Direct Democracy. Would you vote for it?

This is a discussion on Direct Democracy. Would you vote for it? within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; Cntua this is very confusing without details. I mean, I construe most of what you are talking about to mean ...

  1. #76
    Registered User whiteflags's Avatar
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    Cntua this is very confusing without details. I mean, I construe most of what you are talking about to mean stuff that already exists, or stuff that already happens, in our current economy and government.

    The owner(s) of a company are the people who control all the equity and would be responsible for the businesses losses during operation and when the business dissolves. Employees and owners are paid out of the gross income. Economics takes care of who can own a bigger house or car, and individuals own their personal property.

    I guess where you want to make the most changes is how to file to start a business, and so forth. But economics also takes care of what businesses thrive and fail. If you cannot get investors and have poor starting capital, you probably won't survive the competition unless you hit the ground running.

    And there are egalitarian motives exercised by governments so people don't get "too rich" off money making more money, (the capital gains tax) and ways to take care of people when they are too old, (social security) so I just want details....

  2. #77
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C_ntua View Post
    Anarchism can lead to democracy, it can also lead to chaos. So democracy is the goal. Democracy doesn't need anarchism. As long as most of the power belongs to the people, there can be leaders. A "without leaders" system is not for the near future.
    Anarchism is extremely democratic in practice* (it is more akin to the "direct democracy" idea you are advocating) but you are right, it is not for the near, nor any future, I think, WRT the totality of human society, because it involves an impossible (on that scale) level of co-operation. I would not demand (eg) Sharke to become a fundamentally different person in order to accommodate my idealism -- hence you cannot force anarchism on people, which is part of why (historically) anarchists are distinct from revolutionary communists, who would force an agenda. Sharke and people like him have the right to their opinions and culture, even if it seems sad. Mortality is also sad (and inescapable). You cannot just lobotomise them or something.

    A solution I would prefer would be if every person would be allowed to have a limited property.
    Again, while this might provide a short cut solution to many contemporary, global imbalances/injustices (and I would support it 110%!) I think it would be at worst just too alien/unacceptable to most people and at best require a level of commitment and clarity which exceeds the real potential of the species (honestly). No offence . We is what we is.

    If you want to built a software company, you would have to ask for the necessary resources.
    This is unnecessary -- that's centralization/communism. You would have to find the necessary resources, which is still easy to understand under capitalism (it's real freedom, and not the profit motive, which inspires the greatest innovation). I suppose that might involve asking people for things tho. Nb. "people" is not synonymous with "person" (so you might also have to ask individual persons for "things"). People are free to make collective agreements under anarchism.

    * it does not at all foster "chaos" -- this is a fabrication of oppositional late 19th century/early 20th century press, when anarchism was a much more (explicitly ) significant social force than it is now.
    Last edited by MK27; 05-31-2010 at 05:12 PM.
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  3. #78
    Registered User C_ntua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whiteflags View Post
    Cntua this is very confusing without details. I mean, I construe most of what you are talking about to mean stuff that already exists, or stuff that already happens, in our current economy and government.

    The owner(s) of a company are the people who control all the equity and would be responsible for the businesses losses during operation and when the business dissolves. Employees and owners are paid out of the gross income. Economics takes care of who can own a bigger house or car, and individuals own their personal property.

    I guess where you want to make the most changes is how to file to start a business, and so forth. But economics also takes care of what businesses thrive and fail. If you cannot get investors and have poor starting capital, you probably won't survive the competition unless you hit the ground running.

    And there are egalitarian motives exercised by governments so people don't get "too rich" off money making more money, (the capital gains tax) and ways to take care of people when they are too old, (social security) so I just want details....
    The problem is that the distribution of wealth is not at all fair. There are some balance mechanics, but very weak ones. The idea behind them is to balance things, not to fix the economic system. Apparently the system is not that well designed as people think.
    For example, an owner of a company has a profit of 1m. A worker gets 1k. Even if you make the owner pay taxes half his money and exempt the worker from taxes then the difference is still 499k. Which is a huge difference.
    What can you do? If you make very strict laws you will ruin the system. For one, if you take 90% of the owner's money then who will get the money? You want the wealth to go back in the market not result in a ridiculous amount of taxes. Then you destroy the motivation of the owner in the first place.

    There is a very limited "public wealth". Instead of trying to control and redistribute private wealth, why not have the majority of wealth as public and give as needed. That gives you much greater control which will ensure a far more balanced system. On my example you could take some profit of each business and built a new ones to fix unemployment. You don't have that option now. If the individuals that control business were concerned primarily on the system working then there would be no need to change the system. But it is no like that.

    Concluding, the current system is not efficient as it should be (unemployment, crisis, slow to adjust) and it not fair as it should be (the distribution of wealth, people that are below poverty level, a rich man's child starts higher than a poor man's child).

  4. #79
    Registered User C_ntua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    Again, while this might provide a short cut solution to many contemporary, global imbalances/injustices (and I would support it 110%!) I think it would be at worst just too alien/unacceptable to most people and at best require a level of commitment and clarity which exceeds the real potential of the species (honestly). No offence . We is what we is.
    In the contrary. That is what people always did. They are family based. They had a house, which they claimed their own. Tools/equipment to use. If the were farmers the land belonged to those who used it. If the land is big enough, everybody is happy. But people get greedy and start claiming the land as their own. The rest are forced to work for them. That is a result of a lack of law. But the idea of having a public wealth is not alien at all. You say "I belong to a company". The company is something everybody shares. If you tell them "the company belongs to everyone" they would look at you and say "ok, so what?". They don't really care. If you tell them "your house belongs to everyone" they will start punching you. "So the neighbor will be able to come inside? I hate my neighbor". That is usually what people think. They want safety and privacy that is why they want their own property. For most people I don't think the idea is alien. And you have one owner and a lot of workers. So the idea would only be alien to a small percentage. Which would still benefit more than the rest...

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    This is unnecessary -- that's centralization/communism. You would have to find the necessary resources, which is still easy to understand under capitalism (it's real freedom, and not the profit motive, which inspires the greatest innovation). I suppose that might involve asking people for things tho. Nb. "people" is not synonymous with "person" (so you might also have to ask individual persons for "things"). People are free to make collective agreements under anarchism.
    Communism is just an idea, it doesn't imply a very specific system. There are hundreds of systems that are based in communism. In any case, there doesn't have to be a label on things.
    Most of the resources would be public. Asking people would probably result in "I don't have ten tractors to built your office". If they did, then you could start your own business. But at some degree you would need some public resources if we assume that most resources were public.
    Centralization is also a form of coordination. Which is vital for a society. People alone simply don't coordinate that much. The key is not to centralize around people with power, but around laws and systems. I don't want John to be in command for all the wealth. But I would like for laws and agreements to distribute wealth, not the idea if you legally get it, its yous.

  5. #80
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C_ntua View Post
    In the contrary. That is what people always did. They are family based. They had a house, which they claimed their own. Tools/equipment to use. If the were farmers the land belonged to those who used it. If the land is big enough, everybody is happy. But people get greedy and start claiming the land as their own. The rest are forced to work for them. That is a result of a lack of law.
    Only if the law that's lacking is the universal security of one's person (ie, no violence), and furthermore there is a "law" about controlling property and the right to exercise violence in it's acquisition (property exceeds personhood). Two people cannot plow the same ground at once until someone raises a fist, and who can claim the fruits of the earth as their own when they have eaten and another has not, except in so far as someone may be concerned with hoarding and another with acquiring their hoards? The hoard (harvest) is no one's and you cannot fit so much in your mouth anyway.

    You are right, this is a fatal flaw in human history now firmly entrenched in the minds of modern westerners. But since I don't believe in God, C_ntua, I am not surprised by this -- no offence (and anyway I think Christianity actually contains within it a reflection of this "downfall" or tragic flaw, albeit fragmented and abstracted), so I am not trying to provoke here but only make you go "hmmm". My real point in raising this point is that for better or for worse there you go, this is "the real potential of the species" which is why idealistic philosophies like anarchism cannot be made to work on a very large scale (but that does not make them any less important to maintain, since "very large" is not the only scale).

    Quote Originally Posted by C_ntua View Post
    Centralization is also a form of coordination. Which is vital for a society. People alone simply don't coordinate that much.
    IMO you only believe that last sentence because contemporary western society does not expect much from people in this regard, and people as animals are lazy and do not develop certain capacities without a conscious effort.

    As for the second sentence, we'll have to disagree -- I think centralization is not only un-vital but detrimental to the economy. The further removed power becomes from a situation, the more prone it is to corruption, hypocrisy, and "internal" sabotage.
    Last edited by MK27; 05-31-2010 at 07:37 PM.
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  6. #81
    Registered User whiteflags's Avatar
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    OK Cntua.

    >> For example, an owner of a company has a profit of 1m. A worker gets 1k. Even if you make
    >> the owner pay taxes half his money and exempt the worker from taxes then the difference is
    >> still 499k. Which is a huge difference.

    499k sounds like the business's total assets to me. In case you've never taken accounting, business owners do not consider all of a company's profits theirs, in fact they are quick to separate bank accounts, away from their personal assets like their car or home. They only risk what they invest, and they draw regular paychecks. It's true that sometimes these can be obscene, but they frequently aren't, because companies prefer to retain capital. You only hear about execs taking obscene bonuses or whatever when businesses actually die -- the residual assets actually go to their investors (stockholders) after everyone's gotten severance packages. Or they could fail the other way, which is uglier and less happy because the company files for bankruptcy.

    So really this is much more of a social problem than an economic one. And I agree. I heard a rather disturbing statistic that executives are now earning 300 times the wages of their employees, but that's just what I heard from someone on Bill Maher's show. I don't think it's that we need to adjust minimum wage, either - although that would help. The way we handle that now has been rigged by the government so much it barely follows anything economical. I just think people don't care.

    >> That gives you much greater control which will ensure a far more balanced system. On my
    >> example you could take some profit of each business and built a new ones to fix
    >> unemployment.

    Yeah, but just imagine if you were a person who had an important job in such a workplace. Doesn't that just invite the bureau to invade your space and appoint a czar for whatever you make or do when the government is loaning you assets? Michigan's great shame was the time when GM was technically Government Motors. It's easy to think how great public wealth sounds as a concept when you would be at the receiving end of it. If people actually help themselves though, and get out of their situation so they can go back to work, I don't want to take away from the opportunities they could have.

    They might be different people by then. I don't know how recent this is, but here, when you're unemployed you can now go to school at state expense.

    Funding unemployment payments is typically handled through taxation; in fact workers contribute a portion of their gross income in the US. That tax is called Federal Withholding (usually welfare) and State Withholding, in case you need it. I guess you could raise the tax, but there's a reason why I don't work for the government's accountants. Taking away more of people's income from them in general, and especially from the "working poor" makes me queasy, but it should work in times of high unemployment.


    Anyway I would caution you not to get carried away and address a temporary problem with a kudzu solution weaved of good intentions.

    Just to put some things into perspective even today's poor live like ancient emperors. Even so, with today's cost of living it's despicable. There has to be a more creative solution than nationalizing everything, though. Hell, if we could force businesses to check visas and pay illegal immigrants like Americans if they're hired anyway, the incentive to hire them would disappear. Look, I just created millions of jobs.

    I also think corporations are too big. I mean, you hear about businesses merging with all their competitors all the time. Maybe we could go back to licensing them for the "public good". There would be few corporations around, and the only time you would work for one is if you were doing community service.

    Feel free to stick to your guns, but if I said this before, it bears repeating: There has to be a better way than nationalizing everything.

  7. #82
    Registered User C_ntua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whiteflags View Post
    Feel free to stick to your guns, but if I said this before, it bears repeating: There has to be a better way than nationalizing everything.
    You see, now everything belongs to someone. If it is not private it is the government. How stupid is giving the government motivation to abuse their powers by allowing them to have a company like GM? Keep them separated. You want the government to check the business, not to run the business.
    Taxes are another example. You give money for the government to use them. You give political and economical power to a single group. What do you expect?
    You support the capitalistic ideas of antagonism, motivation and creativity stick with them. Let the tax money be used. You want to built something, gather money and built them. You want to invest them, gather them and built a company. An independent company, not a government one. The government has no motivation on managing money.

    There is a difference from having a "public wealth" pool. First of all, it doesn't have to be run from the same group that has political power. Second, you have taken away excessive private wealth so you greatly lessen the motivation of greed and using those money for personal means.
    Third, that pool is part of the system. You use them directly to boost the economy. You don't make adjustments with those money hoping you will balance the economy. It is one solid thing.

    I base the success of such a system on the fact that you have a far greater organization of the wealth. Preventing private wealth from those who control this huge amount of wealth (if the ones that distributes the public wealth does a good job he gets a bonus. It is the only way for him to get a bonus. So he is motivated to do a good job), having laws that will decide who uses the wealth (even though you cannot negate the human variable), separating the wealth from the political power, focusing on prosperity only and not having two opposed forces (a free market, the government trying to control it). You don't rely on individuals to balance the system when their motivation is just to gain wealth. The system is designed from the beginning to be balanced. You use all the experience you have from an already tested system to built something better.

    And we are talking about the US. If capitalism doesn't work in a satisfactory way there, imagine on the rest of the world. We are talking about a system that affects the lives of everybody. There has to be a better system than this. Think of the idea behind capitalism, no matter how it works. Are you satisfied with it? The utilization of the idea is great thanks to the science behind economics and the mind of human beings. Imagine if we had a better idea how it could result.

    My key point, in order to be more clear, is not to have an excessive private wealth. That is not a temporary problem, we always had that. All the rest that I am saying are just some ideas how to keep alive the system preventing an excessive private wealth. I ofter hear "without motivation the system will die like communism did". Uncontrolled private wealth does give you a motivation, but so does controlled motivation. Why promise a child the whole ice factory when he would do what you want with a simple cone?

  8. #83
    Registered User Sharke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neo1 View Post
    Almost all countries are having to cut their losses at the moment, does this make any economic model other than your own invalid?

    Norway - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Sweden - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Denmark - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    And those countries are examples of what, exactly? Countries which are part of a continent which has had its defense bill largely subsidized by the US taxpayer since the end of WWII? Countries which are now finding, with the arrival of millions of new immigrants eager to sign up for as much free stuff as they can get their hands on, that their welfare systems are unsustainable? Countries which have contributed relatively little to the advancement of technology but which have been the beneficiaries of so much American technology?

    Quote Originally Posted by Neo1 View Post
    I apologize, i read most of what you've wrote fairly quickly, it has after all grown into quite a wall of text by now.
    At least you apologized, unlike MK27 whose next post, which I've yet to read, is no doubt full of the same misrepresentations I've asked him to lay off about twenty times already.

    Quote Originally Posted by Neo1 View Post
    This is a typical answer Sharke, "point the gun at me", "money stolen", "welfare loafers". Anyone who is part of a society has certain responsibilities towards that society, including businesses. This is to make sure that people isn't living and dying in the streets, that everyone can afford an education and so on and so forth. This is not stealing, and there does not have to be any guns involved.
    There is no absolute concept as "social responsibility" and the attempt to define such a responsibility is fraught with conflicts. While you might say that it is the "responsibility" of a citizen to support his neighbor, I might equally say that it is the "responsibility" of my neighbor not to be a burden on others through his own bad decisions. I don't buy collectivism at all, this idea that the individual is subservient to the group as a whole. We are all primarily individuals each with our own hopes, dreams, aspirations, attitudes and priorities. We should all have the freedom to help those less fortunate than us - but on our own individual terms, at our own pace and in our own way. As soon as you start dictating that we all have a certain responsibility to each other and forcing us to live that responsibility to a predetermined letter, then you are holding a gun to our heads. If you don't believe that you have a gun to your head, consider what ultimately happens when you defy the state's idea of "social responsibility" through each successive stage. Eventually, they're going to send you to jail, and if you resist....

    As soon as you start dictating that Peter is responsible for Paul and suchlike, then you end up with a whole bunch of Pauls who figure that they'll just sit back and let the Peters do all the hard work. A study in Britain has just found that the vast majority of people claiming sickness benefits are actually quite fit to work - they just choose not to. I grew up in a city in northern England in which "getting on the sick" is considered the height of achievement. Literally hundreds of thousands spend their entire lives claiming incapacity benefit, having their rent and all other expenses paid and receiving a comfortable sum of spending money each week. They'll usually pick something that's hard to pinpoint medically, like back pain or metal stress and their doctors are resigned to signing their sick notes for them. If anyone doubts them at any stage of the game, they get aggressive and abusive and demand their "right" to a free living. I know these people very well. Every welfare system in the world is straining under the weight of those who exploit and defraud your idea of "social responsibility." Let me donate to a private charity that helps support genuinely sick people. Seeing as how it's my money and my choice, I have the power to choose a charity that can show me they're only helping those who really need it. If I don't believe their standards are strict enough, I'll take my check elsewhere. Sound fair?


    Quote Originally Posted by Neo1 View Post
    Around here, people choose to pay half their salary to the state, the American system as of now is disgusting, and what you are proposing doesn't seem to change any of what is wrong with it.
    Are you actually suggesting that in Denmark, taxes are entirely voluntary and that people are free to decide how much of their salary to donate? Because that's the only possible conclusion I can reach from your statement that "around here, people choose to pay half their salary to the state." If I'm wrong, then perhaps you'd like to refactor that statement to something more accurate. What, exactly, about the American system as of now is disgusting, might I ask, as compared to the Danish system?

    Quote Originally Posted by Neo1 View Post
    Contrary to what you heard on Fox News, socialists are not gonna march in through Mexico trying to _steal_ all your income and give it to dopeheads and criminals. Socialism does not have to be forced, or despotic or any less democratic than liberalism or conservatism. Socialists are not monsters and they are not thieves. Throughout all of this thread you have been using communism and planned economy as a dystopic example, albeit very subtly. I cringe everytime i hear an American mention communism or socialism as if it is terrorism or thievery.
    I'll ignore the hackneyed, unimaginative reference to Fox News. I will, however, thoroughly dispute your claim that socialism does not have to be forced. I do not wish to donate my time or my property to the collective. So how are you going to make me do that, without using force? Maybe tickle me into submission? Socialism - not the phony "welfare state funded by the extorted proceeds of capitalism" type socialism in Europe - has never, ever led to any reasonable standard of prosperity. Socialist countries are characterized by a lack of freedom, especially political freedom. The two sides of collectvisim - communism and fascism - were without a shadow of a doubt the most inhumane and evil cause of human suffering in the 20th century. You cringe when you hear an American mention communism or socialism in negative terms? My friend, I do not just cringe when I hear someone defend communism. I feel sick to my stomach.

    Quote Originally Posted by Neo1 View Post
    This probably won't go down very well. Just realize Sharke, the communists are in your walls, and outside your window, lurking, watching, waiting. Be afraid, be very afraid. The wrath of Stalin will hit you like sickle and hammer. Fearmonger.
    Stalin, aside from killing tens of millions of his own people, at least served humanity with a very important lesson. Communism will never happen in America, neither will socialism. The current administration is doing its best to inch America toward that hell as we speak - for their troubles, the American electorate is slowly but surely turning against them. America was founded on the philosophy of individual freedom and it is not a collectivist state. Any socialist who has his eye on the United States of America will end up sorely disappointed.

  9. #84
    Registered User Sharke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    This is precisely why I am not interested in passing judgement, because I believe in personal freedom and that people have the right to live their lives they way they want, and not according to some ideal I have no desire to dream up anyway. If someone wants to ask me for a dollar and then go spend it on beer or crack that's freedom. I don't care. "Freedom" does not mean the right to do what I want you to do or what I think is best. Freedom is the right to do what you want to do as long as it does not involve hurting other people (impinging on their freedom). As have repeated a few times now, I do not consider your use of the word anything more than hollow sloganeering -- you want to apply it to the rights of property owners and nothing else.
    This simply means that you have no sense of value judgment. Tell me, if you had one dollar left and were confronted with two potential recipients - one whom had chosen homelessness as a lifestyle but expected everyone to support him, and one whom had lost everything through a catastrophe beyond his control and was doing his genuine best to right himself - to whom would you give that dollar? Are you seriously telling me that you wouldn't make a judgement?

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    Potential to do what? Force people to dress, act, and behave in a way that is pleasing to Sharke's eye? Why on earth would I want to do that? I wouldn't do that myself, much less expect it from others. I'm presuming at this point that as a rule you do not give anything to panhandlers, so why they would care what you want from them I dunno.
    No, the potential to support himself without expecting others to support him. At this point of the discussion you're just flailing wildly, trying your best to pin on me the views that you feel confident of responding to, like the idea that my goal is to have everyone "conform" to a certain dress code, that my problem with panhandlers is how they look. For future reference, I do not care how anyone looks. You also presume that I don't give anything to panhandlers, based on what? The fact that I exercise a standard of discretion when deciding which panhandler to give to and which to refuse my charity? Once again, I'm surprised at such non-sequiturs coming from someone who claims to be a computer programmer. Your grasp of logic is not entirely solid.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    Every right winger has one of these stories.
    What the hell does that even mean? That only right wingers would be bothered by someone defrauding the public by pretending to be disabled? Oh brother...

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    Single anecdotes are meaningless. I lived on the street for years and have survived panhandling in three or four different countries. I know what the potential there is, and it is minimal. As I said before, no one would bother with it unless 1) they actually need the $10-20 they might collect in an entire day. 2) they are psychological unstable/sociopathic. There are a very few people like this around, I have an opinion about their motivation but I will not bother to voice it here (basically I would just call them wing-nuts -- again they are very rare amongst panhandlers IMO).
    First of all, I'm just expressing a personal opinion here, but I don't believe for one minute that you have lived on the streets in "three or four different countries." But maybe that's just me. Second, it is quite possible to make many times more than $10 or $20 per day, especially in a city like New York. I see panhandlers make their way through subway cars taking maybe 4 or 5 dollars in the process. It takes them around 2 minutes or so to walk up a subway carriage, including the set speech they recite first. You do the math. Note that i'm not saying that all panhandlers are con artists or are making a tidy sum this way, only that there is nothing wrong with exercising some kind of judgment when deciding how to distribute one's finite supply of charity.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    But WRT to your anecdote, there is corruption everywhere. Does one story about a corrupt and violent killer cop mean that all police are corrupt violent killers and so we should withdraw funding for the police?
    No, it just means that those of them who are corrupt killers should lose their jobs, go to jail and receive not one more penny of their salaries.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    Another revealing fantasy. It would be much closer to the truth to say that contemporary libertarianism was a creation of the mid 20th century -- while you may find bits and pieces from various authors you may like to quote prior to that, this does not mean libertarianism was what "liberalism" meant in (eg) 19th century Western thought. Which the distinct term "libertarian" did exist then too, but it was not as exclusively defined then as it has come to be today.
    Again, I will direct you to the fact that libertarianism is not a brand, nor do libertarians march in lockstep. I use the word "libertarianism" loosely to describe my views, which are basically individualist, pro-capitalist with a right wing leaning. I'm not really concerned with the history of libertarianism or when the term has and hasn't been used.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    No, the term was coined by Murray Rothbard, a friend of Ayn Rand and promiment U.S. Libertarian Party activist during the 1970's, to refer to his own theories.
    So? And just because he was a friend of Ayn Rand's does not mean that he shared exactly the same views. Rand supported the idea of a democratic state, just a very scaled down one, as do I.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    That has nothing to do with anarchism, but since I am not interested in selling the philosophy to the public or debating it with someone who is about as close to being an anarchist as Mussolini, I will not bother to correct you beyond saying that if you are interested, then you can do some reading. And when you find the anarchists that are proponents of what you are talking about there, please let me know so I can straighten their heads out too (altho, in fact, you will not find any such people). But I presume you are more interested in misrepresenting everyone else half the time, and the other half screaming that it is you who are misrepresented. Blah blah blah.
    There you go again, playing the fascism card. Please stop it. There is nothing remotely fascist about my views. And point me toward a brand of anarchism in which my rights and freedoms are protected toward a system of law enforcement instead of being under constant threat from those who do not recognize them - I'll quite happily support it.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    Okay, so what is wrong with me labelling someone who talks like fascist, acts like a fascist, and walks like a fascist a fascist?
    Oh nothing really, just the fact that my views are quite distinct from fascism - and the fact that like most kids who bandy the term around as a ready substitute for real arguments, you don't really understand the term.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    Yes, it's a real "tactic" you have for denial and obfuscation. Surely you do not expect to be taken seriously? I am not the liar here.
    Despite being the one who is actually telling the lies. I have been quite clear in my views in every case and have answered your posts consistently, point for point. You have responded by consistently telling lies.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    Yes for example now there is all the asbestos and lead paint that we use, which was not a problem in the "good old days". And as I am sure people in California will tell you, today's buildings are no where near as earthquake safe as they were before minimum standards were regulated there.
    Earthquake safety and knowledge about the dangers of lead paint have arisen through advances in knowledge and technology, not regulations. An individual, armed with this modern knowledge, is quite capable of insisting upon lead-free paint and earthquake-free buildings on his own, through the marvels of something called a contract.


    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    Australia has a corporate tax rate of 30%, comparable to or higher than the corporate tax rate here. The same is true of their personal income tax rates (it's higher). Australia also has a 10% GST. Furthermore Australia has a minimum wage over $14 dollars (AU, which is 85% of the US)! So once again, the one who is so insistent on accusing everyone else of lying seems to be the one doing the most lying.
    The US has a corporate tax rate of 35% over $300,000 or so, which is higher than Austrialia, but there we go. Economic freedom is not just calculated by a case by case comparison of tax rates, it takes into account business freedom, trade freedom, fiscal freedom, government spending, monetary freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom, property rights, freedom from corruption and labor freedom. The results show that there is a direct relationship between economic freedom and prosperity (as well as environmental protection). Go back and read my post, in which I quite clearly used the phrase "economic freedom" and then tell me once again that I am lying.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    Duck, duck, duck. I was merely illustrating the point that much of your economic and social philosophy was also explicitly used by the Nazi party. I will give you credit since perhaps you have never studied Nazi philosophy and so are ignorant of the close parallels there.
    The Nazis favored the concept of centralized economic planning, which is the exact antithesis of my economic and social philosophy. Nor did they have anything like the concept of individual rights or freedom that I have. Fascism is nothing like libertarianism. Perhaps next you'd like to make some kind of connection between vegetarianism and fascism, since Hitler was a vegetarian too.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    Beyond that, yes I do believe the tea party is largely populated (and funded) by closet fascists. By "closet" I mean they would prefer not to identify themselves that way publicly, and would deny the whole duck, duck, duck thing as coincidental (?) or more likely dodge the issue.
    So once again, nothing but conjecture and speculation based upon your own ignorance and prejudice. You must be very proud.

    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    No, you can have a special card, Sharke, that says you opted-out and don't have to pay it because you are not receiving any services. I imagine there would have to be some minimal "non-optional" tax to cover national defence.
    National defense being one of the few legitimate roles of government required to protect my freedom to go about my life as I so choose without the threat of physical coercion from others, yes.

  10. #85
    Registered User Sharke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C_ntua View Post
    I agree with Bubba. Each party mostly supports one side of the battle.
    Sharke, you are right. That is how wealth is grown. And that is how new jobs rise. But it depends on the situation. If an owner has to give a raise to their workers because the government demands so then it the result is not always the same. The company might close down and everybody lose their job. Or it might simply result on the low-paid workers getting a more fair salary.
    The market decides upon a fair wage for the workers, not government. So why give the government any kind of power to decide to give workers a raise? Unions have a legitimate role here: to insist that workers are paid the market rate. However, unions haven't exactly behaved in this manner, since they've historically demended wages at levels higher than the market rate, without the corresponding increase in productivity (unless someone has an example of unions increasing productivity that I haven't heard about). Since wages are paid with revenues and not profits, the only way to increase wages above the market rate is to increase the price of the product and thus generate more revenue. But an increase in the price of one product results in less money in the consumer's pockets to spend on other products - and thus unemployment in the industries that make those products. Fair wages are decided by the price level at which consumers are prepared to pay for a product. If workers are unhappy with the market wage in the manufacture of one particular product, they are free to seek employment elsewhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by C_ntua View Post
    On the extreme situation where everybody has the same wealth, capitalism would fail. But that doesn't mean that if there was a less capital a smaller "seed corn" it wouldn't grow. And it doesn't mean that a concentration of wealth always results in growth.
    I say keep an open mind and try to think of each situation independently. So a flexibility is the best. So if you hear the news "workers demand a raise" don't be biased on if they are right or wrong. It depends.
    I don't see that capitalism would necessarily fail if everyone had the same wealth. But since there is as much chance of everyone having the same wealth as everyone being born with the same color eyes, it's really pointless to speculate about such extreme circumstances. And you're right, a smaller capital base doesn't mean that it still wouldn't grow. It just grows slower, that's all. Too small and other factors come into play leading to economic collapse. But since overall prosperity is a reflection of the rate of wealth creation, it makes sense to aim for a high rate of growth.

    Quote Originally Posted by C_ntua View Post
    You are talking in the case where the whole economy is one big company and consumers. The masses are people that have companies themselves and produce wealth as well. Who deserves the money in the end?
    Firstly, where am I talking about a case where the whole economy is "one big company"? Secondly, it's not a case of who deserves the money (which isn't, by the way, a finite pie). It's a case of who's worth what to who in a free market.

    Quote Originally Posted by C_ntua View Post
    The key is balance. Avoid the worst case scenarios. The rest is whoever gets the wealth gets the wealth. Antagonism. Or change the system.
    Since the worst case scenarios in this context are not likely to happen and are not very likely to be stable or able sustain themselves, it's not worth worrying about.

    Quote Originally Posted by C_ntua View Post
    The government has the role also to provide justice to the people and balance the free market. With capital you get more capital. The idea of capitalism doesn't ensure balance. That is why you have to have other mechanisms, which are run by the government. So their goal is also freedom in that sense, as Bubba said.
    If you're taking money from the hands of someone who has earned it through providing a product or service that other people wanted and were prepared to pay for, in order to "redistribute" it in some perverted idea of "balance," that's not justice. The government's attempts to ensure "balance" have done nothing but stifle economic growth and create huge swathes of welfare dependent people with no self respect or ambition. I don't call this civilized at all. Nor do I call it freedom.

    Quote Originally Posted by C_ntua View Post
    If you think that the government has too much power, the republicans are right. If you feel that the government should impose more measures in order for there to be more justice, the liberals are right. So it depends on the truth behind the current situation.
    The government of course might not stand to its role and protect the people. Or it might go to far and neglect its other duty which is to protect the economic system in general.
    I fail to see the correlation between "imposing more measures" in the liberal understanding, and a rational idea of "justice."

    Quote Originally Posted by C_ntua View Post
    People have a different judge on the current situation, so their ideas and where they give their support differs on that fact.
    Right. But the opinions of other really don't worry me so long as they promise to keep the hell out of my life and not abrogate my rights.

  11. #86
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    You must enjoy talking to yourself.

  12. #87
    Registered User C_ntua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharke View Post
    Firstly, where am I talking about a case where the whole economy is "one big company"? Secondly, it's not a case of who deserves the money (which isn't, by the way, a finite pie). It's a case of who's worth what to who in a free market.
    On your example of getting money from the greedy farmer and redistributing them. The redistribution can boost the economy as well. Because the consumers are also producers in this case. The extra money they get can be used to produce more products, not necessarily to increase the demand.

    My point is that democrats and republicans, as conservatives and liberals, favor more some ideas than others. I would expect to hear your example of the greedy farmer from a republican rather than from a democrat. But as I said, it depends on the situation. Better to be flexible and search for the truth behind matters than just judge things on "how they sound".
    The republicans for example feel that the government, as you said, redistributes sometimes wealth calling it justice. So, whenever they hear about the government redistributing wealth they will have negative feelings about it. The truth though can depend. The redistribution can help or harm the economy. Until you find out what is the case, you shouldn't be biased. Isn't that right?

  13. #88
    Registered User Sharke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C_ntua View Post
    On your example of getting money from the greedy farmer and redistributing them.
    This was just a rough analogy to illustrate a general point.


    Quote Originally Posted by C_ntua View Post
    The redistribution can boost the economy as well. Because the consumers are also producers in this case. The extra money they get can be used to produce more products, not necessarily to increase the demand.
    No form of artificial, involuntary wealth distribution can boost an economy. Prosperity is a direct factor of economic freedom. Having your wealth confiscated naturally detracts from that economic freedom. I'm not sure I understand what you're trying to say here about producers and consumers. Are you saying that when you redistribute money from the rich to the poor, that more goods are produced? In what capacity do you mean that "the consumers are also producers in this case"? Are you talking about people who work for an employer? In the context we're talking about, the producers are those who invest the capital and start the businesses which produce, not the employers who work for them. My point was that when you siphon capital from the productive in order to redistribute it to people who are less well off, all you're doing is creating more demand for goods and reducing the ability of the producers to produce those goods (since they now have less capital). Even if you're talking about the poor using that money to start businesses of their own, that loses sight of the fact that a tremendous amount of our prosperity and high living standards comes from the economies of scale, i.e. the fact that large scale operations can produce goods at a cheaper price. While I'm all for the propagation of small businesses and while the idea of mom and pop stores is romantic, the fact remains that mass production makes us undeniably wealthier and it's economic suicide to confiscate capital from large businesses. Small businesses have a different role that is more suited toward producing luxuries and local services. In not all cases, but generally.

    Quote Originally Posted by C_ntua View Post
    My point is that democrats and republicans, as conservatives and liberals, favor more some ideas than others. I would expect to hear your example of the greedy farmer from a republican rather than from a democrat. But as I said, it depends on the situation. Better to be flexible and search for the truth behind matters than just judge things on "how they sound".
    The farmer is not, in my opinion, greedy - so it's not accurate to refer to my "example of the greedy farmer." The opinion that he's greedy is something that I attribute to leftists. However, I don't really care about whether or not an idea comes from a Republican or a Democrat. Being a pro-capitalist libertarian I naturally agree with Republicans more than Democrats, but not in every case. Nor do I judge matters on "how they sound." I am flexible (i.e. open minded), but that does not mean that I should concede to premises that I hold to be false.

    Quote Originally Posted by C_ntua View Post
    The republicans for example feel that the government, as you said, redistributes sometimes wealth calling it justice. So, whenever they hear about the government redistributing wealth they will have negative feelings about it. The truth though can depend. The redistribution can help or harm the economy. Until you find out what is the case, you shouldn't be biased. Isn't that right?
    My opinion on this matter is based on both logic and empirical verification. It's also based upon my moral consideration of the matter, which is that it is wrong to steal one man's property in order to give it to another. I also have a lifetime's experience of growing up in a city in which the full horrors of wealth redistribution were right in front of my face the whole time. I don't think it's a case of bias so much.

  14. #89
    Registered User C_ntua's Avatar
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    You speak mostly with "economic rules" if I may say. I don't disagree.
    I believe that what hinders the economy is mostly political corruption. Would you agree on that?

  15. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by C_ntua View Post
    You speak mostly with "economic rules" if I may say. I don't disagree.
    I believe that what hinders the economy is mostly political corruption. Would you agree on that?
    Yes. And that includes virtually all political interference with the economy. The free market should be what decides the success of a business, not political connections. And no government should have the power to set interest rates or meddle with inflation. State interference has been the root cause of every economic crisis in history.

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