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Author Topic: [Split topic] Speculation, capitalism, etc.  (Read 5501 times)
Bruce Wagner
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November 09, 2010, 05:48:39 AM
 #41

If the speculators would be losing money they wouldn't speculate...

Oh, come on.  That's like saying, "If gamblers lost money, they wouldn't gamble."    If that were true, Las Vegas would not exist.   Even you know that gamblers don't always win.  In fact, they lose much more often than they win.

Anyway, I think some of your sentiments are close....  But you keep missing the target.

You seem to have been brainwashed a little bit by the media and other "powers that be"...

The cause of our current Wall St economic woes is NOT due to speculators.   There's nothing wrong with speculation.   Speculation is as old as money itself.

The cause of much of our current economic woes is simple FRAUD.   It's from creating paper that's worthless, then having the most reputable rating firms declare it GOOD and SAFE.

That is just plain FRAUD --- nothing more, nothing less.

FRAUD is not capitalism.   Fraud is fraud.   It's just criminal activity plain and simple.   But don't buy into this "blame the speculators" BS.   That's just an excuse to let the guilty off the hook.

Meanwhile, I view corporations as simply "machines to make money".  They have no conscious whatsoever.  To expect them to have a conscious is as ridiculous as expecting your refrigerator to have a conscious.   Rampant corporatology, and government collusion with global corporations leads to more corruption.... usually with very bad results for the masses.  That's why it's up to governments to regulate and control corporations...  keeping them in line.   For example, Walmart has basically BECOME a China company.... representing China's interests far more than American interests.   That's what happens with a "machine to make money"...  It just gets more and more efficient at making money... until it eventually crosses the line... and goes too far.

Anyway, capitalism is not to blame.  And speculation is not to blame.   The people need to educate themselves more about how things work.   Perpetrators of fraud must be punished.  And corporations need to be reigned in and controlled by the government.
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November 09, 2010, 05:48:57 AM
 #42

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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.

that goes both ways I believe but I don't mind ... btw if you endorse intentional speculation for the sole purpose of profit then I'm still calling you a scumbag Cheesy LOL

I did not accuse you of that, you confessed it Wink

I believe that kind of speculation is wrong, morally wrong, just like sweatshops are in my view and I'm not going to endorse it. On the contrary I'm going to speak out against it as I would against owners or practitioners of sweatshops ... and I would also call them scumbags Tongue
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November 09, 2010, 05:52:06 AM
 #43

If the speculators would be losing money they wouldn't speculate...

Oh, come on.  That's like saying, "If gamblers lost money, they wouldn't gamble."

Are you claiming that net effect of global speculation is loss for the speculators? The religious economists just *love* speaking in hypotheticals and they avoid comparing their made up scenarios with real world like a vampire garlic LOL

So? Are the speculators on average making money or losing it?
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November 09, 2010, 05:53:10 AM
 #44

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.
that goes both ways I believe but I don't mind ... btw if you endorse intentional speculation for the sole purpose of profit then I'm still calling you a scumbag Cheesy LOL

I did not accuse you of that, you confessed it Wink

I believe that kind of speculation is wrong, morally wrong, just like sweatshops are in my view and I'm not going to endorse it. On the contrary I'm going to speak out against it as I would against owners or practitioners of sweatshops ... and I would also call them scumbags Tongue

But you did say I endorse polluting the environment, slavery, amongst other things. I have no problem with speculation and owning factories but I do have a problem with slavery, polluting the environments, and such.

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November 09, 2010, 06:01:11 AM
 #45

I believe that kind of speculation is wrong, morally wrong, just like sweatshops are in my view and I'm not going to endorse it. On the contrary I'm going to speak out against it as I would against owners or practitioners of sweatshops ... and I would also call them scumbags Tongue

I know, personally, two people who grew up in two different countries... but both had this in common:  They worked in sweatshops most of their life.  And they would be the first to tell you...  They thank GOD for those sweatshops.   If it hadn't been for those sweatshops, they and their families would have likely starved to death.   

One of these families was in Taipei, Taiwan about 40 years ago.   The other one was in Miami, Florida about 45 years ago.

Sweatshops are just like any other productive capitalist business.  If the workers are working there out of their own free will, they are almost always EXTREMELY grateful for their job there.

The irony is:  Those who would call sweatshops immoral are fat, rich, and happy... living in rich Western countries... and have probably never even SEEN true hunger before in their lives.   Yet, they want to judge the sweatshops as evil....  while the workers are thanking God for them, and calling them a blessing from God.

Speculation is not immoral.  Gambling is not immoral.   The only time it's bad is if you are doing it too much... to the point that it is harming YOU.   Then it's a problem.
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November 09, 2010, 06:02:10 AM
 #46

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.

It means they make few cents an hour keeping them barely alive while company like Nike is selling the shoes they make for hundreds of dollars in "first world" countries making HUGE profits for which their CEOs buy yachts and golf courses and jets to amuse themselves with.

Do you approve of such a practice? Do you consider it morally right and justified and it should be just that way?

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

Criminal is whatever gov says is criminal, in most developed countries sweatshops are illegal (guaranteed minimal wage) so that is irrelevant. The question is, do you approve of it being criminal? It can be made legal tomorrow if people of that country agree that it should, do you think it should be legal? If not, why not? Isn't it "liberal" to not regulate the company and punish it for doing what it thinks benefits it?

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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.

Again, it's not about what is crime or not ... it is about: do you approve or not? Would you speak against ponzi schemes if you knew of any as I'm doing? Would you try to warn people to steer away from them and warn others? That is the question!

because I'm being lambasted here for speaking against something that I believe to be wrong just because "it makes economic sense" or "can be done" or "that's what capitalism is" and similar justifications ... do you consider them valid justifications for letting ponzi schemes happen and not speak up against them?
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November 09, 2010, 06:07:45 AM
 #47

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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.


But slavery is not acceptable to a free society, which is key to why it does not make economic sense.  Think about it for a while.  You will know you understand it once you realize why someone else has already told you that he will refuse to do any business with you.

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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.


Well, that is not the sole reason, but  powerful one, indeed.  Let me ask you something, if a clothing designer is outed for using a 'sweatshop' to produce a line of fashion clothing, how does that revelation affect his company's bottom line?  How does the prior knowledge of such a possibility affect the business decisions of the company as it is setting up production?  Finally, how much better, or worse, would these same results affect the company that instead used actual slave labor instead of third world laborers?

So when you say that the moral code of society is the only thing preventing these amoral companies using from slave labor; what is "society", the collective will of the public as interpreted by government regulators, or the collective will of the public as represented by the aggregate consumer, or is it something else entirely?

BTW, what I've just done is switch to the "classical" method of teaching, free of charge to you.  Further lessons may require compensation, which may prove difficult if everyone looking to sell coins are unwilling to sell them to you.  I do not take checks, credit or fiat currency online.

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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?


It doesn't matter if I approve of it or not, nor does it matter if I consider a company to have rights.  They exist because low skill manufacturing can be performed at a much lower wage in third world nations, which given enough time makes third world nations into second world nations.  Don't forget, the US & Britain both went through that stage during the industrial revolution.  A crappy job is still preferable to subsistence farming, which is preferable to starvation.

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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.


Before you attempt to educate others, you must first educate yourself.

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Creating ponzi schemes is wrong, or do you think not?


I smell straw burning...

No, the fraud normally associated with a ponzi scheme is wrong, some guy openly starting a ponzi scheme on an online forum just to see if he can is not necessarily so.  The Social Security System is a ponzi scheme, by definition, but I don't consider it wrong because it's fraudulent.  I consider it wrong because it's force.

But that's another topic.

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 Do you consider them good and wonderful or beneficial for something?


As has already been pointed out to you, the trades that you are railing against occur between two people who each believe (rightly or wrongly) that they will each benefit from the trade, otherwise no trade occurs.  John Stossel often calls this the "double thank-you moment".  As long as no one is coerced, I regard "sweatshops" in the same light.  It's not the factory owner, nor the clothing retailer, that created the poverty in these third world nations; but it is their pursuit of self interest (and the pursuit of the self interests of the voluntary factory worker) that benefits the consumer.  What is good for the individual is generally good for the society at large, with notable exceptions.

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 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?


No one said it would be bad for you to exercise moral judgment, in regard to your own transactions.  It's your attitude that others need to be relieved of our dogmatic attachment to fundamental economic principles that has this thread in a tivy.

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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.


You misunderstand.  Others suggest that your morals don't belong in their economic decisions.  Also, I recommend not insulting the readership that you are attempting to convert, that has the tendency of limiting your moral authority.

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In short: Morals trump "economic sense" every time and the later is not excuse for breaking the former!


In short, no they don't.  At least not morals as defined by you, anyway.

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 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.


You will find that economic reality doesn't care what your opinion is, and for the most part, neither does anyone else.  And it's also unwise to tempt a bunch of liberty minded people, whom you have recently insulted, to shoot you.  Odds are high that many here could.

"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, 06:12:27 AM
 #48

If the speculators would be losing money they wouldn't speculate...

Oh, come on.  That's like saying, "If gamblers lost money, they wouldn't gamble."

Are you claiming that net effect of global speculation is loss for the speculators? The religious economists just *love* speaking in hypotheticals and they avoid comparing their made up scenarios with real world like a vampire garlic LOL

So? Are the speculators on average making money or losing it?

On average, neither.  But those who try it and fail, tend to not keep trying.  It's Darwinistic finance, in a way.

"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, 06:14:45 AM
 #49

@creighto   Your posts are very entertaining.  I laughed out loud a couple of times.  Thanks.  Smiley
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November 09, 2010, 06:16:00 AM
 #50



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


Hmm, self-selection bias.  Everyone considers himself to be the moderate.

"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, 06:17:30 AM
 #51

I know, personally, two people who grew up in two different countries... but both had this in common:  They worked in sweatshops most of their life.  And they would be the first to tell you...  They thank GOD for those sweatshops.   If it hadn't been for those sweatshops, they and their families would have likely starved to death.   

If there wouldn't be for sweatshops they would have real prosperous economy, owning nice houses and cars not worrying that they might starve to death tomorrow if the CEO of Nike chooses so. They do not have such economy because the corporations came there, set up their sweatshops, destroyed their competition by enormous power they have (thanks to exploiting other people in other countries), bribed politicians to pass "regulations" and "free trade" agreements making sure that no honest business can ever compete.

Your reasoning is EXTREMELY cruel and cynical. Go work for a sweatshop yourself if it's so wonderful, please do ... with the prospect of your children dying if you do not fulfill everything you're told, when your employer has the power *to kill you* for not obeying his wishes. that sure is a dream life. In that situation losing your work means a death sentence ... and the owners know it, that's why these CEOs are more like third world dictators spreading misery and death by colonizing more and more countries for their operations. But this is ok apparently according to you, this is the kind of people i said a despise ... scumbags! Willing to justify modern slavery by economic theory, sick! Just sick! It is no different than slavery other than a whipping to death was replaced by starving to death (by firing them) ... hard to say which is worse.
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November 09, 2010, 06:24:58 AM
 #52

It means they make few cents an hour keeping them barely alive while company like Nike is selling the shoes they make for hundreds of dollars in "first world" countries making HUGE profits for which their CEOs buy yachts and golf courses and jets to amuse themselves with.

Do you approve of such a practice? Do you consider it morally right and justified and it should be just that way?

I think those workers should form unions, go on strike and those kind of stuffs, in order to gain some better labour conditions.  I would understand that.  But I don't see what the employer is doing wrong, as long as he doesn't force anyone to work for him.

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Criminal is whatever gov says is criminal, in most developed countries sweatshops are illegal (guaranteed minimal wage) so that is irrelevant.

I disagree.  Crime has some objecive sense, and law is only an attempt to express it.  As whether or not I approve sweatshop, it just seems to me that the notion is very subjective.  If a job is not forced, you can call it sweatshop if you want, but I will approve it.


Concerning Ponzi schemes, I don't really care about that.  I'm not even sure it's that bad if it is based on a lie.  Again, moral risk exists anyway.  You just have to be aware of it.
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November 09, 2010, 06:26:13 AM
 #53

Criminal is whatever gov says is criminal,

How can a statement so short be so wrong!?  No, government does not define what is criminal, government defines what it shall prosecute, and the differences are paramount.

Hit Google and search for the Two Laws of Civilization.  Those thirteen words accurately define all human law.  Any society that generally respects those two laws, even incidentally, tend to prosper; those that don't tend to decline.

"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, 06:28:58 AM
 #54

@creighto   Your posts are very entertaining.  I laughed out loud a couple of times.  Thanks.  Smiley

You're welcome, I'm just uncertain that my target audience understood the joke.

"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, 06:36:06 AM
 #55

Criminal is whatever gov says is criminal,

How can a statement so short be so wrong!? 

It is indeed very impressive.  I suggest Macho to consider laws of the past, for instance.  Prohibition in US, homosexuality in UK, slavery in France (not so long ago), and so on.

Saying that crime is only what gov says is criminal, is just amazing.  If the governement says the Earth is flat, I won't believe it.  It's just the same for crime.
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November 09, 2010, 06:42:19 AM
 #56

@creighto you are self-contradicting yourself and are generally very confused about what you're talking about. If I was actually paying you for your services I would ask for my money back Wink

You are confusing two things ... the fact that you're free to do something/anything and the fact how are you going to be judged when you do and how is it going to affect you.

Sure, you're free to walk trough the street cursing at everybody, it's not illegal ... but do not expect people to invite you to a party then. It's the equivalent as people (well, one person) not wanting to do business with me because they disagree with me.

But this is EXACTLY what I was doing from the very start, i was not saying ban ponzi schemes (as if it would be even possible with bitcoin, duh), I was saying recognize ponzi scheme, look here is one, stay away from it if you do not wish to loose all your money.

But I got attacked for pointing out these ponzi schemes, like speculative investment to make money from money ... by people saying that they have a right to make ponzi schemes (it's freedom to make scams). But you see, here is the confusion ... of course people have the right to make ponzi schemes, but bitcoin community should reject them on the informed basis that they're harmful to the economy and bitcoin and point that out when they see one to protect bitcoin economy. Do you understand the difference?

Why are people endorsing these scams? It's like I would be discouraging someone from cursing at everybody on the street and others would condemn me for it because he is free to do it, it's not criminal. It's crazy and confused logic ... that it's not illegal or you're free to do it doesn't mean it's right. the freedom we have entails a freedom to make a moral judgment of someone's actions and voice disagreement. That's exactly what I'm doing ...

Why are people making apologists for ponzi schemes then on the basis that people are free to make them ... I've never said they are not! I said it is immoral, harmful and should be opposed just like slavery is. I've never said they are not free to make them! Again, i said it's worrying that the bitcoin community is accepting them as "legitimate" use of the bitcoin system, that's the problem I see! nobody seems to realize the catastrophe if this is allowed to overtake on a large scale ... and i wanted to point that out

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November 09, 2010, 06:46:37 AM
 #57

Criminal is whatever gov says is criminal,

How can a statement so short be so wrong!? 

It is indeed very impressive.  I suggest Macho to consider laws of the past, for instance.  Prohibition in US, homosexuality in UK, slavery in France (not so long ago), and so on.

Saying that crime is only what gov says is criminal, is just amazing.  If the governement says the Earth is flat, I won't believe it.  It's just the same for crime.


If you wouldn't be so prejudiced against me you would understand that i mean it in the same exact way as you do and therefore that was the gov says it criminal is irrelevant. They can make something criminal whenever they choose to, they can make it illegal to piss ... that doesn't mean it's wrong. I thought it's extremely clear from the context of my post ... apparently not if the prejudice is strong enough.

I also said that sweatshops are illegal (criminal) in some countries, in others not ... so it's clear that I can not mean it how you interpreted it from that too. You're trying too hard to disagree with me at all cost ... maybe you could stop that and I would make much more sense to you
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November 09, 2010, 07:03:58 AM
 #58

I also said that sweatshops are illegal (criminal) in some countries, in others not ... so it's clear that I can not mean it how you interpreted it from that too. You're trying too hard to disagree with me at all cost ... maybe you could stop that and I would make much more sense to you

Well, that wasn't very clear.  After all, you *did* write "criminal is whatever gov says is a crime".

But, to be fair, this sentence make sense, if you consider "crime" in a purely juridical meaning.  The thing is that crime is also a common notion, which is based on philosophy more than law.
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November 09, 2010, 07:12:26 AM
 #59

Well, that wasn't very clear.  After all, you *did* write "criminal is whatever gov says is a crime".

yeah, what's wrong with that statement? It's true, isn't it?

However criminal doesn't necessarily mean wrong as has been pointed out that many outlandish things were criminal in the past that are not considered wrong now. The same goes for current laws ... most of them are lobbied for by the corporations trying to destroy their competition, get rid of regulations or give them certain advantages.

There is a difference between illegal and wrong, illegal (criminal) is whatever gov says is illegal ... wrong is what you morally consider wrong regardless of it's legality. I hope it's clear now ...
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November 09, 2010, 07:34:16 AM
 #60

I have not read the whole thread but,

it s ok to completely divorce economy from human values and physical production. This is the EXACT same nonsense we were bombarded with when deregulation of US economy was pushed bringing rise to such "useful financial instruments" like derivatives, "encouraging 'investment'", "stimulating economy" ... we've heard it all ...

What deregulation? Seriously what deregulation?!?

Please, stop parroting and repeating the official propaganda and go check the data. The number and size of regulation has increased, and a lot each decade, specially since the 50's. PLEASE CHECK THE DATA and see it by yourself.

Now, one can argue that the changes in regulation has been for better or for worse, but no one that is honest and checks the data (as opposed to believing the official propaganda) can say that there has been any deregulation. Its the contrary, there has been an increase in the size of the regulatory regime.

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the bitcoin community is infested with mindless cheerleaders for profit thinking

Seriously? Do you really think this is the way to create a community? Infected?...

As I said I have not read the whole thread but I hope you have apologized or you plan to.
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