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Author Topic: Government regulation always a bad thing?  (Read 9654 times)
fergalish
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March 11, 2011, 06:13:31 PM
 #1

http://i.imgur.com/eGSKJ.jpg

Here's the discussion on reddit, titled "The headline you won't be reading...": http://www.reddit.com/r/reddit.com/comments/g1ueo/the_headline_you_wont_be_reading/

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March 11, 2011, 06:43:24 PM
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Don't forget that Japan is also well known for amakudari, which is a form of regulatory capture.  Wink

Regulation is pretty hard to do, but sometime you can get it right.  Remember, Japan experienced earthquake danger pretty regularly, so they would eventually get the "regulation" or "preparedness" right.

If you're in a country that doesn't experience earthquake very often, it's going to be a disaster of course.

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March 11, 2011, 06:54:12 PM
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Are we really to believe individuals would have not build earthquake resistant structures in Japan but for the Japanese government?
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March 11, 2011, 06:56:24 PM
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Are we really to believe individuals would have not build earthquake resistant structures in Japan but for the Japanese government?

Like the constructors of the Titanic who made sure to include enough lifeboats?
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March 11, 2011, 06:57:01 PM
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Like the constructors of the Titanic who made sure to include enough lifeboats?
We call it hubris!

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March 11, 2011, 07:35:24 PM
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In an anarchist society, you could, for example, have engineering guilds that would publicly certify buildings and building plans as safe or unsafe. With no exploitative employers or landlords to deceive or otherwise coerce people into working or living in or building unsafe buildings, preventable structural failure would rarely hurt anyone.

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theymos
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March 11, 2011, 08:58:32 PM
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Why would anyone make buildings that will be destroyed by earthquakes? That's a massive loss of money. Construction companies would lose all reputation if their buildings can't withstand expected local conditions.

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March 11, 2011, 09:02:18 PM
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Why would anyone make buildings that will be destroyed by earthquakes? That's a massive loss of money. Construction companies would lose all reputation if their buildings can't withstand expected local conditions.
Because it's profitable. Someone could build an unsafe building but sell it for the greater price of a safe building. To that person, the short term benefits make up for the long term costs.

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March 11, 2011, 10:12:43 PM
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Because it's profitable. Someone could build an unsafe building but sell it for the greater price of a safe building. To that person, the short term benefits make up for the long term costs.

That person is guilty of fraud, and will be boycotted by everyone forever. It's a very bad business decision. I'm not saying that no one could make such a decision, but they will be quickly eliminated from the market.

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March 11, 2011, 10:24:46 PM
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Like the constructors of the Titanic who made sure to include enough lifeboats?

There was no government safety regulation when the Titanic was built, or such regulation did not solve the problem?

A more pertinent question is... are "unsinkable" ships still constructed today with insufficient life boats? If not, then it appears that the Titanic was a valuable lesson learned.
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March 11, 2011, 10:54:23 PM
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Like the constructors of the Titanic who made sure to include enough lifeboats?

There was no government safety regulation when the Titanic was built, or such regulation did not solve the problem?

A more pertinent question is... are "unsinkable" ships still constructed today with insufficient life boats? If not, then it appears that the Titanic was a valuable lesson learned.

Today, "international maritime law" requires cruise operators to do a safety drill shortly after departure of every cruise. Anyone who's taken a cruise is familiar with the "lifeboat drill." And presumably there are enough lifeboats, though looking at pictures of, say, the Carnival Splendor, I can't imagine how 4,500 people can fit into 25 or so lifeboats, even lifeboats of that size. Maybe I'm missing something.

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March 11, 2011, 11:14:57 PM
 #12

The fire code, I believe, was drawn in blood. Basically, every time a bad fire happen, people figure out what's wrong and implement new rule/law to prevent it from happening again.

You can imagine the free market of regulations following that same bloody ritual.

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March 11, 2011, 11:27:21 PM
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The fire code, I believe, was drawn in blood. Basically, every time a bad fire happen, people figure out what's wrong and implement new rule/law to prevent it from happening again.

You can imagine the free market of regulations following that same bloody ritual.

You would be a fool to imagine such a thing. Do you think people will throw out good ideas just because they originated with government? Even they get things right sometimes.

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March 11, 2011, 11:31:40 PM
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You would be a fool to imagine such a thing. Do you think people will throw out good ideas just because they originated with government? Even they get things right sometimes.

I think Kiba meant that the market could have followed the same path than government.  Of course the market would keep good ideas invented by regulators.


And I agree about one thing:  sometimes government does good things.  One can not be always wrong about everything.
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March 12, 2011, 12:24:07 AM
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Almost all absolute statements, especially when it comes to human action, are likely to be false. Government can do good. It does good. The question is whether the overall balance is more "good" or "bad" according to whatever criteria you choose to use.

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March 12, 2011, 01:00:35 AM
 #16

Even people in the public service can do good things... However people who are not in the public service do good things also.  It isn't a question of good or bad, but forced or voluntary.

One off NP-Hard.
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March 12, 2011, 05:40:32 PM
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Because it's profitable. Someone could build an unsafe building but sell it for the greater price of a safe building. To that person, the short term benefits make up for the long term costs.

That person is guilty of fraud, and will be boycotted by everyone forever. It's a very bad business decision. I'm not saying that no one could make such a decision, but they will be quickly eliminated from the market.
Max Blanck and Isaac Harris seem to have done pretty well by the market.

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March 12, 2011, 06:28:07 PM
 #18

The most interesting question is: does an atomic power plants really pay off?
I am convinced that this industry relies heavily on state subsidies.
I mean who is paying for the costs of this disaster? The japanese tax payer - my guess.

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March 12, 2011, 06:34:11 PM
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The most interesting question is: does an atomic power plants really pay off?
I am convinced that this industry relies heavily on state subsidies.

I am not convinced about that, but I kind of suspect it too.

I'm not sure nuclear power really worthed the risks it contains.
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March 12, 2011, 06:43:33 PM
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In the US, investing in a nuclear power plant is very much not worth it, due to anti-nuclear feeling and the extreme cost of acquiring a building permit. At least, that's what I know.

So heavy subsidies? Maybe. However, you have to remember such things as energy subsidies toward solar power and such that discourage the construction and operation of nuclear power plants.

You have to remember that coal power plants emit lot of pollution, coals are dangerous to mine, and so on.  

You also need to remember that next generation of power plants are probably designed with better safety features.

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March 12, 2011, 06:44:05 PM
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I think we should reserve nuclear power for space travel.

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March 12, 2011, 06:51:21 PM
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I think we should reserve nuclear power for space travel.

Why?

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March 12, 2011, 06:57:09 PM
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Why?
Because it's useful and you don't have to worry about the waste. On Earth, we get all the energy we need from the Sun and should concentrate our efforts accordingly. Using to Sun for useful propulsion between here and, say, Mars, not as easy as with nuclear power.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_pulse_propulsion

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kiba
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March 12, 2011, 07:04:39 PM
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Because it's useful and you don't have to worry about the waste. On Earth, we get all the energy we need from the Sun and should concentrate our efforts accordingly. Using to Sun for useful propulsion between here and, say, Mars, not as easy as with nuclear power.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_pulse_propulsion

I must remind you that next generation nuclear power plants will reduce problem with nuclear waste, risk nuclear proliferation, as well increase efficiency. We may get all the "energy we need from the sun" but we're terribly inefficient at gathering such source. Nuclear power seem to be the more promising road.

Of course, a free market should be able to test our prediction.

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March 12, 2011, 07:06:19 PM
 #25

The decision should be left to the market.
fergalish
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March 13, 2011, 05:52:55 PM
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In an anarchist society, you could, for example, have engineering guilds that would publicly certify buildings and building plans as safe or unsafe. With no exploitative employers or landlords to deceive or otherwise coerce people into working or living in or building unsafe buildings, preventable structural failure would rarely hurt anyone.
I don't know how likely this would be to happen.  If you read the anti-libertarian faq (see other thread), the author there makes an excellent point that while governments have set food safety and quality standards, restaurants do not have to obey them, and almost no restaurant has voluntarily adhered to any such a standard.
Besides, if it was a free market, you'd have multiple guilds cropping up, and what then?  Is the average John Doe supposed to understand the technical differences between them?  Maybe, after some long period of bad buildings, and lots of dead people, one guild would emerge successful.
But really, I doubt any construction firm would voluntarily adhere to a standard that reduced its competitiveness in the market.

It's a prisoner's dilemma.  If all construction firms adhere, then there is an advantage (short-term profit) to every firm to defect and build bad buildings.  And also, what's to stop any building firm from displaying the logo of a guild, without adhering to the standard?

That person is guilty of fraud, and will be boycotted by everyone forever. It's a very bad business decision. I'm not saying that no one could make such a decision, but they will be quickly eliminated from the market.
But if there are no regulations, who's to say you can't commit fraud?  You move in, make your short-term profit, pull out ignoring all the damage you caused.  Start up again with a new brand, repeat.
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March 16, 2011, 03:11:30 AM
 #27

Are we really to believe individuals would have not build earthquake resistant structures in Japan but for the Japanese government?

Just go to Haiti for your answer.  Tough building codes saved a lot of lives in Japan and lack of them killed a ton of people in Haiti.


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March 16, 2011, 03:17:02 AM
 #28

Just go to Haiti for your answer.  Tough building codes saved a lot of lives in Japan and lack of them killed a ton of people in Haiti.

That's not a valid argument. How do you know that building codes were responsible for the difference, or that not having the building codes wouldn't have saved even more lives?

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March 16, 2011, 03:39:04 AM
 #29

Just go to Haiti for your answer.  Tough building codes saved a lot of lives in Japan and lack of them killed a ton of people in Haiti.

Haiti don't have the wealth to prepare itself as an earthquake ready society.

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March 16, 2011, 10:16:41 AM
 #30

Why would anyone make buildings that will be destroyed by earthquakes? That's a massive loss of money. Construction companies would lose all reputation if their buildings can't withstand expected local conditions.

Here's an interesting case (bad translation though).  In the town of Aquila in Italy, hit by a large earthquake in 2009, there are builders who have been contracted to reconstruct some apartment blocks, but they are not following regulations.  So, theymos, what massive loss of money were you talking about?  Which reputation will the builders lose?  Their actions suggest they are not at all worried about another earthquake destroying the buildings.  And if they won't follow government regulations, why the hell would they ever follow private regulations or the terms of a private contract?

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=it&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.abruzzoitalia.it%2FNotizie%2FL-Aquila%2FTerremoto-denunce-su-ristrutturazione-case.html

Don't get me wrong, I think libertarianism would be a wonderful utopia, but I think it would only ever work in very small communities where everybody *personally* knows everybody else.  A town of a few thousand people would probably already be too big.
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March 16, 2011, 10:39:00 AM
 #31

Here's an interesting case (bad translation though).  In the town of Aquila in Italy, hit by a large earthquake in 2009, there are builders who have been contracted to reconstruct some apartment blocks, but they are not following regulations. 

I didn't read the text, but there are two possibilities:

- These contractors were hired to provide something they are not providing, therefore they are committing fraud and should be punished accordingly (either forced to provide what agreed or return the money).

- People who hired them actually knew they would not follow some safety standards (maybe because it's cheaper, don't know), and didn't care. Then, it's their problem only. What's your solution? Point them guns and force them to follow the safety standards you judge adequate? Honestly, if that's your opinion you're a wannabe dictator.

Of course, if the irresponsibility of some harms others (like your reckless built building falls over mine), then they are involuntarily violating the rights of these innocents, and should pay for it. If you want to be safe against such risk anyway, you could try to live in a neighborhood where everybody follows a set of safety standards that pleases you. Legitimate "neighborhood laws" can exist in a libertarian society, as long as the entire neighborhood was legitimately "built" by a group which sells the lands under a specific contract.

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March 16, 2011, 12:47:41 PM
 #32

If a landlord or an employer doesn't live or work in a given building, how much does he really care about the quality of its construction? Perhaps he's willing to spend less on a building constructed by a builder with a poor record than one with a good record. If he makes a profit, it's all good.

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March 16, 2011, 01:11:45 PM
 #33

Yep, it's true.
Just two things: he doesn't have the right to fraud the contract by saying that the building has safety standards which it doesn't, nor he has the right to silence a competitor, like another real state agency, which publicly defame him by exposing the fact that his buildings are not safe.

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March 16, 2011, 02:54:28 PM
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I've never come across a lease contract that stated any safety guarantees. Of course, there's little to no profit incentive to include them. Ultimately, landlords profit when affordable housing is scarce. Few inhabitants of an unsafe building will find a safer, affordable alternative. So, if a landlord starts touting the safety of his building in comparison to others, it will just be to raise his rates. Because renters have so little recourse, the landlords of unsafe buildings have little to no profit incentive to reduce rates or improve safety. Under capitalism though, profit make the situation okay.

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March 16, 2011, 04:09:42 PM
 #35

I've never come across a lease contract that stated any safety guarantees. Of course, there's little to no profit incentive to include them. Ultimately, landlords profit when affordable housing is scarce. Few inhabitants of an unsafe building will find a safer, affordable alternative. So, if a landlord starts touting the safety of his building in comparison to others, it will just be to raise his rates. Because renters have so little recourse, the landlords of unsafe buildings have little to no profit incentive to reduce rates or improve safety. Under capitalism though, profit make the situation okay.

Are you saying that landlords consciously or unconsciously want to keep supply low to drive up prices? Do you realize that this situation creates an opportunity for someone else to come in and satisfy the market demand at lower prices? I guess that doesn't really mesh with your world view, though.
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March 16, 2011, 05:27:46 PM
 #36

Are you saying that landlords consciously or unconsciously want to keep supply low to drive up prices?
Yes.

Quote
Do you realize that this situation creates an opportunity for someone else to come in and satisfy the market demand at lower prices? I guess that doesn't really mesh with your world view, though.
Yes, but a capitalist will not want to kill that opportunity by making affordable, safe housing abundant. He will only rent out just enough housing so as to extract maximum profit. Perhaps he has no regard for the fact that such behavior ensures the existence of homelessness. Maybe he does it just to get by while satisfying the demands of his lender. We can trace the problem to a capitalist worldview.

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March 16, 2011, 05:31:33 PM
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Yes, but a capitalist will not want to kill that opportunity by making affordable, safe housing abundant. He will only rent out just enough housing so as to extract maximum profit. Perhaps he has no regard for the fact that such behavior ensures the existence of homelessness. Maybe he does it just to get by while satisfying the demands of his lender. We can trace the problem to a capitalist worldview.

Then a capitalist figure out that making affordable, safe housing abundant make him rich, therefore making the "problem" moot.

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March 16, 2011, 06:00:11 PM
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Then a capitalist figure out that making affordable, safe housing abundant make him rich, therefore making the "problem" moot.
He will only make available just enough to maintain his profits. If he satisfied everyone's need, there'd be no more demand and no more profit. Providing safe, affordable housing, or even the ability to build it, to those who need it is not profitable. Therefore, a capitalist won't do it.

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March 16, 2011, 06:07:29 PM
 #39

He will only make available just enough to maintain his profits. If he satisfied everyone's need, there'd be no more demand and no more profit. Providing safe, affordable housing, or even the ability to build it, to those who need it is not profitable. Therefore, a capitalist won't do it.

Bollocks. This is a matter of cost and selling price. If the cost is low enough, you can make a profit selling at a slightly higher price.

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March 16, 2011, 06:17:24 PM
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He will only make available just enough to maintain his profits. If he satisfied everyone's need, there'd be no more demand and no more profit. Providing safe, affordable housing, or even the ability to build it, to those who need it is not profitable. Therefore, a capitalist won't do it.

Bollocks. This is a matter of cost and selling price. If the cost is low enough, you can make a profit selling at a slightly higher price.

But Kiba, don't you know that all capitalists are profit blinded, short sighted, evil exploiters? Given the choice between improving the lives of others and profiting, or profiting more at the expense of others, they will always choose profiting more at the expense of others!
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March 16, 2011, 06:53:02 PM
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Bollocks. This is a matter of cost and selling price. If the cost is low enough, you can make a profit selling at a slightly higher price.
Profit unjustifiably increases the price, putting a home out of the reach of someone who needs it. Furthermore, the costs are sometimes zero, yet capitalists insist on taking whatever they can. Look at all these empty homes, just in the Hartford, CT area. Either nobody wants them, or some capitalists are preventing people from moving (back) in.

But Kiba, don't you know that all capitalists are profit blinded, short sighted, evil exploiters? Given the choice between improving the lives of others and profiting, or profiting more at the expense of others, they will always choose profiting more at the expense of others!
Only to the extent that they are capitalists. Some people are only partly capitalists, lending to friends without interest, doing favors, etc. For the sake of these people, I do not promote violent revolution. Their capitalist behavior sucks, however.


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March 16, 2011, 07:05:03 PM
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It might be a bit late to make this post, but there are already a number of private and semiprivate organizations that provide non binding codes for various things.  W3C for web standards, Underwriters Laboratories for all kinds of stuff, in Germany TUV (with dots over the U sorry, on a US keyboard) started as a  private organization to make steam engines safer (though I'm not sure how it's run now), FAA doesn't regulate skydiving dropzones, but there are rules set up by the amateur organizations.   There is no reason to believe that buildings would be any different, it is almost certain the building codes did save some lives, since without coercion there would be less than 100% compliance with any code, but if I want to build a building that is going to fall down, and it won't damage the neighbors buildings when it does, I should have the right to do that.  Obviously telling tenants that it is up to some earthquake code, then knowingly constructing to lower standards would be fraud, and very few libertarians would say that is ok.  As for the more complex issue, of say, skyscrapers that cannot collapse without significant damage and loss of life on neighboring properties, I don't really see much way around regulation there. 

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March 16, 2011, 07:57:28 PM
 #43

I don't know how likely this would be to happen.  If you read the anti-libertarian faq (see other thread), the author there makes an excellent point that while governments have set food safety and quality standards, restaurants do not have to obey them, and almost no restaurant has voluntarily adhered to any such a standard.

Perhaps that's because all of their customers decided these "food safety" standards are unnecessary, or at least not worth the extra cost.  Having traveled to Asia and eaten things the sight of which would make my grandmother keel over, I staunchly oppose the whole FDA racket, and eagerly seek out any restaurant that looks like it in some way might be skirting FDA regs. 
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March 16, 2011, 08:16:57 PM
 #44

Profit unjustifiably increases the price, putting a home out of the reach of someone who needs it.

Unjustifiably? First, without the incentive for profit, most of the homes would not have been built. Second, how do you know that that person needs a house?

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Furthermore, the costs are sometimes zero

What? How can the cost of a home be zero? Capital was expended creating the home, you expect it to just be given away?

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Look at all these empty homes, just in the Hartford, CT area. Either nobody wants them, or some capitalists are preventing people from moving (back) in.

The capitalists aren't preventing people from moving in, the system of law is doing so.

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Only to the extent that they are capitalists. Some people are only partly capitalists, lending to friends without interest, doing favors, etc. For the sake of these people, I do not promote violent revolution. Their capitalist behavior sucks, however.

What about the capitalists who profit by increasing the standard of living of others?

Capitalism is the private ownership of property. You have asserted that private ownership of property is exploitative, but not provided an argument why this is so. What is your moral basis for believing that every individual is entitled to the full potential value of their labor, rather than only what can be agreed upon with others?
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March 16, 2011, 08:30:17 PM
 #45

Their actions suggest they are not at all worried about another earthquake destroying the buildings.  And if they won't follow government regulations, why the hell would they ever follow private regulations or the terms of a private contract?

They were contracted to do a job, which they are presumably doing according to the specifications provided by the buyer. If the builder is not building according to specifications, then he is in breach of contract, and the buyer should demand a refund.

If you're worried about being crushed by buildings, then you will ensure that you live and work in a safe building. Some office buildings still have asbestos, and some people avoid working there -- this is the same thing. Those willing to risk their lives in unsafe buildings will get more money in return.

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March 17, 2011, 09:08:44 AM
 #46

Japan is relatively wealthy, which is why you don't see so many building collapses.  People who have enough money to invest in a good home/building and who live in earthquake zones will obviously make sure it is earthquake-resistant.

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March 18, 2011, 02:52:01 AM
 #47

Unjustifiably?
Yes. No one should ever take the product of the labor of someone else without paying them fairly for it.

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First, without the incentive for profit, most of the homes would not have been built.
That is also a problem as in the case of urban sprawl.

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Second, how do you know that that person needs a house?
If he builds one, occupies an abandoned one, or exchanges the surplus of that which he produced, directly or indirectly, for one, presumably he needs one.

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What? How can the cost of a home be zero? Capital was expended creating the home, you expect it to just be given away?
There's no cost to occupy an abandoned home, except that which a landlord might impose.

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The capitalists aren't preventing people from moving in, the system of law is doing so.
The capitalist bank owners removed the homes' inhabitants because they couldn't collect enough interest. The government provides eviction services, or the threat of eviction, thereby helping capitalists profit. Capitalists profit by government. If they decide that they aren't making enough profit, the capitalists will overthrow it and make a more profitable one.

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What about the capitalists who profit by increasing the standard of living of others?
Capitalism deprives most people of the product of their labor. When the worker's, renter's, or borrower's standard of living increases, it's either incidental or the result of capitalists attempting to prevent mutiny. In either case, they typically experience a net loss in the long run.

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Capitalism is the private ownership of property. You have asserted that private ownership of property is exploitative, but not provided an argument why this is so. What is your moral basis for believing that every individual is entitled to the full potential value of their labor, rather than only what can be agreed upon with others?
Private property ownership isn't inherently exploitive. Charging people to use property for which you have no use without transferring ownership means that you gain at their expense. Therefore, you have taken advantage of them and their lack of property or the means to avoid the kind of extortion in which you engage. Taking advantage is the dictionary definition of exploitation. It's wrong to exploit people because in doing so, you disrespect their humanity. People are not livestock. Now, if the person your dealing with knows that he's on the loosing end of the deal but enjoys it, he's either doing you a favor or playing out a fetish.

If you're worried about being crushed by buildings, then you will ensure that you live and work in a safe building. Some office buildings still have asbestos, and some people avoid working there -- this is the same thing. Those willing to risk their lives in unsafe buildings will get more money in return.
What a miserable choice.

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March 18, 2011, 03:13:25 AM
 #48

What a miserable choice.

There is no such thing as a free lunch.

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March 18, 2011, 03:29:21 AM
 #49

There is no such thing as a free lunch.
Exactly.

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March 18, 2011, 12:13:47 PM
 #50

What a miserable choice.

There is no such thing as a free lunch.

Just today I had an apple off the neighbours  tree for lunch. It didnt cost me anything.  Cheesy
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March 18, 2011, 02:41:41 PM
 #51

Just today I had an apple off the neighbours  tree for lunch. It didnt cost me anything.  Cheesy
Well, it costs you some labor in the action of picking the apple. Under capitalism, your neighbor can claim any size portion of that apple even if he has already collected enough apples from the tree to compensate for any work he has put into the tree. The only reason he can get away with that is if he has the power to enforce his rules. Government gives him that power and is therefore profitable. As such, if your neighbor is a capitalist, he will create government in its absence.

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March 18, 2011, 02:45:05 PM
 #52

There is no such thing as a free lunch.
Exactly.

And thus, you may have to choose between an expensive earthquake-proof building and building that are cheap but unsafe.

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March 18, 2011, 03:04:02 PM
 #53

And thus, you may have to choose between an expensive earthquake-proof building and building that are cheap but unsafe.
Two points: One, workers pay for their lunch as well as that of the governing capitalists. Two, the safety of the building one works in does not affect the quality and amount of work that one does, so the amount which one earns should not differ depending on the safety of the building.

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March 18, 2011, 03:18:20 PM
 #54

so the amount which one earns should not differ

You seem very comfortable dictating what other people should and should not do when engaging in voluntary interactions. I think that's why socialists sound so much like statists to me.
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March 18, 2011, 03:35:43 PM
 #55

Two, the safety of the building one works in does not affect the quality and amount of work that one does, so the amount which one earns should not differ depending on the safety of the building.

Wrong, it's governed by the law of supply and demand.

Quality and amount of work one does is a factor, but is not the sole factor. Increased Workplace safety may impede profitability of a corporation and their ability to pay their workers.

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March 18, 2011, 03:39:55 PM
 #56

You seem very comfortable dictating what other people should and should not do when engaging in voluntary interactions. I think that's why socialists sound so much like statists to me.

He doesn't understood my angry outbrust last time and I doubt he will understand now.

He is also living in a community where profit is valued, not something that is evil. Hence the bewilderment of members here.

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March 18, 2011, 04:55:14 PM
 #57

You seem very comfortable dictating what other people should and should not do when engaging in voluntary interactions. I think that's why socialists sound so much like statists to me.
I am merely informing, not dictating. I impose no consequence on you for not listening. Although, if I held a position of power over you, like that of an employer, we'd have a different situation.

Wrong, it's governed by the law of supply and demand.

Quality and amount of work one does is a factor, but is not the sole factor. Increased Workplace safety may impede profitability of a corporation and their ability to pay their workers.
Why should the price of a building affect the value of the product of one's labor within that building?

He doesn't understood my angry outbrust last time and I doubt he will understand now.

He is also living in a community where profit is valued, not something that is evil. Hence the bewilderment of members here.
I still don't. Just because we disagree doesn't mean we can't have a civil discussion.

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March 18, 2011, 05:11:21 PM
 #58

Why should the price of a building affect the value of the product of one's labor within that building?
Actually, it's the worker who is in the position to neogitate as it is related to workplace condition. This is not related to worker competition but employer competition.

Worker: Why should I work in this cheap-o building instead of working in that safe building?

Employer: I pay twice as much wage as that other guy over there.

Worker: Hmm, I think I walk away...

Employer: No, don't go. I'll pay triple as much wage.

Worker: ok.

Quote
I still don't. Just because we disagree doesn't mean we can't have a civil discussion.

We are unable to have a rational discussion because people here do not feel exploited when somebody profit off of them. Nobody feel ashamed and nobody cares.

If you don't simply feel exploited even though you fully understand the situation, well..what ya going to do?

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March 18, 2011, 05:25:40 PM
 #59

What if I build an unsafe house that impacts those around it. Let's say that my house is prone to fires, and that will destroy/damage every house around it. Isn't it resaonable to have regulations in place to prevent damage to other peoples property?

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March 18, 2011, 05:28:14 PM
 #60

What if I build an unsafe house that impacts those around it. Let's say that my house is prone to fires, and that will destroy/damage every house around it. Isn't it resaonable to have regulations in place to prevent damage to other peoples property?

Nobody is proposing the idea of no regulation.

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March 18, 2011, 05:37:57 PM
 #61

Nobody is proposing the idea of no regulation.

So the answer to the asked question in the topic is "No"?

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March 18, 2011, 05:39:54 PM
 #62

So the answer to the asked question in the topic is "No"?

If you read the discussion, we provide a bit more nuanced answer. Basically we agree that it is true that some regulations will do good, but we do not agree with the method of enforcement. Hence, we're still opposed to government regulation on ethical ground.

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March 18, 2011, 07:59:15 PM
 #63

Actually, it's the worker who is in the position to neogitate as it is related to workplace condition. This is not related to worker competition but employer competition.

Worker: Why should I work in this cheap-o building instead of working in that safe building?

Employer: I pay twice as much wage as that other guy over there.

Worker: Hmm, I think I walk away...

Employer: No, don't go. I'll pay triple as much wage.

Worker: ok.
That which the worker produces or helps to produce has a fair market value. Why does he have to negotiate the ownership for his rightful share? It's his as soon as he makes it. Yet somehow, his capitalist employer has the power to take it. Government gives him that power.

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We are unable to have a rational discussion because people here do not feel exploited when somebody profit off of them. Nobody feel ashamed and nobody cares.
I don't see how that precludes a rational, civil discussion. We already agree that government is exploitative, that it uses things like coercion to take advantage of people, right? Yet, many people do not feel exploited by their governments. That does not mean that government is not exploitative.

Quote
If you don't simply feel exploited even though you fully understand the situation, well..what ya going to do?
Then you are either a capitalist yourself and hoping to gain power over people, are doing a favor, or are playing out a fetish. That's no reason not to educate yourself and possibly change your mind.

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March 18, 2011, 08:09:26 PM
 #64

That which the worker produces or helps to produce has a fair market value. Why does he have to negotiate the ownership for his rightful share? It's his as soon as he makes it. Yet somehow, his capitalist employer has the power to take it. Government gives him that power.
"Fair market value" can only be determined by observing a large group of people negotiating deals, and the concept does not even exist without individuals making such negotiations.

Do not waste your time debating whether Bitcoin can work. It does work.

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March 18, 2011, 08:11:00 PM
 #65

I don't see how that precludes a rational, civil discussion. We already agree that government is exploitative, that it uses things like coercion to take advantage of people, right? Yet, many people do not feel exploited by their governments. That does not mean that government is not exploitative.
We are arguing definitions and words. That lead us to nowhere.

When an entire community feel no emotional response, your argumentation lead to nowhere. We simply just don't feel exploited or exploiting anybody.

Quote
Then you are either a capitalist yourself and hoping to gain power over people, are doing a favor, or are playing out a fetish. That's no reason not to educate yourself and possibly change your mind.

No, I considered and thought the answer is different from what you think is right. I am not doing anyone a favor, or a fetish. If that make me a capitalist, so be it.

People can look at the same situation and reach completely different conclusion.

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March 18, 2011, 08:15:19 PM
 #66

Let ban these words: involuntary, voluntary, profit, exploitation, coercion and related words that stand for the same thing.

Maybe, a fruitful discussion will results.

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March 18, 2011, 08:38:24 PM
 #67

What if I build an unsafe house that impacts those around it. Let's say that my house is prone to fires, and that will destroy/damage every house around it. Isn't it resaonable to have regulations in place to prevent damage to other peoples property?

The owner of the unsafe property would be liable for damages in case of fires. The victims could also sue.

In anarcho-capitalism, doing things that result in the death/harm of many people (or lots of property) would be incredibly dangerous, since you'd have the protection agencies of every victim seeking retribution against you and your single protection agency.

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March 18, 2011, 10:25:20 PM
 #68


The owner of the unsafe property would be liable for damages in case of fires. The victims could also sue.

In anarcho-capitalism, doing things that result in the death/harm of many people (or lots of property) would be incredibly dangerous, since you'd have the protection agencies of every victim seeking retribution against you and your single protection agency.

Yes, but that's something that happens "after the fact". Wouldn't it be better to have something in place that would prevent the event in the first place, or atleast minimize the effect.

But like Kiba said above, rules should be in place. It's just a question about who should enforce them. The community or the government. And I agree, if your actions (or inactions) could harm others, there should be rules in place to prevent you from behaving in that way.

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March 18, 2011, 10:43:37 PM
 #69

Yes, but that's something that happens "after the fact". Wouldn't it be better to have something in place that would prevent the event in the first place, or atleast minimize the effect.

There is something: people don't want to lose money, so they avoid being liable for such things.

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March 18, 2011, 11:06:24 PM
 #70

There is something: people don't want to lose money, so they avoid being liable for such things.

That could happen. Or they could just not spend money on these safety measures and if sh*t hits the fan they make sure that THEY don't have any assets that can be touched by the victims, or their families. It's not hard being a slum lord if you want to. Find a drug addict, let him be the fall guy in return for a token amount of money, profit from it yourself. If your current fall guy gets bothersome, get rid of him and find your next guy. There's no shortage. Most will be content with a steady supply of money to buy drugs.

This happens today, in our society. The difference is that today the government sais, "Ok, we can't touch your money but we can enforce the safety standards for your house, fix it or lose the right to keep tennants, ie income".

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March 18, 2011, 11:33:12 PM
 #71

There is something: people don't want to lose money, so they avoid being liable for such things.

That could happen. Or they could just not spend money on these safety measures and if sh*t hits the fan they make sure that THEY don't have any assets that can be touched by the victims, or their families. It's not hard being a slum lord if you want to. Find a drug addict, let him be the fall guy in return for a token amount of money, profit from it yourself. If your current fall guy gets bothersome, get rid of him and find your next guy. There's no shortage. Most will be content with a steady supply of money to buy drugs.

This happens today, in our society. The difference is that today the government sais, "Ok, we can't touch your money but we can enforce the safety standards for your house, fix it or lose the right to keep tennants, ie income".

Since we are apparently examining the actions of the worst possible human beings...

What happens when the person you described ("slum lord") is the person making the rules? Since a sufficient percentage of humanity is this kind of person that it warrants discussion, what happens when a bunch of stupid or evil people elect such an individual into a position of power?

In fact, these types of people thrive in government, and what happens is what you see today. Laws that harm rather than help, regulations which help the entrenched business interests instead of protecting individuals, etc.
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March 19, 2011, 03:02:56 AM
 #72

Government is profitable for some people. It just so happens they are existing businesses who can use regulations to keep competitors away.

While ever there is a profit motive to have a government someone will seek it. It just so happens that has negative effects on the rest of us.

So how do we have government that is unprofitable ?

 Cheesy
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March 19, 2011, 03:32:14 AM
 #73

I also think people are confused over "regulations" and 'standards".

Standards usually evolve organically from the industry or community actually involved in the process while regulations are perverse control of human behaviour usually done by agents with no involvement in the thing they regulate. Because of this fact unintended consequences occur.

Its akin to letting a baker set the rules for the butcher or the candlestick maker .





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March 19, 2011, 03:38:08 AM
 #74

I also think people are confused over "regulations" and 'standards".

Standards usually evolve organically from the industry or community actually involved in the process while regulations are perverse control of human behaviour usually done by agents with no involvement in the thing they regulate. Because of this fact unintended consequences occur.

Its akin to letting a baker set the rules for the butcher or the candlestick maker .


Very true.
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March 19, 2011, 09:43:41 PM
 #75

"Fair market value" can only be determined through the process of people negotiating deals. Such a concept does not exist without the existence of the market of people negotiating deals.
Yes, so, if my employer sells something I made for 800 BTC, but only gives me a fraction of that, why can I not sell it on the same market and collect all 800 BTC? Because my employer will charge me with theft!

I don't see how that precludes a rational, civil discussion. We already agree that government is exploitative, that it uses things like coercion to take advantage of people, right? Yet, many people do not feel exploited by their governments. That does not mean that government is not exploitative.
We are arguing definitions and words. That lead us to nowhere.

When an entire community feel no emotional response, your argumentation lead to nowhere. We simply just don't feel exploited or exploiting anybody.
You felt an emotional response as soon I stated my distaste for trickle-down economics. It took a few posts to build up, but you let it out eventually. Which really provoked you more, that I expressed something that you felt was illogical, or that I challenged a system in which you think you have an advantage? I suppose it doesn't really matter to the discussion, but you'd do well to investigate for yourself.

Quote
No, I considered and thought the answer is different from what you think is right. I am not doing anyone a favor, or a fetish. If that make me a capitalist, so be it.

People can look at the same situation and reach completely different conclusion.
Okay, so you are a capitalist. And you will exploit others for profit. I can't make you think that that is a bad thing. Perhaps they will enjoy being exploited. But since you cannot exploit others without the help of a government, and therefore cannot make profit without government, you must also support government.

Let ban these words: involuntary, voluntary, profit, exploitation, coercion and related words that stand for the same thing.

Maybe, a fruitful discussion will results.
I do not understand.

That could happen. Or they could just not spend money on these safety measures and if sh*t hits the fan they make sure that THEY don't have any assets that can be touched by the victims, or their families. It's not hard being a slum lord if you want to. Find a drug addict, let him be the fall guy in return for a token amount of money, profit from it yourself. If your current fall guy gets bothersome, get rid of him and find your next guy. There's no shortage. Most will be content with a steady supply of money to buy drugs.

This happens today, in our society. The difference is that today the government sais, "Ok, we can't touch your money but we can enforce the safety standards for your house, fix it or lose the right to keep tennants, ie income".

Since we are apparently examining the actions of the worst possible human beings...

What happens when the person you described ("slum lord") is the person making the rules? Since a sufficient percentage of humanity is this kind of person that it warrants discussion, what happens when a bunch of stupid or evil people elect such an individual into a position of power?

In fact, these types of people thrive in government, and what happens is what you see today. Laws that harm rather than help, regulations which help the entrenched business interests instead of protecting individuals, etc.
That slum lord doesn't need any kind of election. He's already making the rules. He's already the governor of his little slum state.

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March 19, 2011, 09:59:08 PM
 #76

Yes, so, if my employer sells something I made for 800 BTC, but only gives me a fraction of that, why can I not sell it on the same market and collect all 800 BTC? Because my employer will charge me with theft!

If you can make the item without the employer, what's stopping you from doing so? Clearly the employer is offering something that allows you to complete the item.

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March 19, 2011, 10:03:00 PM
 #77

You felt an emotional response as soon I stated my distaste for trickle-down economics. It took a few posts to build up, but you let it out eventually. Which really provoked you more, that I expressed something that you felt was illogical, or that I challenged a system in which you think you have an advantage? I suppose it doesn't really matter to the discussion, but you'd do well to investigate for yourself.


This is not about advantages, this is about survival and prosperity. I don't care and nor I should care if somebody is 100,000 times richer than me. I don't care about equality, alienation, and other such concepts.

I care about prosperity and survival. When activities are voluntary and especially when they bring prosperity, you better damn well believe that I will defend it. I will even defend the potion of immortality and everlasting youth from deathlovers and enemies of technologies.

That is what my angry outbrust is about.

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March 19, 2011, 10:06:59 PM
 #78

Let ban these words: involuntary, voluntary, profit, exploitation, coercion and related words that stand for the same thing.

Maybe, a fruitful discussion will results.

It's a rationality technique. It leads us away from emotionally charged words, such as "capitalists", and force us to really consider and understand.

If you don't agree to it, I am getting out of this debate. I cannot stand making endless argumentation that lead to nowhere.

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March 20, 2011, 12:27:39 AM
 #79

If you can make the item without the employer, what's stopping you from doing so?
I cannot. Employers control the necessary equipment. I cannot buy the equipment without submitting to an exploitative lender. He will require some of that which I produce for himself without doing any work. As a worker, it is very difficult to escape freeloaders in a capitalist society.

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Clearly the employer is offering something that allows you to complete the item.
All he is offering is permission to use, but not own, the equipment because he has the power to keep me out unless I pay his tax. Of course, has no other use for this equipment other than to extort from me the product of my labor.

This is not about advantages, this is about survival and prosperity. I don't care and nor I should care if somebody is 100,000 times richer than me. I don't care about equality, alienation, and other such concepts.

I care about prosperity and survival. When activities are voluntary and especially when they bring prosperity, you better damn well believe that I will defend it. I will even defend the potion of immortality and everlasting youth from deathlovers and enemies of technologies.

That is what my angry outbrust is about.
Survival and prosperity are very different things. I am not content to merely survive while someone else prospers on the product of my labor. Survival is for animals. I am a man. No slaveholder, employer, landlord, lender, or any other government ought to tax my prosperity, to simply allow me to survive. Capitalists, of course, do not share this view, and I can't make them. But capitalists should own their support for government because that is what they do. They govern. They tax. They say, "if you don't like it, get out!", even if the only place to go is the territory of some other capitalist/government. Go ahead and be a capitalist, but know what it means.

It's a rationality technique. It leads us away from emotionally charged words, such as "capitalists", and force us to really consider and understand.

If you don't agree to it, I am getting out of this debate. I cannot stand making endless argumentation that lead to nowhere.
Feel free to present suggestions for substitutes.

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March 20, 2011, 12:43:30 AM
 #80

Survival and prosperity are very different things. I am not content to merely survive while someone else prospers on the product of my labor. Survival is for animals. I am a man. No slaveholder, employer, landlord, lender, or any other government ought to tax my prosperity, to simply allow me to survive. Capitalists, of course, do not share this view, and I can't make them. But capitalists should own their support for government because that is what they do. They govern. They tax. They say, "if you don't like it, get out!", even if the only place to go is the territory of some other capitalist/government. Go ahead and be a capitalist, but know what it means.
Why do you hate it when somebody prospers on the product of your labor? Is it not true that we all prosper on each other's work. Shouldn't we work toward that goal of helping each other prosper?

For once, have you ever heard of positive externalities? Do you really want to restrict every single positive benefit and locked it behind a paywall? Society is not better off when artists jealously guard their work from commercial exploitation and modification.

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March 20, 2011, 12:46:00 AM
 #81

It's an argument of whims and desires. You can't reasonably explain his perspective.
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March 20, 2011, 12:57:07 AM
 #82

It's an argument of whims and desires. You can't reasonably explain his perspective.

He seems to give a damn about what other people "make off with".

For me, I don't give a damn what other people "make off with" as long as I prosper and get what I want. Typically, when I engage in economic exchange, it's only calculating for myself.

"Is this guy giving me a good deal or a bad deal?"

I don't even consider how much profit he made off of me. If he make a lot of profit, I might even get in the business myself and get myself a part of the pie.  Grin But anyway, it's probably not worth getting into the business even with all the profit. It probably involves doing something I don't like.

To profit from, and to be profited from is just a fact of economic life to me. When somebody said economic life is just morally wrong, I get a lot riled up because to me that's like the law of physics and these guys are trying to destroy everything.

Maybe I shouldn't become so angry, because the law of economics will give these guys a good whipping 99% of the time.

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March 20, 2011, 01:21:39 AM
 #83

Why do you hate it when somebody prospers on the product of your labor?
I only hate when people take what doesn't belong to them.

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Is it not true that we all prosper on each other's work. Shouldn't we work toward that goal of helping each other prosper?
It is good to help others. We should also not govern each other.

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For once, have you ever heard of positive externalities?
Government certainly has them. They may make government tolerable, but they don't make government a good thing.

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Do you really want to restrict every single positive benefit and locked it behind a paywall?
No. Explain to me why you think I do. We can achieve greater benefits without government.

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Society is not better off when artists jealously guard their work from commercial exploitation and modification.
Once an artist sells that which he as produced through his labor, the buyers can do whatever they want with it. The artist has no right to any portion of anything the buyers might produce from their own labor.

Are you going to refute my assertion that capitalism is a statist philosophy?

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March 20, 2011, 01:31:20 AM
 #84


Are you going to refute my assertion that capitalism is a statist philosophy?

First: drop all political vocabularies and its substitution. This is critical for rational discourse.

Secondary..we can start discussing "exploitation" and "profit" without reference to said words or its substitute.

Thirdly: You will drop the idea of refuting anybody's arguments and focus on understanding.

Now we can start:

I think a good definition of labor is "work performed". That mean thinking, writing, talking, hacking, putting together, etc...to achieve a certain result. That result is a good or service.

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March 20, 2011, 02:20:55 AM
 #85

First: drop all political vocabularies and its substitution. This is critical for rational discourse.

Secondary..we can start discussing "exploitation" and "profit" without reference to said words or its substitute.
I'm not sure why these words are bad words but okay.

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Thirdly: You will drop the idea of refuting anybody's arguments and focus on understanding.
This seems like evasion on your part but fine.

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Now we can start:

I think a good definition of labor is "work performed". That mean thinking, writing, talking, hacking, putting together, etc...to achieve a certain result. That result is a good or service.
I suggest that labor is the creation of something. You can think and talk about something all you want, but you have not created something by doing so. Ideas come freely. You make them real with labor and you own that which you produce by your labor in proportion to the labor that you have contributed. So, if someone speaks of a vehicle that can fly, and I do all the engineering and building to create one, the resulting plane is solely mine. Because he contributed no labor to the construction of the plane, I owe nothing back to the person who first thought and spoke of one besides what things hey may have loaned to me. If he wants the plane he must buy it from me. If other people helped me engineer and build it, we will divvy up the proceeds of the sale of the plane according to the work we each contributed to its creation.

Perhaps you'd like to start another thread?

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March 20, 2011, 02:31:36 AM
 #86

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I suggest that labor is the creation of something. You can think and talk about something all you want, but you have not created something by doing so. Ideas come freely. You make them real with labor and you own that which you produce by your labor in proportion to the labor that you have contributed. So, if someone speaks of a vehicle that can fly, and I do all the engineering and building to create one, the resulting plane is solely mine. Because he contributed no labor to the construction of the plane, I owe nothing back to the person who first thought and spoke of one besides what things hey may have loaned to me. If he wants the plane he must buy it from me. If other people helped me engineer and build it, we will divvy up the proceeds of the sale of the plane according to the work we each contributed to its creation.

How do you calculate how much work is done and percentage to give?

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March 20, 2011, 02:33:20 AM
 #87

This seems like evasion on your part but fine.


Is the exchange voluntary? Yes or no? If yes, than it is an OK transaction. It doesn't matter if there is "exploitation" or whatever. It doesn't matter who get what.

That is my "idealogy".

Now, we discuss and understand.

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March 20, 2011, 03:08:45 AM
 #88

How do you calculate how much work is done and percentage to give?
However they should decide as long as no one takes advantage of the weaknesses of anyone else. It would probably involve time committed and tasks done. Particularly undesirable tasks might earn at a faster rate than desirable tasks so as to provide incentive to do them.

Is the exchange voluntary? Yes or no?
That is not a useful question when the consequence of not exchanging is destitution, when you don't own the product of your labor and have nothing to exchange but yourself. Although, an affirmative answer will make capitalists feel better.

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It doesn't matter if there is "exploitation" or whatever. It doesn't matter who get what.

That is my "idealogy".

Now, we discuss and understand.
So you support government. Glad we cleared that up.


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March 20, 2011, 03:10:11 AM
 #89

However they should decide as long as no one takes advantage of the weaknesses of anyone else. It would probably involve time committed and tasks done. Particularly undesirable tasks might earn at a faster rate than desirable tasks so as to provide incentive to do them.

What if the two sides disagree on who get what?

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March 20, 2011, 03:10:47 AM
 #90

So you support government. Glad we cleared that up.

I disagree.

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March 20, 2011, 03:17:26 AM
 #91

That is not a useful question when the consequence of not exchanging is destitution, when you don't own the product of your labor and have nothing to exchange but yourself. Although, an affirmative answer will make capitalists feel better.
I do not care if the exchange make me "destitute", only that I am in a better situation. I rather be alive, than dead. I rather be rich, than poor. What is fair or not fair does not matter to me.

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March 20, 2011, 03:37:43 AM
 #92

What if the two sides disagree on who get what?
They will either work it out or not work together.

I disagree.
Then please explain how an employer doesn't govern his employees.

I do not care if the exchange make me "destitute", only that I am in a better situation. I rather be alive, than dead. I rather be rich, than poor. What is fair or not fair does not matter to me.
So you don't mind if someone takes from you that which you labored to produce as long as you're somehow incrementally better off than before you labored? That sounds like a justification for slavery.

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March 20, 2011, 03:39:12 AM
 #93

Well, I am apparently an evil capitalist because I am only managing the construction of a product and still acquiring profit.
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March 20, 2011, 03:44:45 AM
 #94

So you don't mind if someone takes from you that which you labored to produce as long as you're somehow incrementally better off than before you labored? That sounds like a justification for slavery.
So? You would choose to die rather than work for a corporate overlord.

I am a free agent, choosing what I think is best for me. The fact that you think somebody exploiting me doesn't matter. I'll gladly defend my employer from you and your pitchfork, because he is the one who provide me food, shelter, and water.

What have you provided for me?

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March 20, 2011, 04:10:42 AM
 #95

Well, I am apparently an evil capitalist because I am only managing the construction of a product and still acquiring profit.
Well, you're probably an actively exploiting capitalist, but I wouldn't go so far as to call you evil. I was once a capitalist, after all. I was not evil. I was immature, ignorant, and naturally mimicking my peers and elders.

To be fair, you probably expend some labor to manage the product's construction. Assuming that the construction of this product requires management, did the workers you manage democratically delegate management responsibilities to you? Did you and the other workers come to an agreement as to the relative value of everyone's labor contributions? A negative answer to either of these questions may indicate a capitalist relationship.

So? You would choose to die rather than work for a corporate overlord.
No, but it isn't a free choice.

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I am a free agent, choosing what I think is best for me. The fact that you think somebody exploiting me doesn't matter. I'll gladly defend my employer from you and your pitchfork, because he is the one who provide me food, shelter, and water.

What have you provided for me?
That sounds familiar:

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Gadhafi supporters knotted up roads as they drove by honking their support for the man they call their dear leader. Thirty-three-year-old Sirhan Thirage(ph) was walking by with her mom and sisters. She said the reports of other countries getting ready to attack Libya have unnerved her.

Ms. SIRHAN THIRAGE: (Through translator) So much, of course, worried for my country. And if it happened, even if I was a woman, if they will attack us, I will go and defend my country.

GREENE: Thirage said she's convinced the United Nations Security Council made its decision to intervene in Libya, based on lies.

Ms. THIRAGE: (Through translator) They're accusing - false accusations to our leader that he's killing us. But I want to say a word to the whole world, if even Gadhafi wanted to kill us, we will accept it. But we will never accept a foreigner coming to kill us. In fact, there's no father will kill his children. We are his - Gadhafi's children. We do not trust the foreigners.

http://www.npr.org/2011/03/18/134664499/After-Ceasefire-Gadhafis-Forces-May-Not-Have-Eased-Up

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March 20, 2011, 04:15:45 AM
 #96


So? You would choose to die rather than work for a corporate overlord.
No, but it isn't a free choice.

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I am a free agent, choosing what I think is best for me. The fact that you think somebody exploiting me doesn't matter. I'll gladly defend my employer from you and your pitchfork, because he is the one who provide me food, shelter, and water.

What have you provided for me?
That sounds familiar:

Quote
Gadhafi supporters knotted up roads as they drove by honking their support for the man they call their dear leader. Thirty-three-year-old Sirhan Thirage(ph) was walking by with her mom and sisters. She said the reports of other countries getting ready to attack Libya have unnerved her.

Ms. SIRHAN THIRAGE: (Through translator) So much, of course, worried for my country. And if it happened, even if I was a woman, if they will attack us, I will go and defend my country.

GREENE: Thirage said she's convinced the United Nations Security Council made its decision to intervene in Libya, based on lies.

Ms. THIRAGE: (Through translator) They're accusing - false accusations to our leader that he's killing us. But I want to say a word to the whole world, if even Gadhafi wanted to kill us, we will accept it. But we will never accept a foreigner coming to kill us. In fact, there's no father will kill his children. We are his - Gadhafi's children. We do not trust the foreigners.

http://www.npr.org/2011/03/18/134664499/After-Ceasefire-Gadhafis-Forces-May-Not-Have-Eased-Up

I have no further arguments.

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March 21, 2011, 11:25:32 PM
 #97

Since we are apparently examining the actions of the worst possible human beings...

What happens when the person you described ("slum lord") is the person making the rules? Since a sufficient percentage of humanity is this kind of person that it warrants discussion, what happens when a bunch of stupid or evil people elect such an individual into a position of power?

In fact, these types of people thrive in government, and what happens is what you see today. Laws that harm rather than help, regulations which help the entrenched business interests instead of protecting individuals, etc.

Obviously. You don't need rules for decent people. They do decent things anyway. Rules are there to keep the other ones from messing things up.

What will happen if a bad person is elected into a position of power? Bad things obviously. Look at germany in the 30:ies where Hitler was elected in a democratic way. And then you should look at how germany has setup their system today, where there are checks and balances to keep things like that from happening again. They learned a thing or two from that episode.

Are there bad laws in any society? Yes. Are they put there intentionally to screw people over by evildoers? No. Most of the time it's unintended consequences of the laws that screw people. Should the laws be changed when these consequences are discovered? Yes. Are the regulations there to prevent competition and protect 'old' companies? No. They're there to protect people and property.

About the housing example: There are codes on how to build a house to prevent it from collapsing, how to handle electricity in the house, how to insulate it, how to prevent water damage. All these regulations are put there to protect the inhabitants from harm (physical or financial). And the regulations aren't dreamed up by some bureaucrat in some ivory tower. They are the combined knowledge by the industry and researchers on how to build houses.

So when you buy a house, or a car, or an electrical appliance, you don't have to know every single detail about house foundations, or power steering, or grounding, because experts have already made sure that these things are 'good'. If you're an expert you could probably improve certain things in them, but I can assure you that you're not an expert in ALL areas.

But I think we agree that there should be regulations/standards in place.
Again, late answer, but finding an internet connections is proving difficult.

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March 21, 2011, 11:31:33 PM
 #98

Housing codes can be assembled voluntarily. Government force is not necessary. Anyways, a company selling faultyhousing isn't going to have a lasting reputation.
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March 22, 2011, 06:05:03 AM
 #99

Housing codes can be assembled voluntarily. Government force is not necessary. Anyways, a company selling faultyhousing isn't going to have a lasting reputation.

Yes they are. Assembled voluntarily I mean. The codes are a compilation of what everyone decent conciders good practice.
It is then signed into law to force those who doesn't follow good practice to do so.

And bad people doesn't have to have a lasting reputation, a quick sell and dash with the cash is usually good enough. And the damage has already benn done to those who bought the bad house....

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