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Author Topic: Mark Ames on Ayn Rand  (Read 4727 times)
shady financier
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June 30, 2011, 11:18:31 PM
 #1

http://vimeo.com/24286634

Brilliant analysis of the author Ayn Rand.

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June 30, 2011, 11:53:38 PM
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Brilliant.. how? The typical "Ayn Rand type" was a "heavy metal headbanger who worshipped Charles Manson"?! Huh

I've only been to one Objectivist Conference in my time, but I didn't see a single one in the lot that fit that description. It reminded me more of a meeting of businessmen than death worshippers. Clearly his assertion is not based in reality.

"So you think that money is the root of all evil?" said Francisco d'Aconia. "Have you ever asked what is the root of money?" [contd.]
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July 01, 2011, 12:04:14 AM
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Brilliant.. how? The typical "Ayn Rand type" was a "heavy metal headbanger who worshipped Charles Manson"?! Huh

I've only been to one Objectivist Conference in my time, but I didn't see a single one in the lot that fit that description. It reminded me more of a meeting of businessmen than death worshippers. Clearly his assertion is not based in reality.

I don't think the point is that Rand's followers are those types, but that they base all their "morality" off her books and her books were inspired by exactly that type of thinking. I never looked at it that way: that she was quite probably a sociopath, and that that's why she's such a poster-girl for cut-throat greed. But everything she ever writes... it's just more blatantly hypocritical bullshit peddled by a nasty old hypocrite of a woman. FFS, she's often used as the inspiration for killing medicare, and yet IIRC she utilized medicare at the end of her life to pay for her cancer (or whatever it was) treatment.

All you really need to know to understand Ayn Rand's books is that she was a rich girl who's family lost everything when the revolution came through her town, and that that traumatic event framed her thinking for the rest of her life.

^_^
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July 01, 2011, 12:07:58 AM
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FFS, she's often used as the inspiration for killing medicare, and yet IIRC she utilized medicare at the end of her life to pay for her cancer (or whatever it was) treatment.
She was forced to pay more into it than you likely ever will.

"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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July 01, 2011, 12:33:50 AM
 #5

I have heard great, albeit negative, discussions over Ayn Rand and never were they this shallow and immature.
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July 01, 2011, 12:49:44 AM
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she's often used as the inspiration for killing medicare,

Then I like her. "Medicare" is just a euphemism for stealing from Group A to give money to Group B. It's immoral, not to mention economically destructive.
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July 01, 2011, 01:00:34 AM
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it's just more blatantly hypocritical bullshit peddled by a nasty old hypocrite of a woman.
The woman constructs a whole philosophical system, giving you ample opportunity to inspect and discover flaws in her logic, and the best you're capable of mustering is an ad hominem?

Quote
she's often used as the inspiration for killing medicare
As she should be. Other things that should rightly be gotten rid of: medicaid, social security, minimum wage, etc.

Quote
and yet IIRC she utilized medicare at the end of her life to pay for her cancer (or whatever it was) treatment.
She would only be a hypocrite if she pulled an Alan Greenspan, and advocated one thing earlier in her life, but advocated another thing later in life. She was always opposed to the medicare program, but her moral system demonstrates that there is no problem with taking advantage of medicare (which is forcibly funded with taxpayer dollars), so long as you continue advocating for its abolishment.

Quote
All you really need to know to understand Ayn Rand's books is that she was a rich girl who's family lost everything when the revolution came through her town, and that that traumatic event framed her thinking for the rest of her life.
This is exactly why she has a better insight than most. She has first-hand experience with the logical conclusion of the altruistic system under which her family was destroyed: communism.

You pretend that a person's arguments can be refuted by discovering that they're motivated by their experiences with reality. By that logic, everyone's arguments can be refuted. In truth though, your rebuttal is a simple ad hominem fallacy, and will be disregarded.

"So you think that money is the root of all evil?" said Francisco d'Aconia. "Have you ever asked what is the root of money?" [contd.]
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July 01, 2011, 01:55:45 AM
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she's often used as the inspiration for killing medicare,

Then I like her. "Medicare" is just a euphemism for stealing from Group A to give money to Group B. It's immoral, not to mention economically destructive.

Everyone who hates Medicare must really love their parents and grandparents.  After all without Medicare and Social Security 90%+ of you can expect to be bunking up with said elders once they have trip and fall or otherwise have a health problem that they can't afford or their insurance won't cover.  I wonder once you have to take care of (without any help cause that would be socialism)  your dying parents and as they bankrupt you (and themselves) and drain your life-force (since you won't have the money for any professional help) if it'll give you a different take on what the role of government can be.  It doesn't matter if "Group A" is a bunch of multi-billionaire trust fund babies who actively buy politicians and despise the middle and lower classes and play them off against each other brilliantly and do everything they can to stifle social mobility and "Group B" is the working people who didn't inherit billions and would only like an opportunity to rise in society if given a fair chance.  Apparently that is irrelevant.

I'll keep my politics out of your economics if you keep your economics out of my politics.

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July 01, 2011, 02:05:28 AM
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After all without Medicare and Social Security 90%+ of you can expect to be bunking up with said elders once they have trip and fall or otherwise have a health problem that they can't afford or their insurance won't cover. 
With my savings from not paying into Medicare/Social Security, my parents/grandparents will be living better off than they would be under Medicare. For those people who chose not to save for their parents' elderly care, that is their responsibility, not mine.

"So you think that money is the root of all evil?" said Francisco d'Aconia. "Have you ever asked what is the root of money?" [contd.]
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July 01, 2011, 09:30:30 AM
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she's often used as the inspiration for killing medicare,

Then I like her. "Medicare" is just a euphemism for stealing from Group A to give money to Group B. It's immoral, not to mention economically destructive.

Americas medicare system is pretty poor I've heard, it's the flicking of a dime to the vagrant that is the healthcare of the US majority. Mostly its there to pay big pharma and big insurance anyway isn't it?

All that notwithstanding, Group A is Group B. Unless you come from planet Krypton, the chances are you will find yourself in both groups during the course of the changing circumstances of your life.

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The value of goods, expressed in money, is called “price”, while the value of money, expressed in goods, is called “value”. C. Quigley
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July 01, 2011, 11:51:45 AM
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Everyone who hates Medicare must really love their parents and grandparents.  After all without Medicare and Social Security 90%+ of you can expect to be bunking up with said elders once they have trip and fall or otherwise have a health problem that they can't afford or their insurance won't cover.  I wonder once you have to take care of (without any help cause that would be socialism)  your dying parents and as they bankrupt you (and themselves) and drain your life-force (since you won't have the money for any professional help) if it'll give you a different take on what the role of government can be.  It doesn't matter if "Group A" is a bunch of multi-billionaire trust fund babies who actively buy politicians and despise the middle and lower classes and play them off against each other brilliantly and do everything they can to stifle social mobility and "Group B" is the working people who didn't inherit billions and would only like an opportunity to rise in society if given a fair chance.  Apparently that is irrelevant.

So what you're saying is: If you don't want to take responsibility for your own grandparents, it's perfectly okay to take money from your neighbors by force in order to help yourself pay for medical costs? Basically, because you and your family haven't saved money to take care of each other, and you don't want the trouble of asking for voluntary charity, you have the right to steal that money from other people? And then you dismiss any moral objections to your theft by saying you're only stealing it from "multi-billionaire trust fund babies?" And then you want to claim that you're the benevolent one?

Do you even know what percentage of taxpayers are "multi-billionaire trust fund babies?". Billionaires alone would be less than 0.000001%, and then maybe 5% of those could be considered "multi-billionaire trust fund babies".

So what the hell do you think you're doing by advocating the theft of property from the other 99.999999% of people?

You're a disgusting human being, because you steal from others to satisfy your own wants. Shame on you.
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July 01, 2011, 12:54:01 PM
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Everyone who hates Medicare must really love their parents and grandparents.  After all without Medicare and Social Security 90%+ of you can expect to be bunking up with said elders once they have trip and fall or otherwise have a health problem that they can't afford or their insurance won't cover.  I wonder once you have to take care of (without any help cause that would be socialism)  your dying parents and as they bankrupt you (and themselves) and drain your life-force (since you won't have the money for any professional help) if it'll give you a different take on what the role of government can be.  It doesn't matter if "Group A" is a bunch of multi-billionaire trust fund babies who actively buy politicians and despise the middle and lower classes and play them off against each other brilliantly and do everything they can to stifle social mobility and "Group B" is the working people who didn't inherit billions and would only like an opportunity to rise in society if given a fair chance.  Apparently that is irrelevant.

So what you're saying is: If you don't want to take responsibility for your own grandparents, it's perfectly okay to take money from your neighbors by force in order to help yourself pay for medical costs? Basically, because you and your family haven't saved money to take care of each other, and you don't want the trouble of asking for voluntary charity, you have the right to steal that money from other people? And then you dismiss any moral objections to your theft by saying you're only stealing it from "multi-billionaire trust fund babies?" And then you want to claim that you're the benevolent one?

Do you even know what percentage of taxpayers are "multi-billionaire trust fund babies?". Billionaires alone would be less than 0.000001%, and then maybe 5% of those could be considered "multi-billionaire trust fund babies".

So what the hell do you think you're doing by advocating the theft of property from the other 99.999999% of people?

You're a disgusting human being, because you steal from others to satisfy your own wants. Shame on you.

In the US you have to be a millionaire to afford to take care of your own and your families health too without assistance (due to the massive power of the insurance industry etc).

If 99% of people saved all the time to be ready to care for parents, grandparents, spouses and children... then there'd be a lot less people out there willing to spend money buying the fruits of peoples work. Which means there'd be a lot more people not earning enough to be able to save.

So I say again, 99% of the population is in both Group A and Group B. I take it you do not agree?

How old are you anyway? Atlas is off the hook, he's allowed to think Ayn Rand is witty and clever for another few years at least before the embarrassment sets in. But what's your excuse?

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July 01, 2011, 01:27:02 PM
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Everyone who hates Medicare must really love their parents and grandparents.  After all without Medicare and Social Security 90%+ of you can expect to be bunking up with said elders once they have trip and fall or otherwise have a health problem that they can't afford or their insurance won't cover.  I wonder once you have to take care of (without any help cause that would be socialism)  your dying parents and as they bankrupt you (and themselves) and drain your life-force (since you won't have the money for any professional help) if it'll give you a different take on what the role of government can be.  It doesn't matter if "Group A" is a bunch of multi-billionaire trust fund babies who actively buy politicians and despise the middle and lower classes and play them off against each other brilliantly and do everything they can to stifle social mobility and "Group B" is the working people who didn't inherit billions and would only like an opportunity to rise in society if given a fair chance.  Apparently that is irrelevant.

So what you're saying is: If you don't want to take responsibility for your own grandparents, it's perfectly okay to take money from your neighbors by force in order to help yourself pay for medical costs? Basically, because you and your family haven't saved money to take care of each other, and you don't want the trouble of asking for voluntary charity, you have the right to steal that money from other people? And then you dismiss any moral objections to your theft by saying you're only stealing it from "multi-billionaire trust fund babies?" And then you want to claim that you're the benevolent one?

Do you even know what percentage of taxpayers are "multi-billionaire trust fund babies?". Billionaires alone would be less than 0.000001%, and then maybe 5% of those could be considered "multi-billionaire trust fund babies".

So what the hell do you think you're doing by advocating the theft of property from the other 99.999999% of people?

You're a disgusting human being, because you steal from others to satisfy your own wants. Shame on you.


HAHAHAHHAHAHAH!!  I guess ignorace really is bliss.  When people control the vasty majority of the wealth, that means they reap the vast majority of benefits from the system, therefore its their obligation to pay the vast majority of the taxes.

Time for a reality check using FACTS and NUMBERS, not opinion pulled out of your ass...









This would be a good read for you, an actual acedemic paper, not a youtube clip or someone's blog: http://www.clms.neu.edu/publication/documents/Wealth_in_America.pdf

Couple of quick quotes from the research paper:

Quote
Those households in the next three quartiles of the wealth distribution experienced quite
positive growth in their net worth position, with the relative increases in their net worth varying
strongly with their position in the wealth position (Chart 2). Households in the second lowest
quartile experienced a 25 percent increase in their mean net worth versus a 51 percent gain for
those in the third quartile, and a 77 percent increase for those households in the top quartile.
Those households in the top decile matched the growth rate of those in the top quartile, with a
76% increase. The top decile of wealth earners increased their share of total household wealth
over the decade from 67.7% in 1995 to 69.5% in 2004. By the latter year, the top decile of
wealth holders captured just under 70% of all of the net wealth in the U.S
.

Quote
To illustrate the extraordinary degree of inequality in the wealth distribution of the nation
in 2004, we identified the net worth of U.S. households at each 10th percentile of the distribution
and the 95th percentile (Table 3). The values of the net worth of households ranged from a low of
$200 at the 10th percentile to only $6,450 at the 20th percentile to $93,100 at the 50th (median)
percentile and to highs of $831,000 at the 90th percentile and slightly more than $1,430,000 at the
95th percentile. The household at the 90th percentile had 4,157 times as much wealth as the
household at the 10th percentile, 129 times as much wealth as a household at the 20th percentile,
and 9 times as much wealth as the median household. The wealth distribution in the U.S. was
extraordinarily concentrated at the very top in 2004, far more concentrated than the annual
income or earnings distribution.

Quote
Households in the second highest quartile accounted for 10.3 percent of the nation’s
wealth, a wealth share well below their 25% share of all households. In substantial contrast, the
top quartile capture 87% of all of the nation’s wealth while nearly 70% was obtained the top
11
decile; i.e., the top ten percent.14 It should be noted that in drawing its sample of wealthy
households for inclusion in the Survey of Consumer Finance the Federal Reserve Board will
exclude all households that appear in the Forbes list of America’s billionaires. 15 These 400
billionaires in August 2008 had a combined net worth of just under $1.6 trillion or between 3 and
4 percent of the combined wealth of all 112 million American households in 2004. The exclusion
of America’s 400 wealthiest households from the Survey of Consumer Finance, thus,
underestimates the share of wealth captured at the top of the distribution.

Yes, that's right, the FED EXCLUDES the wealthest of the wealthy from the data, otherwise what is already a horrendous disparity would be absolutely unbearable.





Quote
Between 1948 and 1979, the richest 10 percent of families in the US claimed 33 percent of average income growth. Between 2000 and 2007, the richest 10 percent claimed a full 100 percent of average income growth in the US, according to the Economic Policy Institute.
 
Business taxes were cut from 46 to 34 percent 25 years ago, according to ProPublica. But today, 115 of the big 500 companies listed on Standard and Poor's stock index paid federal and other taxes of less than 20 percent over the last five years, according to David Leonhardt of The New York Times.
 
General Electric's tax rate for last year was seven percent, according to ProPublica.
 
The top five percent of US households claim 63 percent of the entire country's wealth. The bottom 80 percent hold just 13 percent of the growth, according to the Economic Policy Institute.
 
Last year, John Paulson, a hedge fund manager "earned" $4.9 billion, according to The New York Times. Ten years ago, it took 25 such managers to collectively earn that much. Last year, the top 25 hedge fund managers pocketed (a much better word) a total of $22 billion. It would take over 440,000 people each earning $50,000 a year to match that amount.
 
A federal development program intended to help poor communities, the New Market Tax Credit, instead funnels up to ten billion taxpayer dollars to big corporations like JPMorgan Chase & Co, Goldman Sachs and Prudential to build luxury hotels, office buildings and a car museum. Bloomberg Markets Magazine pointed to the Blackstone Hotel in Chicago, which was renovated for $116 million. Prudential got $15.6 million in tax credit from the US Treasury for helping fund the project because the hotel was in a census zone that included two colleges that housed a lot of lower income students.
 
According to the Financial Times, there are now more people living in poverty in the US than at any time in the last 50 years. Foreclosure filings were nearly four million in 2010, up 23 percent since 2008, according to RealtyTrac.
http://www.truthout.org/robin-hood-reverse-us-seven-examples

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July 01, 2011, 04:53:45 PM
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In the US you have to be a millionaire to afford to take care of your own and your families health too without assistance (due to the massive power of the insurance industry etc).

If 99% of people saved all the time to be ready to care for parents, grandparents, spouses and children... then there'd be a lot less people out there willing to spend money buying the fruits of peoples work. Which means there'd be a lot more people not earning enough to be able to save.

So I say again, 99% of the population is in both Group A and Group B. I take it you do not agree?

How old are you anyway? Atlas is off the hook, he's allowed to think Ayn Rand is witty and clever for another few years at least before the embarrassment sets in. But what's your excuse?

Your first sentence is false. One need not be a "millionaire" to care for their family. None of my extended family, nor any of my friends' families, are millionaires... yet somehow they're all able to care for their grandparents - usually because the grandparents were thrifty and prudent and made good life decisions. They didn't rely on others to pick up the slack.

Individuals should be responsible for themselves, and when they cannot be, they should rely on the voluntary efforts of friends, family, and charity. In no case is it moral, or justified, to forcefully take the property of other people - who have goals, family situations, and desires of their own - in order to satisfy your own needs. It is theft.

And no, people in general are not in both groups in equal portions. Many individuals TAKE much more than they give to the public trough. Most people actually, are net takers, and it is a minority of successful, very productive individuals who are forced by government violence and the threat of imprisonment to support the rest. I think it is immoral to steal wealth from any person, whether from poor to rich or rich to poor. It is wrong for the Goldman Sachs executive to steal from the poor through his lobbying of the Federal Reserve to inflate the money supply. It is similarly wrong of the poor person to lobby Congress to steal the money from the wealthy man and give it to him in the form of various "public services."

Regarding my age, I'm not sure why that matters, but I'm 27. When I was a teenager, as you assume I am, I thought much more like you do. Naive and with a very confused moral compass. I'm not here defending Ayn Rand, I'm here defending myself.
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July 01, 2011, 05:14:44 PM
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Sir, you may some day realize that such a graph, along with all your fun statistics, are actually showing you a distribution of production and when you learn what production is, then you may re-evaluate your snide stance. Nobody is arguing that the rich don't own most of the wealth. Of course they do. They produced it - by creating things of value and trading them with those who were happy to part with the money. I will add the caveat that any "ruler" who made his money by theft of the population (like kings, etc) have no legitimate claim to their fortune. The Saudi princes, and the Queen of England, should all be on the street.

What you're actually showing me is a graph of how much rich people have already contributed to society. For every dollar in their vast bank account represents more than a dollar's worth of value they provided to someone else. If this were not true, the trade would not have occurred (of course there are exceptions, but the general observation is valid). The very small number of individuals who just "inherited" their money, still didn't take it from anyone - it was produced by the person who left it to them, and you have no right to seize such wealth by force to make yourself feel better.

Indeed, given that you've shown me a graph of who has produced what, it would not be unreasonable to make the argument that the poor should pay all the taxes, since the rich already produced billions of dollars of value for the world, and the poor have done little. Does that idea make you uncomfortable?

Note that I make less than $30k per year, so please don't write me off as a "greedy fat cat" or sling any other insults at me to cover up the fact that you think it's okay to steal from people who have more than you. I'm merely someone who knows the difference between production and consumption, and I respect the former, while you do not. I know where wealth comes from, while you seem to know where it should go - you simply see wealth out there, in a distribution you deem unfair, and you want to seize it from those who have it and give it to those who you think should have it.

You also perhaps have missed the real lesson of Robin Hood. He wasn't stealing from "the rich." He was stealing from the government, who took by force of taxation the production of the people. Some day I hope you'll realize you are on the side of that government - you advocate theft through taxation, while Robin Hood was on the side of the producers, taking back what was rightfully their property.
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July 01, 2011, 05:19:14 PM
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In the US you have to be a millionaire to afford to take care of your own and your families health too without assistance (due to the massive power of the insurance industry etc).

If 99% of people saved all the time to be ready to care for parents, grandparents, spouses and children... then there'd be a lot less people out there willing to spend money buying the fruits of peoples work. Which means there'd be a lot more people not earning enough to be able to save.

So I say again, 99% of the population is in both Group A and Group B. I take it you do not agree?

How old are you anyway? Atlas is off the hook, he's allowed to think Ayn Rand is witty and clever for another few years at least before the embarrassment sets in. But what's your excuse?

Your first sentence is false. One need not be a "millionaire" to care for their family. None of my extended family, nor any of my friends' families, are millionaires... yet somehow they're all able to care for their grandparents - usually because the grandparents were thrifty and prudent and made good life decisions. They didn't rely on others to pick up the slack.

Individuals should be responsible for themselves, and when they cannot be, they should rely on the voluntary efforts of friends, family, and charity. In no case is it moral, or justified, to forcefully take the property of other people - who have goals, family situations, and desires of their own - in order to satisfy your own needs. It is theft.

And no, people in general are not in both groups in equal portions. Many individuals TAKE much more than they give to the public trough. Most people actually, are net takers, and it is a minority of successful, very productive individuals who are forced by government violence and the threat of imprisonment to support the rest. I think it is immoral to steal wealth from any person, whether from poor to rich or rich to poor. It is wrong for the Goldman Sachs executive to steal from the poor through his lobbying of the Federal Reserve to inflate the money supply. It is similarly wrong of the poor person to lobby Congress to steal the money from the wealthy man and give it to him in the form of various "public services."

Regarding my age, I'm not sure why that matters, but I'm 27. When I was a teenager, as you assume I am, I thought much more like you do. Naive and with a very confused moral compass. I'm not here defending Ayn Rand, I'm here defending myself.

Ah, the great fallacy of the free marketeers... that everyone who is rich MUST be highly productive.

Quote
In a society of an hundred thousand families, there will perhaps be one hundred who don't labour at all, and who yet, either by violence, or by the more orderly oppression of law, employ a greater part of the labour of society than any other ten thousand in it. The division of what remains, too, after this enormous defalcation, is by no means made in proportion to the labour of each individual. On the contrary those who labour most get least. The opulent merchant, who spends a great part of his time in luxury and entertainments, enjoys a much greater proportion of the profits of his traffic, than all the Clerks and Accountants who do the business. These last, again, enjoying a great deal of leisure, and suffering scarce any other hardship besides the confinement of attendance, enjoy a much greater share of the produce, than three times an equal number of artisans, who, under their direction, labour much more severely and assiduously. The artisan again, tho' he works generally under cover, protected from the injuries of the weather, at his ease and assisted by the convenience of innumerable machines, enjoys a much greater share than the poor labourer who has the soil and the seasons to struggle with, and, who while he affords the materials for supplying the luxury of all the other members of the common wealth, and bears, as it were, upon his shoulders the whole fabric of human society, seems himself to be buried out of sight in the lowest foundations of the building.
Adam Smith, first draft of Wealth Of Nations

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July 01, 2011, 05:39:47 PM
 #17



Ah, the great fallacy of the free marketeers... that everyone who is rich MUST be highly productive.

Quote
In a society of an hundred thousand families, there will perhaps be one hundred who don't labour at all, and who yet, either by violence, or by the more orderly oppression of law, employ a greater part of the labour of society than any other ten thousand in it. The division of what remains, too, after this enormous defalcation, is by no means made in proportion to the labour of each individual. On the contrary those who labour most get least. The opulent merchant, who spends a great part of his time in luxury and entertainments, enjoys a much greater proportion of the profits of his traffic, than all the Clerks and Accountants who do the business. These last, again, enjoying a great deal of leisure, and suffering scarce any other hardship besides the confinement of attendance, enjoy a much greater share of the produce, than three times an equal number of artisans, who, under their direction, labour much more severely and assiduously. The artisan again, tho' he works generally under cover, protected from the injuries of the weather, at his ease and assisted by the convenience of innumerable machines, enjoys a much greater share than the poor labourer who has the soil and the seasons to struggle with, and, who while he affords the materials for supplying the luxury of all the other members of the common wealth, and bears, as it were, upon his shoulders the whole fabric of human society, seems himself to be buried out of sight in the lowest foundations of the building.
Adam Smith, first draft of Wealth Of Nations

Please don't misstate my opinion. I never said everyone who is rich must be highly productive. I merely said that most wealthy people, probably the great majority, were highly productive.

Further, as one approaches a free market (which we are nowhere near having), without government favoritism, it becomes increasingly difficult to grow or maintain wealth without being highly productive. Many of those who, today, are both wealthy and "non-productive" are in fact able to subsist in that way because of government distortions in an otherwise free market. Bankers, who obtain vast wealth through the inflation of the fiat monetary system, are a great example. In a free market, a banker would actually have to provide a valuable service to become wealthy.

The first sentence in your Adam Smith quote is very important, and it has something to do with the last sentence. It is not the free businessman who should be your enemy - it is the violent government, which starts wars, protects its friends, and provides all manner of distortion and corruption upon the public. Remember too that without those "opulent merchants" mentioned in the quote, every one of the 100,000 families would be toiling in the mud. The wealthy did not put the peasants in the field They did, however, enable some to rise above it. The natural state of man is poor, hungry, and cold. It is foolish to see modern society, with all the wealth that we have, and then assume that such wealth caused those who don't have it to remain in that natural state. We would all be there, but for the business man.
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July 01, 2011, 05:42:37 PM
 #18



Ah, the great fallacy of the free marketeers... that everyone who is rich MUST be highly productive.

Quote
In a society of an hundred thousand families, there will perhaps be one hundred who don't labour at all, and who yet, either by violence, or by the more orderly oppression of law, employ a greater part of the labour of society than any other ten thousand in it. The division of what remains, too, after this enormous defalcation, is by no means made in proportion to the labour of each individual. On the contrary those who labour most get least. The opulent merchant, who spends a great part of his time in luxury and entertainments, enjoys a much greater proportion of the profits of his traffic, than all the Clerks and Accountants who do the business. These last, again, enjoying a great deal of leisure, and suffering scarce any other hardship besides the confinement of attendance, enjoy a much greater share of the produce, than three times an equal number of artisans, who, under their direction, labour much more severely and assiduously. The artisan again, tho' he works generally under cover, protected from the injuries of the weather, at his ease and assisted by the convenience of innumerable machines, enjoys a much greater share than the poor labourer who has the soil and the seasons to struggle with, and, who while he affords the materials for supplying the luxury of all the other members of the common wealth, and bears, as it were, upon his shoulders the whole fabric of human society, seems himself to be buried out of sight in the lowest foundations of the building.
Adam Smith, first draft of Wealth Of Nations

Please don't misstate my opinion. I never said everyone who is rich must be highly productive. I merely said that most wealthy people, probably the great majority, were highly productive.

Then obviously I didn't mistate your opinion because that's exactly what you said before and it is equally untrue.

Enjoying the dose of reality or getting a laugh out of my posts? Feel free to toss me a penny or two, everyone else seems to be doing it! 1Kn8NqvbCC83zpvBsKMtu4sjso5PjrQEu1
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July 01, 2011, 05:48:44 PM
 #19


Then obviously I didn't mistate your opinion because that's exactly what you said before and it is equally untrue.

My thesis: most wealthy people earned their money.
My statistical source: "Only 16% of high-net-worth individuals inherited their stash, according to Capgemini." - Economist article, http://www.economist.com/node/17929057

Your thesis: most wealthy people did not earn their money.
Your statistical source: Huh

And even if 100% of wealthy people inherited their money, you don't have the right to steal it from them. Unless a rich man stole his wealth (such as a congressman who taxed it away from its rightful owner), you have no claim to it.
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July 01, 2011, 05:57:50 PM
 #20


Then obviously I didn't mistate your opinion because that's exactly what you said before and it is equally untrue.

My thesis: most wealthy people earned their money.
My statistical source: "Only 16% of high-net-worth individuals inherited their stash, according to Capgemini." - Economist article, http://www.economist.com/node/17929057

Your thesis: most wealthy people did not earn their money.
Your statistical source: Huh

And even if 100% of wealthy people inherited their money, you don't have the right to steal it from them. Unless a rich man stole his wealth (such as a congressman who taxed it away from its rightful owner), you have no claim to it.

Quote me where myself or Smith said anything about inhereting money, then I'll conceed the point.

Enjoying the dose of reality or getting a laugh out of my posts? Feel free to toss me a penny or two, everyone else seems to be doing it! 1Kn8NqvbCC83zpvBsKMtu4sjso5PjrQEu1
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