Question for strident capitalists...

Discussion in 'Business & Economics' started by cosmictotem, Apr 5, 2015.

  1. cosmictotem Registered Senior Member

    How so?
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  3. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    Just because you may chose not to participate does not confer on anyone else any sort of obligation to facilitate you doing so. Your participation is just as voluntary as their obligation to help you opt out. In other words, how you manage to live would be your own responsibility, whether that means living in the wilderness where you can hunt, begging on the street corner, or working within the system long enough to buy land to live off of.
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  5. cosmictotem Registered Senior Member

    I agree. I choose not to participate in the capitalists' land management paradigm so why am I obliged to recognize and follow them?

    The capitalist is the one imposing monetary restrictions upon land use where there were none before, not me. So why should I be obliged to respect them? If he is currently occupying and using the land that is one thing. But if he has physically abandoned the land in search of more land to subsume under his monetary restricted paradigm, why should I respect such an artificially restrictive imposition upon the free access to resources? You stick a flag in the ground, walk away and now every living thing is now obligated to offer you some kind of payment for its use? What the hell is that?

    And for you not to obstruct, which is precisely what your imposed monetary restrictions upon land access and use is doing.

    This is great fun.

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    Last edited: May 10, 2015
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  7. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    So would someone stealing your property simply be choosing "not to participate in [your personal property] paradigm?" Is that thief not "obliged to recognize" your right of ownership? Like the thief, your preferences do not give you the right to ignore the voluntary transactions of others, where property is exchanged in a mutually agreed upon manner.

    Land is a finite resource, and as with any other finite resource, scarcity increases value. These are natural laws that would effect you in any dealing with other humans. You can either be a thief, subject to penalties, or trade value for value. Nothing is free. Even if you had land, the resources you derived would require work (sweat equity) and for the time and effort you devoted you would expect to trade any such resources value for value. If you stored crops to see you through the winter, a thief could use your rational to say you were not using them and you had no right to impose upon his "free access to resources".

    Use and occupation are no argument. As a programmer I could make much more use of the device you are using to post on this forum. Since you are not using it to its capacity, would I have the right to take it from you? Even unused, land may be use as collateral, where your use could devalue what has already been mutually agree on to have a specific value.

    No, you would be the one obstructing a preexisting agreement. You seem to think people owe you something simply for being alive. They do not. It is your responsibility to find way to exchange with others for the things you want/need.
  8. cosmictotem Registered Senior Member

    How is it my property if I haven't been on it for months and am not using it? How is it your property if neither have you? Because you just invent some artificial rule that says in order to change hands peaceably land must be bought and sold? Where do you get your authority to say land must be bought and sold? In fact, it's not from any authority, it's just your personal preference for sustaining your access to resources and placing an artificial condition for that access upon others. You have no basis and no precident in nature for your claim to be recognized. If you could buy up and monopolize all the water sources on the planet, should all be obligated to pay a toll to you for access? One merely has to extend your principles to their greatest extent to see their silliness and impracticality.

    Yes and what makes it even more of a finite resource? The imposition of monetary exchange (or the slightly evolved cousin of violence) as a way for a single individual to consistently posses multiple claims upon multiple pieces of land.

    I am not discussing processed resources at the moment. I am confining this discussion to the use of raw land. Whether under a monetary system or not, there would be issues with threatening someone's access to the use of resources.

    The degree of use is not the issue. The Lakota tribe of the American plains certainly were not putting the gold in the Black Hills to the kind of use the American settlers decided they would without the Lakota's permission, even though the Lakota were occupying and using the area. A buffalo can put land to a different use than a human but both need to be able to occupy and use at least some land for their existence. So if you want to defend someone's right to access land, I would do it on the basis of their need to exist, not their degree and manner of use. And I'm fine with you settling land to support your existence but not with putting a price tag on it.

    It is hardly a preexisting agreement. If you are going to brandish words such as "preexisting" you must consider how new the phenomenon of bartering and money exchange is to this planet. My claim is not on people. It is on the free access to land those people think they should have the authority and right to circumvent and obstruct through the invention of artificial constructs.
  9. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    No argument there. My dismissal was only of subsistence farming as a lifestyle choice in the US - no way. Intensively farming small acreage is a perfectly reasonable opportunity, if you have the skills. But it's production farming, for market. You are selling product, and providing for your needs by buying stuff with the money.

    It's like running a one man machine shop out of your garage.

    And like that situation, it takes more rather than less skill, compared with a regular job doing the same kind of work. It's not a fallback position if you can't get a job. One of the serious losses suffered by the US in the loss of the family farm was the loss of the children raised with farming skills.

    Social capital, some economists try to incorporate that stuff into straight capitalist theory thus. It doesn't compound, though.
  10. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Take the case of a soldier away overseas who returns to find his home taken over by another because he "wasn't using it" or a woman with cancer who returns from the hospital to find her home demolished because Wal-Mart needed some more space. I think most people would think that the invader/Wal-Mart was the criminal, rather than the homeowner.
    All rules and laws are artificial. Why should you have the right to free speech? Why shouldn't someone be able to kill you because they disagree with what you say? An artificial law.
    Right. And you have a personal preference for free speech. That's fine, too. Of course, the only rights we protect are those that are codified into our artificial laws.
    Nope. We have artificial laws that prevent monopolies.
  11. cosmictotem Registered Senior Member

    But here's the thing: recognizing someone's claim to access to a piece of land does not require the implementation or recognition of a monetary system and all the rules that accompany it. Tolerating prices to be put on land can be considered just as arbitrary and intrusive a policy to freedom as the forceful take over of land being used by someone would be.

    Furthermore, that we do have laws against monopolies such as the water monopoly example I used, is highly suggestive that there is something so inherently flawed with the buying and selling of land and resources that limits must be set on it lest it get out of hand.
    Apparently, placing prices on natural resources can result in deprivation of those resources for those who cannot afford those prices. Now try to imagine denying access to resources to any other species beyond humans unless they paid for it. We wouldn't do it to any other species and yet we do it humans.

    So in discouraging the monopolization of resources we must have some kind of awareness that access to resources must be kept in tact. And what could be a more sure fire way to preserve that access than to eliminate any monetary requirements for access?
  12. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    Cosmictotem When demand exceeds supply, what (other than some form of money) do you suggest should deteming who gets the use of the high demand item?

    To not be so abstract; please tell who should get the residential lots on the ocean with nice beach in front (with non-resident allowed pass thru rights via walkways not more than 100 yards apart as often case now and use of the full beach too).

    Or as an alternative for you to discuss, front row seats at play or football game, etc.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2015
  13. cosmictotem Registered Senior Member

    No one. Beachfront property, obviously due to its special desirability but limited area, would be off limits to residential housing, as in Costa Rica, but available for limited public access, vacations, etc.

    Obviously, it would be on a first come, first served basis. I don't imagine a society so structured that its citizens were amply provided equally with the essential resources for their comfort that they would be so petty as to contest every minor advantage another was lucky enough to gain at one point or another.

    Again, a first come, first served basis. If a supply runs out, it runs out. If it's a supply that can be increased with the application of more energy to the task, then people who want that supply will provide the energy to produce more.
  14. Randwolf Ignorance killed the cat Valued Senior Member

    OK. Please tell us who should get the residential lots next to the "off limits" area on the beach? You know, those lots that are "minutes from the beach" as currently promoted by the realtors?

    People pay a premium price for that proximity now. Or perhaps the lots next to the lots on the beach should also be "off limits"?

    In which case, what about the lots next to the lots next to the lots on the beach? Etcetera.... You get the idea.
  15. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Agreed. That is just one way to transfer a claim on a piece of land.
    Nonsense. That is no more or less arbitrary and intrusive than a takeover by the government because someone "wasn't using it" or "someone else deserves it more" (according to a politician.)
    There are laws against yelling "FIRE!" in a crowded theater. Does that mean that free speech is so inherently flawed that limits must be set on it lest it get out of hand?
    Since there are physical limits on how much gold everyone can have (for example) someone will always be deprived. Take your pick of economic systems; not a single one will create gold out of lead for people.
    We do it to all species. We do not provide free TV's, cable or electricity to chimpanzees, even though they have on occasion indicated they enjoy watching it. Indeed, we provide MORE free resources to humans than to any other species; no other species is guaranteed the right to food through the SNAP program, for example.
    As several countries have demonstrated, removing the incentives of capitalism guarantees that the poor receive fewer resources overall. Compare the plight of the poor in the former USSR to the plight of the poor in the USA.
  16. billvon Valued Senior Member

    So you propose a system where the greediest hoarders win, and everyone less greedy loses.
    Now you're getting somewhere! Yes, they could provide the energy in the form of labor. They could then be compensated for that labor in the form of a supply of the desired material. If the desired material is hard to carry, or cannot be divided into day-of-labor units, then we could have some sort of unit (call it a labor unit) that the laborer is issued. These LU's can be saved to obtain a supply of the desired material.

    If other materials are in short supply, the laborers could then use any spare LU's to obtain those materials as well. The material suppliers could gauge the demand for their material based on how many LU's people offer for them. In this manner, a difficult-to-obtain but desirable supply of material is incentivized. And if a supplier has an unpopular but equally difficult-to-obtain supply, then the lack of LU's indicate that he shouldn't waste his time and effort. This helps him prepare supplies of material that people need.

    Laborers who provide the kind of labor that allows a lot of that material to be supplied get correspondingly more LU's. Conversely, the people who cannot be bothered to show up for work, or do a very poor job such that the supply of material is not increased get very few LU's. In this manner, an incentive for the sort of labor that helps to supply material is provided.

    Sounds like you're on to something here!
  17. cosmictotem Registered Senior Member

    Well, I'm glad you are concerned for any who would be missing out on any item limited in supply. But how is anyone a greedy hoarder if they obtain an item and then the supply of that item plummets through lack of enough labor to produce it or a scarcity of materials to produce more? It's not their fault.

    The point is, the essential resources and services, such as land, food, shelter, healthcare, clothing, etc, would be unlikely to run out if a society wants to continue having these essentials and services. The minute people stop working to provide these essentials and services the society will feel their lack and a disruption of the supply would be its own punishment and incentive for people to return to the exertion of energy to produce them. In other words, you don't need money or a paycheck to stimulate organized production. Need and want are enough.

    Now someone is getting it! Exactly, although I suspect you may be being cheeky with your use of LU's. Again, it would be a moneyless system and there would be no LU's or any fluctuating scale of provisions based on energy input. You either provide the minimum of time and energy to get the provisions or you don't. It's a system built around purely the cooperative management and application of energy.

    But I'd want you to take it a little further.

    Firstly, yes, if someone wasn't providing enough labor back into the system in exchange for their supplies, they would be cut off from any provisions or services that were produced with cooperative labor. But they would not be denied provisions they could provide themselves and, in many ways, the cooperative production system would be developing ways citizens could be more self-sustaining and less dependent on others anyway. The system ultimately wants people to be less dependent on others and so would be primarily interested in producing technology that would enable more and more independence.

    Secondly, and this is the hard part people find difficult to wrap their head around, in such a system, there wouldn't really be the exact accounting of input energy per provisions received in return that we would normally expect to see in a monetary, merit-based system. If I am already receiving a sufficient supply of provisions to keep me functioning and my needs adequately addressed, I am going to be less protective and conservative about returning any of my energy back into the cooperative system that takes care of me. So for instance, I may be entitled to work less, but if I find I'm feeling pretty good, my needs are being adequately addressed, I'm not hungry or tired or overworked, I like what I'm doing, etc, then how will it hurt me if I throw a little extra energy back into the system without the expectation of receiving any more provisions in return than anyone else? When it comes to charity work, people do this all the time. They're not suffering any particular deprivation themselves or under any particular economic or nutritional stress so the thinking is: why not give my extra energies to Habitat for the Homeless or Meals on Wheels without expecting any compensation?

    I see no reason why that can't be applied to an actual cooperative economic system of mass production.
    Last edited: May 12, 2015
  18. cosmictotem Registered Senior Member

    Obviously, there would be allowances on the books for special cases but even if someone's spot was taken while they were gone, land is free, pick another spot. And if he was concerned about losing his actual house to someone else, he should have built something with a less permanent foundation. A different system calls for different measures and what could be better than one that encourages low-impact living?

    And there would be no Wal-Marts.

    How about this?: First come, first served basis and you can't pass the land on to a relative or friend when you die, except for one spouse. After the spouse dies, the land goes back into public circulation on a first come, first served basis and any other adults still living there must obtain their own land.

    That way, everybody at least gets a shot. It's not like everybody has a shot at living in a beach community now without enough money anyway. This way will even up the playing field and give everyone a chance.
    Last edited: May 12, 2015
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  19. cosmictotem Registered Senior Member

    When you place a price on land, aren't you saying "I deserve it more"?
  20. billvon Valued Senior Member

    No, you are paying what the owner thinks it is worth. That is the criteria that determines whether you get it.
    OK. So everyone is a special case. (Just ask them.)
    Why wouldn't the guy seeking land do that? It's legal even today.
    Ah, so we would incentivize people to build the cheapest, worst homes they could. I can just imagine what would happen during the first earthquake, flood or fire.
    Again, visit a trailer park. There's no "dumping" going on there. But people who rent (land or homes) do not care for them as well as someone who owns the land does. That's a fact.
    Why not?
    They are greedy hoarders if they decide an important item may become scarce in the future, and gather far more than they need against a future shortage. Your system would reward these people for taking as much as they possibly could.
    This system failed miserably in the USSR. Communism is a great idea that doesn't work.
    No, they're not. Wanting food doesn't get you any - and it doesn't get food out of the hoarder's storeroom.
    So you have two choices:
    -Provide the absolute minimum time and energy or
    -Provide nothing.
    How do you think a society would fare if the only requirement was to do the absolute minimum? Again, we can see a case study in the former USSR.
    You could do that. But why not take that extra time and energy to tend your garden, thereby making sure your children have enough to eat? Rather than just play at your work, since additional work provides you no benefits? After all, the hoarders took all the corn, and you're probably going to need your garden. Your wife is going to point that out every time your children don't have enough to eat.
  21. cosmictotem Registered Senior Member

    I'm talking about state recognized and verifiable "special cases". Obviously, a veteran would be given some special privileges, as they are given today. The disabled, the elderly, etc…all would be entitled to a little extra help, as they are under today's system. That wouldn't change.

    Because you posed that scenario. Nothing says that he has to be a jerk and try to claim land that looks already occupied under any system, yours or mine.

    Um, why does a small portable home, other than in its size, have to be any less cheap or safe than a 2000 sq. ft house? have you seen the small homes they are building today? you might want to do some research.

    Who said anything about renting? And why couldn't a portable home owner park it on their own land? Again, you seem to be under some old impressions about small homes.

    No Wal-marts because all large cooperative production facilities would have to be built on government land set aside for industry and, as there is no buying or selling, there are no need for stores for which to distribute goods. There might be distribution hubs here and there but that's about it.

    As all mass production would be supervised by the state, people are not allowed to gather more than they need unless they can prove a special case that they require it. However, they are perfectly free to self-produce as many items they want for themselves as long as they do not recruit labor from outside their immediate family to do it.

    I'm not sure whether or not a good or service gets produced based on the exertion of energy has anything to do with Communism. The same thing can happen under Capitalism.

    I never said wanting food got you food. I said it stimulated production. Obviously, you have to work to produce the food under any system.

    We don't quite have a case study in the former USSR. The former USSR was in a cold war and weapons race with the United States and so a lot of resources were diverted to military, space and defense, etc. If you are getting the absolute minimum for your comfort, of course, you are going to be tempted to return the absolute minimum of energy.

    But you've spurred me to look into the pre-collapse conditions and work requirements of the Soviet Union to find out exactly why it failed. I will look into to this further.

    Well, such a system would have no prohibition on you developing more self-sufficiency. In fact, that is the goal of such a system; to use technology to decrease the individual's dependence upon the labor of others. So self-sufficiency is encouraged. And the more the burden of your support is taken up by yourself, in such ways as farming, the less that burden is placed on others and the less labor they have to provide.

    Also, I wouldn't say additional work provides you no benefits. Remember, you are one of the recipients of the goods and services you are providing. So it is in your self-interest to maintain a supply.

    Last edited: May 12, 2015
  22. billvon Valued Senior Member

    And I am saying that if there was any freedom at all in your society, everyone would vote to give as many people as possible "special cases." Kid going away to college? We want to encourage that, so his apartment is special! Mother of three traveling overseas for a year with her husband who's an important businessman? Special case - we support families!

    Of course, if you envision a society where a king rules with an iron fist (or some other non-democratic form of government) then you can do whatever you like, and deny whoever you like the right to keep their home.
    1) Nothing says he doesn't have to be a jerk, either.
    2) If all he wants is land, why not let him have the free land that is available from the government in a desert somewhere? Why should he be special?
    1) They, in fact, are.
    2) Homes that have poor foundations do not fare well in earthquakes and tornadoes. The "tornado in a trailer park" is synonymous with disaster for a reason.
    Yes, I have. Now go to a trailer park and see how people who live in mobile homes _really_ live.
    Renters do not own their home and they typically take poor care of it, compared to a homeowner. That's because they don't own it and know they can leave - or be thrown out - at any time. Any improvements they make to it they lose when they leave. Same philosophy applies here. People generally don't care about what they don't own.
    Oh, wait. If you are claiming people can own land in your scenario, then that's completely different. Yes, then they would have a strong incentive to preserve it, since they will retain the value of their work while they live there, and will recoup it when they sell it.
    Right. And if the government needs more land for their critical, mother-and-child-saving distribution center, they will "relocate" all the people living there. (After all, what's more important - some guy's mobile home or hundreds of children?)
  23. cosmictotem Registered Senior Member


    I posted my reply above before I had finished and then you replied to the unfinished post.. Please see my edited post above for the full reply. You can update your subsequent reply accordingly, if you wish.

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