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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Is it time to question "Whatever the market will bear"? (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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S2000magician
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Society - at least, industrialized society - has generally shown itself quite poor at assessing a priori how much net benefit will accrue to society from . . . well . . . just about anything.
JoeJoe
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On Nov 15, 2014, landmark wrote:
So as I said, since the number of people who need babysitters is millions of times more than the number of people who need criminal leech CEOs, Blankenfein should be crawling in an alley somewhere.

What a bunch of nonsensical garbage spinning.

Your whole "law of nature" meme is a bogus historical fiction.

There have been many many societies that were not free market societies. Read Marx, read Graeber, read Adam Smith for that matter. Feudal and pre-feudal societies were not free market societies.

Joe, you know what? I'm happy that you made your way up from homelessness. Really. That's an accomplishment. You understood the system that is in place and you worked it to your advantage. Congratulations. But you know what? Just because you worked the system to your advantage, it doesn't mean that it's fair, rational, equitable, or the measure of goodness, smartness, or yes, usefulness. It just is what it is. And it most certainly is not a law of nature. Laws of nature are relations that have existed since day one and have never been changed. That's just not true about "market" systems.


Quote:
On Nov 15, 2014, landmark wrote:
Quote:
The usefulness of a skill is determined by the number of people that need it.

So as I said, since the number of people who need babysitters is millions of times more than the number of people who need criminal leech CEOs, Blankenfein should be crawling in an alley somewhere.




But how useful is that babysitter to those millions of people?? How much are they willing to pay?? Obviously, you can't pay a baby sitter $10 an hour to go to a $10 an hour job. And how useful is say Bill Gates to Microsoft?? How many trillions of dollars has gone through a Windows computers??

You just can't count how many people have a use for something, there is a question of how useful it is to them and what type of output it will yield in their life. I can make money with a computer so it is more useful to me than a babysitter or a baseball game, thus their economic output from me is a grand total of $0.



The law of supply and demand has been here since day one and has never changed. There are xx number of apples on a tree, and yy number of people to eat them. If the tree produces more apples than the people can eat, they die (the apples rot). If there are not enough apples to feed the people, they die (the people starve).

It does not matter what system you use to distribute the apples. You don't even need an economic system for it to happen, it is a built in part of nature.



-JoeJoe
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Jonathan Townsend
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JoeJoe, folks,
Check out Adam Smith on moral sentiments
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landmark
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Quote:
On Nov 15, 2014, S2000magician wrote:
Society - at least, industrialized society - has generally shown itself quite poor at assessing a priori how much net benefit will accrue to society from . . . well . . . just about anything.


Bill, what is religion, what is culture?
landmark
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The law of supply and demand has been here since day one and has never changed. There are xx number of apples on a tree, and yy number of people to eat them. If the tree produces more apples than the people can eat, they die (the apples rot). If there are not enough apples to feed the people, they die (the people starve).

Joe, let's get away from the myths and think back say to your grandparents, or better yet their parents or several generations before that. They lived in a community with certain religious and cultural ties. They had social obligations in a web of social relations. They didn't barter sugar for salt as the myth has it. They lived in a social web that said if you needed sugar one day, you could go over to your neighbor and he'll give you some sugar. Later on, maybe a week later, maybe not, if you needed some salt no problem. If you needed the loan of a hoe instead, okay, fine. But notice that doesn't mean one pound of sugar equals one pound of salt or one hoe. The trading was not outside of a social context stripped of human relation as it became under capitalism. Now capitalism has made some impressive gains, no doubt. But what capitalism has also done is stripped property from its social context and made everything a commodity, a potential item for sale for money.

So those apples. When there's overflow the people together--after everyone has enough for the season--maybe they take the extra and turn it into apple butter so it will keep longer. There's going to be a wedding next week so let's give those apples to Joe's great-great-great-great-great grandmother for the wedding feast. Maybe they took that extra wheat grain from the season before and stored it in the town's central warehouse as back-up against later famine. Hey it's a good thing we did that because we have a shortage of apples this season. And so on. It may help you to look at pre-Columbian Native-American societies to get a better picture of how a pre-market system society functioned.

Again, not saying that capitalism hasn't made very impressive gains. But what I'm insisting on here is that the market is not an immutable law of nature. Indeed, it took very many tons of gunpowder and manpower to transform the system that preceded it.
R.S.
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Quote:
On Nov 15, 2014, S2000magician wrote:
Quote:
On Nov 15, 2014, R.S. wrote:
By the way, depending on what state you're in, federal minimum wage is less than $10 per hour.

Call me naïve, but I thought that the federal minimum wage depended only on the country in which you work, not the state.


Yep, wrong phrasing on my part. Thanks for catching that, Bill! Smile

Ron
"It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry." Thomas Paine
JoeJoe
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Quote:
On Nov 16, 2014, landmark wrote:
Joe, let's get away from the myths and think back say to your grandparents, or better yet their parents or several generations before that. They lived in a community with certain religious and cultural ties. They had social obligations in a web of social relations. They didn't barter sugar for salt as the myth has it. They lived in a social web that said if you needed sugar one day, you could go over to your neighbor and he'll give you some sugar.


That'd be an irrelevant waste of time. There are xx number of apples, there are yy number of people; getting an apple from your neighbor does not change either one of those numbers, as he is already a part of the yy number of people.

Nor would it change if you distributed the apples through a socialist system, you would still have xx apples and yy people. If you don't grow enough food, people will starve regardless of what distribution system use (socialism, capitalism, fascism, marxism, take your pick).



Quote:
Hey it's a good thing we did that because we have a shortage of apples this season. And so on. It may help you to look at pre-Columbian Native-American societies to get a better picture of how a pre-market system society functioned.


Storing the apples increases the supply (reducing their cost), it would be the equivalent of growing more apples (adding the cost of the storage to the cost of the apple)(cost meaning resources not necessarily money).

Again, it doesn't matter if the apple is bought or sold ... pre-Columbian Native-American societies would be focused on how many calories they would gain as opposed to dollars, but their actions would still be dictated by the same motivations.

Meaning no Indian is going to continue to fish if he is not catching enough fish to survive ... except maybe the lady that has worked at McDonalds for 10 years at minimum wage, she'd be sitting at the lake with a fishing pole demanding somebody catch her a fish. And the rest of her village would be giving her nuts and berries trying to talk her into going hunting with them. But there she sits ... still fishing.



Quote:
On Nov 16, 2014, landmark wrote:
But what I'm insisting on here is that the market is not an immutable law of nature.


There are xx number of apples and yy number of people - you cannot feed more people than you have apples, it is indeed a law of nature. Stop looking at the dollar and see the distribution of resources, that is what a system is all about. How does the system get the apple from the tree to the belly?

You always want to say we need to give people more money, no ... we need to give people more apples! Giving people more money is not going to increase the number of apples. This whole "more money" mentality is exactly why we have this enormous debt hanging over our heads overshadowing our economy threatening to collapse on us at every moment of every day.

And until that mentality is weeded out, it will only continue to get worse! Digging deeper and deeper and deeper.....

-JoeJoe
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And incidentally ... the word "calories" is no accident, because at it's core the supply and demand of energy is the most important as nearly all other commodities are energy. Apples are food -> calories -> energy.

I believe that eventually in the future, the concept of "dollars" and "cents" will give way to some type of energy credits system thus labor is paid off by how many calories would be exerted (or earned, gained, produced, whatever). There is most likely some co-relation already in existence, everything has to balance out in the end it is a spiral - the Fibonacci Number.

-JoeJoe
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landmark
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Please, let's not talk about Fibonacci numbers and spirals until we get some basics straight.

Quote:
That'd be an irrelevant waste of time. There are xx number of apples, there are yy number of people; getting an apple from your neighbor does not change either one of those numbers, as he is already a part of the yy number of people.


You may think it's irrelevant, but millions of people for thousands of years did not. That's how they survived. By depending on each other.

Quote:
Storing the apples increases the supply (reducing their cost),

The decision to store the apples for the general welfare of the rest of the community later on for times of famine was a social decision. Nothing to do with the "market."

Quote:
Stop looking at the dollar and see the distribution of resources, that is what a system is all about.

And again the point is that distribution of resources has been done for thousands of years outside your notion of a "free market." There is nothing sacred, holy, nor immutable about the free market method of distribution. For thousands of years the distribution system in many communities was: kill the buffalo, mammoth, deer, pick the berries, fruit, rice and then divide it up among the community. In the feudal era, the distribution system was: work the lord's land, give him some of what you produce and then eat the rest yourself.

If you want to make a generality that if there are no apples on the tree you can't eat apples, then yes that's true. But that's far from saying the laws of the "free market" were ever present and are immutable. That's just idolatry.

Under capitalism resources are allocated in a particular way with the bulk of them going to particular people. Under different economic systems those resources would be allocated differently. Under some systems the bulk of the resources go to the royalty. Under some systems the bulk of the resources are distributed to the wealthy. Under some systems the bulk of the resources are shared equally.

Lots of potential choices. We don't have to be kings or CEOs to deserve resources. It was neither ordained by God nor by Nature.
JoeJoe
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On Nov 16, 2014, landmark wrote:
You may think it's irrelevant, but millions of people for thousands of years did not. That's how they survived. By depending on each other.


And they still do today - you didn't kill your breakfast yourself.

Quote:
Quote:
Storing the apples increases the supply (reducing their cost),

The decision to store the apples for the general welfare of the rest of the community later on for times of famine was a social decision. Nothing to do with the "market."


It has to do with "survival" ... period.



Quote:
If you want to make a generality that if there are no apples on the tree you can't eat apples, then yes that's true. But that's far from saying the laws of the "free market" were ever present and are immutable. That's just idolatry.


I'm not talking about the free market, you are. The free market is irrelevant to any point I've made.

I'm only pointing out the obvious laws of nature. If the stated goal would be to help a babysitter buy a boat, then you would need to make more boats. Giving her more money and expecting her to be able to buy a boat won't work because the costs of a boat would then go up also. If North Korea wanted their babysitter citizens to have boats, they would need to make more boats for them. So free market or not, the solution is still build more boats (not create more money).



Quote:
Lots of potential choices. We don't have to be kings or CEOs to deserve resources. It was neither ordained by God nor by Nature.


No, but you must do something to obtain resources for yourself ... God doesn't just drop manna from heaven these days. The responsibility to obtain resources falls upon the individual, not the king or God or nature or the government or your neighbors.



-JoeJoe
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mastermindreader
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The problem is with the middle man, the capitalist, who simply gains control over the resource in order to exploit it for his own profit without regard for the actual needs of society.

In some areas today, they are actually seeking to buy and control water. And when the pollution they produce renders ambient air unbreatheable, they'll probably start selling oxygen masks and air tanks as well- to those who can afford them.

And they'll claim they're just following the natural law of supply and demand.
JoeJoe
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Considering the increase in CO2 from the population explosion and decrease in oxygen from the plants we've replaced with roads and roofs, there will indeed eventually not be enough oxygen for the human population to survive. This has just as much to do with the supply of humans as it does the supply of oxygen.

You'd have the same problem with or without the capitalist. A simple glance at the population curve shows the severity of that problem:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/co.......svg.png

-JoeJoe
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S2000magician
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Quote:
On Nov 16, 2014, JoeJoe wrote:
the Fibonacci Number.

There isn't a Fibonacci Number; there is a Fibonacci sequence of numbers.
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On Nov 16, 2014, JoeJoe wrote:
Considering the increase in CO2 from the population explosion and decrease in oxygen from the plants we've replaced with roads and roofs, there will indeed eventually not be enough oxygen for the human population to survive. This has just as much to do with the supply of humans as it does the supply of oxygen.

You'd have the same problem with or without the capitalist. A simple glance at the population curve shows the severity of that problem:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/co.......svg.png

-JoeJoe


You missed my point. The capitalist would extract a profit from a hypothetical oxygen demand rather than spending money (and taking a loss) in order to alleviate the problem by cutting back on the pollution and carbon emissions problem that he, himself, caused in the first place.

(BTW- It is a myth that the exhalations of a growing population is a cause of AGW. The burning of fossil fuels is the primary contributor to AGW.)
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When and where does "Survival of the Fittest" come into play?
If I were to agree with you. Then we would both be wrong. As of Apr 5, 2015 10:26 pm I have 880 posts. Used to have over 1,000
JoeJoe
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On Nov 16, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:
You missed my point. The capitalist would extract a profit from a hypothetical oxygen demand rather than spending money (and taking a loss) in order to alleviate the problem by cutting back on the pollution and carbon emissions problem that he, himself, caused in the first place.


You over think things Bob - we will run out of food long before we run out of oxygen, so there is really no need to worry about all that. Smile

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landmark
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On Nov 16, 2014, acesover wrote:
When and where does "Survival of the Fittest" come into play?

That phrase as applied to economic and human social activity is usually attributed to Herbert Spencer. It was a complete misreading of Darwin. It has generally been used post hoc to justify the elite status of those who used force and terror to get their power.
S2000magician
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On Nov 16, 2014, landmark wrote:
Quote:
On Nov 16, 2014, acesover wrote:
When and where does "Survival of the Fittest" come into play?

That phrase as applied to economic and human social activity is usually attributed to Herbert Spencer. It was a complete misreading of Darwin. It has generally been used post hoc to justify the elite status of those who used force and terror to get their power.

Like willows? (Vis-à-vis oaks.)
tommy
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Professionalism became more rife in sports 100 years ago as it became entertainment to control the peasants. What the entertainers sell is an audience. We have celebrities and ability to attract audience large gets them big money. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTP2RUD_cL0
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

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Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On Nov 16, 2014, JoeJoe wrote:... until that mentality is weeded out, ...


by who? according to what criteria?
and has that ever worked? even in a model? (citations please on that last one)

Will of Landru
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