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Author Topic: Why is the Occupy movement not immediately embracing bitcoin?  (Read 16012 times)
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October 15, 2011, 08:21:41 PM
 #141

government
illegal
unregistered
illegal activity
traditional law enforcement

So, again we are talking about a total police state to enforce all of this?

Why?  All of those words are present in any government ever, having laws and police doesn't make something a police state.

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October 15, 2011, 08:26:10 PM
 #142

Also, government should not be in the business of "keeping costs low" and shouldn't need "economic incentives" to do things, it should be using all the resources it can collect from it's populace to in turn provide profit-less services beneficial to all the people as best it can - once the need for "economic incentive" is introduced to the government, the need to profit will cause them to provide services less valuable than the money people pay in taxes.

I hope you enjoy your 10,000 dollar socialist toilet seats. Profit in government is the value brought to the people. The shareholders are the people. If government were to be profit-oriented, it would mean using its money more efficiently and not spending it with no regard.

It took me awhile but I finally realized you're ignorant. You're no more enlightened than I am. Your idea of profit and value is completely misinformed.

No, efficiency in government means using your resources as completely and optimally as possible. Throwing in the need to have profit left over drops efficiency, since some of the value is needlessly privatized.

edit: Also your concept of value and profit changes daily so I'm not even going to argue with you

Where does the government gets its incentive to be efficient?

The voters who decide whether they keep their jobs come next election cycle.

Also remember that efficiency means that after collecting all taxes you want to spend as much of it as possible, anything not being spent social services should be invested into infrastructure to improve future efficiency or value for the citizenship. Nothing should truly be left over as "profit" - If you do collect more than you spend and don't need infrastructure, you add it to the social safety safety net in case future years do not have as good tax revenues.

'Profit' implies that the value of revenue is greater than the at-cost (including labor) value of services provided, which is not the government's place to do since we are not so much 'investing' in the government as if it were a business but are collectively pooling our resources as a state/population to ensure the continuity and stability of our society.
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October 15, 2011, 08:31:54 PM
 #143

I will agree to what you say if once everyone gets on board we hand out videocards to everyone and start a new blockchain. Then it would be an actual 'fair' system'

Except the people who make the video cards! Unless you are offering to purchase them for everyone?

Well I guess the system isn't fair at all then

Welcome to life. If I know something you don't and I take advantage of it, I may profit while you don't. Them's the breaks mister. Until everyone has access to all the information at all times, that's how it will work.

Unfortunately this is a very inefficient and unfair way to structure the world, and is certainly something we should have evolved about as a species. We certainly have the ability to regulate around this kinda of Darwinian survival-of-the-fittest (fittest being the one that starts with the most means for profiting) primal system we've built, but everyone convinces themselves that they deserve to be and are intelligent enough to be the person on top one day, and think they should wield disproportionate power over their peers for it.

We are literally no better than our primate ancestors, though by this point, we should be.
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October 15, 2011, 08:35:07 PM
 #144

^ How many are children or retired?

government
illegal
unregistered
illegal activity
traditional law enforcement

So, again we are talking about a total police state to enforce all of this?

Why?  All of those words are present in any government ever, having laws and police doesn't make something a police state.

Because, people break laws every day. This is my point. Whitelisted addresses will be pointless because you have no way to enforce them without a police state. It's not even marginally hard to be anonymous with Bitcoin. You would have to have complete control over the network to enforce these rules. It's not like I'm hiding a dinosaur in my back yard, I'm hiding a needle in 1000 haystacks. How are you going to enforce the rules you propose?

  You need zero control of the network.  The whitelist is a government list, all you do is check the transactions against the bitcoin log.  You understand we already have tax policies and financial regulations, right?  It doesn't result in your fever dreamed dystopia.  You don't have to go prying into people's affairs to look at their transactions when they are all publicly available in the transaction log.

Anonymity is pointless because an anonymous address is automatically not considered valid by the government.

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October 15, 2011, 08:41:41 PM
 #145

The voters who decide whether they keep their jobs come next election cycle.

People vote for bread and circuses. They don't vote for what is best for society. They vote for what is best for themselves.

According to http://www.usdebtclock.org/ the US population is 312,442,346 while only 112,306,008 are paying the bills. This doesn't bode well for the democratic process.

This is partially true as well, which is why people soak up ideas like 'low taxes' which sound like a good idea up front.

Also I'd say the number of people 'not paying the bills' is only around ~70-80 million, which is roughly the number of people 17 and under. Don't forget, even people who don't pay income taxes still pay sales tax, which accounts for a much larger portion of their income that sales tax incurs on someone who can afford to save or invest a significant amount of their income instead of buying thing.
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October 15, 2011, 08:45:00 PM
 #146

Well you wouldn't be able to legally use bitcoins that are in an illegal address...
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October 15, 2011, 08:56:59 PM
 #147

Unfortunately this is a very inefficient and unfair way to structure the world, and is certainly something we should have evolved about as a species. We certainly have the ability to regulate around this kinda of Darwinian survival-of-the-fittest (fittest being the one that starts with the most means for profiting) primal system we've built, but everyone convinces themselves that they deserve to be and are intelligent enough to be the person on top one day, and think they should wield disproportionate power over their peers for it.

We are literally no better than our primate ancestors, though by this point, we should be.

If it bothers you, you should be doing what you can to make as much information available to as many people as possible. Granted even with the proper information people don't always make the wisest choices. This is why I don't want people making my decisions for me. I don't want to make choices for others either.

I've always been an advocate for spreading information on how marginal tax rates, progression taxation, etc work and informing them about them. The best indicators of how likely someone is to be politically informed and make the best choices for themselves are their level of education. Perhaps, part of the solution to have a more intelligent, informed voting population that can collectively vote in their best interests over bread and circuses is to provide them with a robust education while they are growing up so they are equipped to make those choices later on. Deregulating society, not requiring education to be provided for children by the whole of the population, etc gives people an even greater chance of making poor decisions for themselves and others.

The funny thing about OWS is it is full of people who did make reasonably good choices, like students who invested in themselves (and indirectly, in the society they will work in) by getting an education, union workers who organized their skilled labor to prevent themselves by being taken advantage of by their employers and so on, yet realize that the system is still fucking them hard. Since America is pretty close to what I'd call laissez faire as a whole (see everything large corporations can get away with both here and foreign countries, unrestrained finance, credit, insurance, and banking markets), I'm still pretty sure the actual way to even the playing field a bit is better education and social support for laborers and more regulation to prevent the eternal pattern in America of capitalists constantly trying to soak up every bit of resources they can, most that they will never used, just so they can be 'richer' or more powerful than their neighbors.
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October 15, 2011, 09:01:38 PM
 #148

Also I'd say the number of people 'not paying the bills' is only around ~70-80 million, which is roughly the number of people 17 and under. Don't forget, even people who don't pay income taxes still pay sales tax, which accounts for a much larger portion of their income that sales tax incurs on someone who can afford to save or invest a significant amount of their income instead of buying thing.

Indeed. There's also 13-24 million unemployed according to that website. Not to mention a large percentage of those income tax payers get their income taxes back. And of course the myriad of other taxes including inflation tax. It's a hard number to put a figure on, but my point was that people don't always vote for what's best for society as a whole. If we can't get the right people in office, and we can't get the right laws passed, how can we rely on the government to fix any problems?

To get the right people in office, we need better checks and balances in government, we need to start respecting credentials in choosing our leaders over "military records" or "sexy Alaskan looks" or money or celebrity, and we need to put heavy reigns on the money in politics; hopefully these will lead to people more driven by ideals or the desire to improve society to seek public office over people who get into politics for money or power, since the money and absolute or relative power would be dampened.
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October 15, 2011, 09:04:08 PM
 #149

Well you wouldn't be able to legally use bitcoins that are in an illegal address...

OK, but like I said that isn't going to stop anyone. And what stops a "criminal" from sending a satoshi to every whitelisted address, thus ending their status as whitelisted addresses. My question isn't about legality, it's about enforcement. My point is prohibition does not work. We have huge lucrative black markets for physical objects. How in the world will you stop people who want to exchange a bit of information over the net?

There is no need to stop anyone from sending Bitcoin wherever they want.  It's just that any Bitcoin received from a non-whitelisted address will not be recognized as currency by the government.  What would stop people from using such blacklisted coins is that no legitimate business would want to accept a currency that is only usable on the black market since it inherently has less value than a clean Bitcoin.  It might as well be counterfeit. 

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October 15, 2011, 09:25:05 PM
 #150

The best indicators of how likely someone is to be politically informed and make the best choices for themselves are their level of education.

Rassah <- Used to be socialist democrat. Got Bachelors in business Finance. Now finishing up Master's in Business finance with concentration on globalization. Classes based off of materials from Harvard Business School, and university is in top 20 in the world, so not just some crappy college. As education kept increasing, and understanding of business and economics kept improving, became more and more economically conservative to the point of being pretty much free-market capitalist (still very left-leaning on social issues though).

So, regarding education, be careful what you wish for.

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October 15, 2011, 09:26:30 PM
 #151


There is no need to stop anyone from sending Bitcoin wherever they want.  It's just that any Bitcoin received from a non-whitelisted address will not be recognized as currency by the government.  What would stop people from using such blacklisted coins is that no legitimate business would want to accept a currency that is only usable on the black market since it inherently has less value than a clean Bitcoin.  It might as well be counterfeit. 

What government's whitelist/blacklists?  Do you believe that two waring states are going to honor one another's lists?  Or are you anticipating a one-world government as a foregone conclusion?  Or extreamely difficult to implement travel and international trade restrictions?  Or what?

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October 15, 2011, 09:30:46 PM
 #152

^ I am talking about the currency of the United States of America. 

There is no need to stop anyone from sending Bitcoin wherever they want.  It's just that any Bitcoin received from a non-whitelisted address will not be recognized as currency by the government.  What would stop people from using such blacklisted coins is that no legitimate business would want to accept a currency that is only usable on the black market since it inherently has less value than a clean Bitcoin.  It might as well be counterfeit.  

Great, so your whitelisted addresses are pointless! I would be happy to run a legitimate business that accepts any Bitcoin. Who cares if the government recognizes my Bitcoins or not? See, it won't matter one bit unless they enforce it. Until they start sending men with guns to harm the businesses of those who accept any Bitcoin, they are powerless. The government doesn't have the power to do what you suggest without enforcing it. Are they going to say I can't pay taxes with my blacklisted coins? The horror!

The worthless blacklisted coins won't exist without enforcement! Who cares if I government doesn't recognize them otherwise?

Of course there will be enforcement, where did you get the idea there wouldn't be?  Say you want to buy a car, is the car dealer going to be able to pass on the sales tax in your black market coins?  Nope, so he's not going to take them.  Now that your coins can only be used for a subset of products at illegitimate businesses, they are less valuable than whitelist coins.  Why would anyone take them?

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October 15, 2011, 09:39:08 PM
 #153

Quit trying to annoy the Occupy Wall Street movement, which is important, with a dying pyramid scheme that has about three months of life left.
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October 15, 2011, 09:39:46 PM
 #154

The best indicators of how likely someone is to be politically informed and make the best choices for themselves are their level of education.

Rassah <- Used to be socialist democrat. Got Bachelors in business Finance. Now finishing up Master's in Business finance with concentration on globalization. Classes based off of materials from Harvard Business School, and university is in top 20 in the world, so not just some crappy college. As education kept increasing, and understanding of business and economics kept improving, became more and more economically conservative to the point of being pretty much free-market capitalist (still very left-leaning on social issues though).

So, regarding education, be careful what you wish for.

It wears off.  In certain cases at least.  I remember how superior I felt to my anti-globalization friends in the mid-90's because I understood the efficiencies of making trade curves line up and all that.  IIRC, I had just come out of macro-econ class of several hundred with the top score (albeit in a 100 level class at a low end university.)  In fact I had learned nothing more than what the tiny minority of wealthy people wanted me to learn regarding capital and currency and such.  I wish to God that I was still in touch with those friends to I could apologize.  Whether they understood capital better than I at that point I'll never know, but 15 years later I see that their instincts, at least, were much better than those which I had implanted in me in school.

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October 15, 2011, 09:51:45 PM
 #155

So, regarding education, be careful what you wish for.

It wears off.  In certain cases at least.  I remember how superior I felt to my anti-globalization friends in the mid-90's because I understood the efficiencies of making trade curves line up and all that.  IIRC, I had just come out of macro-econ class of several hundred with the top score (albeit in a 100 level class at a low end university.)  In fact I had learned nothing more than what the tiny minority of wealthy people wanted me to learn regarding capital and currency and such.  I wish to God that I was still in touch with those friends to I could apologize.  Whether they understood capital better than I at that point I'll never know, but 15 years later I see that their instincts, at least, were much better than those which I had implanted in me in school.

It's not that I understand enough to believe this system and my beliefs are better, it's that I understand enough to know that the way things are going with globalization, it's pretty much inevitable. It's not about capital as it is about private contracts, as well as the ability to compete around the world and no longer be tied down to a specific geographical region.

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October 15, 2011, 09:52:27 PM
 #156

I agree with some of what you say. The difference is I don't see America as close to laissez-faire at all. And the very word corporation implies government sanction. And where you see capitalists, I see corporatists.

So these small difference make a huge difference in the way to go about fixing them.  

I think the problem with government is that it can so easily be infiltrated by the corrupt who will stop at nothing to increase their power. Then the problem becomes government being able to give itself more power.

Even without government sanctions, something analogous to a corporation can arise in a free market, either through investment, price fixing, trusts, and so on, especially in a market without the regulations to prevent this from happening. The fact that the government recognizes them makes no difference, except that with government recognition the corporation must pay some taxes (if it actually pays) back to society instead of none at all.

The difference between governments and businesses in laissez-faire societies is that the government starts as a 'monopoly' (although once again, checks, balances, and more protections for citizens can be seen as a way of deconstructing the 'monopoly' a government branch has over public policy), while the business can use collusion, buying up of resources/competitors, and other means to lock itself into a monopoly. The government is still somewhat accountable to voters, the monopolic business is accountable to no one.

Quote from: Holliday
The corrupt increase their hold. The constitution was written to try and limit the power of government. And a wealthy nation grew from it. I think a lot of the problems facing the US today stem from straying away from the limits on government that the constitution tried to impose.

Government's nature gives power to the corrupt. Until we can fix that, I don't see government as the answer.

Human nature, especially in the forms of government or corporations, leads to corruption. Trying to eliminate any chance for corruption to take hold in government and constantly making a push against the corrupt who come into power is the best means we have of combatting it we have. Letting a corporation or individual in charge of a business do whatever they want will lead to a beast far too similar to a corrupt government, only without all that "accountability" and consent of the people.


Quote
Rassah <- Used to be socialist democrat. Got Bachelors in business Finance. Now finishing up Master's in Business finance with concentration on globalization. Classes based off of materials from Harvard Business School, and university is in top 20 in the world, so not just some crappy college. As education kept increasing, and understanding of business and economics kept improving, became more and more economically conservative to the point of being pretty much free-market capitalist (still very left-leaning on social issues though).

So, regarding education, be careful what you wish for.

Was it education that led you to it, or greed? I'd imagine a large number of Harvard grads buy into libertarianism/free-market capitalism, but since Ivy-League education is often costly, you generally see well-off people going there. In our current society, well-off, well-connected, or well-educated people usually benefit the most from free-market capitalism, therefore would support it.

I think that if everyone was better educated, we'd realize that free-market capitalism often leads to a situation where there are 10 losers for every 1 winner, and we would decide by majority vote that a more socialized society would provide a much more equal society and ensure the most people possible could be content with society's structure.

I'd bet everyone with degrees in Finance is a free-market capitalist, as the lack of regulation our finance system has lets them soak easy money off of labor - why bite the hand that feeds you?
You didn't "learn" something that led you from socialist-democratic principles, you just succumbed to the greedy part of your nature we all have deep down.

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I can agree with this. Except I don't see a way to stop the corrupt from getting into power. So I'd rather be able to choose by myself (by avoiding the products or services of the corrupt), than have the choice be made for me (by attempting to regulate the way we do business).

"Voting with your wallet" has always been an ineffective strategy against companies who spread out their unfair, manipulative or harmful dealings into shell corporations
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October 15, 2011, 09:54:41 PM
 #157

Quit trying to annoy the Occupy Wall Street movement, which is important, with a dying pyramid scheme that has about three months of life left.

I see nothing whatsoever wrong with stirring people's imagination with alternate forms of currency generally.  I am sure that at least a fraction of these people have contemplated alternate money systems, and are aware of various efforts, most of which have failed.

The technical hurdles of decentralizing the currency in the way that Satoshi has done, and the skill with which he has done it are actually quite novel,  impressive and interesting.  If that inspires and interest people, what's the harm?

I can say for sure that if I were a protester who had never heard of Bitcoin, I would be very thankful to whoever took the time to inform me of it.

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October 15, 2011, 10:13:30 PM
 #158

So, regarding education, be careful what you wish for.

It wears off.  In certain cases at least.  I remember how superior I felt to my anti-globalization friends in the mid-90's because I understood the efficiencies of making trade curves line up and all that.  IIRC, I had just come out of macro-econ class of several hundred with the top score (albeit in a 100 level class at a low end university.)  In fact I had learned nothing more than what the tiny minority of wealthy people wanted me to learn regarding capital and currency and such.  I wish to God that I was still in touch with those friends to I could apologize.  Whether they understood capital better than I at that point I'll never know, but 15 years later I see that their instincts, at least, were much better than those which I had implanted in me in school.

It's not that I understand enough to believe this system and my beliefs are better, it's that I understand enough to know that the way things are going with globalization, it's pretty much inevitable. It's not about capital as it is about private contracts, as well as the ability to compete around the world and no longer be tied down to a specific geographical region.

Sounds to me like you are guzzling down the cool-aid so I have every expectation that you'll finish up that graduate degree.

Does your curriculum cover trade considerations in times of war?  Or is war thought to be a novelty of history which is impossible in a form involving two powerful belligerents in these modern times?  Or is it assumed that Oceana, Eurasia, and Eastasia will be large enough to allow the 'contract' principles you are learning about operate within?

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October 15, 2011, 10:14:10 PM
 #159

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Awesome. So you will leave it to the market then. I see the opposite happening. Once businesses start to lose business because they don't accept non-whitelisted coins, the whitelisted coins will become worthless.

Tax evasion will still be illegal.  

Quote
Plus there are other things to consider. Newly minted coins. Are they whitelisted or not?

If the miner is registered with the government for identification purposes.

Quote
Say I use them for illegal exchanges, how will the government know they are illegal exchanges? Same with transaction fees added into the block reward. Malicious users who send blacklisted coins to whitelisted addresses to intentionally get the owners of those addresses in trouble. I could sell whitelisted addresses on the black market! Prohibition is great for making criminals money!

  Simply randomly sending a blacklisted coin to a whitelisted address would not blacklist the receiver, once you receive one you simply turn it over to the government.  You would only have an issue if you tried to spend it.  There would be no point in selling your whitelisted account as you would no longer be able to buy so much as a pack of gum in a legitimate business without one.

Illegal purchases will be handled by the criminal justice system exactly as they are now, but with much more ability to track the flow of money.  Buy from a drug dealer and you go down when he does.

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October 15, 2011, 10:17:24 PM
 #160

Even without government sanctions, something analogous to a corporation can arise in a free market, either through investment, price fixing, trusts, and so on, especially in a market without the regulations to prevent this from happening. The fact that the government recognizes them makes no difference, except that with government recognition the corporation must pay some taxes (if it actually pays) back to society instead of none at all.

The difference between governments and businesses in laissez-faire societies is that the government starts as a 'monopoly' (although once again, checks, balances, and more protections for citizens can be seen as a way of deconstructing the 'monopoly' a government branch has over public policy), while the business can use collusion, buying up of resources/competitors, and other means to lock itself into a monopoly. The government is still somewhat accountable to voters, the monopolic business is accountable to no one.

Human nature, especially in the forms of government or corporations, leads to corruption. Trying to eliminate any chance for corruption to take hold in government and constantly making a push against the corrupt who come into power is the best means we have of combatting it we have. Letting a corporation or individual in charge of a business do whatever they want will lead to a beast far too similar to a corrupt government, only without all that "accountability" and consent of the people.

"Voting with your wallet" has always been an ineffective strategy against companies who spread out their unfair, manipulative or harmful dealings into shell corporations

I'll disagree with the natural monopoly idea. It's obvious we won't agree with each other on stuff like this. We could go into the arguments but they already exist and we can read them on our own if we like.

The fact that you say human nature lead to corruption makes me wonder why you want people to govern you to begin with! If I believed that, it would be my primary argument against government.

I will say that I think it's far easier to deal with a corrupt business than a corrupt government. Shell corporations, that's just a disparity of information. I would argue that regulations and tax code that the average consumer has no idea about allow shell corporations to exist. Again, this is something it's clear we won't agree on.

I can agree that better eduction for everyone is a giant step in the right direction, and even if we disagree on some major issues, we could still work side by side to achieve those ends!

Shell corporations can exist with or without a government. and disparities of information can be hard to see when a business would do its damnedest to obfuscate or block their links to shady or harmful dealings.

I suppose I'd rather have a controlled structure in place that we can keep modifying to weed out corruption than a lack of structure that could lead to far worse corrupt institutions.
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