Total Posts:16|Showing Posts:1-16
Jump to topic:

The Corporate Alarm Clock

Reasoning
Posts: 4,456
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
9/27/2010 7:46:45 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
"This morning Joe was awakened by his alarm clock. Thanks to patents, which remove incentives to interoperability and modular design, the clock was designed to be thrown away rather than repaired. Thanks to "intellectual property" law, as well, the company was able to outsource actual production and then charge Joe a 1000% brand-name markup while paying the people who made it pennies. The clock was powered by electricity generated by the public power monopoly regulated by the US Department of Energy — a regulated monopoly operating on the same cost-plus markup accounting system as most other public utilities, including the military contractors who gave us the $600 toilet seat. Joe then took a shower in the clean water provided by the municipal water utility; Joe's water bill reflects a rate structure which provides below-cost water for large-scale industrial use and agribusiness. Joe watched the news on the kind of legacy broadcast media described by Edward Herman, which thanks to the FCC licensing monopolies is controlled by a handful of corporate gatekeepers.

He watched it while eating his breakfast of General Mills cereal, which thanks to government subsidies was produced at some giant mill in Minneapolis, despite the fact that cereal grains are most economically milled on a small scale near the point of consumption. Joe has no idea what's in his bacon, because the FDA (at Monsanto's behest) prohibits labeling food as GMO-free. Most of what he eats is loaded with high-fructose corn syrup, and what little "fresh" produce he eats is shipped from a giant plantation thousands of miles away, thanks to USDA subsidies.

Joe took pills which were declared safe under an inspection regime originally created at the behest of the drug cartel itself, the inflated costs of which serve as a useful entry barrier and thereby benefit incumbent producers. He paid a 2000% markup on the pills thanks to government-granted patent monopolies. Joe's medical plan stopped paying for prescription drugs because his weak union has been making more concessions at every contract renewal. The Wagner Act criminalized most of the really effective techniques, so unions like Joe's are forced to fight by the bosses' rules.

Joe drives to work on a government-subsidized highway system, built under the supervision of former auto exec Charlie "What's Good for GM" Wilson. Joe's commute takes almost an hour. Thanks to subsidized freeways and subsidized utilities to outlying developments, it's artificially cheap to build monoculture bedroom communities far removed from where people work and shop. And thanks to zoning laws and other regulations against mixed use development, it's extremely costly to live near your employer or be able to walk to a neighborhood grocer.

Joe begins his workday. He's doing the work of a downsized person in addition to his own, the work environment is becoming increasingly hostile and authoritarian, and the micromanagement increasingly demeaning. He finds his face sore from the fake smile he constantly displays to reassure the bosses he's got his mind right. He got no COLA raise last time around, and his insurance copay and deductible are higher. (It all gets back to the union thing above). The bosses sometimes drop hints about closing the plant down and moving to China, which is a whole lot more profitable thanks to World Bank subsidies to the road and utility infrastructure the offshore factories need, and thanks to WTO enforcement of "intellectual property" law that corporate headquarters use to maintain control of outsourced production overseas.

Joe pays his bills with legal tender created by banks, under the state-granted power to loan the medium of exchange into existence out of thin air and then charge interest on it.

After work Joe finds his kids back home from the public schools, where they're being processed into human resources who will cheerfully take direction from some authority figure behind a desk for the rest of their lives — just like Joe does. While they were there, the kids were taught about the wonders of Our Free Enterprise System (suitably adjusted, of course, by government action to protect us from corporate power run amok).

When Joe goes to sleep, if he's a conservative, he will thank the beneficent Free Market for all the good things he enjoys. If he's a liberal, he'll give thanks for the interventionist state as a bulwark against unbridled corporate tyranny. And he'll get a night's rest, preparing for another day of serving the unholy corporate-state alliance that rules his life from cradle to grave." - Kevin Carson

http://c4ss.org...
"What we really ought to ask the liberal, before we even begin addressing his agenda, is this: In what kind of society would he be a conservative?" - Joseph Sobran
feverish
Posts: 2,716
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/4/2010 9:26:16 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
Above average Reasoning copypasta imo. I fully agree that there is an unholy alliance between government and corporations which feeds human misery.

What I fail to see is how this is an argument for abolishing the state. It seems to me that the problem described here is that the corporations are calling the shots, rather than the government carrying out the wishes of the people. The financial clout of the corporations is what gives them the power here and the current governmental system is ripe for corruption.

Abolishing the state would surely just allow such unscrupulous individuals more direct control over us without them having to exploit us via the state as they do now.
Reasoning
Posts: 4,456
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/4/2010 9:50:52 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/4/2010 9:26:16 AM, feverish wrote:
Above average Reasoning copypasta imo. I fully agree that there is an unholy alliance between government and corporations which feeds human misery.

Then we are on the same page. However, I would go further than say that it merely feeds human misery. I would say that it is the primary cause of most human misery.

What I fail to see is how this is an argument for abolishing the state. It seems to me that the problem described here is that the corporations are calling the shots, rather than the government carrying out the wishes of the people.

This is correct.

The problem is that government is not designed to carry out the will of the people and never will be able to. See The Myth of the Rational Voter.

The financial clout of the corporations is what gives them the power here and the current governmental system is ripe for corruption.

It's a self-reinforcing cycle to some extent, yes. But the corporations only gained that financial clout through governmental privilege in the first place.

Abolishing the state would surely just allow such unscrupulous individuals more direct control over us without them having to exploit us via the state as they do now.

The State is a magnificent tool that the capitalists cannot do without. The State lets them generate profit by passing on the costs to the people in general. Without the state, such exploitation would be impossible.
"What we really ought to ask the liberal, before we even begin addressing his agenda, is this: In what kind of society would he be a conservative?" - Joseph Sobran
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/4/2010 10:21:57 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
the people

It's fun to smoke marijuana and ponder things that don't exist I've heard. Is this true?
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.
feverish
Posts: 2,716
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/5/2010 6:46:09 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/4/2010 9:50:52 PM, Reasoning wrote:
At 10/4/2010 9:26:16 AM, feverish wrote:
Above average Reasoning copypasta imo. I fully agree that there is an unholy alliance between government and corporations which feeds human misery.

Then we are on the same page. However, I would go further than say that it merely feeds human misery. I would say that it is the primary cause of most human misery.

I can agree with that too.

What I fail to see is how this is an argument for abolishing the state. It seems to me that the problem described here is that the corporations are calling the shots, rather than the government carrying out the wishes of the people.

This is correct.

The problem is that government is not designed to carry out the will of the people and never will be able to. See The Myth of the Rational Voter.

But doesn't that apply only to current systems of government, rather than an ideal situation with a well-educated, informed, sane voting majority.

The financial clout of the corporations is what gives them the power here and the current governmental system is ripe for corruption.

It's a self-reinforcing cycle to some extent, yes. But the corporations only gained that financial clout through governmental privilege in the first place.

But the government privilege has been purchased, that's the problem. With a non-corrupt regulated system, this wouldn't have happened.

Abolishing the state would surely just allow such unscrupulous individuals more direct control over us without them having to exploit us via the state as they do now.

The State is a magnificent tool that the capitalists cannot do without. The State lets them generate profit by passing on the costs to the people in general. Without the state, such exploitation would be impossible.

I believe that with nothing in their way, exploitation would be even easier for them.

At 10/4/2010 10:21:57 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
the people

It's fun to smoke marijuana and ponder things that don't exist I've heard. Is this true?

lol

People do exist Rags, you just need to get out there and meet some :)

And yeah, smoking and pondering are two of my favourite things as it happens.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/5/2010 8:46:02 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
People do exist Rags,
You replaced a definite singular noun with an indefinite plural noun. "The people" and "people" are two TOTALLY different concepts. The latter is the plural of individual person ("Persons" is used sometimes to avoid confusion.) The former is a mythical entity to whom countless altars are erected for human sacrifice.
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.
feverish
Posts: 2,716
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/5/2010 11:40:03 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/5/2010 8:46:02 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
"The people" and "people" are two TOTALLY different concepts.

The people are people, silly :)

You are a student at a college (I believe), why does it not make sense to talk about "the students" at your college?
Chrysippus
Posts: 2,173
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/5/2010 6:08:57 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/27/2010 7:46:45 AM, Reasoning wrote:
scary true stuff

then you wrote something about breakfast, and distracted me (while I'm in the trolling mode, it's easy to distract me),

more scary stuff

Seriously, though, it's not as if I didn't know about this already. This are the things that constantly grate at the edges of my mind. But what's the point of knowing the problem? The only real solution to this is to tear down the structures that make it possible; and even that only gives a temporary relief at the cost of potentially tens of thousands of lives.

Rejecting revolution, my answer is to just grit one's teeth and bear it. It's life. No one said it was going to be fair, just, or happy.
Cavete mea inexorabilis legiones mimus!
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/5/2010 8:52:50 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/5/2010 11:40:03 AM, feverish wrote:
At 10/5/2010 8:46:02 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
"The people" and "people" are two TOTALLY different concepts.

The people are people, silly :)

You are a student at a college (I believe), why does it not make sense to talk about "the students" at your college?

It sometimes does because that group actually has something in common that's probably relevant when you bring up.

"The people" never once has.
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.
feverish
Posts: 2,716
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/6/2010 5:29:56 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/5/2010 8:52:50 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 10/5/2010 11:40:03 AM, feverish wrote:
At 10/5/2010 8:46:02 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
"The people" and "people" are two TOTALLY different concepts.

The people are people, silly :)

You are a student at a college (I believe), why does it not make sense to talk about "the students" at your college?

It sometimes does because that group actually has something in common that's probably relevant when you bring up.

"The people" never once has.

So "the students" in your particular college have something in common by attending the same college and "the people" in any particular society have something in common by being part of that society.

Inb4 you turn into Margaret Thatcher and tell me there is no such thing as society.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/6/2010 8:50:03 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/6/2010 5:29:56 AM, feverish wrote:
At 10/5/2010 8:52:50 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 10/5/2010 11:40:03 AM, feverish wrote:
At 10/5/2010 8:46:02 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
"The people" and "people" are two TOTALLY different concepts.

The people are people, silly :)

You are a student at a college (I believe), why does it not make sense to talk about "the students" at your college?

It sometimes does because that group actually has something in common that's probably relevant when you bring up.

"The people" never once has.

So "the students" in your particular college have something in common by attending the same college
Yes, they all voluntarily demonstrated an interest in the education offered. This does not make them an entity, but it makes it very occasionally useful to speak in group terms when interest in education is relevant.

and "the people" in any particular society have something in common by being part of that society.
No, they've voluntarily demonstrated no such shared interest. What is the use of regarding their similar location of birth?

Inb4 you turn into Margaret Thatcher and tell me there is no such thing as society.
There is such a thing as society, but no such thing as "A particular" society, just like there is such a thing as people, but no "a particular people," "the people."
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.
innomen
Posts: 10,052
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/6/2010 9:04:42 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/6/2010 8:50:03 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 10/6/2010 5:29:56 AM, feverish wrote:
At 10/5/2010 8:52:50 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 10/5/2010 11:40:03 AM, feverish wrote:
At 10/5/2010 8:46:02 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
"The people" and "people" are two TOTALLY different concepts.

The people are people, silly :)

You are a student at a college (I believe), why does it not make sense to talk about "the students" at your college?

It sometimes does because that group actually has something in common that's probably relevant when you bring up.

"The people" never once has.

So "the students" in your particular college have something in common by attending the same college
Yes, they all voluntarily demonstrated an interest in the education offered. This does not make them an entity, but it makes it very occasionally useful to speak in group terms when interest in education is relevant.

and "the people" in any particular society have something in common by being part of that society.
No, they've voluntarily demonstrated no such shared interest. What is the use of regarding their similar location of birth?

Inb4 you turn into Margaret Thatcher and tell me there is no such thing as society.
There is such a thing as society, but no such thing as "A particular" society, just like there is such a thing as people, but no "a particular people," "the people."

I think you are ignoring an implied context that adds to the definition of "the people". If you say, the people of Utah deserve more from their elected officials, you are speaking of a citizenry that fall under the jurisdiction of said elected officials. Even in a more Jeffersonian sense of a subjective idea of "the people" there is implication of a shared humanity.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/6/2010 9:16:33 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/6/2010 9:04:42 AM, innomen wrote:
At 10/6/2010 8:50:03 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 10/6/2010 5:29:56 AM, feverish wrote:
At 10/5/2010 8:52:50 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 10/5/2010 11:40:03 AM, feverish wrote:
At 10/5/2010 8:46:02 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
"The people" and "people" are two TOTALLY different concepts.

The people are people, silly :)

You are a student at a college (I believe), why does it not make sense to talk about "the students" at your college?

It sometimes does because that group actually has something in common that's probably relevant when you bring up.

"The people" never once has.

So "the students" in your particular college have something in common by attending the same college
Yes, they all voluntarily demonstrated an interest in the education offered. This does not make them an entity, but it makes it very occasionally useful to speak in group terms when interest in education is relevant.

and "the people" in any particular society have something in common by being part of that society.
No, they've voluntarily demonstrated no such shared interest. What is the use of regarding their similar location of birth?

Inb4 you turn into Margaret Thatcher and tell me there is no such thing as society.
There is such a thing as society, but no such thing as "A particular" society, just like there is such a thing as people, but no "a particular people," "the people."

I think you are ignoring an implied context that adds to the definition of "the people". If you say, the people of Utah deserve more from their elected officials
What do all persons in Utah, including the elected officials, deserve, and why?

Even in a more Jeffersonian sense of a subjective idea of "the people" there is implication of a shared humanity.
Humanity can't be shared, it is individual. One cannot pool one's rationality with another's.
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.
innomen
Posts: 10,052
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
10/6/2010 9:20:24 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 10/6/2010 9:16:33 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 10/6/2010 9:04:42 AM, innomen wrote:
At 10/6/2010 8:50:03 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 10/6/2010 5:29:56 AM, feverish wrote:
At 10/5/2010 8:52:50 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 10/5/2010 11:40:03 AM, feverish wrote:
At 10/5/2010 8:46:02 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
"The people" and "people" are two TOTALLY different concepts.

The people are people, silly :)

You are a student at a college (I believe), why does it not make sense to talk about "the students" at your college?

It sometimes does because that group actually has something in common that's probably relevant when you bring up.

"The people" never once has.

So "the students" in your particular college have something in common by attending the same college
Yes, they all voluntarily demonstrated an interest in the education offered. This does not make them an entity, but it makes it very occasionally useful to speak in group terms when interest in education is relevant.

and "the people" in any particular society have something in common by being part of that society.
No, they've voluntarily demonstrated no such shared interest. What is the use of regarding their similar location of birth?

Inb4 you turn into Margaret Thatcher and tell me there is no such thing as society.
There is such a thing as society, but no such thing as "A particular" society, just like there is such a thing as people, but no "a particular people," "the people."

I think you are ignoring an implied context that adds to the definition of "the people". If you say, the people of Utah deserve more from their elected officials
What do all persons in Utah, including the elected officials, deserve, and why?
It was a random example of context. Your question is irrelevant to the point.

Even in a more Jeffersonian sense of a subjective idea of "the people" there is implication of a shared humanity.
Humanity can't be shared, it is individual. One cannot pool one's rationality with another's.

Humanity by definition is shared, and of course you can pool your rationality. You don't think that the rationality you hold is the result of other people's rationality that has entered into yours? That it was built upon and adopted from?