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Author Topic: Bitcoin Wealth Distribution (Bitcoinica data)  (Read 30722 times)
ElectricMucus
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November 07, 2011, 07:36:00 PM
 #41

Then I need a system where long term loans aren't necessary. Shouldn't be that hard .

I perfectly understand the 'need' for loans in the current system, It's just not the system I want to live in.
Also missing out interest on a system which doesn't give you the right on it would be kind of not possible, you'd just have to loan your money to someone who likes you more. Wink

The whole concept of long term loans.. Borrow something for 10-20 years, might as well own it. IMO these kind of arrangements are only necessary in a system where it is the norm that some debts are never payed off. (like greece, or what about the usd? lol  Lips sealed)
In a system in which debt is all there is (fiat money) it is perfectly understandable interest is necessary, but we are heading to the end of the game and the people who are sitting on vaults of gold ain't gonna give tem back.

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November 07, 2011, 07:59:59 PM
 #42

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but it the case of long-term loans it would mean that the lender is getting back less in real value than they loaned

+1!  Interest, if seen as, and if charged as simply compensation for the declining value of the fiat currency cannot be seen as immoral.

What about Bitcoins?  Theoretically, with a fixed number of Bitcoins and a growing use/desire/need/price for them if I borrow 1000 BTC from you today and promise to pay them back to you in 10 years or over the next 10 years I may be contracting to give you back a HUGE amount of value over the original loan amount.  This "interest" may be very high and is in fact almost unbounded.  So it may be reasonable in the future to contract to pay back LESS than the original loan amount.

We currently compensate for the loss in value over time of the fiat currency by charging interest.  Wouldn't it make sense that we will have to account for the rising value of the Bitcoins over time with a corresponding "negative interest"?

Would you consider these "negative interest" contracts to be unethical?

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November 07, 2011, 08:05:15 PM
 #43

Who in their right mind would ever loan at negative interest?

Loan money, lose coins. Hoard money, keep coins. Where is the incentive?

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November 07, 2011, 08:18:05 PM
 #44

Why bother with long term loans in the first place?

I can't think of any use for them except in cases where the scarcity of essential things forces people into this predicament. It is my belief that in a system without draconian control the general productivity would be so high that the average person could acquire the wealth for a house in one year and the wealth for a car in a month.
This statement will probably have wide opposition, but I think that 99% of all productivity is wasted currently.

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November 07, 2011, 08:19:46 PM
 #45

I guess that was my (muddy) point.

I guess my question would be more clear as:  Since you believe interest is immoral then, given a rising BTC value, do you consider the simple act of lending any amount of BTC with no interest to be immoral?  I think you would have to considering the "built in interest" in the loan.

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November 07, 2011, 08:31:18 PM
 #46

Who in their right mind would ever loan at negative interest?

Loan money, lose coins. Hoard money, keep coins. Where is the incentive?
I agree that it might seem irrational at first, but only as long as you think of money as being the only incentive to do things in this world. Unfortunately many people often think like that.

For example, I would readily lend money at negative interest to a member of my family or a close friend.
I would also lend money to a shop that is about to open in the street I live or to my local community in order to build a school. I might also lend to some company I'd like to see succeed for a number of reasons (eg. medical research, space exploration,...).

In short, people would lend money to people and projects they would now be willing to donate some money. While this would sure slow down economic growth, I'd argue that those projects or companies not falling in this category are maybe not _that_ useful to society after all.
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November 07, 2011, 08:31:42 PM
 #47

Why bother with long term loans in the first place?

I can't think of any use for them except in cases where the scarcity of essential things forces people into this predicament. It is my belief that in a system without draconian control the general productivity would be so high that the average person could acquire the wealth for a house in one year and the wealth for a car in a month.
This statement will probably have wide opposition, but I think that 99% of all productivity is wasted currently.

To what draconian control are you referring? On the supply of money? Saying that 99% of productivity is wasted has to be wrong. If you say that in regards to the financial system it might be accurate, but in just about everything else it is certainly not. You have to be a little careful before declaring that the war between classes is for naught. Trying to improve society in the name of making money is not necessarily a bad thing, you know. It drives innovation. However, there are many cases you can make where greed becomes the main factor and society actually hurts because of it. But these are more on a case-by-case basis (hello big pharma). Blanket statements such as all productivity is bad is just wrong.

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November 07, 2011, 08:35:29 PM
 #48

In short, people would lend money to people and projects they would now be willing to donate some money. While this would sure slow down economic growth, I'd argue that those projects or companies not being able to get loans at negative interest are maybe not _that_ useful to society after all.

That's all well and good, but this is possible without deflation. And it is less of a risk. Yet very few if any people do it. So what makes you think the bigger risk of doing it with deflation will suddenly spur this type of activity?

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November 07, 2011, 08:47:29 PM
 #49

In short, people would lend money to people and projects they would now be willing to donate some money. While this would sure slow down economic growth, I'd argue that those projects or companies not being able to get loans at negative interest are maybe not _that_ useful to society after all.

That's all well and good, but this is possible without deflation. And it is less of a risk. Yet very few if any people do it. So what makes you think the bigger risk of doing it with deflation will suddenly spur this type of activity?
Very few if any? Socially responsible investing is a $3 trillion market in the US alone! The people investing in such funds accept the usually significantly lower gains and often even a net loss in purchasing power because of inflation.

Besides, I never said that people would be willing to lend more in a deflationary environment but non-ethical companies would simply have a harder time getting a loan, therefore I'd expect the percentage of ethical investments to rise.
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November 07, 2011, 08:54:44 PM
 #50

Why bother with long term loans in the first place?

I can't think of any use for them except in cases where the scarcity of essential things forces people into this predicament. It is my belief that in a system without draconian control the general productivity would be so high that the average person could acquire the wealth for a house in one year and the wealth for a car in a month.
This statement will probably have wide opposition, but I think that 99% of all productivity is wasted currently.

To what draconian control are you referring? On the supply of money? Saying that 99% of productivity is wasted has to be wrong. If you say that in regards to the financial system it might be accurate, but in just about everything else it is certainly not. You have to be a little careful before declaring that the war between classes is for naught. Trying to improve society in the name of making money is not necessarily a bad thing, you know. It drives innovation. However, there are many cases you can make where greed becomes the main factor and society actually hurts because of it. But these are more on a case-by-case basis (hello big pharma). Blanket statements such as all productivity is bad is just wrong.
I don't have the numbers to calculate the exact figures and look through the obscurification of terms to figure out what to calculate. But productivity going into shipping products over wide distances, financing autocracy and bureaucracy, building destructive machinery and then destroying it (military weapons), and paying for other superfluous industries along with taxes and interest on the whole thing, I'll bet that's over 99%.

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November 07, 2011, 09:03:58 PM
 #51

Very few if any? Socially responsible investing is a $3 trillion market in the US alone! The people investing in such funds accept the usually significantly lower gains and often even a net loss in purchasing power because of inflation.

Ok, fine...

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Besides, I never said that people would be willing to lend more in a deflationary environment but non-ethical companies would simply have a harder time getting a loan, therefore I'd expect the percentage of ethical investments to rise.

Any company would have a harder time getting a loan. Ethical or not. That is no basis for speculating that ethical investments would rise. By what logic will the self-serving measure of holding money to increase its value suddenly be thwarted by that measure? That people will be more generous just because? That is about all your argument amounts to. Money should strive to be neutral. Silly effects like price deflation is at worst likely only to encourage greed, at best be no different from inflation. Deflation is not going to make people more ethical.

I don't have the numbers to calculate the exact figures and look through the obscurification of terms to figure out what to calculate. But productivity going into shipping products over wide distances, financing autocracy and bureaucracy, building destructive machinery and then destroying it (military weapons), and paying for other superfluous industries along with taxes and interest on the whole thing, I'll bet that's over 99%.

Where is the draconian control? How is shipping unproductive? Do you think that trade with different nations or far away places is unproductive? As far as bureaucracy, do you think we should live in anarchy? I don't believe bureaucracy is very efficient, but it certainly is not less than 1% efficient. It does accomplish something. While military productivity is certainly debatable, world peace isn't going to magically arrive with the diverse cultures that exist on this planet. I'm not saying I agree or disagree with it, but it is very likely that someone is going to always try to control someone else, so you might want to have somebody out there to prevent that from happening. And you've glossed over someone who flips burgers for a living. Is that unproductive? Should we go back to farm life and be self-sustainable? What exactly do you want from the world?

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November 07, 2011, 09:14:39 PM
 #52

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Besides, I never said that people would be willing to lend more in a deflationary environment but non-ethical companies would simply have a harder time getting a loan, therefore I'd expect the percentage of ethical investments to rise.

Any company would have a harder time getting a loan. Ethical or not. That is no basis for speculating that ethical investments would rise. By what logic will the self-serving measure of holding money to increase its value suddenly be thwarted by that measure? That people will be more generous just because? That is about all your argument amounts to. Money should strive to be neutral. Silly effects like price deflation is at worst likely only to encourage greed, at best be no different from inflation. Deflation is not going to make people more ethical.
(emphasis added)

Please read my post again - I never said anything about ethical investments rising - I said that the percentage of ethical investments will rise. The overall amount of investments and lending will surely decline and I thought to have sufficiently acknowledged that fact by stating that...

this would sure slow down economic growth

That's about all my argument amounts to.
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November 07, 2011, 09:21:15 PM
 #53

Please read my post again - I never said anything about ethical investments rising - I said that the percentage of ethical investments will rise. The overall amount of investments and lending will surely decline and I thought to have sufficiently acknowledged that fact by stating that...

That's about all my argument amounts to.

Then what is the reasoning behind your logic? You think innovation is bad because it creates a system where some people are wealthier than others? Do you disagree that living longer, healthier lives with less fear is a good thing? Do you disagree that understanding how the universe works is a good thing? Do you disagree that some people are more intelligent or more driven to accomplish things than others, and should be rewarded for it? Should we simply stop growing as a species because it's not fair to everyone?

(sorry this is kind of a mix of questions directed at you and electric, but the questions are about stifling economic growth which you both seem to agree on)

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November 07, 2011, 09:36:10 PM
 #54

Where is the draconian control? How is shipping unproductive? Do you think that trade with different nations or far away places is unproductive? As far as bureaucracy, do you think we should live in anarchy? I don't believe bureaucracy is very efficient, but it certainly is not less than 1% efficient. It does accomplish something. While military productivity is certainly debatable, world peace isn't going to magically arrive with the diverse cultures that exist on this planet. I'm not saying I agree or disagree with it, but it is very likely that someone is going to always try to control someone else, so you might want to have somebody out there to prevent that from happening. And you've glossed over someone who flips burgers for a living. Is that unproductive? Should we go back to farm life and be self-sustainable? What exactly do you want from the world?
I don't have all the answers but as for you questions:

Yes I think a tribal system founded upon anarchistic principles and self sustainability would be preferable to today's society. I'm not for the abolishment of technological achievements and scientific knowledge. On the contrary.
Every person should own their own means of production whenever feasible. An engineer should own their own workshop, a farmer their own combine and a worker their own robots. When the technology absolutely requires centralization there should be unions or networked tribes. The end goal would be to archive a level of technology were nature can return to it's native state while Man has something like 'The Seed' as described in Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age.

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November 07, 2011, 10:08:55 PM
 #55

Every person should own their own means of production whenever feasible. An engineer should own their own workshop, a farmer their own combine and a worker their own robots. When the technology absolutely requires centralization there should be unions or networked tribes. The end goal would be to archive a level of technology were nature can return to it's native state while Man has something like 'The Seed' as described in Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age.

If a farmer should own his own combine, should not the eater own his own farm? And then what purpose would there be for a farmer?

Or, looking in the other direction, should the farmer own not only the combine, but also the combine factory, the mines by which metals for such factory are pulled from the earth, and the powerplant by which energy for that production is created?

You are seeing the economy perfectly backwards, my good sir.
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November 07, 2011, 10:15:10 PM
 #56

At some point possibly yes. Once it is technically and logistically feasible, not in the current state of technology though. However there still will be professions so it might not be desirable even then.
Every profession has it's tools/means of production which defines it...

But I am getting the impression that you understood perfectly but your response is mainly cynical.  Undecided

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November 07, 2011, 10:21:51 PM
 #57

Then what is the reasoning behind your logic? You think innovation is bad because it creates a system where some people are wealthier than others? Do you disagree that living longer, healthier lives with less fear is a good thing? Do you disagree that understanding how the universe works is a good thing? Do you disagree that some people are more intelligent or more driven to accomplish things than others, and should be rewarded for it? Should we simply stop growing as a species because it's not fair to everyone?

I'm beginning to question the quality of my English lessons - I obviously express myself in way that makes you continuously read things I never wrote Smiley

I merely suggested that some of the companies or endeavours  that nobody would be willing to donate something to, might not be that beneficial to society and I stand by that statement.

I am of the opinion that our current pace of development is unsustainable in the long run - not only because it largely relies on some finite resources, but also because I already see large parts of our economic growth only being upheld with new ventures that are not really contributing to the better of humanity. This is my personal view and you may of course disagree on that.

My point is, that a deflationary environment would favor economic growth more in those parts that are deemed beneficial by society for reasons other than personal monetary gains. Overall the economy might as well grow slower but a reduction of the economic growth rate, together with a stronger bias towards worthy projects is not that bad given the current mess we managed to drive ourselves into IMHO.

I'm not against innovation and I'm not against people profiting from their work. I fully acknowledge the differences of human beings in their talents and willingness to accomplish things. I also never said that I think we should stop growing as a species because it's not fair to everyone. We will certainly continue to grow and thrive as humans - I just don't think that such a fundamental property of our nature could be reversed by a mere fixed money supply.

If you think that our current economic growth rate is sustainable and that every kind of economic growth is equally desirable or just that stopping to print money is the beginning of the end of mankind as we know it then we can agree to disagree.

Also, this thread has long since derailed into the midst of the Economy subforum and I apologize for my part in this - maybe it's time for a split/move.
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November 07, 2011, 11:12:28 PM
 #58

I'm beginning to question the quality of my English lessons - I obviously express myself in way that makes you continuously read things I never wrote Smiley

I am merely asking questions to get to the heart of the matter of your argument. I didn't assume you believed any of those things, that's why there was a question mark at the end of each sentence. Sometimes it takes going to the extreme side of things to get someone else to flesh out what they're saying. Tongue

Quote
I merely suggested that some of the companies or endeavours  that nobody would be willing to donate something to, might not be that beneficial to society and I stand by that statement.

And I stand by my position that the currency has (should have) nothing to do with this. You are promoting what you think is best for the society and the world through manipulating how the wealth of this world is exchanged. That is folly. People will just do it in a different way. If that involves a different currency to facilitate this process, then so be it. You aren't going to be able to stop them.

Quote
I am of the opinion that our current pace of development is unsustainable in the long run - not only because it largely relies on some finite resources, but also because I already see large parts of our economic growth only being upheld with new ventures that are not really contributing to the better of humanity. This is my personal view and you may of course disagree on that.

What I disagree with is that this can somehow be managed by currency.

Quote
My point is, that a deflationary environment would favor economic growth more in those parts that are deemed beneficial by society for reasons other than personal monetary gains. Overall the economy might as well grow slower but a reduction of the economic growth rate, together with a stronger bias towards worthy projects is not that bad given the current mess we managed to drive ourselves into IMHO.

Focus on changing the way people think, not how they store their wealth. A much tougher task that does not allow for some band-aid like deflation.

Too many arguments I see for deflation are based on "THIS IS WUT DA GUBMENT DOES." I think everyone on this board agrees that how currency is managed by governments is far from ideal. It allows for too much unproductive exchanging of wealth. Rather, transferring of wealth. This is why I'm so against Bitcoin. It is doing the same thing. This is why, at a voluntary cost of my own time which is important to me, I have spent many hours coming up with a system that makes the supply of money less vulnerable to manipulations. In a fixed supply of money, those with more money can "group think" or "prisoner's dilemma" themselves into transferring wealth to them from everyone else in an absolutely unproductive way. It doesn't matter if there are early adopters or not. And it is the same result as typical fiat currency; someone benefits for nothing.

Let's fix that first, then perhaps we can see what society can do when trying to manipulate money no longer can cloud our judgments.

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November 08, 2011, 02:37:52 AM
 #59

Isn't Gini coefficient (or anything else meant to quantify economic equality) supposed to include all forms of material wealth, not just the savings in dollars or bitcoins? If you have a problem with 1% holding 50% of bitcoins, why don't you (1) ask yourself what they can do with those bitcoins and if they would rather have a house or an hour worth of massage or a juicy steak, and (2) offer some goods or services in exchange for those coins?

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January 06, 2012, 01:27:38 PM
 #60

I haven't read all this thread so excuse me if someone has done this already, here's the same list showing the % of the population holding a % of the wealth from wealthiest downwards, it's just an inverse of Zhou's stats which I hope is a valid thing to do

Population  Wealth

0.3%         19.5%
0.5%         34.8%
0.8%         44.3%
1.0%         50.0%
1.3%         54.6%
1.5%         59.0%
1.8%         63.2%
2.1%         65.7%
2.3%         68.0%
4.1%         79.6%
4.9%         82.3%
8.0%         89.9%
10.0%       92.7%
14.9%       96.3%
19.8%       97.8%
29.8%       99.2%
39.8%       99.7%
49.9%       99.9%
59.9%      100.0%

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