Is currency evil?

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by DestroyCurrency?, Oct 2, 2013.

  1. DestroyCurrency? Registered Member

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    1.If it was a newly built settlement, most of the housing would be built more or less equally. Larger families would get bigger houses. You could have the choice of a rural or urban house (though the number of available rural housing units would be strictly limited. It is possible that people with more important skills could qualify for rural houses, as opposed to urban ones.

    2.The only difference is the basic needs in life would be guaranteed. The reason I thought of the credit system was because some people are more skilled than others.
     
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  3. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    You can build 1000 houses equally and some will be much more valuable than others. Around here some houses are buried deep within subdivisions with other houses all around. Some are on the edges of cliffs with views of the canyons and rivers. Even though in many cases the two houses are identical, the one on the edge of the cliff goes for three times the other.

    Who gets the house on the edge of the cliff?

    Who would be allowed to get a rural house? The people with connections? The people who make the most credits?

    Suppose the more importantly skilled wanted urban houses?

    Agreed - but that's how money works now.
     
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  5. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    This sounds a little like communism.


    I happen to agree with you though. I do think a society that wants to leave the smallest footprint on the environment would need to band together into self-sufficient communes. And I agree that at that point money might not be necessary. It would seem to work under some type of barter system, but, most important of all, under the understanding that everything is shared and everyone puts in equal work according to their abilities.

    The more utopian the idea, the less realistic it becomes. People would need to be generous, loyal and devoted to success of their combined effort. They would also need to be strong, healthy, tenacious and rugged -- like the way American pioneers must have been. They would have to give up most conveniences and subject themselves to higher risks associated with leaving the safety nets of modern cities.

    It would need to be a cult, one that is bonded the way tribes held together in the past. They would need leaders. The stronger alpha-type personalities would have to repress their primal urge to dominate the tribe. It's hard to imagine how women would fare in a society like this. Children would be a luxury that would have to wait until the system could support more fragile members.

    It would also have trouble with morale under the stress of nature. A storm, fire, flood or disease could destroy that loyalty to the original plan. In the most desperate situations, folks would begin acting on their own, leading to anarchy.


    Or not. By picking a place with the lowest risk for natural disaster, plus some protections against communicable diseases, it might work.
     
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  7. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Exactly what about this proposed system is better than what we have now?
     
  8. RJBeery Natural Philosopher Valued Senior Member

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    A poor, young idealist dreams of a better life through Socialism. Stop the presses!
     
  9. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Well, no, it's actually communism and it is not an efficient means to allocate resources. Because the problem is not money, it is us. Capitalism moderated by a truly democratic government with well informed voters is really the best way to allocate resources as long as scarcity remains a problem.
     
  10. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

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    Unfortunately that isn't logical. Since Evil is a subjective term.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_vlLKA6xeU
     
  11. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    23,198
    Some of this, a lot in fact, is achieved by the Scandinavian primary education system. My first wife was a Norwegian elementary school teacher just starting her second cycle of students when we wed, in 700 year old near Oslo church. If angry hateful looks could kill, I would have died unwed while waiting in chair up near the alter (standard procedure) for crowd to assemble and her to finally arrive. (I was taking the good teacher they had expected for their kids off to the USA.)

    (She was known from the very accomplished level of her good first cycle graduating students to be well above the normally high quality of teachers.)*

    There when your students enter school and finish the first grade, both they and the same teacher move up together for the next grade. This simple difference from US schools has an enormous benefit. First if third grade Johnny can't read or do simple math every body knows who has failed Johnny. There is no passing a problem child on to the next grade teacher as you are the next grade teacher too.

    Secondly, at the start of every grade after the first the teacher on day one, knows her students well. She knows, for example John is two grades ahead in math but having trouble with his foreign language (All will be fluent in three, two not Norwegian, languages by eight grade). But Jane, who already has mastered three by fourth grade is a half a grade behind in math. So teacher can on day one of some grade have them helping each other in the back of the class room during say knitting class (even the boys take that). I.e. Educating the class is a mutual group project and responsibility - all learn at an earlier age to help each other - take responsibility for the welfare of others. Later in life, they still think it completely proper, correct and DESIRABLE to pay ~50% of their income in taxes so ALL have good education and health opportunities.

    * More than 25 years later she still got Xmas cards from nearly half her first cycle class, telling what they were doing. One, from a quite rich man, owner of some small tanker ships, (used to off load oil for delivery to smaller ports) usually included in his (in transltion) "If you ever have any financial needs, just let me know. You made me the success I am today."
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 3, 2013
  12. RJBeery Natural Philosopher Valued Senior Member

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  13. RJBeery Natural Philosopher Valued Senior Member

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    Communism is a wonderful way to allocate resources, it's simply a disastrous way to produce them.

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  14. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    No you don't produce resources. You use them to produce goods and services.
     
  15. RJBeery Natural Philosopher Valued Senior Member

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    So a barter system has no resources?
     
  16. RJBeery Natural Philosopher Valued Senior Member

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    No.
    I think it's a fantasy designed by the self-perceived "powerless" to give an apparent moral directive to destroy those they perceive as "powerful". If you recognize the intrinsic value in yourself as a human being then you will not be threatened by some douche-bag with a yacht.

    (Added) Expanding on this, I try to decide what things in the world I consider to be "good"...things we could use more of, such as: medical advances, tech advances, more effective educational techniques, food for everyone, longevity, etc. These things are by-products of a fiercely competitive free-market, and progress in these areas is directly tied to economic growth. For this reason I generally oppose changes which could devastate our economic growth only to make a handful of idealists feel morally smug as our consumer society stalls.
     
  17. DestroyCurrency? Registered Member

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    31
    Well, we see how well thats working out. Capitalism moderated by a truly democratic government, what a joke, is that even possible?
     
  18. DestroyCurrency? Registered Member

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    Our consumer economy stalling would be a good thing. Overconsumption and waste as a direct result of the currency system is obvious in life. Ever wonder why theirs so much packaging on your food? Its because the currency system makes it easier to over package because it makes it easier to sell, and thats the point of the consumer-capitalist system
     
  19. wellwisher Banned Banned

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    5,160
    Currency is a tool which does not have a brain or motivation. It is humans nature that controls the dynamics of currency. If we removed currency but don't adjust human nature something else will take its place with the same results. The study of human nature and what motivates people is a better place to address this question.

    An analogy is two dogs fighting over a bone. The bone is an inert piece of calcium phosphate and protein. If there were no dogs around, the bone would just sit there and do nothing. Add dogs and canine nature, they will both want the bone and put the bone into motion. The bone did not come alive, but is still an inert piece of calcium phosphate and protein. Rather it is being acted upon by external forces generated by dog nature.

    A hammer is a tool that can build houses or bash skulls. If left alone it can't do anything. The hammer needs external forces to get it into motion, which is provided by human nature. Some humans will build and others will bash. If we take away the hammer this does not change human nature. They simply find a rock and start doing the same things; building or bashing.

    Guns do not kill since they are inert. Try this in the lab. Put a gun in a bullet proof glass container to see if the gun starts to jump around and fire by itself. It takes a force to get the gun into motion, with some humans using it as a hobby and other as a weapon. Religion is study of human nature and attributes that dark side of human nature that steals, bashes skulls and shoots people with a dark side. It addresses this is a rational way; were the force comes from. Atheism appears to teach that currency, bones, hammers, rocks and guns are alive and lead the process.
     
  20. RJBeery Natural Philosopher Valued Senior Member

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    4,136
    I'm not sure what you mean by over-packaging. You think it would be preferable to have your Fruit Loops sold in the plastic white bag without the box? They'd arrive all crushed; you'd be purchasing "Fruit Loop Powder". The consumer-capitalist system discourages waste and encourages efficiency because consumers want cheaper, better goods. If you want waste then ask a committee of bureaucrats to get involved.

    We're also going to have to agree to disagree on what would be a "good thing" regarding the stalling of the economy. Presuming that you're a young white male in a Western country, even in the "lower middle class" as you put it, you're still in the upper tiers of global and historical income power. $34k a year puts you in the TOP ONE PERCENT. You have a job? Food? Healthcare? Housing? You obviously have access to a computer and the Internet. Frankly, it's very likely you have nothing to bitch about, so when you say "Well, we see how well that [Capitalism] is working out" I'm left scratching my head.
     
  21. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    4,633
    The market system is essentially a non-stop election in which the entire population is constantly voting on how they want resources and labor allocated. Dollars (and Euros, Pounds, Yen, or whatever it is) are their votes.

    Whatever products and services receive the most votes have additional resources and labor directed towards producing them.

    And personally, if individuals like ourselves want more money, then we to behave in ways that other people value and are freely willing to pay for. We need to show up at work reliably and have skills that employers need and value.

    It's true that many of us don't entirely approve of how resources and labor are currently being allocated. Many of us have different priorities that we wish were receiving more attention. Many of us find our current society superficial and short-sighted, while more important concerns aren't receiving the attention that we believe they deserve.

    But is that really the fault of money? Or is it the result of the fact that the majority of other people's desires don't exactly conform with our own? I'd like to see more money spent on manned space exploration personally, but school-kids would rather direct their money towards Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber. University students might have better (and far more alternative) taste in entertainers, but they are just as foolish and superficial in their own way, to my eye.

    So what can be done?

    We can wish that other people were better people than they are in real life, meaning people more like us, I guess. People whose values, tastes and desires coincide with our own. But how is that wonderful (?) transition supposed to happen? Do we really believe that it will happen magically, if we can only overthrow "capitalism"? This is basically a secularization of the traditional religious vision of Eden, a world without sin. And it's a dream, utopian at best.

    Or alternatively, we can place some vanguard party's Politburo up there on top of the pyramid, composed of course of superior people, with the power to call all the shots, make all the decisions, allocating everything of value to whoever and whatever they see fit. They would be doing it in "the people's" best interests of course, even if those people are still too childlike to agree with the wiser parental figures in charge of their lives... and even if a police state is necessary to keep the wonderful benevolent system in place.
     
  22. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

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    Yes. Visit or read about any Scandinavian country, where Joe's 2nd condition (well informed voters) is achieved, and a third, I'll add: "Genuine concern for the well being of your fellow citizens" is too. More on how conditions 3 is achieved in post 28: http://www.sciforums.com/showthread.php?136463-Is-currency-evil&p=3116771&viewfull=1#post3116771

    BTW, China has a good system too: Market place (Adam Smith's invisible hand) determines what individuals can find to buy, but the CCP determines what are the better long term (up to ~50 years) of high capital cost infrastructure that should be "bought" by the society. Contrast US short term (less than a decade) infrastructure funding capacity with that of China:
     
  23. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Yes we have and it has worked out fairly well. If you don't like it go back to they way we used to live. Go to Alaska and live a subsistence living and then tell us how much you like it. Our problem is keeping government relatively free from corruption. Since the Reagan administration and with the destruction of The Fairness Doctrine that has become increasingly problematic. Thanks to the rise of the conservative entertainment industry (e.g. Fox News, conservative talk radio, et al.) we no longer have a well informed voter base.
     

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