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Laissez Faire Capitalism

Cody_Franklin
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1/21/2010 8:58:04 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I just have some questions concerning laissez faire policy - my personal inquiry into libertarianism (and Objectivism) has been a huge learning experience.

1. Are there any examples of successful laissez faire economies? I'm personally thinking about Hong Kong.

2. How is quality ensured? Theoretically, if all of the companies have awful standards, both of production and employee "care", how would such an economy function?

3. Child labor laws. If children weren't prevented from working in dangerous factory conditions, then...?

4. Overall, what if businesses simply don't respond to the market? It seems like much of laissez faire theory presupposes the perpetual willingness of the consumer to switch vendors at any moment, the willingness of companies to change the way they operate due to allegedly losing MASSIVE amounts of business, and that businesses won't simply conspire with one another to defeat the sovereignty of the consumer.

I probably have more questions, but I think I've forgotten a number of them. I'll post them as I remember them - or, rather, IF I remember them.
Ragnar_Rahl
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1/21/2010 9:14:34 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 1/21/2010 8:58:04 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
I just have some questions concerning laissez faire policy - my personal inquiry into libertarianism (and Objectivism) has been a huge learning experience.

1. Are there any examples of successful laissez faire economies? I'm personally thinking about Hong Kong.
Fraid it has public education, health care, roads, all coming out of taxes.


2. How is quality ensured?
If by ensure you mean encouraged, people won't pay if it isn't worth it. If by insured you mean guaranteed, there are no guarantees in life. There are in death and the nearest totalitarian's gulag will be happy to provide it :)

Theoretically, if all of the companies have awful standards, both of production and employee "care", how would such an economy function?
How do you wind up with this unanimity? That would require all the productive people to have awful standards (or someone with better ones would compete). Do you have awful standards?


3. Child labor laws. If children weren't prevented from working in dangerous factory conditions, then...?
Then they work where they want to just like everyone else. :)


4. Overall, what if businesses simply don't respond to the market?
They die.

It seems like much of laissez faire theory presupposes the perpetual willingness of the consumer to switch vendors at any moment
Much of interventionist theory presupposes the perpetual willingness of the politician to do the same. The difference is that the consumer is the one who actually works for the product, so he has a direct, personal motive. The politician has an indirect motive, and there are many politicians, each of whom deals with multiple products-- those politicians cannot be selected on a product by product basis, and so one can generally only vote out a politician who is bad on one product at the cost of voting in another who is bad on that one. This means that the consumer has no viable way to improve by supporting a given politician (a producer with low quality who has a special interest in subsidies for his crappy product, on the other hand, well, for him the juice is still worth the squeeze :).

the willingness of companies to change the way they operate due to allegedly losing MASSIVE amounts of business, and that businesses won't simply conspire with one another to defeat the sovereignty of the consumer.
Will you conspire? Or would you rather drive your competitors out of business for having a crappy product? Which will result in bigger profits for you, sharing the market or winning it?
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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1/21/2010 9:15:38 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
They die.
"die" in terms of go out of business mind you.
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.
wjmelements
Posts: 8,206
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1/21/2010 9:15:39 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 1/21/2010 8:58:04 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
I just have some questions concerning laissez faire policy - my personal inquiry into libertarianism (and Objectivism) has been a huge learning experience.

1. Are there any examples of successful laissez faire economies? I'm personally thinking about Hong Kong.
There is no example of a true laissez-faire economy, but a few locations have significant pieces. Like Hong Kong and Shang Hai, but both those have other not-so-laissez-faire qualities. Ireland has its PRO's too, but no location is truly laissez-faire.
2. How is quality ensured? Theoretically, if all of the companies have awful standards, both of production and employee "care", how would such an economy function?
"The Invisible Hand"
3. Child labor laws. If children weren't prevented from working in dangerous factory conditions, then...?
They would generally choose not to.Also, companies would be held liable for any damages they cause. Even if it does happen on a large scale, boycotts are an option if you think a company is abusing child labor.
4. Overall, what if businesses simply don't respond to the market?
They go out of business. The companies would have to collude to keep quality low and there is no way to ensure the success of this collusion because the first person to opt out would be the one most benefited.
It seems like much of laissez faire theory presupposes the perpetual willingness of the consumer to switch vendors at any moment,
When you're at a store, brand loyalty will probably not prevent you from switching products if the one you usually buy smells like rotten eggs or if last time you had it it tasted bland.
the willingness of companies to change the way they operate due to allegedly losing MASSIVE amounts of business,
Profit motive. The better you meet demand, the higher your profits. There is no "massive amount of business" on the line at every operating decision; however, each decision to improve efficiency will benefit the manager. Failure to do so over time will result in significant losses. Try running a business and you'll understand a little better.
and that businesses won't simply conspire with one another to defeat the sovereignty of the consumer.
Every company outside of the conspiracy will be the favorite of the consumer, and so there will be a significant incentive to be outside of such a conspiracy.
in the blink of an eye you finally see the light
Volkov
Posts: 9,765
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1/21/2010 9:21:55 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
To sum up Ragnar's response a little shorter...

Who cares about other people. They can watch out for themselves. If they can't escape the cycle of poverty or abuse, thats their own fault. Private monopolies don't exist, because consumers are smart and willing and will always follow an intelligent path. And if a company does manage to somehow get control, that is the fault of the consumers who aren't switching. We should let them suffer. Oh, and a baby can't provide for itself, let it die, because I'm pretty dark like that.
wjmelements
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1/21/2010 9:24:16 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 1/21/2010 9:21:55 PM, Volkov wrote:
To sum up Ragnar's response a little shorter...

Who cares about other people. They can watch out for themselves. If they can't escape the cycle of poverty or abuse, thats their own fault. Private monopolies don't exist, because consumers are smart and willing and will always follow an intelligent path. And if a company does manage to somehow get control, that is the fault of the consumers who aren't switching. We should let them suffer. Oh, and a baby can't provide for itself, let it die, because I'm pretty dark like that.

http://fallacyfiles.org...
in the blink of an eye you finally see the light
Ragnar_Rahl
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1/21/2010 9:25:09 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 1/21/2010 9:21:55 PM, Volkov wrote:
To sum up Ragnar's response a little shorter...

Who cares about other people. They can watch out for themselves. If they can't escape the cycle of poverty or abuse, thats their own fault.
Dunno what you mean by abuse. But yep on the rest.

Private monopolies don't exist, because consumers are smart and willing and will always follow an intelligent path.
Hehe, public monopolies don't exist, because voters are smart and willing and will always follow an intelligent path and elections don't place additional obstacles to doing so :)

And if a company does manage to somehow get control, that is the fault of the consumers who aren't switching.
And if a government does manage to somehow get control, that is the fault of the minority it gets control of who can never do anything about it by definition.

Oh, and a baby can't provide for itself, let it die, because I'm pretty dark like that.
I'm not gonna be the judge of whether a baby can provide for itself. I wouln't bet on it, but I'm willing to let it rebut my presumption.

I'm not gonna stop anyone else from providing for it though :)
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.
Volkov
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1/21/2010 9:26:47 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 1/21/2010 9:25:09 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 1/21/2010 9:21:55 PM, Volkov wrote:
To sum up Ragnar's response a little shorter...

Who cares about other people. They can watch out for themselves. If they can't escape the cycle of poverty or abuse, thats their own fault.
Dunno what you mean by abuse. But yep on the rest.

Private monopolies don't exist, because consumers are smart and willing and will always follow an intelligent path.
Hehe, public monopolies don't exist, because voters are smart and willing and will always follow an intelligent path and elections don't place additional obstacles to doing so :)

And if a company does manage to somehow get control, that is the fault of the consumers who aren't switching.
And if a government does manage to somehow get control, that is the fault of the minority it gets control of who can never do anything about it by definition.

Oh, and a baby can't provide for itself, let it die, because I'm pretty dark like that.
I'm not gonna be the judge of whether a baby can provide for itself. I wouln't bet on it, but I'm willing to let it rebut my presumption.

I'm not gonna stop anyone else from providing for it though :)

Notice he didn't deny anything...
Ragnar_Rahl
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1/21/2010 9:28:22 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Notice he didn't deny anything...

Wrong, I specifically denied declaring that babies cannot provide for themselves.
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.
Volkov
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1/21/2010 9:30:28 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 1/21/2010 9:28:22 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Notice he didn't deny anything...

Wrong, I specifically denied declaring that babies cannot provide for themselves.

Oh, woops, I meant to cut that part out. South Park is pretty distracting.

I'm joking, in case you couldn't tell. In all honesty, I think your ideology has some merits - not that I'd follow it, though. Cody would probably have fun with it.
Cody_Franklin
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1/21/2010 9:35:01 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 1/21/2010 9:14:34 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 1/21/2010 8:58:04 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
I just have some questions concerning laissez faire policy - my personal inquiry into libertarianism (and Objectivism) has been a huge learning experience.

1. Are there any examples of successful laissez faire economies? I'm personally thinking about Hong Kong.
Fraid it has public education, health care, roads, all coming out of taxes.

Yeah. That was just one of the closest ones I could think of, though.


2. How is quality ensured?
If by ensure you mean encouraged, people won't pay if it isn't worth it.

Yes, but if most of the businesses are offering a poor product, then what is a consumer to do? The highest-end product on the market could still be horrendous, but simply less so than its competitors; and, since there are no pure laissez faire markets, it's a bit difficult to imagine an unregulated market where this isn't the case.


Theoretically, if all of the companies have awful standards, both of production and employee "care", how would such an economy function?
How do you wind up with this unanimity? That would require all the productive people to have awful standards (or someone with better ones would compete). Do you have awful standards?

Well, like I said, it's not necessarily one blanket standard; however, the best product on the market could simply be a bit less terrible than its competitors, and only theoretically would that compel consumers to buy that product instead of the others. Example: Taco Bueno may be the best pseudo-Mexican restaurant, but that doesn't stop me from going to Taco Bell or Taco Mayo.

Furthermore, not all people with high standards have the money to start a business. It's not as if we're looking at "Entrepreneur -> ???? -> Profit".


3. Child labor laws. If children weren't prevented from working in dangerous factory conditions, then...?
Then they work where they want to just like everyone else. :)

See, most people tend to have a problem with small children working in dangerous factories - especially when parents are forced to put their children to work to "make ends meet".

4. Overall, what if businesses simply don't respond to the market?
They die.

Well, as noted above, a business can keep doing the same thing for a really long time, and still be okay. Another example is Pizza places. I have a Pizza Hut, Mazzio's, Domino's, Papa John's, Simple Simon's, "The Pizza Place", some new place that's being built, and I don't even remember the other places. You can be damn sure that some pizza places sell better quality goods than others; however, the lower quality stores hardly see a decline in business. Domino's doesn't have to make better pizza than Papa John's to succeed, whether locally, or even nationwide.

It seems like much of laissez faire theory presupposes the perpetual willingness of the consumer to switch vendors at any moment
Much of interventionist theory presupposes the perpetual willingness of the politician to do the same. The difference is that the consumer is the one who actually works for the product, so he has a direct, personal motive.

You mean, the motive to not spend his/her money on crap? Because, I'm pretty sure that a lot of consumers tend to do that anyway.

The politician has an indirect motive, and there are many politicians, each of whom deals with multiple products-- those politicians cannot be selected on a product by product basis, and so one can generally only vote out a politician who is bad on one product at the cost of voting in another who is bad on that one. This means that the consumer has no viable way to improve by supporting a given politician (a producer with low quality who has a special interest in subsidies for his crappy product, on the other hand, well, for him the juice is still worth the squeeze :).

Gotcha.

the willingness of companies to change the way they operate due to allegedly losing MASSIVE amounts of business, and that businesses won't simply conspire with one another to defeat the sovereignty of the consumer.
Will you conspire? Or would you rather drive your competitors out of business for having a crappy product? Which will result in bigger profits for you, sharing the market or winning it?

That just assumes that the business in question can MAKE a better product; refer to the pizza example I presented above - many companies don't HAVE to improve their product in relation to their competitors, as they can make a lot of money regardless. It sounds like you're saying that, because companies can (maybe) make a better product and corner the market, that they inevitably will; however, as noted in the Industrial Revolution (to use an archaic example), working conditions were awful, product quality was hardly anything to brag about, and pre-sh!t-ton-of-regulation business didn't exactly serve as a shining role model.
Cody_Franklin
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1/21/2010 9:38:48 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 1/21/2010 9:30:28 PM, Volkov wrote:
At 1/21/2010 9:28:22 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Notice he didn't deny anything...

Wrong, I specifically denied declaring that babies cannot provide for themselves.

Oh, woops, I meant to cut that part out. South Park is pretty distracting.

I'm joking, in case you couldn't tell. In all honesty, I think your ideology has some merits - not that I'd follow it, though. Cody would probably have fun with it.

Honestly, you could have a noocratic ruler presiding over a libertarian society. Granted, it wouldn't exactly be "authoritarian", but the noocracy would still push through.
Cody_Franklin
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1/21/2010 9:48:49 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 1/21/2010 9:15:39 PM, wjmelements wrote:
At 1/21/2010 8:58:04 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
I just have some questions concerning laissez faire policy - my personal inquiry into libertarianism (and Objectivism) has been a huge learning experience.

1. Are there any examples of successful laissez faire economies? I'm personally thinking about Hong Kong.
There is no example of a true laissez-faire economy, but a few locations have significant pieces. Like Hong Kong and Shang Hai, but both those have other not-so-laissez-faire qualities. Ireland has its PRO's too, but no location is truly laissez-faire.

That's my big problem - without ever knowing how a true laissez faire economy would operate, it's quite difficult to predict how things would realistically turn out.

2. How is quality ensured? Theoretically, if all of the companies have awful standards, both of production and employee "care", how would such an economy function?
"The Invisible Hand"

Yes, but if all companies have awful standards, the invisible hand is going going to guide consumers to the least awful company - being least awful doesn't equate being good.

3. Child labor laws. If children weren't prevented from working in dangerous factory conditions, then...?
They would generally choose not to.

Not the case when child labor was legal.

Also, companies would be held liable for any damages they cause. Even if it does happen on a large scale, boycotts are an option if you think a company is abusing child labor.

Again, when child labor was legal, people refrained from complaining for a very long time; however, in this case, complaints wouldn't be met with government action unless children were being deliberately harmed.

4. Overall, what if businesses simply don't respond to the market?
They go out of business. The companies would have to collude to keep quality low and there is no way to ensure the success of this collusion because the first person to opt out would be the one most benefited.

See my response to Ragnar on this point.

It seems like much of laissez faire theory presupposes the perpetual willingness of the consumer to switch vendors at any moment,
When you're at a store, brand loyalty will probably not prevent you from switching products if the one you usually buy smells like rotten eggs or if last time you had it it tasted bland.

Refer to my examples on pseudo-Mexican restaurants and pizza establishments. The existence of a clearly superior product doesn't necessitate the switch from the inferior to the superior; ergo, companies wouldn't necessarily be motivated to do more work when they could easily get by with ess.

the willingness of companies to change the way they operate due to allegedly losing MASSIVE amounts of business,
Profit motive. The better you meet demand, the higher your profits. There is no "massive amount of business" on the line at every operating decision; however, each decision to improve efficiency will benefit the manager. Failure to do so over time will result in significant losses. Try running a business and you'll understand a little better.

However, the motive to make a profit doesn't equate the capacity or the perpetual willingness to maximize those profits. When a person is making good money off of an average product, there's less of a motive to improve than there would be if both the product quality AND the profits were tanking.

and that businesses won't simply conspire with one another to defeat the sovereignty of the consumer.
Every company outside of the conspiracy will be the favorite of the consumer, and so there will be a significant incentive to be outside of such a conspiracy.

However, there's no guarantee that the products of the companies outside of the conspiracy are going to be light-years ahead of those inside the conspiracy. As noted with a lot of competitive businesses, the mere existence of competition suggests a lack (or almost negligible amount) of meaningful difference in quality.
Ragnar_Rahl
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1/21/2010 9:51:36 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 1/21/2010 9:35:01 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:



2. How is quality ensured?
If by ensure you mean encouraged, people won't pay if it isn't worth it.

Yes, but if most of the businesses are offering a poor product, then what is a consumer to do?
Become a producer.

Theoretically, if all of the companies have awful standards, both of production and employee "care", how would such an economy function?
How do you wind up with this unanimity? That would require all the productive people to have awful standards (or someone with better ones would compete). Do you have awful standards?

Well, like I said, it's not necessarily one blanket standard; however, the best product on the market could simply be a bit less terrible than its competitors, and only theoretically would that compel consumers to buy that product instead of the others. Example: Taco Bueno may be the best pseudo-Mexican restaurant, but that doesn't stop me from going to Taco Bell or Taco Mayo.
It does if you're being rational :)


Furthermore, not all people with high standards have the money to start a business. It's not as if we're looking at "Entrepreneur -> ???? -> Profit".
There are loads of capital holders looking for good ideas to become even richer with. That's why we have investment.



3. Child labor laws. If children weren't prevented from working in dangerous factory conditions, then...?
Then they work where they want to just like everyone else. :)

See, most people tend to have a problem with small children working in dangerous factories - especially when parents are forced to put their children to work to "make ends meet".
Parents have no right to force the children to do it.

But btw, if there is no other way to make ends meet, then aren't the children starving in the scenario where they aren't allowed to work? Is it preferable for them to risk death or guarantee it? It's for them to decide, but I know the answer I'd pick


4. Overall, what if businesses simply don't respond to the market?
They die.

Well, as noted above, a business can keep doing the same thing for a really long time, and still be okay. Another example is Pizza places. I have a Pizza Hut, Mazzio's, Domino's, Papa John's, Simple Simon's, "The Pizza Place", some new place that's being built, and I don't even remember the other places. You can be damn sure that some pizza places sell better quality goods than others; however, the lower quality stores hardly see a decline in business.
They tend to be cheaper. Value is not just quality.

Domino's doesn't have to make better pizza than Papa John's to succeed, whether locally, or even nationwide.
It does if they are the same real price or more for any given consumer.


It seems like much of laissez faire theory presupposes the perpetual willingness of the consumer to switch vendors at any moment
Much of interventionist theory presupposes the perpetual willingness of the politician to do the same. The difference is that the consumer is the one who actually works for the product, so he has a direct, personal motive.

You mean, the motive to not spend his/her money on crap? Because, I'm pretty sure that a lot of consumers tend to do that anyway.
You seem to be making the case for me.

the willingness of companies to change the way they operate due to allegedly losing MASSIVE amounts of business, and that businesses won't simply conspire with one another to defeat the sovereignty of the consumer.
Will you conspire? Or would you rather drive your competitors out of business for having a crappy product? Which will result in bigger profits for you, sharing the market or winning it?

That just assumes that the business in question can MAKE a better product; refer to the pizza example I presented above - many companies don't HAVE to improve their product in relation to their competitors, as they can make a lot of money regardless.
You merely hypothesized it in the example. You haven't actually demonstrated it. The reason the different pizza places survive is that different consumers value different things about them. You may believe "one makes better pizza," but this is not true outside your preferences, especially if one considers factors such as convenience and price, which are also important in the face of products that are, at least, close in taste (and in my experience, they are). IF one made better pizza-- for every consumer-- the others would go out of business. But assuming they do ignores the nature of pizza consumers.

however, as noted in the Industrial Revolution (to use an archaic example), working conditions were awful, product quality was hardly anything to brag about, and pre-sh!t-ton-of-regulation business didn't exactly serve as a shining role model.
Actually, post s*** ton of regulaton. The Industrial Revolution was a period of partial but significant deregulation-- just try competing with a royal monopoly in the medieval era if you don't believe me, or even moving away from where you're a serf-- and products improved at a much faster rate than they did before. They'd probably be improving even faster today if the regulations hadn't been brought back. The Progressive Era regulations weren't anything new. They were a partial return to the old. A return that was enough to slow down, but evidently not stop, the forces of economic growth. We don't have better stuff today because we have more regulations, we have better stuff because we've had more time, and we haven't completely f***ed up the forces that make things better over time, yet, though it's not for lack of trying.
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.
Cody_Franklin
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1/21/2010 10:10:38 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 1/21/2010 9:51:36 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 1/21/2010 9:35:01 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:



2. How is quality ensured?
If by ensure you mean encouraged, people won't pay if it isn't worth it.

Yes, but if most of the businesses are offering a poor product, then what is a consumer to do?
Become a producer.

That assumes that a consumer has the money to just start a business on a whim. Not all people have that kind of money laying around.


Theoretically, if all of the companies have awful standards, both of production and employee "care", how would such an economy function?
How do you wind up with this unanimity? That would require all the productive people to have awful standards (or someone with better ones would compete). Do you have awful standards?

Well, like I said, it's not necessarily one blanket standard; however, the best product on the market could simply be a bit less terrible than its competitors, and only theoretically would that compel consumers to buy that product instead of the others. Example: Taco Bueno may be the best pseudo-Mexican restaurant, but that doesn't stop me from going to Taco Bell or Taco Mayo.
It does if you're being rational :)

I actually like Mayo the best out of those three. The point is, though, there's often no real way to tell which one is "best", as you noted below. So, although all of the products' qualities may be questionable, the least objectionable would still be considered the best, even if it's still pretty bad.


Furthermore, not all people with high standards have the money to start a business. It's not as if we're looking at "Entrepreneur -> ???? -> Profit".
There are loads of capital holders looking for good ideas to become even richer with. That's why we have investment.

That doesn't mean that such ideas will be found, or are always plausible. Starting a small business isn't as lucrative as it used to be, especially today, where corporations and big companies reign supreme.



3. Child labor laws. If children weren't prevented from working in dangerous factory conditions, then...?
Then they work where they want to just like everyone else. :)

See, most people tend to have a problem with small children working in dangerous factories - especially when parents are forced to put their children to work to "make ends meet".
Parents have no right to force the children to do it.

But that doesn't mean it won't happen. Theoretically, it shouldn't, but realistically, a lot of things that people have no right to do will happen anyway.

But btw, if there is no other way to make ends meet, then aren't the children starving in the scenario where they aren't allowed to work? Is it preferable for them to risk death or guarantee it? It's for them to decide, but I know the answer I'd pick

Sounds like a questionable dichotomy to me - almost like being forced into one of two "evils", per se.


4. Overall, what if businesses simply don't respond to the market?
They die.

Well, as noted above, a business can keep doing the same thing for a really long time, and still be okay. Another example is Pizza places. I have a Pizza Hut, Mazzio's, Domino's, Papa John's, Simple Simon's, "The Pizza Place", some new place that's being built, and I don't even remember the other places. You can be damn sure that some pizza places sell better quality goods than others; however, the lower quality stores hardly see a decline in business.
They tend to be cheaper. Value is not just quality.

Exactly my point. If you make a terrible, but very cheap product, most consumers will prefer that to the better, but very expensive product. This means that companies can generally afford to get away with producing... sub-par products, shall we say?

Oh, and I'm not ruling out the possibility of purchasing the better product. I know that it happens somewhat frequently.

Domino's doesn't have to make better pizza than Papa John's to succeed, whether locally, or even nationwide.
It does if they are the same real price or more for any given consumer.

What do you mean by "real price"?


It seems like much of laissez faire theory presupposes the perpetual willingness of the consumer to switch vendors at any moment
Much of interventionist theory presupposes the perpetual willingness of the politician to do the same. The difference is that the consumer is the one who actually works for the product, so he has a direct, personal motive.

You mean, the motive to not spend his/her money on crap? Because, I'm pretty sure that a lot of consumers tend to do that anyway.
You seem to be making the case for me.

Well, I'm not arguing against laissez faire - I'm developing my understanding of it.

And, I meant that, despite the consumer's motive, they often tend to spend their money on crap, anyway.

the willingness of companies to change the way they operate due to allegedly losing MASSIVE amounts of business, and that businesses won't simply conspire with one another to defeat the sovereignty of the consumer.
Will you conspire? Or would you rather drive your competitors out of business for having a crappy product? Which will result in bigger profits for you, sharing the market or winning it?

That just assumes that the business in question can MAKE a better product; refer to the pizza example I presented above - many companies don't HAVE to improve their product in relation to their competitors, as they can make a lot of money regardless.
You merely hypothesized it in the example. You haven't actually demonstrated it. The reason the different pizza places survive is that different consumers value different things about them. You may believe "one makes better pizza," but this is not true outside your preferences, especially if one considers factors such as convenience and price, which are also important in the face of products that are, at least, close in taste (and in my experience, they are). IF one made better pizza-- for every consumer-- the others would go out of business. But assuming they do ignores the nature of pizza consumers.

Like I said, it's hard to see how a free market would actually function, since there's no real example of a laissez faire market - at least, none of which I am aware.

however, as noted in the Industrial Revolution (to use an archaic example), working conditions were awful, product quality was hardly anything to brag about, and pre-sh!t-ton-of-regulation business didn't exactly serve as a shining role model.
Actually, post s*** ton of regulaton. The Industrial Revolution was a period of partial but significant deregulation-- just try competing with a royal monopoly in the medieval era if you don't believe me, or even moving away from where you're a serf-- and products improved at a much faster rate than they did before. They'd probably be improving even faster today if the regulations hadn't been brought back. The Progressive Era regulations weren't anything new. They were a partial return to the old. A return that was enough to slow down, but evidently not stop, the forces of economic growth. We don't have better stuff today because we have more regulations, we have better stuff because we've had more time, and we haven't completely f***ed up the forces that make things better over time, yet, though it's not for lack of trying.

Well, I mean before the regulations were restored. The "eye of the storm", so to speak. It seems to me, though, that laissez faire is a sort of "by any means necessary" economic system. It just doesn't make a great deal of sense to sacrifice certain safety regulations for economic growth; though, the market does still provide for labor unions/strikes, which I suppose is acceptable.
InsertNameHere
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1/21/2010 10:13:23 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 1/21/2010 9:21:55 PM, Volkov wrote:
To sum up Ragnar's response a little shorter...

Who cares about other people. They can watch out for themselves. If they can't escape the cycle of poverty or abuse, thats their own fault. Private monopolies don't exist, because consumers are smart and willing and will always follow an intelligent path. And if a company does manage to somehow get control, that is the fault of the consumers who aren't switching. We should let them suffer. Oh, and a baby can't provide for itself, let it die, because I'm pretty dark like that.

Yep. Libertarianism in a nutshell, folks!
Cody_Franklin
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1/21/2010 10:19:27 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 1/21/2010 10:13:23 PM, InsertNameHere wrote:
At 1/21/2010 9:21:55 PM, Volkov wrote:
To sum up Ragnar's response a little shorter...

Who cares about other people. They can watch out for themselves. If they can't escape the cycle of poverty or abuse, thats their own fault. Private monopolies don't exist, because consumers are smart and willing and will always follow an intelligent path. And if a company does manage to somehow get control, that is the fault of the consumers who aren't switching. We should let them suffer. Oh, and a baby can't provide for itself, let it die, because I'm pretty dark like that.

Yep. Libertarianism in a nutshell, folks!

On your profile, the part where you talk about your new rep as an Islamo-feminist sounds strikingly like the part of my profile talking about my (maybe former) rep as a fascist - the wording is even strikingly similar. :) Hmmmm..........
Ragnar_Rahl
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1/21/2010 10:23:14 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I actually like Mayo the best out of those three. The point is, though, there's often no real way to tell which one is "best", as you noted below.

Oh, but there is. Within it's proper context. It isn't a problem that you can't tell outside of that because trying to do so would negatively affect outcomes, except in the case where there actually is a business that sucks for everyone (which is the one that will fall to shambles, see, for example, some local taco stand that went bankrupt before reaching the point you'd remember it's name :) ).

So, although all of the products' qualities may be questionable, the least objectionable would still be considered the best, even if it's still pretty bad.
Do you find Taco Bell objectionable? I find it quite tasty myself.

That doesn't mean that such ideas will be found, or are always plausible. Starting a small business isn't as lucrative as it used to be, especially today, where corporations and big companies reign supreme.
This is only true insofar as they are good at what they do. When they are not it becomes much easier. (except in cases where they are tax subsidized, but those obviously disappear in laissez-faire)

But that doesn't mean it won't happen.
Only to the same extent that banning child labor doesn't mean it won't happen. You can shoot the parents for forcing their children into a factory as easily as you can shoot the employer for hiring them.

Sounds like a questionable dichotomy to me - almost like being forced into one of two "evils", per se.
They aren't being forced. Starvation is a natural default that occurs without force or initiative. One has to do something to stop it, not to cause it. One can do something to stop something that would stop it, as governments sometimes do, but this is not every case of starvation.

Exactly my point. If you make a terrible, but very cheap product, most consumers will prefer that to the better, but very expensive product.
If it's too expensive to be worth it, it's not really better.

Would you rather eat tiny amounts of caviar and starve, or eat hot dogs and mac and cheese and live? Some people can earn caviar and such in amounts sufficient for their caloric intake through extraordinary effort, but not everyone can.

This means that companies can generally afford to get away with producing... sub-par products, shall we say?
They aren't sub par. They are vastly superior for their market to a product no one can afford.

What do you mean by "real price"?
Money spent buying the pizza plus transportation and so forth (there might be a badass pizza parlor in Alaska, but NOT getting on a boat for pizza is still a better value :) ).

Well, I'm not arguing against laissez faire - I'm developing my understanding of it.
I know. I was commenting on your progress :).

And, I meant that, despite the consumer's motive, they often tend to spend their money on crap, anyway.
Example?
And is it as egregious as bridges to nowhere?

Like I said, it's hard to see how a free market would actually function, since there's no real example of a laissez faire market
If you want empirical data (which is of limited value in economics, as you cannot have a controlled experiment), there's only one way to get it.

It seems to me, though, that laissez faire is a sort of "by any means necessary" economic system. It just doesn't make a great deal of sense to sacrifice certain safety regulations for economic growth; though, the market does still provide for labor unions/strikes, which I suppose is acceptable.
I love it when you do my work for me. :)
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.
Cody_Franklin
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1/22/2010 1:54:18 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 1/21/2010 10:23:14 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
I actually like Mayo the best out of those three. The point is, though, there's often no real way to tell which one is "best", as you noted below.

Oh, but there is. Within it's proper context. It isn't a problem that you can't tell outside of that because trying to do so would negatively affect outcomes, except in the case where there actually is a business that sucks for everyone (which is the one that will fall to shambles, see, for example, some local taco stand that went bankrupt before reaching the point you'd remember it's name :) ).

I remember when Taco Tico was here; they went out of business, though. Partly because there were too many "Taco" places popping up, and partly because their prices were too low. Three tacos for a dollar.... ohhhhh, yeah. And, let me tell you - best tacos I've ever had.

So, although all of the products' qualities may be questionable, the least objectionable would still be considered the best, even if it's still pretty bad.
Do you find Taco Bell objectionable? I find it quite tasty myself.

Had a friend that worked at Taco Bell for a while. Not quite as appealing anymore.

That doesn't mean that such ideas will be found, or are always plausible. Starting a small business isn't as lucrative as it used to be, especially today, where corporations and big companies reign supreme.
This is only true insofar as they are good at what they do. When they are not it becomes much easier. (except in cases where they are tax subsidized, but those obviously disappear in laissez-faire)

Well, if the larger companies are dominating the market, there's probably a reason for that.

But that doesn't mean it won't happen.
Only to the same extent that banning child labor doesn't mean it won't happen. You can shoot the parents for forcing their children into a factory as easily as you can shoot the employer for hiring them.

Actually, that brings a thought to mind: If the parents force their child to do something dangerous, and the parents are shot, imprisoned, or otherwise removed from the picture, what happens to the child? I would presume that there are no social services reps to bring the child to a different family.

Sounds like a questionable dichotomy to me - almost like being forced into one of two "evils", per se.
They aren't being forced. Starvation is a natural default that occurs without force or initiative. One has to do something to stop it, not to cause it. One can do something to stop something that would stop it, as governments sometimes do, but this is not every case of starvation.

Well, forced by the circumstances, though not physically.

Exactly my point. If you make a terrible, but very cheap product, most consumers will prefer that to the better, but very expensive product.
If it's too expensive to be worth it, it's not really better.

Better in the sense of quality - the point is, a very low-quality product is often more popular than a higher quality product as a result of pricing - this means that companies could theoretically get away with selling bad products, and still make a profit.

Would you rather eat tiny amounts of caviar and starve, or eat hot dogs and mac and cheese and live? Some people can earn caviar and such in amounts sufficient for their caloric intake through extraordinary effort, but not everyone can.

That's what I'm saying. Though there are "checks and balances" between the consumer and the producer, it seems as though the market favors the latter. Realistically, it's hard to see any kind of market being perfectly balanced.

This means that companies can generally afford to get away with producing... sub-par products, shall we say?
They aren't sub par. They are vastly superior for their market to a product no one can afford.

Sub-par in terms of product quality, not as an overall rating.

What do you mean by "real price"?
Money spent buying the pizza plus transportation and so forth (there might be a badass pizza parlor in Alaska, but NOT getting on a boat for pizza is still a better value :) ).

Okay, so you're essentially discussing total cost. Got it.

Well, I'm not arguing against laissez faire - I'm developing my understanding of it.
I know. I was commenting on your progress :).

Okie dokie. :P

And, I meant that, despite the consumer's motive, they often tend to spend their money on crap, anyway.
Example?
And is it as egregious as bridges to nowhere?

That's part of the wonder of marketing. You can convince a lot of people to buy a lot of questionable products. And, I mean questionable in terms of effective functionality.

Like I said, it's hard to see how a free market would actually function, since there's no real example of a laissez faire market
If you want empirical data (which is of limited value in economics, as you cannot have a controlled experiment), there's only one way to get it.

Well, there are usually past examples for whatever topic is being discussed; this is a unique topic, in that there's really no historical precedent to examine.

It seems to me, though, that laissez faire is a sort of "by any means necessary" economic system. It just doesn't make a great deal of sense to sacrifice certain safety regulations for economic growth; though, the market does still provide for labor unions/strikes, which I suppose is acceptable.
I love it when you do my work for me. :)

Lol. Well, part of understanding is drawing one's own conclusions.

But still, regardless of their existence, I find it hard to work with a market in which the workers will never be guaranteed adequate protection - due to circumstance, it seems like people will be confronted with the "starve or accept horrendous working conditions" dichotomy - this is especially bad in a high unemployment situation, where workers have a hard time going on strike to improve their lot, since their positions at work aren't guaranteed afterward.

Like I said, it seems as if the market is ultimately tipped in favor of the producer. I would be okay with it if things didn't seem skewed to such a high degree.
I-am-a-panda
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1/22/2010 1:57:34 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 1/21/2010 9:15:39 PM, wjmelements wrote:
Ireland has its PRO's too, but no location is truly laissez-faire.

Damn right it does.
Pizza. I have enormous respect for Pizza.
Ragnar_Rahl
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1/22/2010 3:03:37 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 1/22/2010 1:54:18 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 1/21/2010 10:23:14 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
I remember when Taco Tico was here; they went out of business, though. Partly because there were too many "Taco" places popping up, and partly because their prices were too low. Three tacos for a dollar.... ohhhhh, yeah. And, let me tell you - best tacos I've ever had.
For selling too low? Or for costing too much to make for that price to accurately reflect the cost?


So, although all of the products' qualities may be questionable, the least objectionable would still be considered the best, even if it's still pretty bad.
Do you find Taco Bell objectionable? I find it quite tasty myself.

Had a friend that worked at Taco Bell for a while. Not quite as appealing anymore.
Nevrtheless, still appeals to me :)

Well, if the larger companies are dominating the market, there's probably a reason for that.
You mean the good at what they do part?


But that doesn't mean it won't happen.
Only to the same extent that banning child labor doesn't mean it won't happen. You can shoot the parents for forcing their children into a factory as easily as you can shoot the employer for hiring them.

Actually, that brings a thought to mind: If the parents force their child to do something dangerous, and the parents are shot, imprisoned, or otherwise removed from the picture, what happens to the child? I would presume that there are no social services reps to bring the child to a different family.
Kid can seek charity or strike out on their own. It's none of my business which.

Well, forced by the circumstances, though not physically.
Which doesn't qualify as "force" in the political sense.


Exactly my point. If you make a terrible, but very cheap product, most consumers will prefer that to the better, but very expensive product.
If it's too expensive to be worth it, it's not really better.

Better in the sense of quality - the point is, a very low-quality product is often more popular than a higher quality product as a result of pricing - this means that companies could theoretically get away with selling bad products, and still make a profit.
Because it's not a bad product. It's a cheap product. There is a difference.


Would you rather eat tiny amounts of caviar and starve, or eat hot dogs and mac and cheese and live? Some people can earn caviar and such in amounts sufficient for their caloric intake through extraordinary effort, but not everyone can.

That's what I'm saying. Though there are "checks and balances" between the consumer and the producer, it seems as though the market favors the latter.
It doesn't "favor" anyone. You cannot, say, convince people to suffice on dirt. Hot dogs and mac and cheese are a medium.


This means that companies can generally afford to get away with producing... sub-par products, shall we say?
They aren't sub par. They are vastly superior for their market to a product no one can afford.

Sub-par in terms of product quality, not as an overall rating.
And this is a problem? Without such there would be mass starvation.

And, I meant that, despite the consumer's motive, they often tend to spend their money on crap, anyway.
Example?
And is it as egregious as bridges to nowhere?

That's part of the wonder of marketing. You can convince a lot of people to buy a lot of questionable products. And, I mean questionable in terms of effective functionality.
Everyone? Or just the stupid?

But still, regardless of their existence, I find it hard to work with a market in which the workers will never be guaranteed adequate protection
Then you find it hard to work with any maret or government.

due to circumstance, it seems like people will be confronted with the "starve or accept horrendous working conditions" dichotomy
Do you find your working conditions horrendous?
And compared to what?
What magic wand does government have for making working conditions any better? Presumably if a worker is worth the cost of better conditions, they will get it as producers compete. They are certainly more likely to get it that way, on average, than they are to get it from a bureaucrat.
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.
Cody_Franklin
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1/22/2010 7:22:49 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 1/22/2010 3:03:37 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 1/22/2010 1:54:18 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 1/21/2010 10:23:14 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
I remember when Taco Tico was here; they went out of business, though. Partly because there were too many "Taco" places popping up, and partly because their prices were too low. Three tacos for a dollar.... ohhhhh, yeah. And, let me tell you - best tacos I've ever had.
For selling too low? Or for costing too much to make for that price to accurately reflect the cost?

I would assume the former, as corporate wouldn't have been likely to allow the latter situation to occur.


So, although all of the products' qualities may be questionable, the least objectionable would still be considered the best, even if it's still pretty bad.
Do you find Taco Bell objectionable? I find it quite tasty myself.

Had a friend that worked at Taco Bell for a while. Not quite as appealing anymore.
Nevrtheless, still appeals to me :)

I could tell you some stories..... Lol.

Well, if the larger companies are dominating the market, there's probably a reason for that.
You mean the good at what they do part?

Yeah.


But that doesn't mean it won't happen.
Only to the same extent that banning child labor doesn't mean it won't happen. You can shoot the parents for forcing their children into a factory as easily as you can shoot the employer for hiring them.

Actually, that brings a thought to mind: If the parents force their child to do something dangerous, and the parents are shot, imprisoned, or otherwise removed from the picture, what happens to the child? I would presume that there are no social services reps to bring the child to a different family.
Kid can seek charity or strike out on their own. It's none of my business which.

I feel like you're giving kids too much credit as far as ability to live on their own. You can't just kick a baby chick out of the nest and expect it to fly.

Well, forced by the circumstances, though not physically.
Which doesn't qualify as "force" in the political sense.

From what I've read of Rand, force also covers fraud, does it not?


Exactly my point. If you make a terrible, but very cheap product, most consumers will prefer that to the better, but very expensive product.
If it's too expensive to be worth it, it's not really better.

Better in the sense of quality - the point is, a very low-quality product is often more popular than a higher quality product as a result of pricing - this means that companies could theoretically get away with selling bad products, and still make a profit.
Because it's not a bad product. It's a cheap product. There is a difference.

Generally, cheaply-made products tend to be of a lower quality than their more elegantly-crafted counterparts.


Would you rather eat tiny amounts of caviar and starve, or eat hot dogs and mac and cheese and live? Some people can earn caviar and such in amounts sufficient for their caloric intake through extraordinary effort, but not everyone can.

That's what I'm saying. Though there are "checks and balances" between the consumer and the producer, it seems as though the market favors the latter.
It doesn't "favor" anyone. You cannot, say, convince people to suffice on dirt. Hot dogs and mac and cheese are a medium.

Well, extremes like that obviously won't be true; however, that doesn't mean that the advantage doesn't generally lie with the producer.


This means that companies can generally afford to get away with producing... sub-par products, shall we say?
They aren't sub par. They are vastly superior for their market to a product no one can afford.

Sub-par in terms of product quality, not as an overall rating.
And this is a problem? Without such there would be mass starvation.

There's that "crap/starvation" dichotomy again. This is a problem because, at the point that companies can get away with selling sub-par product to people, and still make a profit, there's not really a great deal of motivation to expend extra resources to try and improve that product, since the status quo seems to be working just fine.

And, I meant that, despite the consumer's motive, they often tend to spend their money on crap, anyway.
Example?
And is it as egregious as bridges to nowhere?

That's part of the wonder of marketing. You can convince a lot of people to buy a lot of questionable products. And, I mean questionable in terms of effective functionality.
Everyone? Or just the stupid?

I suppose that depends where you draw the line between stupid and intelligent; for the most part, though, that's the stupid people; however, you can't rule out the fact that even intelligent people can be convinced of the strangest things.

But still, regardless of their existence, I find it hard to work with a market in which the workers will never be guaranteed adequate protection
Then you find it hard to work with any maret or government.

While I don't generally support government regulation, I think that workers ought to have general assurance that they won't lose an arm, a leg, an eye, or suffer some other serious injury while on the job. I fail to see how that's too much to ask of an employer; after all, Objectivism advocates the rational pursuit of one's own well-being as the highest value.

due to circumstance, it seems like people will be confronted with the "starve or accept horrendous working conditions" dichotomy
Do you find your working conditions horrendous?

By law, they really can't be.

And compared to what?
What magic wand does government have for making working conditions any better?

If by "magic wand", you mean legal banhammer, I think you've answered your own question.

Presumably if a worker is worth the cost of better conditions, they will get it as producers compete. They are certainly more likely to get it that way, on average, than they are to get it from a bureaucrat.

Working conditions don't generally differ between workers. Either you run a high risk of injury, or you don't. The work environment determines the conditions, not the productivity and overall quality of individual employees.
wjmelements
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1/22/2010 8:57:50 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 1/21/2010 9:48:49 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
"The Invisible Hand"

Yes, but if all companies have awful standards, the invisible hand is going going to guide consumers to the least awful company - being least awful doesn't equate being good.

The consumer still ends up with what he perceives to be the least awful. The companies that do not improve their product will find themselves out of business, and so the "invisible hand" improves the quality of the product for the consumer.

It seems like much of laissez faire theory presupposes the perpetual willingness of the consumer to switch vendors at any moment,
When you're at a store, brand loyalty will probably not prevent you from switching products if the one you usually buy smells like rotten eggs or if last time you had it it tasted bland.

the willingness of companies to change the way they operate due to allegedly losing MASSIVE amounts of business,
Profit motive. The better you meet demand, the higher your profits. There is no "massive amount of business" on the line at every operating decision; however, each decision to improve efficiency will benefit the manager. Failure to do so over time will result in significant losses. Try running a business and you'll understand a little better.

However, the motive to make a profit doesn't equate the capacity or the perpetual willingness to maximize those profits. When a person is making good money off of an average product, there's less of a motive to improve than there would be if both the product quality AND the profits were tanking.

Such was the way with potatoes for a long time. However, when companies discovered ways to improve their potatoes, they immediately did. If you found out that sewing your crops in a different way would mean that you'd make twice as much money, then you'd obviously sew the crops in the different way to maximize your utility. However, even if for some reason you choose not to, you are just making use of your priorities, which you are free to decide for yourself.

and that businesses won't simply conspire with one another to defeat the sovereignty of the consumer.
Every company outside of the conspiracy will be the favorite of the consumer, and so there will be a significant incentive to be outside of such a conspiracy.

However, there's no guarantee that the products of the companies outside of the conspiracy are going to be light-years ahead of those inside the conspiracy. As noted with a lot of competitive businesses, the mere existence of competition suggests a lack (or almost negligible amount) of meaningful difference in quality.

The companies withing the conspiracy will have profit-motif to leave. Think of a strike-breaker.
in the blink of an eye you finally see the light
Ragnar_Rahl
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1/22/2010 10:42:06 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 1/22/2010 7:22:49 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 1/22/2010 3:03:37 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 1/22/2010 1:54:18 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 1/21/2010 10:23:14 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
I remember when Taco Tico was here; they went out of business, though. Partly because there were too many "Taco" places popping up, and partly because their prices were too low. Three tacos for a dollar.... ohhhhh, yeah. And, let me tell you - best tacos I've ever had.
For selling too low? Or for costing too much to make for that price to accurately reflect the cost?

I would assume the former, as corporate wouldn't have been likely to allow the latter situation to occur.
They went out of business didn't they? if you sell low, and don't cost too much, you don't go out of business.
]
I could tell you some stories..... Lol.
I've heard lots of stories about all sorts of restaurants. This is because there are large numbers of them, and people don't talk as much about the vast majority of the time, when the food is great.

Kid can seek charity or strike out on their own. It's none of my business which.

I feel like you're giving kids too much credit as far as ability to live on their own. You can't just kick a baby chick out of the nest and expect it to fly.
I'm not giving them credit. In fact, I'm not giving them anything! :)


Well, forced by the circumstances, though not physically.
Which doesn't qualify as "force" in the political sense.

From what I've read of Rand, force also covers fraud, does it not?
Yes.

Because it's not a bad product. It's a cheap product. There is a difference.

Generally, cheaply-made products tend to be of a lower quality than their more elegantly-crafted counterparts.
They tend to be such that there quality is worse not considering their price. But that's a silly measurement, and any ideology that seeks to optimize that measurement on a regular basis for regular people will inevitably cause mass starvation.

It doesn't "favor" anyone. You cannot, say, convince people to suffice on dirt. Hot dogs and mac and cheese are a medium.

Well, extremes like that obviously won't be true; however, that doesn't mean that the advantage doesn't generally lie with the producer.
How so? Does not an "Advantage" lie in the sense of getting it out of the middle and into the extremes?

There's that "crap/starvation" dichotomy again.
I don't find cheap food to be crap. It might not be perfect, but it's still very good.

This is a problem because, at the point that companies can get away with selling sub-par product to people, and still make a profit, there's not really a great deal of motivation to expend extra resources to try and improve that product
Only insofar as the consumer lacks motivation to purchase improved products. Is it a problem that the company fulfills customer's preferences? I thought it was the point.

Everyone? Or just the stupid?

I suppose that depends where you draw the line between stupid and intelligent; for the most part, though, that's the stupid people; however, you can't rule out the fact that even intelligent people can be convinced of the strangest things.
Such as?

And where's the uniqueness criterion? Surely you can't be telling me politicians don't have knowledge of marketing.

While I don't generally support government regulation, I think that workers ought to have general assurance that they won't lose an arm, a leg, an eye, or suffer some other serious injury while on the job.
No such assurance exists. There are no guarantees in life, only in death. There are good odds that it won't happen-- and probably fairly comparable between different systems-- but assurances are impossible for any system.


due to circumstance, it seems like people will be confronted with the "starve or accept horrendous working conditions" dichotomy
Do you find your working conditions horrendous?

By law, they really can't be.
The law is one of the looser sets in the world. And many other laws are broken all the time. Why not this one?
Perhaps there isn't much demand to break it?


And compared to what?
What magic wand does government have for making working conditions any better?

If by "magic wand", you mean legal banhammer, I think you've answered your own question.
What magic wand makes the lawmakers want better conditions?


Presumably if a worker is worth the cost of better conditions, they will get it as producers compete. They are certainly more likely to get it that way, on average, than they are to get it from a bureaucrat.

Working conditions don't generally differ between workers
Sure they do. Commercial fishing boats exist. Google exists.

Either you run a high risk of injury, or you don't. The work environment determines the conditions, not the productivity and overall quality of individual employees.
The overall quality determines which environment they tend to qualify for.

And if someone doesn't qualify for a good environment, under a system that bans poor working conditions, assuming the law is effective, they will be unemployed, or underemployed (stuck in a safe but low pay job when frankly they would have preferred a little risk with higher wages).
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.
Cody_Franklin
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1/23/2010 9:51:07 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 1/22/2010 10:42:06 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 1/22/2010 7:22:49 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 1/22/2010 3:03:37 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 1/22/2010 1:54:18 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 1/21/2010 10:23:14 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
I remember when Taco Tico was here; they went out of business, though. Partly because there were too many "Taco" places popping up, and partly because their prices were too low. Three tacos for a dollar.... ohhhhh, yeah. And, let me tell you - best tacos I've ever had.
For selling too low? Or for costing too much to make for that price to accurately reflect the cost?

I would assume the former, as corporate wouldn't have been likely to allow the latter situation to occur.
They went out of business didn't they? if you sell low, and don't cost too much, you don't go out of business.

Honestly, I'm not entirely certain as to why they shut down. Just speculating.

I could tell you some stories..... Lol.
I've heard lots of stories about all sorts of restaurants. This is because there are large numbers of them, and people don't talk as much about the vast majority of the time, when the food is great.

Kid can seek charity or strike out on their own. It's none of my business which.

I feel like you're giving kids too much credit as far as ability to live on their own. You can't just kick a baby chick out of the nest and expect it to fly.
I'm not giving them credit. In fact, I'm not giving them anything! :)

Oh, don't equivocate on me, now. Lol. The point is, you're overestimating the ability of children to survive on their own without parental care.


Well, forced by the circumstances, though not physically.
Which doesn't qualify as "force" in the political sense.

From what I've read of Rand, force also covers fraud, does it not?
Yes.

Because it's not a bad product. It's a cheap product. There is a difference.

Generally, cheaply-made products tend to be of a lower quality than their more elegantly-crafted counterparts.
They tend to be such that there quality is worse not considering their price. But that's a silly measurement, and any ideology that seeks to optimize that measurement on a regular basis for regular people will inevitably cause mass starvation.

So, we should let the market be flooded with mediocre (if even that) products, since we have no real way to prevent companies from getting away with it?

It doesn't "favor" anyone. You cannot, say, convince people to suffice on dirt. Hot dogs and mac and cheese are a medium.

Well, extremes like that obviously won't be true; however, that doesn't mean that the advantage doesn't generally lie with the producer.
How so? Does not an "Advantage" lie in the sense of getting it out of the middle and into the extremes?

I don't think you would be justified in jumping from mac and cheese to dirt. There's a range.


There's that "crap/starvation" dichotomy again.
I don't find cheap food to be crap. It might not be perfect, but it's still very good.

If market conditions "force" people to buy cheap food out of necessities, that means that corporations don't have to worry a great deal about product quality or improvement, since there's really no alternative to what's being sold - much like the stereotypical school cafeteria; sure, you can choose not to buy their lunchtime abominations, but you'll still have to pay for something (sack lunch), or starve, because the school will profit without your business, and has no reason to raise its standards, because it's doing just fine selling crap.

This is a problem because, at the point that companies can get away with selling sub-par product to people, and still make a profit, there's not really a great deal of motivation to expend extra resources to try and improve that product
Only insofar as the consumer lacks motivation to purchase improved products. Is it a problem that the company fulfills customer's preferences? I thought it was the point.

The problem is, if a company can make a lot of money selling something, there's really no reason to upset the status quo by improving the product. It's a case of sticking to their economic guns.

Everyone? Or just the stupid?

I suppose that depends where you draw the line between stupid and intelligent; for the most part, though, that's the stupid people; however, you can't rule out the fact that even intelligent people can be convinced of the strangest things.
Such as?

Religion, for example. Giving to the offering plate.

Implementing things like Social Security and Welfare, for another example.

And where's the uniqueness criterion? Surely you can't be telling me politicians don't have knowledge of marketing.

In the sense of political marketing, they're okay.

While I don't generally support government regulation, I think that workers ought to have general assurance that they won't lose an arm, a leg, an eye, or suffer some other serious injury while on the job.
No such assurance exists. There are no guarantees in life, only in death. There are good odds that it won't happen-- and probably fairly comparable between different systems-- but assurances are impossible for any system.

I'm not talking about a 100% guarantee; but, some sense of security in regards to one's personal safety tends to be a plus.


due to circumstance, it seems like people will be confronted with the "starve or accept horrendous working conditions" dichotomy
Do you find your working conditions horrendous?

By law, they really can't be.
The law is one of the looser sets in the world. And many other laws are broken all the time. Why not this one?
Perhaps there isn't much demand to break it?

Companies generally don't want to suffer the penalties for breaking it; I wouldn't completely attribute it to the demand of the workers.


And compared to what?
What magic wand does government have for making working conditions any better?

If by "magic wand", you mean legal banhammer, I think you've answered your own question.
What magic wand makes the lawmakers want better conditions?

Elections; however, politicians actually have to worry about losing office; employers don't have to worry so much about losing employees, since a supply will always exist, and people need employment more than they need to vote.


Presumably if a worker is worth the cost of better conditions, they will get it as producers compete. They are certainly more likely to get it that way, on average, than they are to get it from a bureaucrat.

Working conditions don't generally differ between workers
Sure they do. Commercial fishing boats exist. Google exists.

Within the same work environment. Not between companies.

Either you run a high risk of injury, or you don't. The work environment determines the conditions, not the productivity and overall quality of individual employees.
The overall quality determines which environment they tend to qualify for.

Again, this is within the same company structure; not from workplace to workplace.

And if someone doesn't qualify for a good environment, under a system that bans poor working conditions, assuming the law is effective, they will be unemployed, or underemployed (stuck in a safe but low pay job when frankly they would have preferred a little risk with higher wages).

Even within the bounds of regulation, there are riskier, higher-wage jobs. Such regulation simply mandates that employees aren't treated like sh*t. Example: Working on an oil rig.
Ragnar_Rahl
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1/23/2010 1:31:21 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I'm not giving them credit. In fact, I'm not giving them anything! :)

Oh, don't equivocate on me, now. Lol.
But it's fun!

The point is, you're overestimating the ability of children to survive on their own without parental care.
I'm not bothering to estimate. The point is it's possible, if not preferable.

Even if it weren't, how is anyone else obligated to fix that?

They tend to be such that there quality is worse not considering their price. But that's a silly measurement, and any ideology that seeks to optimize that measurement on a regular basis for regular people will inevitably cause mass starvation.

So, we should let the market be flooded with mediocre (if even that) products, since we have no real way to prevent companies from getting away with it?
How is the set of products that's more or less optimal for average survival "getting away" with anything "mediocre?"

How so? Does not an "Advantage" lie in the sense of getting it out of the middle and into the extremes?

I don't think you would be justified in jumping from mac and cheese to dirt. There's a range.
So you're saying there's an advantage, but not an unjustified one, since the unjustified one would take them to dirt? :)

I don't find cheap food to be crap. It might not be perfect, but it's still very good.

If market conditions "force" people to buy cheap food out of necessities, that means that corporations don't have to worry a great deal about product quality or improvement, since there's really no alternative to what's being sold
Um, you still have to worry about product quality. I get wheat bread for 99 cents a loaf. Even at that low low price, I would not buy white bread, which I consider a lower quality product. White bread is legal, so the government doesn't have anything to do with it.

You just don't have to make it luxury food. Why do you think cheap food has so many preservatives? So it won't spoil. In eras when you "didn't have to worry" (eras when government had a heavier hand than now) food spoiled and people still bought it, because they didn't have alternatives.

much like the stereotypical school cafeteria; sure, you can choose not to buy their lunchtime abominations, but you'll still have to pay for something (sack lunch), or starve
That's the world, not the system. If you don't get food, you'll starve, simple concept.

because the school will profit without your business
That seems to contradict bringing in a sack lunch.

Incidentally schools tend to be government institutions. Some have good food, some don't, but it's kind of a silly example to bring against the market :).


This is a problem because, at the point that companies can get away with selling sub-par product to people, and still make a profit, there's not really a great deal of motivation to expend extra resources to try and improve that product
Only insofar as the consumer lacks motivation to purchase improved products. Is it a problem that the company fulfills customer's preferences? I thought it was the point.

The problem is, if a company can make a lot of money selling something, there's really no reason to upset the status quo by improving the product.
Because-- people would rather not spend more for the new product. Obviously, there are other areas people prefer to spend their money. And product will happen in those areas instead.

At the moment, for most people that tends to be technology.


Everyone? Or just the stupid?

I suppose that depends where you draw the line between stupid and intelligent; for the most part, though, that's the stupid people; however, you can't rule out the fact that even intelligent people can be convinced of the strangest things.
Such as?

Religion, for example. Giving to the offering plate.
I don't consider that a sign of intelligence. :)


Implementing things like Social Security and Welfare, for another example.
That's government, not market.

I'm not talking about a 100% guarantee; but, some sense of security in regards to one's personal safety tends to be a plus.
That is likely to happen. Why do you think jobs exist that are above current legal minimum safety standards? Because the businesses find it advantageous. Likewise, they probably would frequently find it advantageous to stay above "zero safety measures."
Especially in a modern skill based economy where worker training is expensive. :P

Perhaps there isn't much demand to break it?

Companies generally don't want to suffer the penalties for breaking it
Other people break laws without intending to suffer the penalties.

What magic wand makes the lawmakers want better conditions?

Elections; however, politicians actually have to worry about losing office; employers don't have to worry so much about losing employees, since a supply will always exist
No. Taxes "always exist" in a system where they are allowed, and taxes, not votes, are the primary enabler of a regime, votes may or may not be respected, especially considering how taxes mean pork which means campaign dollars which roughly translates to votes. It is possible to quit your job, and it has an effect even if a majority won't do it (it cuts the profit margin). It is impossible to "quit the government" without a strict majority, which you will never get. If 49 percent of people are completely f***ed, the other 51 percent can still be happy and the politician is fine. A business falls apart long before that. You seem to be stating the opposite of the actual case.

and people need employment more than they need to vote.
Showing low voter levels doesn't establish that it's any easier to vote people out of office, especially since it's mostly those who are f***ed who don't have time to vote.

Either you run a high risk of injury, or you don't. The work environment determines the conditions, not the productivity and overall quality of individual employees.
The overall quality determines which environment they tend to qualify for.

Again, this is within the same company structure; not from workplace to workplace.
Irrelevant, since workers can travel from workplace to workplace.


And if someone doesn't qualify for a good environment, under a system that bans poor working conditions, assuming the law is effective, they will be unemployed, or underemployed (stuck in a safe but low pay job when frankly they would have preferred a little risk with higher wages).

Even within the bounds of regulation, there are riskier, higher-wage jobs.
Yet, obviously not as many as there is a demand for. Unless the regulation is never used :)

Such regulation simply mandates that employees aren't treated like sh*t.
Subjective.
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.
Cody_Franklin
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1/23/2010 10:32:05 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 1/23/2010 1:31:21 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
I'm not giving them credit. In fact, I'm not giving them anything! :)

Oh, don't equivocate on me, now. Lol.
But it's fun!

Eh. Granted.

The point is, you're overestimating the ability of children to survive on their own without parental care.
I'm not bothering to estimate. The point is it's possible, if not preferable.

Even if it weren't, how is anyone else obligated to fix that?

Children that develop without parental care tend to be less than psychologically healthy, which in turn is problematic for the general public.

So, we should let the market be flooded with mediocre (if even that) products, since we have no real way to prevent companies from getting away with it?
How is the set of products that's more or less optimal for average survival "getting away" with anything "mediocre?"

You're operating based on the premise that the free market = competition = continual improvement of product; however, if a company can make a profit selling mediocre products, there's not much incentive to expend extra resources.

So you're saying there's an advantage, but not an unjustified one, since the unjustified one would take them to dirt? :)

I'm saying that there's an advantage, and that, while it doesn't go to the extreme of dirt, it still makes the market somewhat unfair to consumers.

You just don't have to make it luxury food. Why do you think cheap food has so many preservatives? So it won't spoil. In eras when you "didn't have to worry" (eras when government had a heavier hand than now) food spoiled and people still bought it, because they didn't have alternatives.

The lack of preservatives led food to spoil - not the heavy hand of the government; and, even if it were somehow government's fault, I fail to see how companies, who have the market's favor, would do a significantly better job, especially when there's no example of a laissez faire economy to weigh against.

That's the world, not the system. If you don't get food, you'll starve, simple concept.

Exactly. Biological imperatives force you to settle for whatever you can get; even if what companies are offering isn't so great, you're "forced" by circumstance to pay for it. The consumer would be unable to check the producers, since a boycott would lead to death; thus, the advantage goes to the producers, allowing them greater control over the market, in turn placing the odds even further against the consumers.

because the school will profit without your business
That seems to contradict bringing in a sack lunch.

How?

Incidentally schools tend to be government institutions. Some have good food, some don't, but it's kind of a silly example to bring against the market :).

Under your system, the government operates on user fees; assuming that this government maintained the most successful monopoly on violence, you would have no other sensible choice as to whom was to be paid for protection; so, even if the government in question was a crude, bullying, despicable organization, the fact that they're the least of all evils means that one is placed in the "crap/risk death" dichotomy - the same goes for other companies.

Because-- people would rather not spend more for the new product. Obviously, there are other areas people prefer to spend their money. And product will happen in those areas instead.

At the moment, for most people that tends to be technology.

And those companies clearly corner the market; Microsoft, Apple, Sony - smaller businesses can buy from those retailers, but can hardly compete on the same innovative level. As opposed to marketing mediocre products, they tend to manufacture higher-end products, but charge outrageous prices for them - however, there are few alternatives when it comes to these unique sorts of products, which again "forces" people to pay absurd sums of money for those products; the only saving grace is that, for the most part, technology isn't necessary - however, in the digital age, cell phones, TVs, computers especially, and even iPods are becoming integrated into our culture to the point of becoming necessities.

I don't consider that a sign of intelligence. :)

Well, the act of giving to the church isn't necessarily intelligent, but the fact remains that people with high intelligence can be duped into believing in some very odd things.

Implementing things like Social Security and Welfare, for another example.
That's government, not market.

I'm aware - it was part of my example that intelligent people can be duped into supporting some awful ideas.

That is likely to happen. Why do you think jobs exist that are above current legal minimum safety standards? Because the businesses find it advantageous. Likewise, they probably would frequently find it advantageous to stay above "zero safety measures."
Especially in a modern skill based economy where worker training is expensive. :P

I can't see all businesses subscribing to that, but still remaining in business - for the most part, however, okay.

Companies generally don't want to suffer the penalties for breaking it
Other people break laws without intending to suffer the penalties.

Companies aren't people. It's a bit more difficult for them to get away with things, especially when it comes to treatment of workers.

No. Taxes "always exist" in a system where they are allowed, and taxes, not votes, are the primary enabler of a regime, votes may or may not be respected, especially considering how taxes mean pork which means campaign dollars which roughly translates to votes.

Taxes -> $ -> Votes

Ultimately, politicians have to worry about getting enough votes to be reelected.

It is possible to quit your job, and it has an effect even if a majority won't do it (it cuts the profit margin).

There's always someone else ready to fill the gap. There will always be unemployment, and those who will take advantage of it; not the best example, considering our type of economy, but the estimate now is that roughly 6 people jump at every job opening. The employees need their employer more than vice versa.

It is impossible to "quit the government" without a strict majority, which you will never get. If 49 percent of people are completely f***ed, the other 51 percent can still be happy and the politician is fine. A business falls apart long before that. You seem to be stating the opposite of the actual case.

What do you mean by "quit the government"?

Showing low voter levels doesn't establish that it's any easier to vote people out of office, especially since it's mostly those who are f***ed who don't have time to vote.

The point was, the existence of a large number of unemployed makes employees seem expendable, as they can be pushed to do more by hanging their job overhead; and, if fired, employers go to the next in line. Politicians need more security concerning voters.

Irrelevant, since workers can travel from workplace to workplace.

It isn't irrelevant; I'm discussing work conditions for all of the employees at one workplace - not the comparative conditions for employees of different places.

Even within the bounds of regulation, there are riskier, higher-wage jobs.
Yet, obviously not as many as there is a demand for. Unless the regulation is never used :)

That's because deregulation makes a lot of jobs risky when there's no reason for them to be.

Such regulation simply mandates that employees aren't treated like sh*t.
Subjective.

That makes no sense. That's the point of those types of regulations - to mandate safe work conditions, and to ensure that employees aren't abused. That's not exactly subjective, unless you play semantics on the phrase "treated like sh*t".
Ragnar_Rahl
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1/23/2010 11:54:40 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Children that develop without parental care tend to be less than psychologically healthy, which in turn is problematic for the general public.
The general public isn't even an entity,let alone capable of having things be problematic toward it.

You're operating based on the premise that the free market = competition = continual improvement of product; however, if a company can make a profit selling mediocre products, there's not much incentive to expend extra resources.
They are mediocre on a whole different scale than actual demand calls for. It's like a football team that passes on a nose tackle because he doesn't run a 4.6 40-- he's not supposed to!

I'm saying that there's an advantage, and that, while it doesn't go to the extreme of dirt, it still makes the market somewhat unfair to consumers.
Unfair? Define fairness.

The lack of preservatives led food to spoil - not the heavy hand of the government
Actually, in some cases, the famous preservative known as salt was subject to a government monopoly (colonial India for example). This led to higher prices and thus less use :).

and, even if it were somehow government's fault, I fail to see how companies, who have the market's favor, would do a significantly better job, especially when there's no example of a laissez faire economy to weigh against.
Well of course you fail to see (perceive) results of a thing when the thing has never been done.

Exactly. Biological imperatives force you to settle for whatever you can get; even if what companies are offering isn't so great, you're "forced" by circumstance to pay for it.
That's still equivocation and not a humorous one.

The consumer would be unable to check the producers, since a boycott would lead to death
So people didn't exist in the days before modern food corporations?

How?
Sack lunch= school does not get your money for lunch.

Under your system, the government operates on user fees; assuming that this government maintained the most successful monopoly on violence, you would have no other sensible choice as to whom was to be paid for protection; so, even if the government in question was a crude, bullying, despicable organization, the fact that they're the least of all evils means that one is placed in the "crap/risk death" dichotomy - the same goes for other companies.
That's any system except anarchism. The point is to revolt if the government is crap. The market isn't supposed to be an optimal check on government all by itself, unlike other companies.

And those companies clearly corner the market; Microsoft, Apple
You just listed two competitors.

smaller businesses can buy from those retailers, but can hardly compete on the same innovative level.
Primarily because customers find Microsoft and Apple and so forth to be the best bet for innovation.

As opposed to marketing mediocre products, they tend to manufacture higher-end products, but charge outrageous prices for them
Outrageous? Compared to what example of cheaper ones? Or, considering how they invented most of this stuff or bought patents from those who did, any ones?

Well, the act of giving to the church isn't necessarily intelligent, but the fact remains that people with high intelligence can be duped into believing in some very odd things.
Religion is more like them duping themselves.

I can't see all businesses subscribing to that, but still remaining in business
Well, a few with low training levels will offer a choice, safety or higher wages. That seems to be the optimal strategy for attracting the most workers :).

Companies aren't people. It's a bit more difficult for them to get away with things, especially when it comes to treatment of workers.
Drug cartels aren't individual people either.

Ultimately, politicians have to worry about getting enough votes to be reelected.
Which isn't much of a worry as long as they can fragment 51% into subsidized groups in a manner that is bad for them all but punishes the first withdrawer. Which they can and do.

There's always someone else ready to fill the gap
If that were true no jobs would ever be offered above minimum wage.

There will always be unemployment, and those who will take advantage of it
The only unemployment I know of "there will always be" is of those who can't possibly be profitably employed. The rest accrues from various regulations.

What do you mean by "quit the government"?
An analogy to quit your job. Stop paying taxes, and therefore stop receiving benefits, being subject to regulations, etc. This is illegal. The main feature of my system is rectifying that :).

It isn't irrelevant; I'm discussing work conditions for all of the employees at one workplace - not the comparative conditions for employees of different places.
The point is that the employees who work at the unsafe places are there because they couldn't earn the wages they want anywhere else-- they weren't productive enough anywhere else to do so-- and would be under or unemployed if such lack of safety were illegal.

That's because deregulation makes a lot of jobs risky when there's no reason for them to be.
How? If there is no reason to do something who does it?

That makes no sense. That's the point of those types of regulations - to mandate safe work conditions, and to ensure that employees aren't abused. That's not exactly subjective, unless you play semantics on the phrase "treated like sh*t".
Then give an objective definition for "Safe," "abuse," and "sh*t"
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.