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Question: Do you like profit?
yes - 41 (74.5%)
no - 14 (25.5%)
Total Voters: 53

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theymos
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March 23, 2011, 06:01:51 AM
 #21

Is this immoral?

Certainly not. Everyone made a deal they were happy with.

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March 23, 2011, 06:15:44 AM
 #22

Is this immoral?

Certainly not. Everyone made a deal they were happy with.
At that time, it was a deal that everyone was happy with. However, the artist somehow underestimate his own popularity or how good his artwork is. That's just business.

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March 23, 2011, 06:43:15 AM
 #23

At that time, it was a deal that everyone was happy with. However, the artist somehow underestimate his own popularity or how good his artwork is. That's just business.

More likely the artist didn't have the necessary contacts or sales skills. In any case, the middle-man served a valuable purpose, since the art would have never reached its eventual destination without him.

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March 23, 2011, 12:46:37 PM
 #24

["The real price of every thing, what every thing really costs to the man who wants to acquire it, is the toil and trouble of acquiring it."

This is very difficult to measure. It's a game of whims and desires in the end. The best measurement is, frankly, the market at hand; whatever anyone is willing to pay and accept. This whole game of defining what people are truly owed is silly. It only reminds me of today's absurd concept of a "living wage".
Thought experiment:
I'm a painter. I paint a piece, and sell it to a gallery owner. The gallery owner says, great, here's your 100 bucks. I go and buy some paint, brushes, etc. Rinse, repeat.

Some time later, a friend points me to a website. Huh? I think, that's my name, and those are my paintings. And, wholly-shit! they are being sold for $5000 a piece!

I confront the gallery owner, who says, that they are in fact selling my works for a massive, massive markup. And that there's nothing wrong with that. I voluntarily sold the paintings to the gallery owner. I accepted the price paid for my work. I should be happy that I got what I thought was a fair price for my work, and the gallery owner was happy to have paid that fair price. The fact that the gallery owner can turn around and sell each piece for a huge profit is nothing to do with me.

Is this immoral?


(Scenario taken from a very good fiction book I read once. I can neither remember the name of the author, nor the title of the book.)

You should of negotiated your artwork better or there's the possibility the middleman adds value to the art you could never add. I see nothing wrong.
FatherMcGruder
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March 23, 2011, 04:33:06 PM
 #25

Thought experiment:
I'm a painter. I paint a piece, and sell it to a gallery owner. The gallery owner says, great, here's your 100 bucks. I go and buy some paint, brushes, etc. Rinse, repeat.

Some time later, a friend points me to a website. Huh? I think, that's my name, and those are my paintings. And, wholly-shit! they are being sold for $5000 a piece!

I confront the gallery owner, who says, that they are in fact selling my works for a massive, massive markup. And that there's nothing wrong with that. I voluntarily sold the paintings to the gallery owner. I accepted the price paid for my work. I should be happy that I got what I thought was a fair price for my work, and the gallery owner was happy to have paid that fair price. The fact that the gallery owner can turn around and sell each piece for a huge profit is nothing to do with me.

Is this immoral?


(Scenario taken from a very good fiction book I read once. I can neither remember the name of the author, nor the title of the book.)
Yes. The gallery owner abused the fact that she owns a gallery and has access to a special market to steal as much as $4900 from the artist. However, capitalists believe that she has the rightful authority to do so. Now, the gallery owner probably did some work and had some expenses, but not 98% of that which both parties contributed to the production and sale of of the painting. Therefore, she does not deserve as much as 98% of the earnings associated with producing and selling a painting. The gallery owner has no right to take advantage of the fact that the artist, because he lacks capital, does not have access to a market that will support as high price as the the one she has access to via her greater capital. However, if the gallery owner indicates that she wants to share the earnings fairly and the artists opts for a smaller share, he will have freely gifted some of his fair share to her.

Of course some folks might not agree that theft is morally wrong. Then we have to use another argument.

You should of negotiated your artwork better or there's the possibility the middleman adds value to the art you could never add. I see nothing wrong.
You assume that the artist could have freely chosen not to sell the painting.

Use my Trade Hill referral code: TH-R11519

Check out bitcoinity.org and Ripple.

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March 23, 2011, 04:40:43 PM
 #26

Thought experiment:
I'm a painter. I paint a piece, and sell it to a gallery owner. The gallery owner says, great, here's your 100 bucks. I go and buy some paint, brushes, etc. Rinse, repeat.

Some time later, a friend points me to a website. Huh? I think, that's my name, and those are my paintings. And, wholly-shit! they are being sold for $5000 a piece!

I confront the gallery owner, who says, that they are in fact selling my works for a massive, massive markup. And that there's nothing wrong with that. I voluntarily sold the paintings to the gallery owner. I accepted the price paid for my work. I should be happy that I got what I thought was a fair price for my work, and the gallery owner was happy to have paid that fair price. The fact that the gallery owner can turn around and sell each piece for a huge profit is nothing to do with me.

Is this immoral?


(Scenario taken from a very good fiction book I read once. I can neither remember the name of the author, nor the title of the book.)
Yes. The gallery owner abused the fact that she owns a gallery and has access to a special market to steal as much as $4900 from the artist. However, capitalists believe that she has the rightful authority to do so. Now, the gallery owner probably did some work and had some expenses, but not 98% of that which both parties contributed to the production and sale of of the painting. Therefore, she does not deserve as much as 98% of the earnings associated with producing and selling a painting. The gallery owner has no right to take advantage of the fact that the artist, because he lacks capital, does not have access to a market that will support as high price as the the one she has access to via her greater capital. However, if the gallery owner indicates that she wants to share the earnings fairly and the artists opts for a smaller share, he will have freely gifted some of his fair share to her.

Of course some folks might not agree that theft is morally wrong. Then we have to use another argument.

You should of negotiated your artwork better or there's the possibility the middleman adds value to the art you could never add. I see nothing wrong.
You assume that the artist could have freely chosen not to sell the painting.
Sure he could of chosen but he would be without pay. If he doesn't like it, he should better his skills or find a new career.
FatherMcGruder
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March 23, 2011, 05:02:07 PM
 #27

Sure he could of chosen but he would be without pay. If he doesn't like it, he should better his skills or find a new career.
What if he spent all of his time painting instead of producing food from his labor (farming, foraging, hunting...)? What if he had no place to do so? Now he must trade his painting for food or the means to get food. He has no capital with which to access a market that pays as highly as that which the gallery owners have access to. Now a gallery owner can pay him less than the fair value of the painting and be his boss. With her capital, she puts herself in a position of authority over him.

Obviously, if no one will pay anything for his paintings because they suck, we have a different situation.

Use my Trade Hill referral code: TH-R11519

Check out bitcoinity.org and Ripple.

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March 23, 2011, 08:24:19 PM
 #28

The gallery owner abused the fact that she owns a gallery and has access to a special market to steal as much as $4900 from the artist.

There's room to disagree about that, but let's agree, for the sake of argument, that this is "wrong". Now what?

There's no point in talking about the rights and wrongs of something if you don't talk about what you propose to do to discourage behaviour deemed wrong. I think trying to force people to behave more fairly in free market situations is likely to lead to much more harm than just accepting that sometimes people get screwed.

Selling out to advertisers shows you respect neither yourself nor the rest of us.
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FatherMcGruder
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March 23, 2011, 08:31:59 PM
 #29

The gallery owner abused the fact that she owns a gallery and has access to a special market to steal as much as $4900 from the artist.

There's room to disagree about that, but let's agree, for the sake of argument, that this is "wrong". Now what?

There's no point in talking about the rights and wrongs of something if you don't talk about what you propose to do to discourage behaviour deemed wrong. I think trying to force people to behave more fairly in free market situations is likely to lead to much more harm than just accepting that sometimes people get screwed.
Well, you educate people. They will either remain complacent, start trying to avoid capitalism, or revolt. I hope that most people will choose the second option.

Use my Trade Hill referral code: TH-R11519

Check out bitcoinity.org and Ripple.

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March 23, 2011, 08:33:52 PM
 #30

Well, you educate people. They will either remain complacent, start trying to avoid capitalism, or revolt. I hope that most people will choose the second option.

I'm not sure I see the difference between "start trying to avoid capitalism" and "start behaving smarter in their business dealings".

Selling out to advertisers shows you respect neither yourself nor the rest of us.
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FatherMcGruder
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March 23, 2011, 08:36:22 PM
 #31

I'm not sure I see the difference between "start trying to avoid capitalism" and "start behaving smarter in their business dealings".
Because that might imply propagating capitalism, which is wrong.

Use my Trade Hill referral code: TH-R11519

Check out bitcoinity.org and Ripple.

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March 23, 2011, 08:59:17 PM
 #32

FatherMcGruder:
I don't think I really see what you're proposing. To help me understand could you:

-define "capitalism"
-give an example of how one would go about avoiding it.

Selling out to advertisers shows you respect neither yourself nor the rest of us.
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Anonymous
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March 23, 2011, 09:02:54 PM
 #33

-give an example of how one would go about avoiding it.
By sacrificing your time and effort to others.
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March 23, 2011, 09:10:44 PM
 #34

-give an example of how one would go about avoiding it.
By sacrificing your time and effort to others.

Altruistic sacrifice is extremely rare. Also I don't expect this to be FatherMcGruder's answer. Perhaps it's best to let people speak for themselves.

Selling out to advertisers shows you respect neither yourself nor the rest of us.
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March 24, 2011, 09:26:48 AM
 #35

Some of you on here are rand zealots. Just because you think one way, doesn't mean everybody thinks the same. If you could find one motivator for human actions then you would win a nobel prize and be hailed the world over as famous.

It's like some of you are consigned to being selfish bastards so to ease that cognitive dissonance you assume everybody is the same and make these contrived arguments about how it's done to "make yourself feel good" or some other bullshit reason.

- Why do people vote? It's -EV
- Why do people make anonymous posts on 4chan? I sometimes make posts there, then instantly leave the thread.
- Or help people out on IRC? Doesn't feel good at all, but I recognise that people help me out a lot and I have an obligation to do the same. Even when I join new channels + with unknown users I've never been to before.

Not everyone is blind profit maximisers. Even the evolutionary science says that humans are altruists to some degree as a result of group level selection (altruist groups are more likely to survive in the wild and therefore are selected for).

A better theory for human behaviour (incidentally that is accepted by mainstream psychology) is to say that each person has a self image. All actions we take are to try and stay congruent with this self image to minimise cognitive dissonance. If you're a cutthroat salesman ripping off customers with junk, then you're going to reason that you're doing nothing wrong in this competitive world. If you're religious, you might reason that all non-religious people are deliberately denying God/trying to ignore him. If you're atheist, you reason that religious people are in self-denial. If you're an artist, you may reason that everything is about feeling. A scientist reasons that it's about hard facts & evidence.

Here's an email snippet for your amusement, showing at least one example (me) that not everyone is profit oriented and can in fact have other goals in life (horror!)
Quote
Quote
We're still waiting on legal before we can dive into the BTC exchange. Have
you got the site up and running?

Been trying to get an SSL certificate. I've been trying to get one, but the
registrars don't seem to be working.

Quote
Aside from that I was wondering if you'd want to come here to work on a
poker bot with me. You'd have to sign non-disclosures and nothing would be
open sourced. If you're interested what would all your requirements be
financially and otherwise? We'd provide housing and you could continue
working on the BTC exchange among other Bitcoin related projects. Another
perk is MTT and Cash game backing if you want it.

Lost me at 'not open'. My interest is freedom + technology, not money.
CryptikEnigma
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March 24, 2011, 10:07:51 AM
 #36

I like profit.
genjix
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March 24, 2011, 10:16:32 AM
 #37

I am a profit.
hugolp
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March 24, 2011, 10:44:16 AM
 #38

["The real price of every thing, what every thing really costs to the man who wants to acquire it, is the toil and trouble of acquiring it."

This is very difficult to measure. It's a game of whims and desires in the end. The best measurement is, frankly, the market at hand; whatever anyone is willing to pay and accept. This whole game of defining what people are truly owed is silly. It only reminds me of today's absurd concept of a "living wage".
Thought experiment:
I'm a painter. I paint a piece, and sell it to a gallery owner. The gallery owner says, great, here's your 100 bucks. I go and buy some paint, brushes, etc. Rinse, repeat.

Some time later, a friend points me to a website. Huh? I think, that's my name, and those are my paintings. And, wholly-shit! they are being sold for $5000 a piece!

I confront the gallery owner, who says, that they are in fact selling my works for a massive, massive markup. And that there's nothing wrong with that. I voluntarily sold the paintings to the gallery owner. I accepted the price paid for my work. I should be happy that I got what I thought was a fair price for my work, and the gallery owner was happy to have paid that fair price. The fact that the gallery owner can turn around and sell each piece for a huge profit is nothing to do with me.

Is this immoral?


(Scenario taken from a very good fiction book I read once. I can neither remember the name of the author, nor the title of the book.)

No its not inmoral.

The painter gained two things:

1) Exposure thanks to the previous work of the art merchant who worked his ass to gain a costumer base and a reputation.
2) Exerience. Next time he wont sell so cheap and will bargain more. This is actually the biggest benefit the painter got, but this is just my (obviously subjective) opinion.
hugolp
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March 24, 2011, 11:15:26 AM
 #39

Some of you on here are rand zealots. Just because you think one way, doesn't mean everybody thinks the same. If you could find one motivator for human actions then you would win a nobel prize and be hailed the world over as famous.

It's like some of you are consigned to being selfish bastards so to ease that cognitive dissonance you assume everybody is the same and make these contrived arguments about how it's done to "make yourself feel good" or some other bullshit reason.

- Why do people vote? It's -EV
- Why do people make anonymous posts on 4chan? I sometimes make posts there, then instantly leave the thread.
- Or help people out on IRC? Doesn't feel good at all, but I recognise that people help me out a lot and I have an obligation to do the same. Even when I join new channels + with unknown users I've never been to before.

Not everyone is blind profit maximisers. Even the evolutionary science says that humans are altruists to some degree as a result of group level selection (altruist groups are more likely to survive in the wild and therefore are selected for).

A better theory for human behaviour (incidentally that is accepted by mainstream psychology) is to say that each person has a self image. All actions we take are to try and stay congruent with this self image to minimise cognitive dissonance. If you're a cutthroat salesman ripping off customers with junk, then you're going to reason that you're doing nothing wrong in this competitive world. If you're religious, you might reason that all non-religious people are deliberately denying God/trying to ignore him. If you're atheist, you reason that religious people are in self-denial. If you're an artist, you may reason that everything is about feeling. A scientist reasons that it's about hard facts & evidence.

Here's an email snippet for your amusement, showing at least one example (me) that not everyone is profit oriented and can in fact have other goals in life (horror!)
Quote
Quote
We're still waiting on legal before we can dive into the BTC exchange. Have
you got the site up and running?

Been trying to get an SSL certificate. I've been trying to get one, but the
registrars don't seem to be working.

Quote
Aside from that I was wondering if you'd want to come here to work on a
poker bot with me. You'd have to sign non-disclosures and nothing would be
open sourced. If you're interested what would all your requirements be
financially and otherwise? We'd provide housing and you could continue
working on the BTC exchange among other Bitcoin related projects. Another
perk is MTT and Cash game backing if you want it.

Lost me at 'not open'. My interest is freedom + technology, not money.

I agree. Profit in the monetary sense is not the only motivator (although it is a motivator), it might not even be the most powerful one (its all about sex... Cheesy ). And this is a problem I often find in the freedom movement. Saying that people are profit maximaxers is a simplification and its a wrong simplifications. In economics even austrian economists does not assume people are pfofit maximazers.

For me profit and loses are important, but not mainly as a motivator, but more as a signal for resource allocation. Without a system of profit and loses there would be no economic coordination and there would be no progress. From a society point of view that is the value of profits and loses.
FatherMcGruder
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March 24, 2011, 05:45:02 PM
 #40

FatherMcGruder:
I don't think I really see what you're proposing. To help me understand could you:

-define "capitalism"
-give an example of how one would go about avoiding it.
Capitalism is a system wherein one, as a capitalist, tries to gain as much as he can, however he can, from someone else, or some group of people, while giving back as little as possible. The only way to reliably do so is by charging others for the privilege of using, but not owning, your capital. This one-way exchange necessitates an authoritarian relationship. One cannot take the product of someone's labor without giving back something of equal value absent the authority to do so. As such, if a capitalist will, via his own government or with the backing of an external one, take ownership of everything produced in the factories or on the land he has the power to rule over, even that which he did not work to produce.

Capitalists who wish to abolish government do not understand that doing so will eliminate their ability to reliably gain at the expense of others. I think they are really trying to say that they want to replace large governments with small ones that they each expect to control. Therefore, they should either stop hating government or stop loving capitalism.

We can avoid capitalism by not renting our surplus. In other words, don't be an employer, a landlord, or a usurer. Expect workers to own the product of their labor. Wherever and whenever you can, join or support cooperative associations instead of non-worker owned ones.

For me profit and loses are important, but not mainly as a motivator, but more as a signal for resource allocation. Without a system of profit and loses there would be no economic coordination and there would be no progress. From a society point of view that is the value of profits and loses.
I happen to think that a market for goods, one to which everyone has access, makes sense. But that's a market for goods, not people or privileges.

Use my Trade Hill referral code: TH-R11519

Check out bitcoinity.org and Ripple.

Shameless display of my bitcoin address:
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