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Author Topic: [Split topic] Speculation, capitalism, etc.  (Read 5506 times)
Bruce Wagner
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November 09, 2010, 04:14:33 AM
 #21

I think that, often, "what makes economic sense"... is also what helps the masses most.  Money, like water, usually flows downward... toward where it is needed most.  For example, labor is cheapest in countries where money is needed most.  Labor is most expensive in countries where people are too rich, fat, and happy to want to perform labor.
Of course, tyrant dictators often control the money and the power in their respective countries... But not forever.  As that nation prospers more and more, one of two things tends to happen: (1)  They share the wealth with the laborers who are creating it. Result: They end up fat and happy and no longer the cheapest labor in the world. Or, (2) They greedily keep it all for themselves and let the laborers work more like a slave class. Result: Eventually the divide between the have's and have-not's grows wider and wider, until there is a revolution, and the dictator(s) are toppled.
In the end, this seems to be good for everyone.  Of course, these things don't happen overnight.  Maybe not even in one generation.  But they do happen over time.
Taiwan used to be impoverished.  They were known for making the cheapest plastic crap toys, and later Christmas tree lights.  Because they are capitalist and free, over time, the country prospered greatly... eventually holding the largest foreign cash reserves of any nation.   Now, they make computers, laptops, and other very sophisticated tech products.  The cheap plastic toy manufacturing moved to Malaysia and China.   The tide rolls on.   Now, China is advancing.   More and more sophisticated electronics are being manufactured there.   As the search for ever-cheaper labor continues....  the money flows to where it's needed most....  over time.
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Macho
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November 09, 2010, 04:16:37 AM
 #22

Macho, you are absolutely out of control.  Your posts are the most dangerous things I have read on this forum.

This type of thinking, the idea that one can somehow 'know better' than the market, that one can somehow decide that speculators and financiers are immoral, that capitalism causes famine, this is the type of thinking that dominated the two greatest IMMORALITIES of the 20th century.  Communism and fascism.  I am appalled that this type of shallow thinking persists after all the world has learned.  Why does humanity have to be taught the same lessons over and over and over again!?

No, unchecked capitalism results in fascism ... as the gentleman before me already said, there already is fascism is the US (and most of the world) because corporations are fusing with governments. THAT is dangerous! To say that you can make people starve and die by punching some numbers into the computer and it is ok apparently - that is dangerous.

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You talk about speculators driving up the cost of food.  What about all the farmers turning their corn into ethanol because some do-gooder much like yourself named Al Gore is imposing his 'morality' on the world, saying we need to 'get off oil'.  You think maybe that had something to do with the price of food?

Why don't you explain how it is that people starve in communist/state-directed economies all the time, but I have yet to hear of a famine in Switzerland, A COUNTRY COVERED IN SNOW HALF THE YEAR AND MOUNTAINS ALL OF THE YEAR.

Bio-fuels are biggest scam of the century along with Al "slimeball" Gore and his sci-fi horror movie inconvenient truth! I'm not imposing anything on anybody or would I if I actually had the power. I believe in personal responsibility and personal choice. So I would never force anybody to do anything ... but that doesn't mean I'm not going to *argue* and try to *persuade* people by *arguments* to change their way (or I change mind if I discover that I'm wrong)

The carbon credits is the biggest ponzi scheme of them all, it is a scam so big that I can't even articulate it, it seems we agree there.

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Please tell us how speculation-free North Korea is such a bounteous land of plenty.

Explain how Cuba, not in any way subject to the whims of Wall St. bankers, exports desperate people clinging to planks of wood dying to reach oppressive Florida.

Remind us how those great instruments of state beneficence Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac set about to guarantee the mortgages of people who never should have had them guaranteed.  Tell us how that elitist plan turned out.

After the lessons of the 20th century, anybody who has the gall to think he knows better than the millions of decision-makers who make up the market really needs a humility transplant.

You're confused here and committing a logical fallacy called false dichotomy ... that predatory capitalism is bad doesn't mean communism is good, where did you get that silly idea? It doesn't make sense, does it? You're just making up excuses for the failures of the type of thinking which lead us to the bring of a greatest crisis in the history of humankind.

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Getting back to the original post of this thread, I think that bit of speculative fever and some bubble action might be good for bitcoin in this way: it will bring a lot of attention and coverage that it wouldn't get otherwise.  That could very well expose bitcoin to some people who see it's practical benefits and will adopt it on that basis.

Well, I can't exactly see how a lot of people loosing their money when the bubble bursts can be considered a ood thing. Do you think it is going to generate some confidence in the bitcoin currency then? It will bring attention to bitcoin no question about that ... but what kind of attention will it be?

"The first free and independent currency crashes leaving thousand of people without their money"

Well, no particularly positive attention ...
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November 09, 2010, 04:30:02 AM
 #23

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No, unchecked capitalism results in fascism ... as the gentleman before me already said, there already is fascism is the US (and most of the world) because corporations are fusing with governments.

You seem to be unable to differentiate between Fascist corporatism and capitalism.  Please see the Google monster for in-depth help with this. 

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To say that you can make people starve and die by punching some numbers into the computer and it is ok apparently - that is dangerous.

Apparently if people starve and die because some unspanked trust-fund pseudo-intellectual in a university comes up with a theory of how the world should work, that's A-o.k.

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You're confused here and committing a logical fallacy called false dichotomy ... that predatory capitalism is bad doesn't mean communism is good, where did you get that silly idea? It doesn't make sense, does it? You're just making up excuses for the failures of the type of thinking which lead us to the bring of a greatest crisis in the history of humankind.

Well here is the heart of the matter.  You think the dichotomy is false.  The dichotomy isn't false, it is real.  You can have an economy of free people taking responsibility for their lives and their decisions and freely choosing to trade or not trade with one another.  Or you can have some self-righteous social planner make decisions for people  Those are your choices.  Everything else is a variation on one of those two options.  I know which option I choose, the one that is not responsible for the death of 100 million* people in the last century. 


*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Black_Book_of_Communism

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Macho
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November 09, 2010, 04:32:29 AM
 #24

I think that, often, "what makes economic sense"... is also what helps the masses most.

This is one of the dogmas which is so easily proven wrong that it boggles the mind why anybody would believe it.

It makes economic sense to run sweatshops and even slaves (if they are not going to rise up that is), I doubt anybody would consider that "helping the masses".

It also makes economic sense to release toxic waste into nearby river instead of often expensive disposal of it. Again, i doubt that can be called helpful.

There are just so blatant examples of this that it cannot be anything else than religion to believe that nonsense ... it for example makes perfect economic sense to rob an old lady on the street. If there wasn't for "regulation" aka laws against robing old ladies on the street, would you say it is ok to do it because well ... it's capitalism after all and you make a profit by doing it?

Of course profit worshipers like to point out to "voluntary" transactions (which robbing an old lady is not) so better example is a mafia offering you "protection" for money. You do not have to accept ... but be prepared for your business to be burned down of you don't. It's the same with people working at sweatshops ... you do not have to work there religious free marketers will say, you can refuse and die on the street corner. Yeah, it's your choice ... you see, you're free! As much as slaves were free not to obey their master ... they could do that, so why the need to abolish slavery, duh ...

It is just mindfuck with these people, it doesn't make sense at all ... it's all just virtual abstracts of how they imagine things would work, not how they actually work.
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November 09, 2010, 04:42:36 AM
 #25

I can't believe I'm responding to this, but the compulsion to say something is just so strong.  Must be ocd.

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It makes economic sense to run sweatshops and even slaves (if they are not going to rise up that is), I doubt anybody would consider that "helping the masses".
Slavery has nothing to do with capitalism.  You do understand that capitalism is about the free dealing of free people, right?  Slavery is where one person imposes their will on another in a coercive manner. 

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It also makes economic sense to release toxic waste into nearby river instead of often expensive disposal of it. Again, i doubt that can be called helpful.

Again, do you not realize that releasing toxic waste into a river amounts to a subsidy?  This is not a free market action.  This is the action of someone imposing their will on another person's property.  This is the action of a fascist.

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Of course profit worshipers like to point out to "voluntary" transactions (which robbing an old lady is not) so better example is a mafia offering you "protection" for money. You do not have to accept ... but be prepared for your business to be burned down of you don't.

Again, burning down another person's property... oh why bother.
In each of your examples, the perpetrator (slave owner, subsidy-seeking waste dumper, mafioso) exemplifies the behaviour you are advocating.  The imposition of one person's will on another person involuntarily.  This is why your posts are so provocative.


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November 09, 2010, 04:47:23 AM
 #26

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No, unchecked capitalism results in fascism ... as the gentleman before me already said, there already is fascism is the US (and most of the world) because corporations are fusing with governments.

You seem to be unable to differentiate between Fascist corporatism and capitalism. 

Capitalism evolves into corporate fascism if people become bamboozled by the kind of nonsense some are preaching here. Capitalism works only when you have responsible an informed citizenry (or consumers as they like to call them). But if these people start to believe that corporations can do anything for the sole reason that "it makes economic sense", or that simply "because they are corporations and that's what corporations do", or that it's ok to speculate because well ... you can! Then it evolves into fascism very fast, when people lose their guard. So I'm not advocating changing the system, not at all ... I love capitalism, you are misunderstanding me there, I do not want even to ban anything, no! I want *informed participants* taking part in it so scams and frauds are exposed and not taken part in. All I want is informed people to create a market pressure such that "immoral", fraudulent and unsustainable schemes are eradicated. Not by banning, not by hunting down their creators but by *informed* consumers. I love freedom ... but I also love sanity and that's what is lacking here Wink Freedom without sanity and responsibility is a recipe for disaster ... as you can see in the real world right now.

The rest of your post is stemming from this misunderstanding. I'm not saying abolish freedom/capitalism ... I'm saying, inform yourself and think for yourself for god's sakes a little Wink do not parrot the nonsense pushed by those at the top, it's there to misguide you and defraud you of everything.
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November 09, 2010, 04:52:30 AM
 #27

I think that, often, "what makes economic sense"... is also what helps the masses most.

This is one of the dogmas which is so easily proven wrong that it boggles the mind why anybody would believe it.


I normally get paid to educate the economicly illiterate, and you are a pretty severe case of terminally wrong.  If you believe that it's easy to prove Economic theories incorrect, then try it.  If you succeed, you would be famous.  If you are wrong, but even come close you will win the Nobel prize.  It's not called the 'dismal science' for nothing.

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It makes economic sense to run sweatshops and even slaves (if they are not going to rise up that is), I doubt anybody would consider that "helping the masses".


It does not make economic sense to own slaves in a free society, but I'm sure that I'll never convince you of that.  regardless, a 'sweatshop' worker isn't a slave.

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It also makes economic sense to release toxic waste into nearby river instead of often expensive disposal of it. Again, i doubt that can be called helpful.
.

And, again, toxic dumping does not make economic sense in a free society; one where corporations are not protected from liability.  The very nature of the corporation means that it is both a creation of the state, and co-dependent upon it.  That may be capitalism in your eyes, but that isn't free enterprise by any stretch.  That is, by definition, collective control of the means of production; i.e. socialism.  Fascism, as it is widely understood, is state control over privately held capital via regulation.  The US is, and has been for some time, a 'soft' fascist economy.  That does not automaticly reflect upon the individual players that operate within that economic system.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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November 09, 2010, 04:54:02 AM
 #28

It's the same with people working at sweatshops ... you do not have to work there religious free marketers will say, you can refuse and die on the street corner. Yeah, it's your choice ... you see, you're free! As much as slaves were free not to obey their master ... they could do that, so why the need to abolish slavery, duh ...

Other points are easy to refute, but this one is interesting.

Honnestly as a capitalist I reckon there is a little philosophical issue here.  It's all about the concept of "wage slave".  Is a worker really free to resign if he doesn't like his job ??  If this means he has to face financial difficulties, possibly poverty and starvation, is it compatible with freedom ?

I personnaly think so.  Personnaly I resigned several times in my life.  I've never regretted it, and I just don't believe in the "wage slave" concept.  But I understand it is a huge debate, which goes way beyond the debate about money and bitcoin.

If you are afraid of material factors such as lack of money or lack of professional perspective, then you will never be free.  If you believe you are a slave because you need money, then your master is not your employer.  It is your lack of courage.
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November 09, 2010, 04:54:29 AM
 #29

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The rest of your post is stemming from this misunderstanding. I'm not saying abolish freedom/capitalism ... I'm saying, inform yourself and think for yourself for god's sakes a little Wink do not parrot the nonsense pushed by those at the top, it's there to misguide you and defraud you of everything.

Look, if person A freely sells his Bitcoin to person B, and the value of Bitcoin subsequently skyrockets, person A did not get screwed.
If person A buys Bitcoin from person B, and the value of Bitcoin subsequently drops in half, B did not screw A.

You cannot decide what the value of something is.  "Stuff" is not necessarily better than speculation.  Does the world really need more SUVs?  More television sets?  More designer clothes?

If I get a rush out of playing the stock market, who are you to say that is not worth as much as a new pair of shoes?  There's a good argument to be made that more stuff on this planet would be immoral.  Yet that is what you are advocating.  More immoral stuff.  Shame on you.

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Bruce Wagner
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November 09, 2010, 04:54:52 AM
 #30

...the speculators are buying rice for *the sole purpose* of selling it at higher price so net effect is that the rice is more expansive than it would be if the market was untampered with (not manipulated) with a cut going to the speculator. The speculator *does nothing else* than take the cut. There is no value added, he just steals the money counting on the fact that regular people do not have the time or desire to watch for such a thing (because they are honest and actually producing real goods rather than feeding off of someone else's work)...

Sorry.  But this logic is so.... shall we say....   "flawed".  ( To say the least.  ...and to be kind. )

Let me ask you this:  When the speculators LOSE money, who is stealing from whom?   Huh?    Who is the thief then?

Remember, speculators LOSE money just about as often as the MAKE money.   That's why it's called speculation.   So...  When they LOSE money....  Who is the thief?  

By your logic.....    YOU are.

Speculators are to a currency.... like the thermostat is to your furnace.   When it's too hot, they automatically decrease the temperature.   When it's too cold, they automatically increase the temperature.   Speculators may make for more volatile swings in the value.   However, when the value is higher than it should be, they sell... bringing the value down.   When the value is lower than it should be, they buy... bringing the value up.   Speculation is a necessary, beneficial, essential component of a free market.
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November 09, 2010, 04:58:48 AM
 #31

do not parrot the nonsense pushed by those at the top, it's there to misguide you and defraud you of everything.

First, it's not your problem what we understand or do not.

Second, if there is any grand cabal 'at the top', then they aren't telling us anything at all, much less anything most of us would respect.  That cabal could only be the Federal Reserve, it's benefactors and beneficiaries, and the economic wonks on it's payroll.  None of which has anything to do with us.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
Bruce Wagner
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November 09, 2010, 05:03:01 AM
 #32

It makes economic sense to run sweatshops and even slaves (if they are not going to rise up that is), I doubt anybody would consider that "helping the masses".

This is just plain false.   As long as those workers are voluntarily working there, they are BETTER OFF.   Would you rather have them work hard for 20 cents an hour, or have their family starve to death.   Those are your two choices.   Which do you choose?

I can tell you for sure:  If you ask them...   They will tell you that the day they got that job.... in the "sweatshop"...  on the cruise line... whatever... for 20 cents an hour...  THAT day felt like they had won the lottery.

So, that IS helping the masses.    Directly.

And, as I said, those workers will eventually either become prosperous and live a better life.... or they WILL rise up and overthrow their dictator...   Either way, it does benefit those masses.
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November 09, 2010, 05:14:24 AM
 #33

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It makes economic sense to run sweatshops and even slaves (if they are not going to rise up that is), I doubt anybody would consider that "helping the masses".
It does not make economic sense to own slaves in a free society, but I'm sure that I'll never convince you of that.  regardless, a 'sweatshop' worker isn't a slave.

How it does not make economic sense? I'm sure going to make bigger profit when I do not have to pay people than when I do. Economic sense has nothing to do with "free society", that's the problem. If slavery was accepted by society you bet your bottom dollar that it would be practiced. So the only reason it is not practiced is the external pressure from people like you and me making an ethical or moral judgment and disproving of that kind of action. We are willing to speak out, boycott and protest such a company - that is the sole reason they're not doing it. (and also fear of the government intervention, which in ideal case is just an extension of your and my moral judgment - which would be the case if the gov actually worked for the people instead of the corporations themselves)

If we were willing to exert such pressure against sweatshops, they would have stop that too. So why we don't, do you approve of sweatshops? Does the company have "the right" to do that and that justifies it? why is it happening if it would make no economic sense? Are they doing it just for the fun of it?

This is the solution I'm proposing ... educate people about these things and exert just as much pressure on those companies as it would be exerted if they tried to practice slavery. Using our moral judgment of what is right and what is wrong. Creating ponzi schemes is wrong, or do you think not? Do you consider them good and wonderful or beneficial for something? We are exercising our moral judgment in the case of slavery ... why would it be a bad thing to do the same with ponzi schemes?

Some people here seem to be suggesting that morals do not belong into economy ... that is just so wrong, morals should be the *driver* of economy, just as it is with slavery, toxic waste and many other things.

In short: Morals trump "economic sense" every time and the later is not excuse for breaking the former! In my view at least, some people are apparently perfectly willing to break their morals for economic/financial gain. I consider that wrong ... shoot me for it.
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November 09, 2010, 05:24:30 AM
 #34

Let me ask you this:  When the speculators LOSE money, who is stealing from whom?   Huh?    Who is the thief then

If the speculators would be losing money they wouldn't speculate ... it's an oxymoron. Of course some do, but net effect is speculative gain, there simply wouldn't be speculators if this weren't so. But we have real world to compare this with, we do not have to be talking in hypotheticals and you can clearly see that the speculators on Wall Street are making HUGE profits while regular guy is losing everyhting, industry is crumbling, exports are almost nonexistent etc. In other words real economy was replaced by virtual casino economy where real producers not not stand a chance against speculators. And when it is discovered that the speculators are holding worthless paper instead of them going bankrupt they are bailed out! This is not the fault of "government intervention" as is presented, the fault is that key people in government are bought off by the exact same CEOs holding that worthless paper to bail them out! It is NOT in the gov interest to do that, the only reason they're doing it is because they actually work (are "hired" aka bribed) for the corporations which benefit from this robbery. In that case the gov *is* the corporation! It is the same entity handing itself public money.
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November 09, 2010, 05:27:45 AM
 #35

How it does not make economic sense? I'm sure going to make bigger profit when I do not have to pay people than when I do. Economic sense has nothing to do with "free society", that's the problem. If slavery was accepted by society you bet your bottom dollar that it would be practiced. So the only reason it is not practiced is the external pressure from people like you and me making an ethical or moral judgment and disproving of that kind of action. We are willing to speak out, boycott and protest such a company - that is the sole reason they're not doing it.


Capitalism is not liberalism.   The former is compatible with slavery, the latter is not.

In a capitalist world, slaves could be considered as a mean of production, like any other.  But such a society would not be liberal.



The thing is : most people here are BOTH capitalists AND liberals.    Well, at least I am.
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November 09, 2010, 05:32:40 AM
 #36

Capitalism is not liberalism.   The former is compatible with slavery, the latter is not.

In a capitalist world, slaves could be considered as a mean of production, like any other.  But such a society would not be liberal.



The thing is : most people here are BOTH capitalists AND liberals.    Well, at least I am.


Liberal as in classical liberal, correct? The left kind of stole the term liberal...
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November 09, 2010, 05:38:04 AM
 #37

Capitalism is not liberalism.   The former is compatible with slavery, the latter is not.

In a capitalist world, slaves could be considered as a mean of production, like any other.  But such a society would not be liberal.



The thing is : most people here are BOTH capitalists AND liberals.    Well, at least I am.

OK ... is liberalism compatible with sweatshops then? Toxic waste? ponzi schemes? If not, why not?

I think we are not understanding each other in one pretty obscure point, I'll try to explain once I know you answer so i can see if I'm right ...
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November 09, 2010, 05:40:07 AM
 #38

Capitalism is not liberalism.   The former is compatible with slavery, the latter is not.

In a capitalist world, slaves could be considered as a mean of production, like any other.  But such a society would not be liberal.



The thing is : most people here are BOTH capitalists AND liberals.    Well, at least I am.

OK ... is liberalism compatible with sweatshops then? Toxic waste? ponzi schemes? If not, why not?

I think we are not understanding each other in one pretty obscure point, I'll try to explain once I know you answer so i can see if I'm right ...

You went batshit crazy for two thread and accuse us of all sort of stuff that we didn't endorse.

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November 09, 2010, 05:40:39 AM
 #39

I think there are a few agorists here as well  Smiley
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November 09, 2010, 05:48:23 AM
 #40

OK ... is liberalism compatible with sweatshops then? Toxic waste? ponzi schemes? If not, why not?

Well I'm not sure I know the exact meaning of sweatshops (I'm not english native speaker), but according to what I can read about it on wikipedia, sweatshop workers don't have chains on their ankles, nor are they beaten up to death if they resign.

Toxic waste is criminal if it spoils someone else's property, including public property.

I don't know about Ponzi schemes.  To me, the bad thing about it is when there is a lie behind it.  And even a lie is not a crime.  Moral risk is one of the things you have to deal with in finance.
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