating on my patients gratis.
Caramel
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12/30/2010 4:45:24 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 12/30/2010 4:15:03 PM, TheAtheistAllegiance wrote:
I wish the idea of abolishing "money" would just disappear. If people remove currency, then transactions become highly costly and inefficient,

Transactions are an element of capitalism. Why would one need transactions to get a gift?

...which doesn't help anyone in terms of economics, unless the goal is to become poorer. Not to mention, currency naturally arises in even the most limited economies, such as in jail with cigarettes.

...and a55rapings naturally arise as well, therefore that should be pursued as well? How does AnCom relate to being in prison?
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Reasoning
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12/30/2010 5:16:32 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Forget about incentives. Calculation argument.
"What we really ought to ask the liberal, before we even begin addressing his agenda, is this: In what kind of society would he be a conservative?" - Joseph Sobran