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@ Libertarians/ Anarchists - 2

I-am-a-panda
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9/18/2009 11:09:24 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
A common defence of a free market is that technology gets better in a competitive environment. If this is true, then explain why the Soviet weapons such as the AK-47 [http://en.wikipedia.org...] and the PPSH-41 [http://en.wikipedia.org...] were not only cheap to manufacture and quick to manufacture but also reliable in the field and accurate, as opposed to various American weapons developed by private companies which were noted for jamming and were more expensive.
Pizza. I have enormous respect for Pizza.
Volkov
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9/18/2009 11:36:11 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
This should be directed at anyone that prefers a free market, like myself, though I'm obviously not a libertarian or anarchist.

Anyways, I don't necessarily believe in the idea that better technology will come out of more competitive markets. As far as I'm concerned, as long as there is an incentive to create and build, it will be done - and whether the money comes from the government or private sources doesn't matter.

But I can see where government-controlled technology markets lag behind competitive ones. In a competitive market, the better the technology you create, the more likely the chance it will be bought and sold for a higher amount than older tech.

With a government-controlled market, the better the technology you create, you don't necessarily have the chance to get more for your work. It can be an absolutely set cost, and unless the government actually needs it, you can't bargain that well.

So if you look at it from the inventor's perspective, you can see what the advantages are in a competitive market. You have more of an incentive as well; with the government, you usually have a pretty good guaranteed buyer, which means that unless they pay you more to create something better, you won't do anything different. You don't have that stable buyer in a competitive market; if your product is less viable than another, you'll lose your source of income, which means that you have an incentive to either a) find a new source, or b) create a better product. a) is an option you cannot get in a government-controlled market, which can disenfranchise you a lot worse than a competitive market would.

So yeah. That is what I know, but someone with more economic experience would know more.
Ragnar_Rahl
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9/18/2009 11:54:17 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
Two problems:

1. Anecdotal evidence. The general rule can exist with exceptions.

2. Arms are a very regulated industry even inside the US. Even the "competition" is not for the dollar votes of those who earned their dollars, but for the dollar votes of politicians who stole them, especially when it comes to arms for the military market. This isn't comparing a command economy and a free market, but comparing a sector of a command economy that that country's government is very willing to give special privileges to, and one of the most controlled parts of the US mixed market.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Ragnar_Rahl
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9/18/2009 11:57:51 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
Specifically, all economic rules are subject to "exceptions" in the sense of individual cases that seem to spit in their eye, this is because analyzing economic rules relies on an "other things equal" assumption, when things are rarely equal. A skilled inventor can invent in poor conditions occasionally, if the poorness of the conditions isn't concentrated too much right where he's at.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
regebro
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9/18/2009 12:31:38 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/18/2009 11:09:24 AM, I-am-a-panda wrote:
A common defence of a free market is that technology gets better in a competitive environment. If this is true, then explain why the Soviet weapons such as the AK-47 [http://en.wikipedia.org...] and the PPSH-41 [http://en.wikipedia.org...] were not only cheap to manufacture and quick to manufacture but also reliable in the field and accurate, as opposed to various American weapons developed by private companies which were noted for jamming and were more expensive.

Well, they were better because they were low-tech. That made them reliable, and also fixable by whacking with a spanner. They are however notoriously inaccurate, and therefore useless in longer ranges.

Better is a relative term. An AK-47 is better if you need reliability or you need to be able to repair things yourself, like terrorists/independece fighters. It's also better if you rely on having large armies opf cannon fodder and your tactics uses mass infantry fire, like the Soviet union. And they are better if you are poor and need to massproduce weapons fast and cheap. Like the Soviet Union.

However, if you actually care about your soldiers, you want something that is accurate and has range, so that your soldiers can shoot their soldiers first. And then an AK-47 is a pretty crappy weapon. In those situation the M16 will wipe it's butt with the AK-47, as an example.

Also, the introduction of assault rifles, especially of the medium cartridge kind, was delayed by politics internal to the US army. They preferred large cartridges, which turned out to be less effective, information they even hid from the British so that the British preferred smaller cartridge wouldn't win out. Thinks like that delayed the widespread introduction of the M16, and then as you say it was also less reliable. But it's a way better weapon otherwise.
So prove me wrong, then.
Xer
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9/18/2009 3:05:05 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Try either of those guns verse M4, M16, AR-14, etc and you will get destroyed. Also, AK-47s and or the PPSh are incredibly inaccurate. It's OK for urban warfare, but other than that, those guns suck,
regebro
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9/18/2009 10:57:36 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Now if you want something simple and reliable, try this:
http://en.wikipedia.org...

It's basically a short rifled barrel, set into a metal tube, with a big piece of metal in that tube held in place by a coil spring, and a spring loaded trigger. You could probably make one of these in a normal school metal working shop with some practice. They are dead simple, unfailing pieces of crap. You can drop them in a swamp and just pick them up and keep going. You want to increase the rate of fire? You stick a battery (C or D cell, I don't remember which) in behind the coil, which increases the tension. It has no single fire setting, which means it's really hard to shoot just one shot. There is practically no recoil, so it's perfectly possible to just blast away a round of 36 shots and still have them hit somewhere in the vicinity of the target.

Obviously, there is no accuracy or range. Still, I'd probably rather have one of those in an urban setting than the assault rifle I also used:

http://en.wikipedia.org...

Heavier, bigger, only 20 round magazines, will hurt you if you don't use it right. But the M45 is totally useless in open ground warfare (which of course is what Sweden is most about, so it was a crappy weapon for the Swedish army to have. But cheap).
So prove me wrong, then.
TombLikeBomb
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9/23/2009 1:45:54 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/18/2009 11:54:17 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Anecdotal evidence. The general rule can exist with exceptions.

Looking at your sig, I suggest you take your own advice. But of course, you exemplify the futility of what I-am-a-panda is trying to do, which is to convince free-marketers through induction. As you indicate: there will usually be exceptions for the free-marketer to highlight; when there aren't, he can always appeal to utopia, blaming the more capitalist situation for being insufficiently so. It's much quicker, though equally ignored by the free-marketer, to show the fallacy of what is after all his a priori logic. But there are other problems with the OP:

1) It judges economies by the destructive capacity of their high-technology waste. It should suffice that there is a positive relationship between taxation and quality-of-life.

2) It compares the economy of an historically rich country that hasn't been invaded since 1812 to that of a country that spent its life blockaded with a few other essentially third world ones.

3) An implied premise is the false distinction between undemocratic government and capital. Such a premise is based on either the false assumption that capital does not naturally consolidate or that such a monopoly can be distinct from the government. As Ragnar points out, capital is not a closed system with regard to government. What he apparently fails to see is that the reverse is also true. It's doubtful, for example, that the President and Congress would be supporting unpopular bank bailouts if such banks didn't feature so prominently in campaign financing. Without taxation, of course, the rich's job would be even easier, as is evidenced by the inverse relationship between inequality and tax revenue. Even as the Soviet Union's concentration of capital was artificially rapid, the US's was artifically slow, by various means including anti-trust legislation. But even if we were to ignore that capital naturally consolidates with respect to the country, we must admit that it's definitively consolidated with respect to itself, making the Soviet bureaucracy (regulated only by its enemies) a capitalist in a truer (unregulated) sense than was an American corporation. The question becomes "liberty for whom", to which Ragnar can't answer "the earners" without a considerable degree of amnesia regarding American history and the history of capital in general.

At 9/18/2009 11:36:11 AM, Volkov wrote:
In a competitive market, the better the technology you create, the more likely the chance it will be bought and sold for a higher amount than older tech.

Even if that were true, why attempt to incentivize something that is partly beyond one's control? Aren't luck and natural ability factors in creativity? Then why not incentivize only the part of creativity that's within one's control, namely effort and sacrifice?

With a government-controlled market, the better the technology you create, you don't necessarily have the chance to get more for your work. It can be an absolutely set cost, and unless the government actually needs it, you can't bargain that well.

So? Unless non-government buyers actually need your technology, you can't bargain that well with non-government buyers. The collection of non-government buyers additionally can less afford to take the kinds of risks (which could be eliminated through antecedent planning) inherent to new technology, and each such buyer's scope of interest is more limited than a government's.

So if you look at it from the inventor's perspective, you can see what the advantages are in a competitive market.

The "inventor's perspective"? The OP's "perspective" is the invention's.

You have more of an incentive as well; with the government, you usually have a pretty good guaranteed buyer, which means that unless they pay you more to create something better, you won't do anything different.

Why not? What's your incentive to keep doing the same thing? Presumably, you didn't become an inventor in order to "invent" the same thing again and again. Otherwise, why wouldn't the government pay you more to incent you to "create something better", which would benefit everyone including the government? And what special incentive does the government have to "buy" the same old crap?

a) find a new source, or b) create a better product. a) is an option you cannot get in a government-controlled market, which can disenfranchise you a lot worse than a competitive market would.

Doesn't (a) rather reduce the incentive to (b)? Your "disenfranchise" bit needs rephrasing, but if it means to suggest socialist economies are characterized by horizontal immobility you've set yourself in opposition to the evidence.

So yeah. That is what I know, but someone with more economic experience would know more.

People with more economic "experience" than you range from the far-left to the far-right. Isn't what you claim to "know" nothing more than regurgitated ideology (at best) and stream of consciousness?
From the time of the progressive era with the rise of public schooling through the post-WWII period, capital invaded the time workers had liberated from waged work and shaped it for purposes of social control. Perhaps the most obvious moment of this colonization was the re-incarceration in schools of the young (who were expelled from the factories by child labor laws) such that what might have been free time was structured to convert their life energies into labor power.
Ragnar_Rahl
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9/23/2009 3:31:44 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/23/2009 1:45:54 PM, TombLikeBomb wrote:
At 9/18/2009 11:54:17 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Anecdotal evidence. The general rule can exist with exceptions.

Looking at your sig, I suggest you take your own advice. But of course, you exemplify the futility of what I-am-a-panda is trying to do, which is to convince free-marketers through induction.
Induction from a single case?
In any case, the sig isn't induction, it's a joke. I don't even know for sure whether it's actually a law.
It's much quicker, though equally ignored by the free-marketer, to show the fallacy of what is after all his a priori logic.
It's fallacious to demonstrate that when someone says B is better than A, what they're using as evidence is the situation of a non-A compared to the situation of a B?

It's doubtful, for example, that the President and Congress would be supporting unpopular bank bailouts if such banks didn't feature so prominently in campaign financing.
It's also doubtful campaign financing by banks for such purposes would have ever been normal enough to slip past voter's notice if the politicians weren't placing the banks and their mercy and making it necessary for the banks survival to have the lobbyists. Once they do have lobbyists, the cost of misusing those lobbyists is significantly less.

making the Soviet bureaucracy (regulated only by its enemies) a capitalist in a truer (unregulated) sense than was an American corporation.
The Soviet bureaucracy WAS the regulator. An unregulated regulator is irrelevant to the question of an unregulated nonregulating earner. The two are different phenomena. The sense of "capitalist" that involves taking money by force from its creators is true to nothing but a Marxist slur.

Even if that were true, why attempt to incentivize something that is partly beyond one's control? Aren't luck and natural ability factors in creativity?
Factors completely irrelevant without incentives. Since the Greeks did not realize there was anything to be gained from a steam engine (preferring the labor of slaves and knowing of nothing that could not be acquired thereby), even the fellow who created it, it sat as a toy, not to be made productive until thousands of years later when it came about in a semi-free country.

Then why not incentivize only the part of creativity that's within one's control, namely effort and sacrifice?
Because then you have idiots punching walls all day.


With a government-controlled market, the better the technology you create, you don't necessarily have the chance to get more for your work. It can be an absolutely set cost, and unless the government actually needs it, you can't bargain that well.

So? Unless non-government buyers actually need your technology, you can't bargain that well with non-government buyers.
That's a big unless. The whole point is to get technology people need.

The collection of non-government buyers additionally can less afford to take the kinds of risks (which could be eliminated through antecedent planning) inherent to new technology
The risks are not knowing whether the technology will be needed or whetherit's possible to operate a technology for the purpose. No amount of planning can mitigate this.
Why not? What's your incentive to keep doing the same thing? Presumably, you didn't become an inventor in order to "invent" the same thing again and again. Otherwise, why wouldn't the government pay you more to incent you to "create something better", which would benefit everyone including the government?
How would it even begin to calculate what was better?

And what special incentive does the government have to "buy" the same old crap?
Special interest votes. See also, the incredible battle it took to put an end to the F-22 program (One of the few things I give the current administration credit for :). Very rarely does a government achieve anything of the sort, and achieving too much of the sort is impossible in a democracy, since the special interests (the ones the same old crap is bought fro) focus their votes on the issue and the rest tend not to be able to afford to when there are so many such programs and both sides support some of them. This is an inherent weakness in any system where you cannot say "I choose neither option, I shall work with my own devices whatever their deficiencies" and you can never say that with a taxing government.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
TombLikeBomb
Posts: 639
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9/23/2009 5:34:17 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/23/2009 3:31:44 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 9/23/2009 1:45:54 PM, TombLikeBomb wrote:
making the Soviet bureaucracy (regulated only by its enemies) a capitalist in a truer (unregulated) sense than was an American corporation.
The Soviet bureaucracy WAS the regulator.

...of its tenants and employees, same as for any US "earner". Of course, Russians had less procedural freedom of emigration, but that's not a defining feature of socialism and is of course meaningless to a comparison of systems in isolation.

Even if that were true, why attempt to incentivize something that is partly beyond one's control? Aren't luck and natural ability factors in creativity?
Factors completely irrelevant without incentives. Since the Greeks did not realize there was anything to be gained from a steam engine (preferring the labor of slaves and knowing of nothing that could not be acquired thereby), even the fellow who created it, it sat as a toy, not to be made productive until thousands of years later when it came about in a semi-free country.

First of all, that's anecdotal, which I know you despise. Secondly, you inexplicably credit "semi-free" as opposed to "thousands of years". Thirdly, you forget that such a "toy" was one of many that made that characterize the famous Ancient Greek ingenuity. Fourthly, you forget that the transition from "toy" to "productive" was a gradual progression, curving as technology predictably does. Fifthly, you seem to award states the honor "semi-free" based on the skin-color of their slaves.

Then why not incentivize only the part of creativity that's within one's control, namely effort and sacrifice?
Because then you have idiots punching walls all day.

Please elaborate.

With a government-controlled market, the better the technology you create, you don't necessarily have the chance to get more for your work. It can be an absolutely set cost, and unless the government actually needs it, you can't bargain that well.

So? Unless non-government buyers actually need your technology, you can't bargain that well with non-government buyers.
That's a big unless. The whole point is to get technology people need.

How do non-government buyers get technology people need better than government buyers?

The collection of non-government buyers additionally can less afford to take the kinds of risks (which could be eliminated through antecedent planning) inherent to new technology
The risks are not knowing whether the technology will be needed or whetherit's possible to operate a technology for the purpose. No amount of planning can mitigate this.

If you're referring to external uncertainty, uncertainty common to all economic systems, uncertainty about things like weather and war, you're correct. But I was referring to a risk particular to capitalism, namely that resources will be wasted when other economic agents decide otherwise than a given committing agent anticipated. In terms of risks in general, though, the sheer size of government is its advantage: the smaller the bankroll, the more an agent must deviate from maximum expected return.

Why not? What's your incentive to keep doing the same thing? Presumably, you didn't become an inventor in order to "invent" the same thing again and again. Otherwise, why wouldn't the government pay you more to incent you to "create something better", which would benefit everyone including the government?
How would it even begin to calculate what was better?

How would a capitalist "even begin to calculate what was better"? The government, like the capitalist, must make a prediction, later confirmed somewhat by cost-of-labor (in the case of production goods) and consumption (in the case of consumption goods).

And what special incentive does the government have to "buy" the same old crap?
Special interest votes. See also, the incredible battle it took to put an end to the F-22 program (One of the few things I give the current administration credit for :). Very rarely does a government achieve anything of the sort, and achieving too much of the sort is impossible in a democracy, since the special interests (the ones the same old crap is bought fro) focus their votes on the issue and the rest tend not to be able to afford to when there are so many such programs and both sides support some of them. This is an inherent weakness in any system where you cannot say "I choose neither option, I shall work with my own devices whatever their deficiencies" and you can never say that with a taxing government.

"Special interests" have sway in the private sector as for the public sector. In the public sector they vote a bit more democratically, in the private sector a bit more plutocratically, that's all. Otherwise, your distinction between government and capital appears to be common nationalism, forgetting that the government is only one of many global landowners.
From the time of the progressive era with the rise of public schooling through the post-WWII period, capital invaded the time workers had liberated from waged work and shaped it for purposes of social control. Perhaps the most obvious moment of this colonization was the re-incarceration in schools of the young (who were expelled from the factories by child labor laws) such that what might have been free time was structured to convert their life energies into labor power.
Floid
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9/24/2009 10:20:03 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
A common defence of a free market is that technology gets better in a competitive environment.

Well, military weapons developed during the Cold War, both of which were heavily subsidised by the respective governments, is a very poor example to use if you want to compare the virtues of a free market versus socialist markets with respect to technology.

Second, military weapons are an even worse example to use when trying to argue this point because cost is of much less importance in relation to military equipment than in the commercial market. The primary goal for a military weapon is performance. The M-16 is more accurate and its initial problems with reliability were due to two things: incorrect propellant used in the rounds and lack of proper cleaning procedures. Both have been fixed since. Cessna aircraft are a lot cheaper than F-22s, but I don't see the Air Force flying too many of them.

Commercially, cost is a huge factor. If a product is priced to high, people will not buy it, irregardless of its functionality. But for governments spending large percentages of their GDP on military equipment, this is not true.

So if you wish to argue this point further, please provide and example that actually applies to your argument: maybe you would like to examine the commercial computer market during the Cold War (non existent in the USSR), or maybe commercial vehicle technology, or the use of modern conveniences like microwaves and dishwashers?
Ragnar_Rahl
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9/24/2009 11:16:30 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/23/2009 5:34:17 PM, TombLikeBomb wrote:
At 9/23/2009 3:31:44 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 9/23/2009 1:45:54 PM, TombLikeBomb wrote:
making the Soviet bureaucracy (regulated only by its enemies) a capitalist in a truer (unregulated) sense than was an American corporation.
The Soviet bureaucracy WAS the regulator.

...of its tenants and employees, same as for any US "earner".
No, of absolutely everyone. In order to be a "tenant or employee," you have to consent-- otherwise you're just a slave.


Even if that were true, why attempt to incentivize something that is partly beyond one's control? Aren't luck and natural ability factors in creativity?
Factors completely irrelevant without incentives. Since the Greeks did not realize there was anything to be gained from a steam engine (preferring the labor of slaves and knowing of nothing that could not be acquired thereby), even the fellow who created it, it sat as a toy, not to be made productive until thousands of years later when it came about in a semi-free country.

First of all, that's anecdotal, which I know you despise.
The steam engine itself is. But exceptions are lacking, technology simply did not develop significantly in general back then.

Secondly, you inexplicably credit "semi-free" as opposed to "thousands of years".
Thousands of years of serfdom-- no tech.

A few hundred years of semi-free: Poof!
Thirdly, you forget that such a "toy" was one of many that made that characterize the famous Ancient Greek ingenuity. Fourthly, you forget that the transition from "toy" to "productive" was a gradual progression, curving as technology predictably does.
How did the toy curve downward by disappearing so long?

Fifthly, you seem to award states the honor "semi-free" based on the skin-color of their slaves.
No, I don't. Japan and parts of Somalia fit into that category rather higher than many European countries off the top of my head without being of the usual color, as does Pinochet's Chile. The ideas that led to such situations simply happened to have more exposure in languages spoke by whites. Took some time to translate and disseminate the translations, and typical xenophobia causes many to resist such :).

With a government-controlled market, the better the technology you create, you don't necessarily have the chance to get more for your work. It can be an absolutely set cost, and unless the government actually needs it, you can't bargain that well.

So? Unless non-government buyers actually need your technology, you can't bargain that well with non-government buyers.
That's a big unless. The whole point is to get technology people need.

How do non-government buyers get technology people need better than government buyers?
Non government buyers decide their own needs and work toward them themselves. They happen to know their needs rather precisely.
A government, whether a democracy (The average muddle decides the needs of everyone averagely muddled, much less precise than people deciding their own needs) or some form of just some privileged people picking the needs of others, has no such information available.


The collection of non-government buyers additionally can less afford to take the kinds of risks (which could be eliminated through antecedent planning) inherent to new technology
The risks are not knowing whether the technology will be needed or whetherit's possible to operate a technology for the purpose. No amount of planning can mitigate this.

If you're referring to external uncertainty, uncertainty common to all economic systems, uncertainty about things like weather and war, you're correct. But I was referring to a risk particular to capitalism, namely that resources will be wasted when other economic agents decide otherwise than a given committing agent anticipated.
E.g., decide to reject the offer. The only way to mitigate that risk that a smart employer can't do (by using the best information available about what they will likely want)-- is to force people to spend their money on x whether they find it useful or not.


Why not? What's your incentive to keep doing the same thing? Presumably, you didn't become an inventor in order to "invent" the same thing again and again. Otherwise, why wouldn't the government pay you more to incent you to "create something better", which would benefit everyone including the government?
How would it even begin to calculate what was better?

How would a capitalist "even begin to calculate what was better"?
By having multiple entrepreneursmake bets against each other, and the customers tell them which is better by picking which to use. Over time, the entrepreneurs who make better bets make more bets, maximizing the number of useful things made until their predictive ability stagnates.
Past ability at predicting what is useful, while imperfect, is a better indicator of future ability to do so than the ability to win a war (which, in essence, is the selection method for any government, whatever disguise people care to use to evade it).

The government, like the capitalist, must make a prediction, later confirmed somewhat by cost-of-labor (in the case of production goods) and consumption (in the case of consumption goods).
You already told us that people would not be permitted to refuse to consume, unless your statement of eliminating the risk resulting from that choice was meaningless.


And what special incentive does the government have to "buy" the same old crap?
Special interest votes. See also, the incredible battle it took to put an end to the F-22 program (One of the few things I give the current administration credit for :). Very rarely does a government achieve anything of the sort, and achieving too much of the sort is impossible in a democracy, since the special interests (the ones the same old crap is bought fro) focus their votes on the issue and the rest tend not to be able to afford to when there are so many such programs and both sides support some of them. This is an inherent weakness in any system where you cannot say "I choose neither option, I shall work with my own devices whatever their deficiencies" and you can never say that with a taxing government.

"Special interests" have sway in the private sector as for the public sector.
The sway of "special interests" refers to the fact that in a taxing democracy, the costs of what the special interest wants are spread out, whereas the benefits are his, therefore, he will be more motivated than any other party in the transaction.
When a private company deals with a "special interest," on the other hand, the costs are concentrated on them, leading to a more even degree of interest in two parties-- you can't just bribe a corporation to hide the costs of what they are purchasing for you from a mass of ignorants-- the corporation is the one paying the costs, and thus, they cannot accept transactions that are not strictly profitable. A government can. You build a factory on taxayer dollars, it means millions to the voters who want the factory, millions to the company that builds it, next to nothing by itself to the mass that pays for it. What analogue to this problem is present in transactions where no taxation and no democracy is involved?

In the public sector they vote a bit more democratically, in the private sector a bit more plutocratically, that's all.
Which is not an objection, since "voting plutocratically" is what puts a stop to those programs, and voting democratically gives birth to them
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
TombLikeBomb
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9/24/2009 12:36:10 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/24/2009 11:16:30 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 9/23/2009 5:34:17 PM, TombLikeBomb wrote:
...of its tenants and employees, same as for any US "earner".
No, of absolutely everyone. In order to be a "tenant or employee," you have to consent-- otherwise you're just a slave.

How does one who owns no property go about refusing to be a tenant? As far as I know, the only generally available way to exist is on land.

First of all, that's anecdotal, which I know you despise.
The steam engine itself is. But exceptions are lacking, technology simply did not develop significantly in general back then.

By what measure?

Secondly, you inexplicably credit "semi-free" as opposed to "thousands of years".
Thousands of years of serfdom-- no tech.

"No tech" contradicts your earlier statement. Clearly, the earlier tech was critical in most cases to the later tech.

Thirdly, you forget that such a "toy" was one of many that made that characterize the famous Ancient Greek ingenuity. Fourthly, you forget that the transition from "toy" to "productive" was a gradual progression, curving as technology predictably does.
How did the toy curve downward by disappearing so long?

You measure technological advancement in a weird way, but were your method generalized, yes, there is generally a "curve downward" in relation to the oldness of the invention. Your expectation of technology progressing linearly is ignorant of its cumulative nature. Besides, I never advocated a slave state.

Fifthly, you seem to award states the honor "semi-free" based on the skin-color of their slaves.
No, I don't. Japan and parts of Somalia fit into that category rather higher than many European countries off the top of my head without being of the usual color, as does Pinochet's Chile.

How is any of that relevant to the steam engine? Also, I was referring to the skin-color of the "slaves". The Greeks had slaves, the Europeans had slaves, the only difference being their skin color. Pinochet's Chile, incidentally, wasn't exactly famous for its freedoms.

How do non-government buyers get technology people need better than government buyers?
Non government buyers decide their own needs and work toward them themselves. They happen to know their needs rather precisely.

Nope. Anyway, I don't especially care about the needs of a random non-government buyer weighted by wealth.

A government, whether a democracy (The average muddle decides the needs of everyone averagely muddled, much less precise than people deciding their own needs) or some form of just some privileged people picking the needs of others, has no such information available.

So you say.

If you're referring to external uncertainty, uncertainty common to all economic systems, uncertainty about things like weather and war, you're correct. But I was referring to a risk particular to capitalism, namely that resources will be wasted when other economic agents decide otherwise than a given committing agent anticipated.
E.g., decide to reject the offer. The only way to mitigate that risk that a smart employer can't do (by using the best information available about what they will likely want)-- is to force people to spend their money on x whether they find it useful or not.

You forget the "antecedent" part. Where final consumption decisions occur prior to production (as for planned economies, whether decided by consumers or not), "the best information available" is much better.

How would a capitalist "even begin to calculate what was better"?
By having multiple entrepreneursmake bets against each other, and the customers tell them which is better by picking which to use. Over time, the entrepreneurs who make better bets make more bets, maximizing the number of useful things made until their predictive ability stagnates.

Evolution went by natural selection because it had to, because eugenics weren't available. To the extent that humans are rational, we needn't put up with that degree of waste. To the extent that we aren't, the decisions of "customers" are no indication of what's better.

The government, like the capitalist, must make a prediction, later confirmed somewhat by cost-of-labor (in the case of production goods) and consumption (in the case of consumption goods).
You already told us that people would not be permitted to refuse to consume, unless your statement of eliminating the risk resulting from that choice was meaningless.

My mention of consumption referred to consumption plans, an individual enterprise as much as a collective one. If a certain consumable invention is given a high price in labor credits by consumers, that's as much confirmation of its worth as would be a high price in monies--moreso, as the former is more egalitarian.

You build a factory on taxayer dollars, it means millions to the voters who want the factory, millions to the company that builds it, next to nothing by itself to the mass that pays for it.

Why should I care more about the small "mass" that pays for it than the large mass that benefits from it?

What analogue to this problem is present in transactions where no taxation and no democracy is involved?

None, thankfully.
From the time of the progressive era with the rise of public schooling through the post-WWII period, capital invaded the time workers had liberated from waged work and shaped it for purposes of social control. Perhaps the most obvious moment of this colonization was the re-incarceration in schools of the young (who were expelled from the factories by child labor laws) such that what might have been free time was structured to convert their life energies into labor power.
Ragnar_Rahl
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9/24/2009 1:02:36 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/24/2009 12:36:10 PM, TombLikeBomb wrote:
At 9/24/2009 11:16:30 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 9/23/2009 5:34:17 PM, TombLikeBomb wrote:
...of its tenants and employees, same as for any US "earner".
No, of absolutely everyone. In order to be a "tenant or employee," you have to consent-- otherwise you're just a slave.

How does one who owns no property go about refusing to be a tenant?
Homelessness? Or building shelter on unowned land :).


First of all, that's anecdotal, which I know you despise.
The steam engine itself is. But exceptions are lacking, technology simply did not develop significantly in general back then.

By what measure?
The fact that they had to have everything done by the manual labor of slaves, their economy did not seem to grow, etc.


Secondly, you inexplicably credit "semi-free" as opposed to "thousands of years".
Thousands of years of serfdom-- no tech.

"No tech" contradicts your earlier statement. Clearly, the earlier tech was critical in most cases to the later tech.
The toy steam engine was, as far as I remember, not even known of by the later inventor of the commercial one. The ancient printing wheel some oddball made wasn't discovered until long after we had a modern printing press.


You measure technological advancement in a weird way, but were your method generalized, yes, there is generally a "curve downward" in relation to the oldness of the invention. Your expectation of technology progressing linearly is ignorant of its cumulative nature.
It wasn't just progressing nonlinearly, but regressing. And for much of the time nothing was accumulating :)


Fifthly, you seem to award states the honor "semi-free" based on the skin-color of their slaves.
No, I don't. Japan and parts of Somalia fit into that category rather higher than many European countries off the top of my head without being of the usual color, as does Pinochet's Chile.

How is any of that relevant to the steam engine? Also, I was referring to the skin-color of the "slaves". The Greeks had slaves, the Europeans had slaves, the only difference being their skin color. Pinochet's Chile, incidentally, wasn't exactly famous for its freedoms.
Sure it was. It was also famous for what you were NOT free to do, but that was a smaller list than most countries, just one disproportionately focused on by those pissed off about what people were free to do (A lot of people who hated Pinochet seemed to have little problem with, say Castro, who did much the same things for a much longer list of offenses). This doesn't absolve Pinochet, but it does mean I for one would rather live in his country than quite a few countries that don't raise as much visceral reaction if there is no better option.


How do non-government buyers get technology people need better than government buyers?
Non government buyers decide their own needs and work toward them themselves. They happen to know their needs rather precisely.

Nope. Anyway, I don't especially care about the needs of a random non-government buyer weighted by wealth.
Weighted by wealth (i.e. how well you met other's needs first), as opposed to weighted by... sympathy?


A government, whether a democracy (The average muddle decides the needs of everyone averagely muddled, much less precise than people deciding their own needs) or some form of just some privileged people picking the needs of others, has no such information available.

So you say.
You know of a source for this information?

E.g., decide to reject the offer. The only way to mitigate that risk that a smart employer can't do (by using the best information available about what they will likely want)-- is to force people to spend their money on x whether they find it useful or not.

You forget the "antecedent" part. Where final consumption decisions occur prior to production (as for planned economies, whether decided by consumers or not), "the best information available" is much better.
Consumption decisions cannot occur prior to the nature of the product being known.


How would a capitalist "even begin to calculate what was better"?
By having multiple entrepreneursmake bets against each other, and the customers tell them which is better by picking which to use. Over time, the entrepreneurs who make better bets make more bets, maximizing the number of useful things made until their predictive ability stagnates.

Evolution went by natural selection because it had to, because eugenics weren't available. To the extent that humans are rational, we needn't put up with that degree of waste. To the extent that we aren't, the decisions of "customers" are no indication of what's better.
This assumes that rationality is synonymous with omniscience. It's not. Rational folk recognize that they have limits, and therefore will specialize (rather than "government decides everything," and other rational folk will watch those who specialize in the same areas and get the best results, because those folks aren't specialists there, and so don't have the information needed to judge prior who will.


The government, like the capitalist, must make a prediction, later confirmed somewhat by cost-of-labor (in the case of production goods) and consumption (in the case of consumption goods).
You already told us that people would not be permitted to refuse to consume, unless your statement of eliminating the risk resulting from that choice was meaningless.

My mention of consumption referred to consumption plans, an individual enterprise as much as a collective one. If a certain consumable invention is given a high price in labor credits by consumers
This does not address the point. Either the plans are binding or they are not. Incidentally, labor credits? What backs the "labor credits?" Do you HAVE to work when one is handed to you? Or does some organization of volunteers simply promise they will?


You build a factory on taxayer dollars, it means millions to the voters who want the factory, millions to the company that builds it, next to nothing by itself to the mass that pays for it.

Why should I care more about the small "mass" that pays for it than the large mass that benefits from it?
It's not a small mass, and cumulatively, there are many such programs. Overall, when such programs operate, people lose more than they gain-- but since they are voted on as individual questions, no one program can often draw criticism, since the large numbers of people each take a small hit from it itself. The whole problem is that the mass that pays for it is large and fragmented by the fact that each relies on it's own "chunk" of benefit, and could only do without it if they could first convince all 300 million people to team with them, a massive coordination problem.


What analogue to this problem is present in transactions where no taxation and no democracy is involved?

None, thankfully.
I accept that concession.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
MTGandP
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9/24/2009 3:28:28 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/18/2009 3:05:05 PM, Nags wrote:
Try either of those guns verse M4, M16, AR-14, etc and you will get destroyed. Also, AK-47s and or the PPSh are incredibly inaccurate. It's OK for urban warfare, but other than that, those guns suck,

You're comparing guns from the 40's with modern weapons. You may as well argue that since Americans used muskets during the Civil War, they must be really bad at making guns since AK-47s are way better than muskets.
regebro
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9/25/2009 1:16:54 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/24/2009 3:28:28 PM, MTGandP wrote:
At 9/18/2009 3:05:05 PM, Nags wrote:
Try either of those guns verse M4, M16, AR-14, etc and you will get destroyed. Also, AK-47s and or the PPSh are incredibly inaccurate. It's OK for urban warfare, but other than that, those guns suck,

You're comparing guns from the 40's with modern weapons.

1. That was the premise of the discussion.
2. The AK-47 is from (duh) 1947 and the M16 is from 1957-58. One is 50 years the other 60. Yeah. That makes the difference between modern and ancient in the 500 year of gun development. Sure. ;-)

You may as well argue that since Americans used muskets during the Civil War, they must be really bad at making guns since AK-47s are way better than muskets.
So prove me wrong, then.
TombLikeBomb
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9/30/2009 5:44:32 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/24/2009 1:02:36 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Homelessness? Or building shelter on unowned land :).

Each of your answers presumes the existence of unowned land and is therefore irrelevant to late-stage capitalism, in which access to unowned land requires, prior to building any shelter, building a ship, these days a spaceship. At any rate, you completely ignore that the materials and labor power for such constructions are not free, which brings us back to wage slavery. On that note, an employer has a disincentive to finance his employee's quitting.

It wasn't just progressing nonlinearly, but regressing. And for much of the time nothing was accumulating :)

In what sense was it regressing? From this instant to the next, even today, "nothing is accumulating". You have to look at the bigger picture, bigger as you look back in time.

Sure it was. It was also famous for what you were NOT free to do, but that was a smaller list than most countries, just one disproportionately focused on by those pissed off about what people were free to do (A lot of people who hated Pinochet seemed to have little problem with, say Castro, who did much the same things for a much longer list of offenses).

Castro was a socialist, Allende was a socialist, and their similarities ended their. Chileans preferred socialism over capitalism, thus Castro over the rival capitalist dictatorships. Allende, the relevant leftist, was no killer, no torturer, no disappearer, and no jailer. Your "much longer list of offenses" appears random and wants explanation. You still haven't explained Japan and Somalia's relevance to the steam engine.

This doesn't absolve Pinochet, but it does mean I for one would rather live in his country than quite a few countries that don't raise as much visceral reaction if there is no better option.

Unintelligible. At any rate, that a sadist would tolerate Pinochet does not help his case.

Weighted by wealth (i.e. how well you met other's needs first), as opposed to weighted by... sympathy?

Pay attention. Credit should be according to effort and sacrifice, not condensed and inherited stolen property.

You know of a source for this information?

Of course not, hence "so you say". I would love a source. If you're referring to the economic calculation problem, it's been discredited, most recently by Robin Hahnel et al.

Consumption decisions cannot occur prior to the nature of the product being known.

On what planet? Since when does any consumer have perfect knowledge of the important information about the product he's buying (its usefulness)? Granted, planning temporally separates decision-making from use, which theoretically decreases certainty, but so does said planning guarantee income and purchasing power, thus increasing certainty. For example, under capitalism, I might refrain from a positive expected value purchase in order to avert the risk of ruinous layoff or unaffordable increase in more basic goods in the near future. But under a planned economy, where employment and prices are semi-stable, such risk aversion is unnecessary. Also, it's in planning that we are at our most rational. You'll often hear from a compulsive overeater, for example, that he can't have sweets in the house. Only by degree is it better to have an infinite supply of sweets at the corner store. He's supremely unlikely to buy sweets 6 months in advance.

This assumes that rationality is synonymous with omniscience.

How so?

Rational folk recognize that they have limits, and therefore will specialize (rather than "government decides everything," and other rational folk will watch those who specialize in the same areas and get the best results, because those folks aren't specialists there, and so don't have the information needed to judge prior who will.

You oppose specialization with "government decides everything", apparently randomly.

This does not address the point. Either the plans are binding or they are not. Incidentally, labor credits? What backs the "labor credits?" Do you HAVE to work when one is handed to you? Or does some organization of volunteers simply promise they will?

The credits follow the work, intuitively. Last period's work affords one this period's credits. The plans are binding with the exceptions of barter and producer-consumer agreements that don't interfere with others' consumption and production plans.

It's not a small mass, and cumulatively, there are many such programs.

"Many such programs" do not change the ratio of taxpayers to voters.

Overall, when such programs operate, people lose more than they gain

Really? Do you have evidence that tax-funded capital carries more net cost for the population than does privately-funded capital?

but since they are voted on as individual questions, no one program can often draw criticism, since the large numbers of people each take a small hit from it itself.

...and gain a small benefit. A private venture of comparable size results in a larger "hit" and a larger benefit to the deciders. It's unclear why a voter would submit to even a "small hit" without an outsizing benefit. More importantly, capitalism gives disproportionate heed to capitalists, who are not nearly as affected by the outcomes as are the workers, poor consumers, and victims of environmental distruction and market chaos.

The whole problem is that the mass that pays for it is large and fragmented by the fact that each relies on it's own "chunk" of benefit, and could only do without it if they could first convince all 300 million people to team with them, a massive coordination problem.

You appear to perceive a penalty for voting in the minority, forgetting that democracy is not like capitalism wherein the solitary striker or boycotter is punished.
From the time of the progressive era with the rise of public schooling through the post-WWII period, capital invaded the time workers had liberated from waged work and shaped it for purposes of social control. Perhaps the most obvious moment of this colonization was the re-incarceration in schools of the young (who were expelled from the factories by child labor laws) such that what might have been free time was structured to convert their life energies into labor power.
Ragnar_Rahl
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9/30/2009 6:28:08 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Each of your answers presumes the existence of unowned land and is therefore irrelevant to late-stage capitalism, in which access to unowned land requires, prior to building any shelter, building a ship, these days a spaceship.
This really never has been demonstrated.

At any rate, you completely ignore that the materials and labor power for such constructions are not free, which brings us back to wage slavery.

Slavery means you are slave to a human, not to the economic laws that state nothing is free.
On that note, an employer has a disincentive to finance his employee's quitting.
And one employer controls everything I presume.

It wasn't just progressing nonlinearly, but regressing. And for much of the time nothing was accumulating :)

In what sense was it regressing?
They forgot about steam engines and things like it.

Castro was a socialist, Allende was a socialist, and their similarities ended their.
Thats a long starter list no? And considering how political cultures where it's common to torture don't start in a vacuum, and the actual records of the Allende regime seem rather slim either way... Even a source I've read that seeks to make Allende look good by comparison to Pinochet: (http://www.google.com... ) claims about a 12 time "political death rate" under Pinochet-- which means that there were programs for these to occur on both sides, one was just more successful :).

You still haven't explained Japan and Somalia's relevance to the steam engine.
They weren't directly. They were relevant to a point you brought up:
"Fifthly, you seem to award states the honor "semi-free" based on the skin-color of their slaves."
Unintelligible. At any rate, that a sadist would tolerate Pinochet does not help his case.
I'm a sadist?

Pay attention. Credit should be according to effort and sacrifice, not condensed and inherited stolen property.
If the origin is theft it shouldn't be inherited, but innocent until proven guilty. I brought up sympathy because you said "you don't especially care" as your argument.

Of course not, hence "so you say". I would love a source. If you're referring to the economic calculation problem, it's been discredited, most recently by Robin Hahnel et al.
Where? Saying "It's been discredited" rather than explaining the discrediting is mere argument from intimidation.

On what planet? Since when does any consumer have perfect knowledge of the important information about the product he's buying (its usefulness)?
Straw man. Knowing what the nature of the product is=/= knowing perfectly.

Granted, planning temporally separates decision-making from use, which theoretically decreases certainty, but so does said planning guarantee income and purchasing power, thus increasing certainty.
Planning doesnt guarantee either. It conditionally guarantees it, if the plan works, which there is no particular reason to believe it will (no mechanism for picking the people who know how to make plans work to govern for one thing).

For example, under capitalism, I might refrain from a positive expected value purchase in order to avert the risk of ruinous layoff or unaffordable increase in more basic goods in the near future. But under a planned economy, where employment and prices are semi-stable, such risk aversion is unnecessary.
Since everyone else is held accountable for whatever risks you ake.

How so?
If rational people are sometimes wrong, then a selection mechanism for determining who is wrong is still relied upon.

You oppose specialization with "government decides everything", apparently randomly.
Well? They do oppose. If government decides everything, than decision making is obviously not as specialized as if different parties decide different things.


This does not address the point. Either the plans are binding or they are not. Incidentally, labor credits? What backs the "labor credits?" Do you HAVE to work when one is handed to you? Or does some organization of volunteers simply promise they will?

The credits follow the work, intuitively. Last period's work affords one this period's credits. The plans are binding
In other words you have to. Who is holding the whip again?

with the exceptions of barter and producer-consumer agreements that don't interfere with others' consumption and production plans.
Considering how you consider failure to purchase interference, that's a set of zero exceptions.

"Many such programs" do not change the ratio of taxpayers to voters.
That ratio isn't what's relevant, what's relevant is that for each program, which is decided upon one at a time, the beneficiary can afford to focus resources on that. The losers cannot, as they have millions of such programs to deal wit.


Overall, when such programs operate, people lose more than they gain

Really? Do you have evidence that tax-funded capital carries more net cost for the population than does privately-funded capital?
Privately funded capital doesn't come from the "population," it comes from the private parties-- and they don't spend it unless, in their expert opinion (about their own needs, they won't gain from it).
Someone else's opinion about what you need and what you can afford is never going to be nearly as accurate. Let alone some-many else's conglomerated contradiction of an opinion.


but since they are voted on as individual questions, no one program can often draw criticism, since the large numbers of people each take a small hit from it itself.

...and gain a small benefit.
Adding it up, I find I prefer the equation that doesn't have what I'm spending on taxes and doesn't have all the programs I'm getting out of it, many of which are decided not on their average benefit but on the campaign contributions to a politician, who can afford to spend 1 million dollars on something that produces benefits of 500,000 to be distributed, because those million are distributed costs and spread out, the programs are spread among different politicians so no target can be found, and he gets 10,000 for his campaign (numbers are examples of the concept only).

It's unclear why a voter would submit to even a "small hit" without an outsizing benefit.
Because he is represented by legislators, and he knows that both legislators he can vote for will do these things, and both also have larger programs that he is more likely to notice, and these legislators act in a bigger legislator to make sure that if one district votes in a no-pork candidate, the other legislators will just pick up the slack and spend the pork somewhere else.


The whole problem is that the mass that pays for it is large and fragmented by the fact that each relies on it's own "chunk" of benefit, and could only do without it if they could first convince all 300 million people to team with them, a massive coordination problem.

You appear to perceive a penalty for voting in the minority, forgetting that democracy is not like capitalism wherein the solitary striker or boycotter is punished.
How is he not? See the problem immediately above. See also the fact that you get thrown in prison for not complying with the majority's whims. That's much more punishment than simply being left alone.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
TombLikeBomb
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10/1/2009 12:43:42 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 9/30/2009 6:28:08 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
This really never has been demonstrated.

And unless the world suddenly loses its mind and converts to pure capitalism, I suppose it can't be. But from a theoretical perspective, it's absolutely absurd to think that a self-interested capitalist would not spend a minimal amount in "improvement" in order to claim a fortune in rents.

Slavery means you are slave to a human, not to the economic laws that state nothing is free.

The natural laws, coupled with capitalists' laws prohibiting access, necessitate slavery to employers. There's no reason I should have to repeat this.

And one employer controls everything I presume.

Ultimately. But suppose that for the moment there are multiple employers. Why would they bankrupt themselves with competitive wages when they could fix low wages for mutual benefit? The only reason would be to push out weaker employers, thus approaching your "one employer" situation.

They forgot about steam engines and things like it.

Since when is technological progress measured by memory?

Even a source I've read that seeks to make Allende look good by comparison to Pinochet: (http://www.google.com... ) claims about a 12 time "political death rate" under Pinochet-- which means that there were programs for these to occur on both sides, one was just more successful :).

First of all, don't use a pro-Allende (the Economist?) source on my account. Secondly, "'political death rate'" appears nowhere in your source. I can only assume you're referring to the ratio of either political deaths between the first few months of Pinochet and the entire three years of Allende's presidency or military "political" deaths versus civilian during said few months. It's a valiant but unlikely "program" that kills fascists at a rate of less 1 per 14 casualties absorbed. Likewise, it's a strange Allende "program" that targets Allende supporters.

They were relevant to a point you brought up:
"Fifthly, you seem to award states the honor "semi-free" based on the skin-color of their slaves."

...which I based off your crediting the development of the steam engine to "semi-free" states. Do I take this as your admitting that was a foolish thing to have said?

I'm a sadist?

I think so. Your signatures are usually fantasies of draconian punishment or otherwise violent, predictable of an advocate of sociopathy ("rational" self-interest).

If the origin is theft it shouldn't be inherited, but innocent until proven guilty.

The theft, in this case originating in "manifest destiny" and a subsequent history of crony capitalism and spoils of foreign imperialism, is common knowledge. Any Biblical or other technicalities by which you absolve such theft are your business. Nor is that the property is theft the most important problem with it. The law of the centralization of capital puts ultimate decision-making in the hands of long-dead people who have neither interest in nor knowledge of the present or future. The law of diminishing marginal returns further condemns the attendant inequalities.

Saying "It's been discredited" rather than explaining the discrediting is mere argument from intimidation.

Ideally, you would inform yourself on the subject. The first problem with the calculation problem is that it's just plain less important than capitalism's distribution and correction problems. Oskar Lange's market socialism, consistent with the law of diminishing marginal returns, combined the tacit knowledge of markets with the distributive justice of socialism. Later, after Maurice Dobb's contribution to the debate, the Pareconists conceived a system of planning utilizing market relations. After all, the Austrians' formulation was a false dilemma: capitalism or central planning.

Planning doesnt guarantee either. It conditionally guarantees it, if the plan works, which there is no particular reason to believe it will (no mechanism for picking the people who know how to make plans work to govern for one thing).

The best way to avoid failed plans is indeed to not plan. The best way to effect failed plans is to plan atomically, as in capitalism's most sophisticated form, based on guesses about others' future economic behavior. As for failure to execute said plans, the best way to effect such is to have to frequently change plans as a result of unexpected decisions by other economic actors, resulting in less planning time. As for "no mechanism for picking", your negation appears speculative and wants explanation.

If rational people are sometimes wrong, then a selection mechanism for determining who is wrong is still relied upon.

If humans are so irrational that a slow, highly random, highly oppressive selection method is required in order to determine who is "wrong", I have no reason but to believe you're being typically irrational in presuming it's actually such a determiner.

If government decides everything, than decision making is obviously not as specialized as if different parties decide different things.

Different parties do decide different things. Conflating them as "government" is your choice. In fact, participatory production is "specialized" down to the workplace (compare to corporate dictatorships).

In other words you have to.

Clearly, you misunderstand the planning process. Transactions occur therein. Yes, if you spend your credits you have to deal with their absence, same as for any money system.

Privately funded capital doesn't come from the "population," it comes from the private parties-- and they don't spend it unless, in their expert opinion (about their own needs, they won't gain from it).

How long will it take you to realize I don't think the capitalist's being the owner affords his interests any special consideration?

Adding it up, I find I prefer the equation that doesn't have what I'm spending on taxes and doesn't have all the programs I'm getting out of it, many of which are decided not on their average benefit but on the campaign contributions to a politician, who can afford to spend 1 million dollars on something that produces benefits of 500,000 to be distributed, because those million are distributed costs and spread out, the programs are spread among different politicians so no target can be found, and he gets 10,000 for his campaign (numbers are examples of the concept only).

1 million producing 500,000 (private corporations don't make profits?) in benefits could be quite useful, depending on progressivity. Your personal preferences are as always of exactly no concern to me. The effect of campaign contributions represent the spread of capitalism into politics, and I agree the system should be changed. Your "distributed costs" requires exemplification. If the phenomenon could occur at a sufficiently large (albeit as non-unique as the US is as a territorial landowner) corporation, of course, don't bother.

Because he is represented by legislators, and he knows that both legislators he can vote for will do these things, and both also have larger programs that he is more likely to notice, and these legislators act in a bigger legislator to make sure that if one district votes in a no-pork candidate, the other legislators will just pick up the slack and spend the pork somewhere else.

The latter is a problem of decentralization, similar to when a union shop loses to a non-union shop that's able to offer better price or quality luxaries thanks to poverty wages. As for "both" legislators, you describe the problem of single-voter districts and two-party systems in particular.
From the time of the progressive era with the rise of public schooling through the post-WWII period, capital invaded the time workers had liberated from waged work and shaped it for purposes of social control. Perhaps the most obvious moment of this colonization was the re-incarceration in schools of the young (who were expelled from the factories by child labor laws) such that what might have been free time was structured to convert their life energies into labor power.
regebro
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10/1/2009 1:12:09 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 10/1/2009 12:43:42 AM, TombLikeBomb wrote:
But from a theoretical perspective, it's absolutely absurd to think that a self-interested capitalist would not spend a minimal amount in "improvement" in order to claim a fortune in rents.

Yes it's absurd. The problem is the assumption that minimal amount of improvement will claim the fortune. In fact, which apartment can you take the high rent for? The run down apartment one or the nice renovated one?

Right. The nice one. In fact it's a common problem is that landlords end up renovating and raising the rents so that poor people can't afford to stay.

The natural laws, coupled with capitalists' laws prohibiting access, necessitate slavery to employers. There's no reason I should have to repeat this.

There is no reason for you to say it at all, because it's complete cowpoo. Which is of course the reason you don't actually argue for it. It's religious dogma, nothing else.

Ultimately. But suppose that for the moment there are multiple employers. Why would they bankrupt themselves with competitive wages when they could fix low wages for mutual benefit?

Because the odd one out that doesn't would get all the good workers. And you only need ONE that doesn't for the cartel to break.

The law of diminishing marginal returns further condemns the attendant inequalities.

You know it doesn't necessarily become true just because somebody called it "the law of something", right?

Yes, as competition increases margins shrink. But that leaves the customers money over for something else, which opens up new markets. Margins shrink only *per product*. Not as a whole. Which means that all the Marxist conclusions of this is completely wrong. Marx economic theories has since long been proven to be mistaken. You can not argue against capitalism on the basis of Marxism. It's like arguing against humanity going to the moon on the basis that the Bible says the earth is flat.

If humans are so irrational that a slow, highly random, highly oppressive selection method is required in order to determine who is "wrong"

I thought he was arguing AGAINST central planning, not claiming it was needed.

Different parties do decide different things. Conflating them as "government" is your choice. In fact, participatory production is "specialized" down to the workplace (compare to corporate dictatorships).

It's funny that you see this, but not that different capitalists do different things. Ho hum.
So prove me wrong, then.
Ragnar_Rahl
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10/1/2009 8:59:24 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
But from a theoretical perspective, it's absolutely absurd to think that a self-interested capitalist would not spend a minimal amount in "improvement" in order to claim a fortune in rents.

Rege covered that one.

The natural laws, coupled with capitalists' laws prohibiting access, necessitate slavery to employers.
E.g., the natural laws, coupled with capitalist's refusal to be a slave, to be forced such that what they produce become your benefit rather than theirs...
That reduces slavery into inevitability. It is impossible to grant universal access to the same item at the same time. Obviously, then, your expansion of the concept of slavery makes it meaningless.

But suppose that for the moment there are multiple employers. Why would they bankrupt themselves with competitive wages when they could fix low wages for mutual benefit?
They can't, and it isn't bankrupting themselves. Real industries pay different people different amounts, and this occurred before laws mandating it ever did. The moment you make a "wage cartel," as rege explained, you surrender a significant amount of labor to whatever new competitor wants to come along (and to other industries!)

Since when is technological progress measured by memory?
If the physical instrument does not exist, and no one has knowledge of it, it is essentially eradicated- for the purposes of using it, it is as though it never existed.

It's a valiant but unlikely "program" that kills fascists at a rate of less 1 per 14 casualties absorbed.
Considering the usual standards of reporting rates among those of a certain persuasion (rather low), it is indeed likely.

...which I based off your crediting the development of the steam engine to "semi-free" states. Do I take this as your admitting that was a foolish thing to have said?
No. The steam engine was invented in semi-free states. Somalia and Japan both achieved that honor long AFTER the steam engine was made. What is foolish about it? Just because the EARLY examples happen to have occurred in a few parts of the world, the status is supposedly based on being in those parts of the world? No, that's just where the trend started.

I think so. Your signatures are usually fantasies of draconian punishment or otherwise violent
First, I only recall one violent siggy. Second, sadism doesn't mean the advocacy of violence for the purposes of enforcing a given set of laws, it means the acquisition of sexual pleasure from violence. Third, nowhere have I ever advocated violence in response to mere political advocacy, which is a point of disagreement I have with Pinochet, therefore my otherwise relatively positive evaluation of the regime is in spite of, not because of, that issue.

The theft, in this case originating in "manifest destiny" and a subsequent history of crony capitalism and spoils of foreign imperialism, is common knowledge.
Common knowledge in generality. In specifics? In what cases who got what, and whether it was demonstrably owned by anyone first? Not so much.

The law of the centralization of capital puts ultimate decision-making in the hands of long-dead people
Decision making power dissolves the less competent the heirs are.

The first problem with the calculation problem is that it's just plain less important than capitalism's distribution and correction problems.
"distribution problem?" It's less important that socialism's production is near random, near irrelevant to what anyone actually needs, than that you dislike that capital sticks with those who earned it?

Oskar Lange's market socialism, consistent with the law of diminishing marginal returns, combined the tacit knowledge of markets with the distributive justice of socialism
"Tacit knowledge?" How? By what means? How does it obtain prices for capital goods if the government /commune/whatever owns all means of production? (and what the hell do you mean by "just distribution? It obviously doesn't resemble anything I would use the word just for, and as an anarcho-communist aren't you against distribution as such?)

Later, after Maurice Dobb's contribution to the debate, the Pareconists conceived a system of planning utilizing market relations.
What system? I've never heard of this term.

The best way to avoid failed plans is indeed to not plan. The best way to effect failed plans is to plan atomically, as in capitalism's most sophisticated form, based on guesses about others' future economic behavior.
So far that seems to be how the most successful plans are made.

As for failure to execute said plans, the best way to effect such is to have to frequently change plans as a result of unexpected decisions by other economic actors, resulting in less planning time.
Either you're supporting this "socialsm utilizing a market" or you aren't. You can't have it both ways.

If humans are so irrational that a slow, highly random, highly oppressive selection method is required in order to determine who is "wrong",
You have a method that's less oppressive than leaving people alone, and more effective, and faster?

Different parties do decide different things. Conflating them as "government" is your choice.
They are the same party, by agreement, they are on the same boat, just like internal parts of a corporation except oh so much bigger. They rise and fall together, they require that people be free to operate outside of them in order to commit economic calculation.
In fact, participatory production is "specialized" down to the workplace (compare to corporate dictatorships)
And this is you being inconsistent. A corporation is at least as specialized as any government. And what do you mean "Down to the workplace?" If the workplace makes all decisions independently, and keeps profits independently, how does it bear any relation to your government/commune/anarcho-government/whatever?

Clearly, you misunderstand the planning process. Transactions occur therein. Yes, if you spend your credits you have to deal with their absence, same as for any money system.
This isn't what follows from your statement. The statement I was responding to was "the plans are binding," i.e., there is no IF you accept a given amount of credits for a given amount of work, if someone wants to give you credits, you HAVE to give them work, you can't just refuse the credits.

1 million producing 500,000 (private corporations don't make profits?
Someone pursuing favors from representatives doesn't need to make economic profits in order to make personal profits, and isn't a "private corporation," merely an accidental extenson of government.. It's not their 1 million they are spending, it's the government's 1 million

Your personal preferences are as always of exactly no concern to me.
It was an example.

The effect of campaign contributions represent the spread of capitalism into politics
No. The spread of capitalism into politics would mean NO TAXES, and thus the government spending money paid to it voluntarily, which it would have to guard carefully.

If the phenomenon could occur at a sufficiently large (albeit as non-unique as the US is as a territorial landowner) corporation, of course, don't bother.
It could not to the same extent, because the corporation can't just "tax more," it would have to make more, and it's decision making is not also distributed-- there's one executive, who can crack down on whatever he pleases with minimal cost, and is incentivized to crack down on precisely these sort of arrangements. There's no "legislature" of hundreds of people, and boards of directors generally don't decide the corporation's transactions other than hiring and firing an executive (which has too high of transaction costs to push through things like earmarks).
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Ragnar_Rahl
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10/1/2009 9:01:11 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
The latter is a problem of decentralization, similar to when a union shop loses to a non-union shop that's able to offer better price or quality luxaries thanks to poverty wages.
I thought you said you were for decentralization. This "problem" reaches it's scale rather quickly.

As for "both" legislators, you describe the problem of single-voter districts and two-party systems in particular.
Parliamentary systems with multiple parties tend to expereience similar issues, and-- what do you mean by single-voter districts? Are you an advocate of direct democracy?
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
TombLikeBomb
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10/1/2009 12:20:17 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 10/1/2009 1:12:09 AM, regebro wrote:
At 10/1/2009 12:43:42 AM, TombLikeBomb wrote:
But from a theoretical perspective, it's absolutely absurd to think that a self-interested capitalist would not spend a minimal amount in "improvement" in order to claim a fortune in rents.

Yes it's absurd. The problem is the assumption that minimal amount of improvement will claim the fortune. In fact, which apartment can you take the high rent for? The run down apartment one or the nice renovated one?

The nicer one obviously fetches at least the rents of the "run down" one, but that doesn't change the fact that a fortune (albeit no larger) can be made from a sufficient number of "run down" ones. Anyway, my point was not to suggest that further improvements will not be made, only to remind that ownership, thus the exclusive right to future improvement, is conferred--in Ragnar's ideology--on the basis of minimal improvement. As you say, future improvements are allowed, which increases the value of land, which expedites the end of unowned land.

Right. The nice one. In fact it's a common problem is that landlords end up renovating and raising the rents so that poor people can't afford to stay.

You took the words right out of my mouth.

The natural laws, coupled with capitalists' laws prohibiting access, necessitate slavery to employers. There's no reason I should have to repeat this.

There is no reason for you to say it at all, because it's complete cowpoo. Which is of course the reason you don't actually argue for it. It's religious dogma, nothing else.

If you have a problem with a particular part of it, speak up. I'm not going to go over my whole conversation with Ragnar for your convenience.

Ultimately. But suppose that for the moment there are multiple employers. Why would they bankrupt themselves with competitive wages when they could fix low wages for mutual benefit?

Because the odd one out that doesn't would get all the good workers. And you only need ONE that doesn't for the cartel to break.

Why stop there? The rest of the cartel would then have to increase wages in order to compete. The defector would then be at the same disadvantage as originally, only with less profits. What kind of idiot would not predict a general increase in wages in reaction to his own?

The law of diminishing marginal returns further condemns the attendant inequalities.

You know it doesn't necessarily become true just because somebody called it "the law of something", right?

"Somebody"? Can you even name an economist who disputes it?

Yes, as competition increases margins shrink.

That's got nothing to do with the law of diminishing returns.

Margins shrink only *per product*. Not as a whole. Which means that all the Marxist conclusions of this is completely wrong.

Non sequitur. Incidentally, I'm not Karl Marx.

Marx economic theories has since long been proven to be mistaken.

The ones he inherited from Adam Smith have. Otherwise, his only mistake was in assuming something close to pure capitalism. He failed to predict the fascism of the present day, in other words.

You can not argue against capitalism on the basis of Marxism.

I agree that there's no need to. Capitalism is plainly unjust, no dialectical materialist jargon necessary.

If humans are so irrational that a slow, highly random, highly oppressive selection method is required in order to determine who is "wrong"

I thought he was arguing AGAINST central planning, not claiming it was needed.

Oh snap! Incidentally, in what sense is central planning a "selection method" in Ragnar's sense?

Different parties do decide different things. Conflating them as "government" is your choice. In fact, participatory production is "specialized" down to the workplace (compare to corporate dictatorships).

It's funny that you see this, but not that different capitalists do different things. Ho hum.

What a strange conclusion. Participatory economics' being "specialized" with respect to capitalism does not imply monopoly is as "specialized" as pre-monopolistic capitalism.
From the time of the progressive era with the rise of public schooling through the post-WWII period, capital invaded the time workers had liberated from waged work and shaped it for purposes of social control. Perhaps the most obvious moment of this colonization was the re-incarceration in schools of the young (who were expelled from the factories by child labor laws) such that what might have been free time was structured to convert their life energies into labor power.
TombLikeBomb
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10/1/2009 12:48:51 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 10/1/2009 9:01:11 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
The latter is a problem of decentralization, similar to when a union shop loses to a non-union shop that's able to offer better price or quality luxaries thanks to poverty wages.
I thought you said you were for decentralization. This "problem" reaches it's scale rather quickly.

I said I'm for moderate decentralization, notwithstanding its drawbacks. As for your second sentence, explain.

As for "both" legislators, you describe the problem of single-voter districts and two-party systems in particular.
Parliamentary systems with multiple parties tend to expereience similar issues, and-- what do you mean by single-voter districts? Are you an advocate of direct democracy?

Ultimately, yes, though subordinate representation is necessary for large populations. But no, "single-voter districts" refers to the extreme case of singular representation, from which two-party systems usually arise. Multi-voter districts encourage proportional representation, which encourages choice, but it's only the election of national officers by a single (national) district that eliminates earmarks.
From the time of the progressive era with the rise of public schooling through the post-WWII period, capital invaded the time workers had liberated from waged work and shaped it for purposes of social control. Perhaps the most obvious moment of this colonization was the re-incarceration in schools of the young (who were expelled from the factories by child labor laws) such that what might have been free time was structured to convert their life energies into labor power.
regebro
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10/1/2009 3:13:14 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 10/1/2009 12:20:17 PM, TombLikeBomb wrote:
The natural laws, coupled with capitalists' laws prohibiting access, necessitate slavery to employers. There's no reason I should have to repeat this.

There is no reason for you to say it at all, because it's complete cowpoo. Which is of course the reason you don't actually argue for it. It's religious dogma, nothing else.

If you have a problem with a particular part of it, speak up.

No. All of it is complete and utter cowpoo. I don't have a problem with any part of it. It has no more to do with reality that natural law dictates that geese that are fed apples will lay weapons grade plutonium eggs.

I'm not going to go over my whole conversation with Ragnar for your convenience.

Your conversation with Ragnar has nothing to do with it. If you somehow have dreamed up that you somehow prove the statement there, then you are wrong.

Because the odd one out that doesn't would get all the good workers. And you only need ONE that doesn't for the cartel to break.

Why stop there? The rest of the cartel would then have to increase wages in order to compete.

Yes. Making the cartel pointless, as the whole was to pay *lower* wages.

The defector would then be at the same disadvantage as originally

What disadvantage? He wasn't at a disadvantage, he was at an *advantage*. He was able to hire the best workers, as he was prepared to pay what they were worth, and nobody else wanted to. That's not a disadvantage.

What kind of idiot would not predict a general increase in wages in reaction to his own?

You seem to think that the increase in wages is a problem. This is funny, since you described the cartel holding them down as the problem. I must say I do not understand how your lack of logic works.

The law of diminishing marginal returns further condemns the attendant inequalities.

You know it doesn't necessarily become true just because somebody called it "the law of something", right?

"Somebody"? Can you even name an economist who disputes it?

Depends on what you mean. The Marxis interpretation? Yes. Loads. In fact, name any famous economist except Marx and you got it. If you mean this sentence: "Yes, as competition increases, margins shrink" then no, I can't name anybody who disagrees.

Margins shrink only *per product*. Not as a whole. Which means that all the Marxist conclusions of this is completely wrong.

Non sequitur. Incidentally, I'm not Karl Marx.

No, but you lean on his incorrect economical ideas a lot.

Marx economic theories has since long been proven to be mistaken.

The ones he inherited from Adam Smith have.

Ye,s unfortunately the only thing he really got from Adam Smith was the main thing Adam Smith got wrong. But the way you say it imply that the rest of Marx economicals theories haven't been proven wrong, adn as usual you are completely incorrect.

In fact, the part he got from Smith, the labor theory of values, is so central to Marx theories that NOTHING of it works once you prove the labor theory of value wrong. Which, as you yourself admit, has been done.

Otherwise, his only mistake was in assuming something close to pure capitalism. He failed to predict the fascism of the present day, in other words.

Marx made loads of predictions. Not one of them has come even close to coming true.

You can not argue against capitalism on the basis of Marxism.

I agree that there's no need to. Capitalism is plainly unjust, no dialectical materialist jargon necessary.

OK, I look forward to you arguing for that. Without referencing Marx of Marxist ideas. Note arguing for it. I already know you are wrong and that you can not, and in fact won't even attempt, to prove it.

If humans are so irrational that a slow, highly random, highly oppressive selection method is required in order to determine who is "wrong"

I thought he was arguing AGAINST central planning, not claiming it was needed.

Oh snap! Incidentally, in what sense is central planning a "selection method" in Ragnar's sense?

Since always.

Different parties do decide different things. Conflating them as "government" is your choice. In fact, participatory production is "specialized" down to the workplace (compare to corporate dictatorships).

It's funny that you see this, but not that different capitalists do different things. Ho hum.

What a strange conclusion. Participatory economics' being "specialized" with respect to capitalism does not imply monopoly is as "specialized" as pre-monopolistic capitalism.

The only strange thing here is why you think the answer has anything to do with what I said.
So prove me wrong, then.
TombLikeBomb
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10/2/2009 1:40:30 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 10/1/2009 3:13:14 PM, regebro wrote:
At 10/1/2009 12:20:17 PM, TombLikeBomb wrote:
The natural laws, coupled with capitalists' laws prohibiting access, necessitate slavery to employers. There's no reason I should have to repeat this.

There is no reason for you to say it at all, because it's complete cowpoo. Which is of course the reason you don't actually argue for it. It's religious dogma, nothing else.

If you have a problem with a particular part of it, speak up.

No. All of it is complete and utter cowpoo. I don't have a problem with any part of it.

That's a contradiction. If "all" of it is "cowpoo", parts of it must be so, specifically every one. When you can explain exactly why you believe part or all of it to be wrong ("it's wrong" doesn't even prove you've read it, much less that you've found an actual flaw in it), I'll be able to respond. I won't guess.

Because the odd one out that doesn't would get all the good workers. And you only need ONE that doesn't for the cartel to break.

Why stop there? The rest of the cartel would then have to increase wages in order to compete.

Yes. Making the cartel pointless, as the whole was to pay *lower* wages.

Lower than what? Some imaginary figure you haven't yet revealed? Even a monopolistic cartel cannot offer no wages, for example. It must deal with all kinds of restraints, including, since you've injected an irrational defector into the environment, competition. The bar having been so raised, the point of the cartel becomes more specifically to prevent wages from going above the new bar. Without collusion, they of course will, as the wages offered by the defector are now commonplace and no longer sufficient to attract "all the good workers".

The defector would then be at the same disadvantage as originally

What disadvantage?

The disadvantage of having competitors that pay equal or better wages.

He wasn't at a disadvantage, he was at an *advantage*.

The key word being "was".

He was able to hire the best workers, as he was prepared to pay what they were worth, and nobody else wanted to.

How do you derive "what they were worth" from "not" "cartel" "wages"? The defector is in fact the prime beneficiary of the cartel, as even what's necessary to "get all the good workers" (a better wage than they could alternatively get) is made lower by the cartel's slave wages. Even in an environment of perfect competition, wages are limited by property relationships, by which workers' true worth is limited by prohibited access and capitalists' inflated by exclusive access.

What kind of idiot would not predict a general increase in wages in reaction to his own?

You seem to think that the increase in wages is a problem.

...for the defector, yes, as it eliminates his advantage. Hence, he would have no conceivable reason to add to his wage costs in the first place. Hence, wages would remain low.

The law of diminishing marginal returns further condemns the attendant inequalities.

You know it doesn't necessarily become true just because somebody called it "the law of something", right?

"Somebody"? Can you even name an economist who disputes it?

Depends on what you mean. The Marxis interpretation?

Can you quote Marx interpreting the Law of Diminishing Marginal Returns in a non-generic way? Can you quote Marx giving it any treatment at all? Incidentally, your failure to mention Marx at the outset, coupled with your use of "margins" in the irrelevant sense of profit margins, makes it clear that you'd never actually heard of the famous law and just assumed it was Marxist because of its mention by a socialist source (me). I'm reminded of when you revealed yourself to be pretending to have read Adam Smith.

If you mean this sentence: "Yes, as competition increases, margins shrink" then no, I can't name anybody who disagrees.

But can you name even 1 economist who identifies it with the Law of Diminishing Marginal Returns?

Marx economic theories has since long been proven to be mistaken.

The ones he inherited from Adam Smith have.

Ye,s unfortunately the only thing he really got from Adam Smith was the main thing Adam Smith got wrong. But the way you say it imply that the rest of Marx economicals theories haven't been proven wrong, adn as usual you are completely incorrect.

In fact, the part he got from Smith, the labor theory of values, is so central to Marx theories that NOTHING of it works once you prove the labor theory of value wrong.

So you say. In fact, there are now marginalist Marxist economists (neo-Marxist) just as there are now marginalist classical economists (neo-classical). Capitalizing "NOTHING" adds NOTHING of merit to your assertion. It's unclear what sort of theory of value, short of a Wage Theory of Value, would negate Marx's conclusion of exploitation. As for Marxism depending more on the LTV than did classical economics, you have to explain. The real difference in Marx's LTV was to substitute social average labor for individual labor, thereby increasing the empirical relationship between labor and price.

Otherwise, his only mistake was in assuming something close to pure capitalism. He failed to predict the fascism of the present day, in other words.

Marx made loads of predictions. Not one of them has come even close to coming true.

What about, for example, the 2.5 of his preconditions for Communism you elsewhere allege to have come about? Either you're wrong there or you're wrong here.

You can not argue against capitalism on the basis of Marxism.

I agree that there's no need to. Capitalism is plainly unjust, no dialectical materialist jargon necessary.

OK, I look forward to you arguing for that. Without referencing Marx of Marxist ideas. Note arguing for it. I already know you are wrong and that you can not, and in fact won't even attempt, to prove it.

You doubt, for example, that a disabled person born to poor parents will likely end up poorer than average? If your meaning of "unjust" is, on the other hand, more subjective than "equitable", my position is as unprovable as yours.

If humans are so irrational that a slow, highly random, highly oppressive selection method is required in order to determine who is "wrong"

I thought he was arguing AGAINST central planning, not claiming it was needed.

Oh snap! Incidentally, in what sense is central planning a "selection method" in Ragnar's sense?

Since always.

That's doubtful given Ragnar's accusation of "no mechanism", but I'll let you 2 sort it out. Anyway, you should probably avoid butting into conversations, as neither of us was arguing in favor of central planning.

Different parties do decide different things. Conflating them as "government" is your choice. In fact, participatory production is "specialized" down to the workplace (compare to corporate dictatorships).

It's funny that you see this, but not that different capitalists do different things. Ho hum.

What a strange conclusion. Participatory economics' being "specialized" with respect to capitalism does not imply monopoly is as "specialized" as pre-monopolistic capitalism.

The only strange thing here is why you think the answer has anything to do with what I said.

Bare negation = End of conversation
If you respond to this post, it will as always be a result of your own stupidity.
From the time of the progressive era with the rise of public schooling through the post-WWII period, capital invaded the time workers had liberated from waged work and shaped it for purposes of social control. Perhaps the most obvious moment of this colonization was the re-incarceration in schools of the young (who were expelled from the factories by child labor laws) such that what might have been free time was structured to convert their life energies into labor power.
regebro
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10/2/2009 2:30:02 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 10/2/2009 1:40:30 PM, TombLikeBomb wrote:
No. All of it is complete and utter cowpoo. I don't have a problem with any part of it.

That's a contradiction. If "all" of it is "cowpoo", parts of it must be so, specifically every one.

Yes. So I don't have a problem with a particular part of it. I have a problem with all of it. Because it's complete and utter bullshït and has no connection to reality. It is no more true than claiming pigs can fly.

When you can explain exactly why you believe part or all of it to be wrong ("it's wrong" doesn't even prove you've read it, much less that you've found an actual flaw in it), I'll be able to respond. I won't guess.

All if it is wrong from start to finish. Saying capitalism leads to slavery is wrong in the same way as if you say that eating fish you will make you grow gills. It's wrong in the same way as claiming the moon is made out of cheese. It's completely wrong, from start to finish.

Do you understand what I said now?

Why stop there? The rest of the cartel would then have to increase wages in order to compete.

Yes. Making the cartel pointless, as the whole was to pay *lower* wages.

Lower than what?

Than what they would have payed without the cartel. I notice how you try to use a lot of empty air to talk yourself out of it. It won't work.

The defector would then be at the same disadvantage as originally

What disadvantage?

The disadvantage of having competitors that pay equal or better wages.

How is it a disadvantage to pay what something is worth? You are really tying a knot on yourself here. :)

He wasn't at a disadvantage, he was at an *advantage*.

The key word being "was".

Yes. So?

You are really digging your own hole here, very thoroughly.

He was able to hire the best workers, as he was prepared to pay what they were worth, and nobody else wanted to.

How do you derive "what they were worth" from "not" "cartel" "wages"?

I don't.

The defector is in fact the prime beneficiary of the cartel,

Exactly. Notice that it is NOT the cartel who is the prime benefactor, which was your assumption. Now you are somehow trying to make the end of the cartel, and therefore the end of this benefit to the one who wasn't in on the cartel, into something bad, which is hilarious, since your whole point was that the cartel was bad from the start.

You are totally out of your depth here.

Even in an environment of perfect competition, wages are limited by property relationships, by which workers' true worth is limited by prohibited access and capitalists' inflated by exclusive access.

In a perfect competition there is no prohibited access or exclusive access, so you are contradicting yourself. In any case this is all irrelevant, You are trying to talk hot air again, to get out of the issue. You bullshït yourself trough life, I guess. Well, that doesn't work with me.

You seem to think that the increase in wages is a problem.

...for the defector, yes, as it eliminates his advantage.

It's funny how you think the ending of an unfair advantage is a "problem".

Hence, he would have no conceivable reason to add to his wage costs in the first place. Hence, wages would remain low.
What nonsense. As you agree, the cartel means he can hire the best people cheaper. Therefore he can make more money. So he will do that. Yes, that means wages will increase, and finally he has lost his advantage. So what? Hi still made money while he had the advantage. He took market shares. He made his company bigger. Why would he NOT do that?

Can you quote Marx interpreting the Law of Diminishing Marginal Returns in a non-generic way?

Non-generic? Laws are generic? You are more than usually confused now.

assumed it was Marxist because of its mention by a socialist source (me).

I assumed you meant a Marxist interpretation from the conclusion you drew. Perhaps that was a mistake. But then you still drew an incorrect conclusion, so it doesn't matter in the long run.

In fact, the part he got from Smith, the labor theory of values, is so central to Marx theories that NOTHING of it works once you prove the labor theory of value wrong.

So you say. In fact, there are now marginalist Marxist economists (neo-Marxist) just as there are now marginalist classical economists (neo-classical)

Yes, I'm sure there is. There are Marxist everything. Doesn't mean that it works. If you replace the labor theory of value with marginalism, none of Marx conclusions can remain. All his conclusions are based on the idea that there is an objective value for somebodys work, and that they aren't payed all of it. With marginalism there is no objective value, and Marxism completely collapses.

Sorry to ruin your little dream.

Marx made loads of predictions. Not one of them has come even close to coming true.

What about, for example, the 2.5 of his preconditions for Communism you elsewhere allege to have come about? Either you're wrong there or you're wrong here.

Preconditions are not predictions. Those are ten points that are necessary for communism, not predictions on what is going to happen in the future.

You doubt, for example, that a disabled person born to poor parents will likely end up poorer than average?

No. That he will do, in all societies, always. Obviously that is true for capitalism as well. Although in a capitalist democracy, the difference will be less than in other societies.

If your meaning of "unjust" is, on the other hand, more subjective than "equitable", my position is as unprovable as yours.

I love how you claim that the definition of "just" as "equitable" somehow would be less subjective than any other definition. :-) In fact "equitable" means nothing else than "fair" or "just". They are for all intents an purposes not definitions, but synonyms.

Yes. Some people are born handicapped. Obviously they will not have the same life as I have. Is that unjust? Perhaps. Blame god, not capitalism. Socialism can't do shite about that, handicapped people will still exist, and they will still have a harder life. Capitalism with it's wealth can make it a bit better, but you can't remove the differences between people.

What a strange conclusion. Participatory economics' being "specialized" with respect to capitalism does not imply monopoly is as "specialized" as pre-monopolistic capitalism.

The only strange thing here is why you think the answer has anything to do with what I said.

Bare negation = End of conversation

That's not a bare negation, it's just you saying something completely irrelevant in the hope that it will get you out of the corner. It won't.

If you respond to this post, it will as always be a result of your own stupidity.

I know it's stupid, you do not have the brain, nor the willingness to learn, and it's pointless. But I feel somehow that I have an obligation to TRY to make you think. It's probably just rationalization, though.
So prove me wrong, then.
TombLikeBomb
Posts: 639
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10/2/2009 8:11:38 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 10/1/2009 8:59:24 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
E.g., the natural laws, coupled with capitalist's refusal to be a slave, to be forced such that what they produce become your benefit rather than theirs...

How many times do you want to go through the same dialogue? That a capitalist owns something does not imply he produced it. "Improvement" doesn't constitute "produce". Nor does inheritance. Anyway, slavery definitively requires coercion, which property satisfies but free access does not. Granted, on a microscopic level, we may find property to be coercing only abstention from access, which only (strongly) encourages subordinate labor; however, the same can be said for chattel slavery, which coerces only that the slave stays and is whipped as need be.

It is impossible to grant universal access to the same item at the same time.

"Universal access" (no property) no more precludes contracts restricting access than does private property preclude contracts spreading access.

Real industries pay different people different amounts, and this occurred before laws mandating it ever did.

Some people's maximum levels of productivity require higher wages; some people are more necessary and thus have more leverage with which to bargain. The issue here is conspiracy to keep wages low, not equal.

The moment you make a "wage cartel," as rege explained, you surrender a significant amount of labor to whatever new competitor wants to come along (and to other industries!)

New competitors and other industries have little reason not to join the cartel, for reasons explained in my response to rege.

Considering the usual standards of reporting rates among those of a certain persuasion (rather low), it is indeed likely.

Certain persuasion like your admittedly anti-Socialist source? If you lack confidence in it, don't bother citing it.

Decision making power dissolves the less competent the heirs are.

Heirs? Since when is bequeathment the only way to affect the distribution of wealth? At any rate, you name but another force, one who's actual strength is tied to how different people are. If you have a non-circular measure of "competence" in mind, we could compare the 2 forces' strengths objectively; otherwise, you're back to church. Incidentally, competence is largely an aquired trait, aided by wealth.

"distribution problem?"

Yes, by the law of diminishing marginal utility, equality is the preferable distribution, c.p., to the extent that utility functions are similar. By such law, even in the case of utility functions bearing minimal resemblance, which we know not to be the case, equality would be preferable, c.p.

It's less important that socialism's production is near random, near irrelevant to what anyone actually needs, than that you dislike that capital sticks with those who earned it?

It would be of comparable importance if it were true. If you think you've identified a randomness in socialism that's of greater magnitude than the capitalist randomness I've talked about, you've been secretive about it. Capitalism is largely responsive to the demands of rich consumers, who "need" very little of what they get.

"Tacit knowledge?" How? By what means? How does it obtain prices for capital goods if the government /commune/whatever owns all means of production?

Simple: it doesn't own all means of production.

What system? I've never heard of this term.

Basically, it's an iterative process of consumption and production plans. Indicative prices are functions of indicative productive and consumptive quantities, resulting in the aggregate convergence of production and consumption plans (if a factor of wages were to be dependent on demand, which I advocate but the consensus does not, this process could be sped up).

The best way to avoid failed plans is indeed to not plan. The best way to effect failed plans is to plan atomically, as in capitalism's most sophisticated form, based on guesses about others' future economic behavior.
So far that seems to be how the most successful plans are made.

Your say-so doesn't suffice. Anyway, decentralized, coordinated planning doesn't yet exist on a large scale, so what "seems to be" is rather irrelevant.

Either you're supporting this "socialsm utilizing a market" or you aren't. You can't have it both ways.

I never claimed to support markets as such. Lange did, but he went too far, failing to isolate the only value of markets: market exchange.

You have a method that's less oppressive than leaving people alone, and more effective, and faster?

1) Property is not "leaving people alone", as I've explained.

2) Capitalism, which aims to select leaders that are effective at serving the monied interest, is clearly less effective at serving the general interest than is democracy, whose aim is just that. If you'll permit the objective measures I prefer, we can proceed; otherwise, we're at an impasse.

3) Capitalism requires even a bad leader's empire to erode at a speed limited by natural barriers to entry. A democracy can vote him out in no time.

And this is you being inconsistent. A corporation is at least as specialized as any government.

No it isn't. Anyway, you're not saying much here. Existing governments are basically capitalists.

And what do you mean "Down to the workplace?" If the workplace makes all decisions independently, and keeps profits independently, how does it bear any relation to your government/commune/anarcho-government/whatever?

In that neither the land nor the factory are owned by the workers (same as for capitalism). The distinguishing factor is that the workers are independent in their work, as opposed to subordinate to absent bosses.

This isn't what follows from your statement. The statement I was responding to was "the plans are binding," i.e., there is no IF you accept a given amount of credits for a given amount of work, if someone wants to give you credits, you HAVE to give them work, you can't just refuse the credits.

How you derive that from "the plans are binding" is a mystery. You plan your own work (or lack thereof), not others'. And no one will "give" anyone credits as such. Credits are not money. They're awarded automatically by a pre-established function of labor-hours, effort ratings, and--if I had my way--the relevant differences between aggregate consumption and production plans. They're entirely personal, and once spent they disappear.

It was an example.

...and an anomalous one. People favor progressive taxation by wide margins.

No. The spread of capitalism into politics would mean NO TAXES, and thus the government spending money paid to it voluntarily, which it would have to guard carefully.

You've not successfully differentiated the essential (do not read: American federal government) limitations to choice in politics from those in capitalism. "NO TAXES" is a state of anarchy. In capitalism, taxes are called rents.

there's one executive, who can crack down on whatever he pleases with minimal cost, and is incentivized to crack down on precisely these sort of arrangements. There's no "legislature" of hundreds of people, and boards of directors generally don't decide the corporation's transactions other than hiring and firing an executive (which has too high of transaction costs to push through things like earmarks).

You seem to be under the impression that earmarks are inherently bad, which is absurd. That the current federal system encourages earmarks that are more costly than beneficial is of course a problem but one that's nonessential to democratic government. The massive legislature, like the single-voter districts, are unfortunately the result of our peculiar, difficult-to-change Constitution.
From the time of the progressive era with the rise of public schooling through the post-WWII period, capital invaded the time workers had liberated from waged work and shaped it for purposes of social control. Perhaps the most obvious moment of this colonization was the re-incarceration in schools of the young (who were expelled from the factories by child labor laws) such that what might have been free time was structured to convert their life energies into labor power.
regebro
Posts: 1,152
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10/3/2009 12:07:46 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 10/2/2009 8:11:38 PM, TombLikeBomb wrote:
"Universal access" (no property) no more precludes contracts restricting access

Yes it does. Because then access is no longer universal. Also, who are you gonna write the contract with if no one owns it?

Yes, by the law of diminishing marginal utility, equality is the preferable distribution, c.p., to the extent that utility functions are similar.

Yes, but first of all, utility functions aren't similar. Second of all there is a big difference between saying that in a perfect world we should be equal, and saying that in this imperfect world we should force everyone to be equal.

Nobody here argues against the idea that in a perfect world we would all be equally smart and equally good workers, and therefore having perfect equality as a baseline. But that's not how the world looks.

In a world where people are not the same, any fixed distribution will be unjust. Since people are not the same, the only thing we can do is try to make the relevant differences smaller, or in other words, the only thing we can do is try to increase the freedom of those who have too little of it.

It would be of comparable importance if it were true. If you think you've identified a randomness in socialism that's of greater magnitude than the capitalist randomness I've talked about, you've been secretive about it.

Socialism turns into a corrupt society where life is entirely controlled by who you can make friends with and who you can bribe. That is utterly random in any reasonable way.

If you counter that this is practice and not theory, then in theory the capitalist system is totally just because everyone gets what he deserves. Obviously that isn't true in practice either, but if we are to compare like for like, then socialism is random in theory, unless you assume all people are the same, and random in practice, since skill no longer is an influence on your wellbeing. While capitalism is perfectly just in theory, and less random in practice, as skill usually at least has some influence on outcomes.

Capitalism is largely responsive to the demands of rich consumers, who "need" very little of what they get.

In capitalist states, the poor are richer than the rich in the non-capitalist states. So it's perfectly reasonable to say, from a global perspective, that in a capitalist state, even the poor are rich. Which of course makes your point here pretty moot.

The best way to avoid failed plans is indeed to not plan. The best way to effect failed plans is to plan atomically, as in capitalism's most sophisticated form, based on guesses about others' future economic behavior.
So far that seems to be how the most successful plans are made.

Your say-so doesn't suffice.

No, but universal practice, and all economic theory does.

Anyway, decentralized, coordinated planning doesn't yet exist on a large scale

Yes it does. It's called a free market capitalist economy. That's the only way you can do decentralized coordinated planning.

2) Capitalism, which aims to select leaders that are effective at serving the monied interest

FAIL. Capitalism does not aim to select leaders at all.

3) Capitalism requires even a bad leader's empire to erode at a speed limited by natural barriers to entry.

Not at all. If you don't want to but from Mr X's company, you stop. Bam. Like that. Done. He is now voted out of power from your life. If everyone does that at the same time, the company will go bankrupt in no time.

A democracy can vote him out in no time.

No, only when there is a general election. And since you vote for the leader as a whole on all topics, one topic alone may not be his downfall.

Obviously, your main problem here is that you are comparing capitalism to democracy, which is completely insane. Capitalism is an economic system, democracy is a political. You are basically arguing for lamps being a better lightsource than beef. Well DUH! You still need food though, and lamps tend to make bad food.
So prove me wrong, then.