What the frick?!

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Re: What the frick?!

Postby Q.U. » Mon Feb 28, 2011 3:49 pm

Depending on what exactly you mean there to, taxes qualify as that. Social contract and such.

Well, you have a point, we are all bound by who we are and the very classification of belonging to a country and its government does mean we all fall into one category and have the same set definitions of property and public property. That still does not mean that people who have to pay more don't have a reason to find the system unfair.

And that's why progressive taxation is less bad than the alternatives. The problem is that calculating an optimal setup depends on the goals to be achieved, and people don't all agree on that.

Indeed. That's why instead of oscillating between Democrats and Republicans in the president's chair that switch each 5 or 10 years and thus never having the time to finish anything properly I would consider monarchy or tyranny more efficient than democracy. Democracy makes the system too fluid for deep change and long-term plans/goals to be pursued. Lest both/all sides taking office through that time agree on something, but that's rare.
I think US should at least start trying to slow down the debt increase by now. Thus the setup should be in favour of saving money at the lowest possible social and economic expense.

4 internets for the nuclear physics though.

I knew you'd like.

Not necessarily. Money is a medium of exchange, and using money does not require a capitalist economy. And money makes a lot of things a lot easier.

Yeah, I don't get why BR keeps trying to play this anti-capitalist hippie. Money is one of the most useful inventions of the world. It's been developed by every known isolated civilisation at some point independently. It helps equate values of products and services to a common denominator making exchange easier. If BR postulates that money only cause trouble as in "people kill people for money" then it's a moot point since people would kill people for goods of any sort, with or without money involved.

In my opinion, the thing that's wrong with communism is that it can't withstand large-scale contact with human nature. It has sometimes worked on very small scales, but I don't know of any model that would plausibly work for anything like the real world.

Thank you Val. I've been putting that through since that previous thread myself.
Perfect execution of communism in a stable manner simply fails most reality checks.

(But then BR will come and say that people are good and hard-working by nature, so it would work anyway.)
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby BeeAre » Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:07 am

it's not so much the point system of value as the ease with which these point systems and how they differ cause such powerful abuse to cause such amazingly perverse situations for the living conditions of so many.

Say what you will about the application of real value of things, if we make an assumption that a government of even a tribal level of complexity has a fairly stable economy of real goods, it is much harder to play the stock market against itself to generate wealth from the system itself when all the capital being invested has a real world application. I'm all for the "gold standard", if you will, in a world without money. :\

A quick tangent into Valhallen's vague sort of admonishment against me for us vastly wealthy first-world commoners: it is a given that we have pretty nice lives. Would it be more useful to give people the world over the resources of our relatively wealthy lifestyles, or more useful to go a step beyond that and press, as a cultural issue, that people should strive to make the billions of dollars it takes to snort expensive drugs off of your own slaves?

I'm all for someone really trying to accomplish a dream, man, but I am sympathetic to suffering, and want it to stop, because yeah, it makes me feel bad that i have some benefits that others just won't get, and i am ultimately greedy like everyone else because i don't just want to not give it up, i want to have others help me get more of it, but i would insist that i want everyone else to have it to, and justify myself through that want to Spread The Wealth. Anyone not satisfied with that level of philosophical rationalization can claim moral high ground over me, I guess.

And man, I've really begun to digress here: My real issue is that there is a significant SIGNIFICANT change in the very way the tip top peak of resource-holding people begins to view the world. In many of them, this becomes a good thing, and they do what they can to actually be good to the world. However, a lot of the people at this level of control are goddamned abusive, so it seems reasonable to, with today's technology, try to begin imposing restrictions on those people, to quell them their privileges simply from how far it distances them from other people. :[

But I don't assume people are "good" with nothing attached to that, Q.U., man. I assume people want a generally stable way to explore their reality and increase their knowledge and collection of experiences, and that those goals, because they are capable of being communicated, are also capable of being, for the most part, able to operate with each other.

It just makes sense to me logically that if you have something you want and another person has something they want and you both can do things to get what you want, that in the reality we inhabit where there are laws of nature like time and gravity that dictate what things you're going to do to get what you want, it would make sense to try and want the other person's goal accomplished too, so that the both of you can work together.

That's ALL I'm going to argue about the nature of people's morality: that when you lay it out simply that working together is generally more efficient (and let's not talk about the levels OF efficiency please, we all know that there are types of things that having more and more people will not benefit), people's natural inclination would be to cooperate. That's all. Hard-working has nothing to fucking do with it. :[

Okay, so I'll drip back a little into more worldly engagement and discourse now.

I agree with Valhallen on a recurring theme in his posts. Let me try and figure out how to say it, though. Like. RuffDraft keeps insisting that it's terrible that corporate taxes etc etc go up etc etc and that Obama is the guy who is doing it etc etc and George Soros is evil etc etc

But it seems like there's really not much evidence to support that position. I'm not really saying this right, I know, but I am hesitant to say something without being able to term it properly. Corporate Entities do not historically seem to be a source of economic stability, and those business rights exercised by corporations are the ones most threatened by the decisions of the United States Federal Government through recent policies passed by the Congress and President. Is that close? Yeesh, it's tough to find the right words, because I don't want to put words in anybody's mouth! :(

In his latest post, I'm not sure how the youtube video's article (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... q2B3XeGKok) is coming up with the total figure of 9 trillion here, but it seems to be an aggregate number from a bunch of stuff, and to cite that as simply 9 trillion dollars misplaced seems misleading. I won't really comment on it yet, but the article itself isn't revealing its specifics here. The only way to get information is to personally contact the reporter or publisher, which to me is strange on its own. :\

Like, I wish he would acknowledge this more thoroughly, because I've cornered him in arguments on Skype before and gotten him to admit stuff and he'll say I haven't on AIM or something, I swear it's in the history somewhere, but damnit, he won't change his position, despite you making this argument, Val. D:

Like, a flat tax is a bad idea. Social Programs are good ideas. State-run Healthcare works in plenty of countries that are just as broke as the United States. Unions did play significant rolls in the development of modern business ethics practices. Obama is not a bad president. Glenn Beck is crazy.

Those things RD will not admit, despite all you've said, Valhallen. :P

BUT

The real truth of it, RD, is that I am upset so often not really at you or the things I disagree with you on, but myself these days, because I used to be better at debate, and well, I used to be able to at least make you and other people go "well I will think about that" instead of feeling like I couldn't change anyone's mind at all. I feel like an old man all the time these days. -_- I just want to make sure you understand that I think you are a wonderful person. D:

you too, Valhallen.

and even you, Q.U.

not DaCrum though. WHAT A JERK nah i'm kidding. big gay communist group hug.

I'm going to go lay down now. pills.
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby Q.U. » Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:05 am

I'm all for the "gold standard", if you will, in a world without money. :\

I just cannot imagine how global trade would work without a common currency. Most likely it would just become one huge clusterfuck.

And man, I've really begun to digress here: My real issue is that there is a significant SIGNIFICANT change in the very way the tip top peak of resource-holding people begins to view the world. In many of them, this becomes a good thing, and they do what they can to actually be good to the world. However, a lot of the people at this level of control are goddamned abusive, so it seems reasonable to, with today's technology, try to begin imposing restrictions on those people, to quell them their privileges simply from how far it distances them from other people. :[

And actually all we need to do to make you stop feeling bad for having a better life than a Somalian, is for all countries in the world to merge into one, with equal laws, opportunities, and social standards. And we are on our way to that, frankly. First abominations like the European Union and North American Union are a testimony to that process. They might not succeed, as did Edison 10 000 times before he managed to get his light bulb working. Problems we have yet to face are movements against globalisation and cultural differences, also a lot of drag from religious differences among countries of the world. Culture and heritage is thought to be worth more than the new American-driven model of "get fat eating McDonald's, drink cola and don't study at school and achieve the American dream", and that's why they reject it in favour of their old cultural roots. Same with religion. Should you offer a better model, one that appeals to more people it could be done. And at that point, your country of origin would no longer matter, should you get past the prejudice and racism. Then you're on your way to making one stable economic model for all countries to use, and a single social care model is bound to follow.
Does that require communism and relinquishing money? No.

But I don't assume people are "good" with nothing attached to that, Q.U., man. I assume people want a generally stable way to explore their reality and increase their knowledge and collection of experiences, and that those goals, because they are capable of being communicated, are also capable of being, for the most part, able to operate with each other.

Yes, cooperation is golden. But whenever power is involved it can easily turn into slavery or abuse.

You would fix that by equalising the power and wealth level of each and every human on earth to the same one level. Which is insanely difficult. I would fix it by adding laws preventing it and enforcement good enough to keep the laws in place.

But now more importantly, it's true that cooperation is awesome to maximise achievements and efficiency. But as you mentioned it yourself, to push people to cooperate, even to work, they must have a need, or a desire for something. And I don't think just experience and knowledge will ever cut it. Now how will you provoke desire if your communist utopia is to be giving everything free to everyone? If you already have everything you need, and you know you can't get more than others because all must be equal, then where is the motivation to desire something? Learning something new, satisfaction of achieving something, discovering something new, doing something completely unproductive yet difficult for the sake of achieving it, that's all your idea has to offer as incentive.

I will totally agree that the best motivator to work hard is not necessity. As in if you don't work your kids starve. But rather extras. As in, work harder and you will get that good golf club that you always wanted that will make all your golf friends jealous. Now THAT's incentive. Putting pressure of necessity can stunt their creative capacity at work, but offering them bonuses, rare achievements or luxuries that aren't entirely common is one of the best ways to motivate people to work and cooperate.
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby BeeAre » Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:03 pm

ya see my only real thing is that positive reinforcement seems to get better results than negative reinforcement!

i could start talking about how our intellect was a result of our ability to dialogue and self-reflect, that our greed counterbalanced with our group mentality is likely what caused our frontal lobe development. i could bring up the neat point that a helpless infancy requires both innovation on part of the parent and the child in order to survive until adulthood, thus fostering an evolutionary trend.

but i don't want to get too complicated. let me just say this, Q.U., A NEW WORLD ORDER ONE GOVERNMENT WORLD would be great economically, because you could create a money system for it that had very little... uh,

this is not exactly the best word for it, and this is really inaccurate, but for brevity, i hope you get what i mean,

corruption. I hope that you're with me on what I mean there, because you know. It's not really. Like. Malicious or anything but you know. Unintended complexities that generate financial loopholes. and what not. >_>

but once everything is one government, the money wouldn't be competitive. no competition. so absolute transparency is required for every single action, otherwise the inevitable margin of error could lead to a bunch of consciously intended malcontent.

I feel like an MMO model is a good way to approach it, like world of warcraft's in-game structure (barring the actual business outside of the game's universe). everyone can exist and contribute to the extent that they wish and based on their efforts they get more stuff, but they aren't actively maligned by the world if they don't try things. you can stay level 1 forever and not do shit, but then that's really boring, so people will be there saying "heh yeah this is my 800th top level character, i've seen it all, you should level up and put in the time and effort to achieve something".

i mean, it's all fine that there is some of that nowadays in the real world, but too much of the world suffers from a lack of education and technology and so culturally are left ignorant of why they should contribute and so don't, or worse they know and can't find motivation because they feel despair from the system in action. And the reason that these conditions exist is because too much of the world's wealth is concentrated.

so to help with that underlying problem, it would be best to make money at least less important, even if you don't get rid of it, Q.U. Money not being the ends to which you justify any means would allow people to more freely abandon their money in the act of getting more people to be in a less bad state.

so i mean ya you don't have to get rid of money right away, but making it less tied to the very lives of people seems reasonable to me. :X
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby Q.U. » Fri Mar 04, 2011 3:48 am

I still don't see why you believe that money is the source of corruption. Because I think it's greed, power, and possession. Money is nothing, it's nothing material. Not worth anything until we decide it's worth something. In the face of apocalypse where there is no food or water, all money can do is burn giving you a warm fire. You cannot eat it, you cannot buy anything for it if nobody sells, etc. Now people who have money have power. And power corrupts. That's all fine and dandy, but you should remember that money itself is just a common denominator of material wealth. Should there be no money, you could still have rich people, they'd just be having a lot of gold, oil, or even eggs. Yes, the friggin eggs again. Either way they'd be powerful. Getting rid of money is imho a completely missed idea, where one misinterpreted what the source of the problem was. If you want money, or in fact material possessions to give less power to those who own them, then you can decree that some possessions/products are simply free and given away to anyone who wants them. You would need a very rich country/world to manage providing all its people with all the necessities to everyday life, but with it there would be no real negative reinforcement, other than not having luxuries which are not necessary for anything other than comfort. Whether you use money or not, is irrelevant here.

And that is how I would make money less important, as you pointed out. But I'd never try to get rid of it completely, it's too useful really.
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby BeeAre » Fri Mar 04, 2011 4:26 am

money in that GOLD STANDARD sort of way (as I said), and an economy that is simplified, without the complex algorithms of a stock market or complicated needs for banking profits, is effectively a point system for valuing things. That is as you put it fine and dandy. Adding more and more rules about the system itself is what I dislike. I understand that the supply and demand cycle regulates things, but a lot of factors these days can be too readily manipulated and ARE manipulated in ways that are detrimental to the whole exchange process of an economy as a whole. :P I think you're pretty right on about the one value system of the money, in most ways, because there's definitely unsavory changes to local economies based on the international value of one region's currency. :[
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby Q.U. » Fri Mar 04, 2011 7:52 am

Maybe I just lack imagination, but I'd like you to comment on this imaginary situation:

So, I live in a country with no money, and no currency. All trade is done item for item or service for service. I have eggs, and I want to buy milk (Don't go off arguing about "these things you'd be given" etc, because these are arbitrary examples, and if you make me I'll just change every item mentioned to fissionable and fissile radioactive isotopes). I find a guy who sells milk, but he wants salt, so he won't sell me for eggs. So I must go find a guy who sells salt, and find out that he wants to buy bread, then find somebody who will sell me bread for eggs, and then go through all the trades to get what I want.
Now BR, I'd like you to tell me how would you improve/fix the situation, a grand exchange market?

Another case, I want to sell my eggs for apples. Can I decide on my own how many apples is one egg worth? Or is that dictated by the centralised economy? And if so, then does the government spend most of their time thinking up exactly how many eggs is an apple worth, how many eggs is a loaf of bread worth, how many eggs is a bed worth, how many eggs is a plank of oak wood worth, etc? Doesn't that seem kinda counter-productive?
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby Rough Giraffe » Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:48 am

BR, Q.U. is "more right than you are." I'm sorry.
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby Q.U. » Fri Mar 04, 2011 3:51 pm

There is no "right" in this argument man, we're talking about rather abstract things like perfect governments and theoretical societies basing them on loose assumptions of the human nature (which is a huge field of discussion per se) and guessing what the outcomes would be. You can only be right when you talk about facts.

Right now I'm just trying to understand BR's aversion to money and how he would go about managing realistically without it, since I already understood how he assumes the human nature to be like, and even though I don't agree, I will keep asking questions until I understand what his vision is, after which I can agree or disagree, instead of just saying he's stupid straight away.
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby Rough Giraffe » Fri Mar 04, 2011 4:27 pm

It's an inside joke, Q.U.

Didn't mean to startle ya.
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby BeeAre » Fri Mar 04, 2011 5:59 pm

Q.U. wrote:There is no "right" in this argument man, we're talking about rather abstract things like perfect governments and theoretical societies basing them on loose assumptions of the human nature (which is a huge field of discussion per se) and guessing what the outcomes would be. You can only be right when you talk about facts.

Right now I'm just trying to understand BR's aversion to money and how he would go about managing realistically without it, since I already understood how he assumes the human nature to be like, and even though I don't agree, I will keep asking questions until I understand what his vision is, after which I can agree or disagree, instead of just saying he's stupid straight away.


hey hey man I am all fine with money as I said once you eliminate everything but the 1:1 point system, because then you can just give people a credit card that marks transactions and weighs them against everything else. Generally speaking, using this credit card would simply be a petition for your acquisition of whatever given resource you're interested in, with an extremely high threshold for necessities.

I feel like if you can reasonably articulate some sort of essay that explains your going to use a particular item of non-daily use, that would be an implement of sorts for more complicated petitions for things like vacations.

Fortunately, at this point, this sort of system means that most of the production is automated to the point where storage and transportation is near guaranteed.

Basically, almost the system we have now, except with less people cloistering themselves away from others or exploiting the entire economic system to the point of having a controlling influence in it.

Having money as a marker to hold against any particular level of resources is not what I am against, Q.U., so just having a system of exchange based on that marker that people are allotted, say through points on a credit card that regularly accumulate every day/week/month/year, that's fine.

I just disagree with the ability to influence that value exchange system through the rules for more complicated exchanges, like the individual stocks for companies being pitted against one another for profit.
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby Valhallen » Sun Mar 06, 2011 3:00 am

RuffDraft wrote:I'll admit you are right on most of what you say; you pretty much have me over a barrel, as my grandfather probably said at one point in his life before dying at age 99*. So I'm not going to debate you on this stuff. In some cases we even agree on a few things.
Does that mean that you agree that the optimal solution to a deficit probably involves both expense cuts and revenue increases, raising taxes can increase revenue, the government can provide some goods and services better than the private sector, and the US economy is currently improving by several measures?

RuffDraft wrote:You asked for a few sources, such as the nine trillion dollars lost by the Federal Reserve
You had said that the Federal reserve had ""lost track of" something like nine trillion dollars of the bank bailout money". "Bank bailout" usually refers to TARP, which, as I implied before and the article referenced in that video says, was about $700 billion, not something that $9 trillion can be lost from. As the Bloomberg article (dated Feb 9 2009) says, that total lumps together things attributed to the Fed, the FDIC, lending, and stimulus, with few details given. For one, the FDIC increased its coverage limit from $100k to $250K in 2008, which could account for some trillions. Or, as mentioned in this video, short term loans (which that and the Bloomberg article imply should have been mostly paid back by early 2009, with the amount lent at any given time much less than $9 trillion) can account for trillions more. Note that the guy asking the questions in the video you linked basically says "I read in some article that the Fed is doing some stuff with a value of trillions of dollars. Are you investigating it? I'm shocked that you don't know specifics of what's going on with the things I vaguely alluded to."

All right. Note that the drilling moratorium only affected deepwater wells being drilled - production and shallow wells were unaffected, meaning that the moratorium affected ~1% of the Gulf oil wells. Naturally, this wasn't good for companies that specialize in drilling, but it didn't affect other parts of the economy very much. The spill itself (which was caused by shoddy well construction) was causing much greater problems for the rest of the economy, and the moratorium was supposed to give time to check that other wells were up to spec. In retrospect, probably not necessary, but still a decent attempt at risk reduction (there have been several spills since then, after all). The political pressure to be perceived as doing something to help the situation probably helped.

RuffDraft wrote:So there you are. I hope that clarifies things...
Valhallen wrote:Citation? How have you reached these conclusions?
By "these conclusions" I was referring to "All [Obama] cares about is pushing his agendas. He's demonstrated that he doesn't care who stands in his way, he will shove them aside without a thought." That could still use some clarification.

Q.U. wrote:Indeed. That's why instead of oscillating between Democrats and Republicans in the president's chair that switch each 5 or 10 years and thus never having the time to finish anything properly I would consider monarchy or tyranny more efficient than democracy. Democracy makes the system too fluid for deep change and long-term plans/goals to be pursued. Lest both/all sides taking office through that time agree on something, but that's rare.
in theory, a benevolent dictatorship works great. The problem with implementation is that reliably benevolent and competent dictators are in short supply. There seem to be a lot more Caligulas than Marcus Aureliuses in the world, and as such, dictatorships in practice tend to be less efficient than democracies, as they lack self-corrective mechanisms.

Q.U. wrote:Money is one of the most useful inventions of the world. It's been developed by every known isolated civilisation at some point independently.
Useful, sure, but there have been non-monetary economies through history. Mostly barter and gift economies, which tend to be small and simple by modern standards.

Q.U. wrote:(But then BR will come and say that people are good and hard-working by nature, so it would work anyway.)
People are good and hard-working by nature. Not enough to make large scale anarcho-communism work, but enough to make capitalism work, especially as part of a mixed economy.

BeeAre wrote:Say what you will about the application of real value of things, if we make an assumption that a government of even a tribal level of complexity has a fairly stable economy of real goods, it is much harder to play the stock market against itself to generate wealth from the system itself when all the capital being invested has a real world application. I'm all for the "gold standard", if you will, in a world without money. :\
An economy with a "tribal level of complexity" probably doesn't have a stock market or financial system. As such, while it may be stable, it probably has a very low rate of growth, as most tribal societies through history have had. If you had a stock market or financial system based on real assets or commodity money, they would be as vulnerable to shenanigans as real markets that use fiat money, though the currency itself may be somewhat more stable. For example, we've talked some about short selling in previous discussion. Short selling is just as possible in an economy that uses commodity money or a barter system. The wealth to be had by mediating economic transactions is why traders have been wealthy through history, even in barter situations.

BeeAre wrote:A quick tangent into Valhallen's vague sort of admonishment against me for us vastly wealthy first-world commoners: it is a given that we have pretty nice lives. Would it be more useful to give people the world over the resources of our relatively wealthy lifestyles, or more useful to go a step beyond that and press, as a cultural issue, that people should strive to make the billions of dollars it takes to snort expensive drugs off of your own slaves?
It was more an admonishment against your point ("I badmouth the vastly rich who are not contributing most of their fortunes to helping people.") than you. Once you get past the amount of wealth that lets you meet basic needs pretty easily, rich is just a matter of degree, and that typical first-world people are "vastly rich" by historical standards. As such, the Biblical bit I alluded to has some interesting implications, since typical modern people are at least comparably wealthy to the rich guy in that passage. My point was that, like in that passage, though it would be nice if people gave as much as they could to help the less fortunate, it's not realistic to expect people to do that. If you want to draw a line above which people should be obligated to help others, you should justify it.

BeeAre wrote: people's natural inclination would be to cooperate.
One of the propositions for why humans are so intelligent is runaway selection for smartness due to socialization. Humans are enormously better at social dynamics than anything else, and a major driver there is working within a group for personal benefit. So while cooperation is a natural inclination, so is politics and treachery.

Q.U. wrote:I just cannot imagine how global trade would work without a common currency. Most likely it would just become one huge clusterfuck.
Global trade works now without a common currency. Different currencies can be exchanged fairly easily though.

Q.U. wrote:And actually all we need to do to make you stop feeling bad for having a better life than a Somalian, is for all countries in the world to merge into one, with equal laws, opportunities, and social standards.
...
While a single world government may look good on paper, I think that it should wait until after there is a significant self-sustaining offworld presence. Having all of humanity under one government represents a single point of failure for bad policy, and different nations doing different things can help show what works and what does not as circumstances change. For the current situation, continent/subcontinent scale government and economic blocs are probably about right. Merging things together too quickly would cause all sorts of economic problems, even ignoring all cultural resistance (which I think you are simplistically underestimating there).

Q.U. wrote:But now more importantly, it's true that cooperation is awesome to maximise achievements and efficiency.
tl;dr: My Little Pony: Friendship is Pareto Optimal

Q.U. wrote:But as you mentioned it yourself, to push people to cooperate, even to work, they must have a need, or a desire for something. ... Learning something new, satisfaction of achieving something, discovering something new, doing something completely unproductive yet difficult for the sake of achieving it, that's all your idea has to offer as incentive.
Turns out that those can serve as sufficient incentives in certain situations, especially creative work. The problem is that it doesn't seem to be applicable to everything, so a working economy would need to be able to provide other incentives.

BeeAre wrote:ya see my only real thing is that positive reinforcement seems to get better results than negative reinforcement!
For encouraging good behavior, sure. Negative reinforcement works pretty well for discouraging bad behavior too.

BeeAre wrote:...
but once everything is one government, the money wouldn't be competitive. no competition. so absolute transparency is required for every single action, otherwise the inevitable margin of error could lead to a bunch of consciously intended malcontent.
How does a lack of competition follow from the establishment of a single government? And how is the point about transparency different than the real world at present?

BeeAre wrote:I feel like an MMO model is a good way to approach it, like world of warcraft's in-game structure (barring the actual business outside of the game's universe). everyone can exist and contribute to the extent that they wish and based on their efforts they get more stuff, but they aren't actively maligned by the world if they don't try things. you can stay level 1 forever and not do shit, but then that's really boring, so people will be there saying "heh yeah this is my 800th top level character, i've seen it all, you should level up and put in the time and effort to achieve something".
This rather depends on the MMO. For example, in Eve Online, those motivations produce an anarcho-capitalistic dystopia of ridiculous violence. The bulldozer in that picture is the established power blocs, which sometimes take delight in obliterating smaller organizations for fun and profit. WoW is different because the game mechanics prevent that sort of thing, analogous to regulation in the real world.

BeeAre wrote:so to help with that underlying problem, it would be best to make money at least less important, even if you don't get rid of it, Q.U. Money not being the ends to which you justify any means would allow people to more freely abandon their money in the act of getting more people to be in a less bad state.

so i mean ya you don't have to get rid of money right away, but making it less tied to the very lives of people seems reasonable to me. :X
Problem: fiat money, like power, is by definition a means to other ends. If it's treated as an end itself, it indicates an error in the goal system somewhere. Because money can be used to provide necessities, how would you propose making it less tied to the lives of people? That's kind of intrinsic to its use as a medium of exchange.

BeeAre wrote:money in that GOLD STANDARD sort of way (as I said), and an economy that is simplified, without the complex algorithms of a stock market or complicated needs for banking profits, is effectively a point system for valuing things. That is as you put it fine and dandy. Adding more and more rules about the system itself is what I dislike.
The problem is that a simple system without rules is easy to exploit. That's a big reason for the complex rules governing real markets.

RuffDraft wrote:BR, Q.U. is "more right than you are." I'm sorry.
Right enough to let you begin.

BeeAre wrote:hey hey man I am all fine with money as I said once you eliminate everything but the 1:1 point system, because then you can just give people a credit card that marks transactions and weighs them against everything else.
In other words... fiat money?

BeeAre wrote:Having money as a marker to hold against any particular level of resources is not what I am against, Q.U., so just having a system of exchange based on that marker that people are allotted, say through points on a credit card that regularly accumulate every day/week/month/year, that's fine.
The problem is that with fiat money, a continuous supply without a sink or comparably increasing real goods to spend the money on will lead to significant inflation.

BeeAre wrote:I just disagree with the ability to influence that value exchange system through the rules for more complicated exchanges, like the individual stocks for companies being pitted against one another for profit.
Except that the profitability of such transactions derives from the basics of the market system. Suppose your diet is eggs and wheat. You maintain a personal stockpile of both to last you through the less productive seasons (you're in an isolated village). One day, one of the two chicken coops burns down, reducing by half the egg supply. Being savvier than the other villagers, you can exchange your wheat stockpile for eggs, and get wheat back as you need it by exchanging eggs later on. Because of the reduction in supply, the price of eggs increases, so you can get back more wheat than you used to buy the eggs. Meanwhile, because of your stockpiling and supplying of eggs, the egg shortage and price spike has been moderated.

Is that undesirable? If so, how would you propose preventing it?
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby Q.U. » Sun Mar 06, 2011 9:31 am

in theory, a benevolent dictatorship works great. The problem with implementation is that reliably benevolent and competent dictators are in short supply. There seem to be a lot more Caligulas than Marcus Aureliuses in the world, and as such, dictatorships in practice tend to be less efficient than democracies, as they lack self-corrective mechanisms.

And a highly corrupt democracy is just as self-corrective as Caligulas' tyranny. I rest my case.

Useful, sure, but there have been non-monetary economies through history. Mostly barter and gift economies, which tend to be small and simple by modern standards.

Indeed, but the more globally you're trying to apply the standards and concepts of economy and trade, the harder it becomes without a currency.

Global trade works now without a common currency. Different currencies can be exchanged fairly easily though.

I meant to say common currency as all kinds of monetary units. It doesn't matter how many of them we have and how dynamically they change in time, the point is that having a common value denominator for products and services makes trade and growth much easier.

While a single world government may look good on paper, I think that it should wait until after there is a significant self-sustaining offworld presence. Having all of humanity under one government represents a single point of failure for bad policy, and different nations doing different things can help show what works and what does not as circumstances change. For the current situation, continent/subcontinent scale government and economic blocs are probably about right. Merging things together too quickly would cause all sorts of economic problems, even ignoring all cultural resistance (which I think you are simplistically underestimating there).

Of course I don't mean doing it straight away in one jump. But that's the general direction we should be heading. The primary benefit of merging countries together throughout time is that in the end there is next to no need for military and war equipment.

Turns out that those can serve as sufficient incentives in certain situations, especially creative work. The problem is that it doesn't seem to be applicable to everything, so a working economy would need to be able to provide other incentives.

Which is where BR disagrees, I think.
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby Rough Giraffe » Mon Mar 07, 2011 7:03 am

Valhallen wrote:
RuffDraft wrote:I'll admit you are right on most of what you say; you pretty much have me over a barrel, as my grandfather probably said at one point in his life before dying at age 99*. So I'm not going to debate you on this stuff. In some cases we even agree on a few things.
Does that mean that you agree that the optimal solution to a deficit probably involves both expense cuts and revenue increases, raising taxes can increase revenue, the government can provide some goods and services better than the private sector, and the US economy is currently improving by several measures?
In order:

I agree that we should dramatically cut spending and attempt to increase revenues, but increasing revenues is heavily determined by the private sector, taxes tend to discourage growth, and a raise of taxes might actually reduce revenues depending on how much money large businesses and corporations are able to make.

Raising taxes can increase revenues to a point, but because of the uncertainty as to the adverse consequences to raising taxes, it would probably be better to keep them where they are for now;

Even if the government does some things better than the private sector, that doesn't mean they should run everything.

Lastly, yes, the US economy has started to improve. The question is whether it had anything to do with the stimulus bill, which we were told would create jobs and prevent unemployment from rising.

If you look at this chart here, it seems that unemployment really started dropping since November, after the Republicans gained control of the House. What I think this means is that most businesses thought that the Republicans were going to keep taxes at their current level so they started hiring more. And while I don't have any concrete proof of this, it's an argument based in the following sequence of events:

If "Revenues - Expenses = Profits", then businesses have to determine how to keep their profits high in order to maintain a business. 2009, we were looking at a debt of about $10 trillion, and as you said, the government operates by having high revenues and (at least, ideally) low expenses, so to eliminate that debt, they need to do something. And what they ended up doing was spending over four trillion dollars in just the first two years, compounding the nation's debt even further. Any good businessman knows that (most) Democrats are in favor of higher taxes. Short of saying outright that they intended to raise taxes, the Democrats wanted to let the Bush-era taxes expire and rise to what they were before, and the Republicans were fighting to keep them the same. Because businesses rely on the amount of taxes they pay to determine how much of their profits they keep (and reinvest in their company), the uncertainty of whether or not those taxes would rise prevented them from hiring; some may have even laid off some of their workforce as a precaution. In November, a clear majority of Republicans were elected into the House; businessmen then predicted their taxes would not rise, so it would be safe to hire more people. And so unemployment drops.

At least, that's what think happened. As I said, I don't have evidence (written statements by businessmen, letter of intent to hire, etc.), so I can't back that up with anything but my own logic, which as we have seen hasn't always proven to be the best, but I'm confident that the truth is not far from the above.

Valhallen wrote:
RuffDraft wrote:You asked for a few sources, such as the nine trillion dollars lost by the Federal Reserve
You had said that the Federal reserve had ""lost track of" something like nine trillion dollars of the bank bailout money". "Bank bailout" usually refers to TARP, which, as I implied before and the article referenced in that video says, was about $700 billion, not something that $9 trillion can be lost from. As the Bloomberg article (dated Feb 9 2009) says, that total lumps together things attributed to the Fed, the FDIC, lending, and stimulus, with few details given. For one, the FDIC increased its coverage limit from $100k to $250K in 2008, which could account for some trillions. Or, as mentioned in this video, short term loans (which that and the Bloomberg article imply should have been mostly paid back by early 2009, with the amount lent at any given time much less than $9 trillion) can account for trillions more. Note that the guy asking the questions in the video you linked basically says "I read in some article that the Fed is doing some stuff with a value of trillions of dollars. Are you investigating it? I'm shocked that you don't know specifics of what's going on with the things I vaguely alluded to."
You're missing something here. In the video I posted, the entire discussion was about the bank bailouts. Listen to Grayson at about time 0:10 in which he asks about Lehman Brother's bankruptcy and the Federal Reserve's decision not to bail them out. At time 1:21 he asks whether or not they know who received the $1 trillion dollars missing off their balance sheet. Time 1:54, he asks about the trillions of dollars of off balance sheets transactions, and at time 3:45 he clarifies the question to include that according to Bloomberg, the sum of off balance sheets transactions now totals more than $9 trillion dollars. Even if she doesn't know the Bloomberg article in question, it doesn't excuse her from not doing her job, which is to keep track of the money that goes in and out of the company's accounts.

Also, he did not vaguely allude to things. He referenced the article when talking about the $9 trillion, but when she said "I don't know the article," he clarifies that what he's asking is whether or not she had investigated the money missing off the balance sheet. She seemed to claim complete ignorance of her own duties as the Inspector General, and showed total irresponsibility in not investigating the transference of huge sums of money to, as of then, unknown recipients. It should not be the case that the people in charge of such a powerful arm the economy are handing out money (or in this case, loans, I guess) and the one person who should know the whos and how much, does not. I believe that is what he was having issue with.

Valhallen wrote:
All right. Note that the drilling moratorium only affected deepwater wells being drilled - production and shallow wells were unaffected, meaning that the moratorium affected ~1% of the Gulf oil wells. Naturally, this wasn't good for companies that specialize in drilling, but it didn't affect other parts of the economy very much. The spill itself (which was caused by shoddy well construction) was causing much greater problems for the rest of the economy, and the moratorium was supposed to give time to check that other wells were up to spec. In retrospect, probably not necessary, but still a decent attempt at risk reduction (there have been several spills since then, after all). The political pressure to be perceived as doing something to help the situation probably helped.
Well I'll give you that doing this has some merits in the regard of keeping the seas clean and preventing harm to the environment. On the other hand, if I were a betting man--not to mention a conspiracy theorist--I would probably think that Obama is trying to create economic strife, rather than eliminate it.

Valhallen wrote:
RuffDraft wrote:So there you are. I hope that clarifies things...
Valhallen wrote:Citation? How have you reached these conclusions?
By "these conclusions" I was referring to "All [Obama] cares about is pushing his agendas. He's demonstrated that he doesn't care who stands in his way, he will shove them aside without a thought." That could still use some clarification.
All right, well in the absence of real, concrete evidence, I guess all I have to go on are the actions he takes and what effect they have on the economy; his unwillingness to cooperate with the Republicans when they call for less spending (the budget with a $1.65 trillion deficit), the fact that he thought the stimulus bill was working when unemployment rose (perhaps he meant his Green Agenda was working? I dunno), the fact that he doesn't seem to think that a national debt of ~$14,000,000,000,000 is a major cause for concern...

There is a such thing as being buried under circumstantial evidence. Even if, with all the circumstantial evidence, an incomplete image is formed, there should be enough for a reasonable individual to say that something is amiss. The question is, how does one fill in the blanks if someone else doesn't want you to know what they are?
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby BeeAre » Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:43 am

so hey i have some questions for a few of you

valhallen: in a simple economy, what is the analog for corporations and stock shares?

ruffdraft: are you claiming that all taxes stunt growth in business? because i can create for you a few scenarios where that is not true.

and where exactly has the united states government put forth the intent to run everything? you make that claim early on in your latest post as the reasoning behind your arguments. more does not equal everything, nor has it ever been the case. :\

and obama constantly makes the political move to work with republicans and offers real numbers to programs for the cutting of spending. do you really deny that republicans are not equally or at the ery least partially responsible for delaying the progress of cutting spending when both parties publicly speak out for that as a goal?
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby Wizard » Wed Mar 09, 2011 10:24 pm

Fuck Republicans. Fuck corporations.
Go Democrats. Go unions.
Michael Moore is my hero.
'nuff said about my political views.

You people talk too damn much.
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby BeeAre » Thu Mar 10, 2011 3:18 pm

cool you mean that while you are well-meaning you are mostly ineffectual and apathetic in a merely more optimistic way.
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby Rough Giraffe » Thu Mar 10, 2011 4:49 pm

Either that or he's completely blinded himself to the faults of those he associates with and relies on propaganda that comes from a stupid fat white man who wrote a book called "Stupid White Men" and whose movies are consistently either factually inaccurate or paint a false picture?

That's some hero you have.
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby DaCrum » Thu Mar 10, 2011 4:58 pm

There's a little bit of truth between most lies.

Except Beck's lies. His lies are 100%. They're brash.
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby Rough Giraffe » Thu Mar 10, 2011 6:57 pm

We went over this. Of the "lies" you showed me before that you said were made by Glenn Beck, one of them wasn't even said by him, many of them were not lies, and a few of them were opinions. If you want to make the case that he outright lies, you have to show me that A) what he was saying was not true and B) that he knew prior to saying it that he knew it was not true. So far, you have not proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that he has lied about anything; at least not the stuff that you were talking about.

And by the way, aren't all lies one-hundred percent?
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby DaCrum » Thu Mar 10, 2011 7:19 pm

Bullshit. You ignored my arguments and accused me of logical fallacies which weren't true. You're just as brash and utterly stupid.
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby Rough Giraffe » Thu Mar 10, 2011 7:36 pm

So like that one about Obama being a Muslim? I proved that Beck did not say that, and in fact said "Obama is not a Muslim." Then you turned around and quoted Beck's opinion, saying "Oh, he's not a Muslim, but he's a bad Christian?!"

What about that one, "Obama wants to take away our guns?" I proved Obama's stance on gun control to be quite clear. He does want to take away our guns. He has supported numerous handgun bans, and he was against a bill protecting gun owners who defend themselves in their own homes against invaders.

Remind me: What else did you say that I claimed was a logical fallacy?
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby DaCrum » Thu Mar 10, 2011 8:38 pm

You should know by now I have no desire to argue these points again. You just don't listen.
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby Mirak's Mod Ghost » Thu Mar 10, 2011 8:43 pm

^
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Re: What the frick?!

Postby DaCrum » Thu Mar 10, 2011 8:44 pm

Also

So what's the difference between when the Democrats used a convention loophole to pass the health care bill, and when Wisconsin Republicans changed the CB bill to bypass the Democrats who voted no?
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