Question for strident capitalists...

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

  1. cosmictotem Registered Senior Member

    Well, you're claiming you're system is more free than my proposal. Does all that happen now? Then why do you assert it would be tyrannical if it didn't happen under another system?

    Yea, why not. There's no reason he wouldn't opt for a more uncontested, less questionable parcel. You keep implying he has some kind of obsessive compulsion for this one parcel of land. It's not like he can do it with every parcel he happens upon. An individual would be limited to at most 5 acres. If it's going to be a hassle for either party to contest the parcel, one can just go pick another one.

    Uh huh.

    Then build a foundation in the ground that you can attach and detach a portable home to and from in the event that you live in an area at risk to earthquake and tornados.

    If you live in one prone only to tornados a portable house might even be an asset, as you could drive it away during a storm warning. And plus a smaller portable home would require less energy to replace anyway than a 2000 sq. ft house.

    Again, there is no need to put a small portable house in a trailer park. If you don't want to live in a trailer park, don't.

    Uh huh. Do people who leave their apartment or land wrecked or poisoned with garbage or chemicals get in trouble now? So why is there reason to suspect they wouldn't get in trouble under a non-monetary system?

    No. I'm not saying they own it. I'm saying it is theirs while they use it. And let's remember, we have people disabusing their rentals and property under the monetary system you're defending right now. It's not like we need a non-monetary system for that.

    I don't expect that to happen, as private land use would be limited to no more than a 5 acre parcel per individual/family so I'm sure there will be plenty of room for large industry. Besides, doesn't eminent domain happen under the current monetary system you're defending now anyway?
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  3. billvon Valued Senior Member

    So how many gold watches will people be allowed? TV's? SUV's? If someone wants to eat nothing but jumbo shrimp, is that OK? Or will there be government diet planners for everyone?
    So child labor is OK but not outside adult labor.
    It definitely does. In capitalism, there are labor units (LU's, otherwise known as "money") which value the exertion of energy. In communism, it just disappears - the State gets the benefit of it, but the person does not.
    Why would it stimulate production? If you want food, too bad, so sad. There is nothing in your "wanting" that stimulates production - because the government is deciding you don't need all those jumbo shrimp, and you are not allowed to gather more than you need.
    Ah, but under communism, you don't need to do any more than the bare minimum - you still get food. Just showing up to work every day as a janitor - and doing a lousy job - gets you the same amount of food as someone who works his ass off 80 hours a week designing aircraft engines.

    In fact, that janitor often ends up with more food, because he leaves early, goes home and tends his garden. And his garden provides him with more food than the aeronautical engineer who is working his butt off.
    Under that system you are ALWAYS tempted to provide the absolute minimum of energy - because you get the same "stuff" no matter what you do.
    Well, no, you'd still get the same as everyone else, because there's no way to quantify how much you grow in your garden. And if you require people to self-report they will lie, since doing so will result in their children getting more food. I guess you could always have government garden inspectors who inspect gardens and penalize people who are growing too much.

    This is sounding more and more like the USSR all the time.
    Again, you could say exactly the same thing about the town commons. You receive benefits from the commons so it is in your best interest to preserve and protect it. But in reality, the commons is rapidly destroyed, because to an individual, he gets the most benefit by grazing his sheep as aggressively as possible.
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  5. billvon Valued Senior Member

    I bet you have an "obsessive compulsion" over your bedroom, and would become irate - perhaps even violent - if you found that someone had moved into it while you were at work. Even if they needed it more than you did because they were tired.
    You just said "he should have built something with a less permanent foundation."
    No, they don't. You can completely wreck your land and not "get in trouble." Build an ugly house, cover it with asphalt, grow nothing but weeds. People don't do that (generally) because they wish to preserve the value of their home and their land.
    Yes, there will be. But why wouldn't the government want to place supply depots where people are? Surely if government built supply depots tens of miles from centers of population the results would be lots of wasted fuel and time.

    Of course, the government might not care about that.
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  7. cosmictotem Registered Senior Member

    Obviously, access would be determined by availability. But let's be clear:

    The primary goal of production would be the individual's comfort, not their luxury. If it happens that cooperative production produces luxury for all, that would be great but there would be a limit to avoid a waste of energy and resources, obviously.

    No, child labor is not allowed! Obviously, any kind of child exploitation would be illegal. But as all private production would be limited to one's own property and most of the tools of mass industry under control and supervision of the state, it is doubtful parents could do much exploitation of children. But again, abuse would be loped into.

    Okay, now your arguments are just getting silly. And by silly, I mean easy to counter if I wanted to waste energy, which I don't. What are you trying to win by tiring me out? Lol.

    Well, as I indicated, the minimum the former USSR citizens were giving and receiving in return, may have required some adjustments. I can't say I know exactly what was going on then but I will try to find out. If the minimum work required for provisions was so low it was hurting production, then I can see why they had trouble raising their citizens comfort while competing with the U.S. in a Cold War.

    Well, if the absolute minimum supplys everyone with the comfort they are looking for then I suppose everyone would be fine with that.

    But if the absolute minimum is not giving you enough of the stuff you want, then, obviously, you are going to be compelled to make adjustments to your input energy. Since the people are the inevitable recipients of production, they would only be hurting themselves by dragging their feet. I suspect the problem in the USSR was that too much of the production was going to the military state and not the people. But our taxes go to our military as well. So, although we haven't collapsed from that, we know it is a huge drain that can't be helping us.

    And there it is. Okay so that's what you're really about? An ad hominem ? So all this back and forth discussion was just a game to you?

    Do you want me to alert on you?
    Last edited: May 12, 2015
  8. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    I doubt they would as while they are working to increase the supply the "first come, first to get" distribution line will have already formed. (Societies always have "free loaders" if doing that is possible.)
    I.e. some how if you want the supply to increase, those who make it do so, must be rewarded by getting the new increment of supply they made (or something they value more).

    That is exactly the problem paying those producers and selling their produced product solves. How would you solve it with out money? The producers of X getting paid Px for having done so, may chose to buy Y (not X) with their Px. Your system needs to give producers some choice what their labors earn them too. Otherwise it is extreme central planning with a conscripted (slave / no choice) labor force. That seems to be another tough problem for you to solve without money.

    Energy is energy, not produced product, but normally at least some human energy must be expended to make the desired products. Currently the producers buy the non-human energy they don't personally have that is needed for production in a competitive energy market, which tends to see that the available energy is allocated to the productions that are most desired /valued. Making that allocation without an "energy for sale market place" is another problem for you to suggest a solution to that does not sell the energy for money.

    If you are going to have a king decide how energy is used, who gets what share of the items that are produced and who must work in what production factory, please note that I am already at the head of the "want to be king" line.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2015
  9. cosmictotem Registered Senior Member


    Just ignore that outburst, billion.i misread your intent. Lol. hope it didn't scare you away.
    What a nervous nelly.
    Last edited: May 12, 2015
  10. cosmictotem Registered Senior Member

    Well, not everyone wants the same products in our current system so I imagine demand will vary similarly under any other system. There's many new things you could offer me free I still wouldn't take or want. And I've worked for companies where I wasn't the least interested in possessing their product.

    But I'm not quite sure I see the problem you're seeing. Are you saying if I help produce food, I am going to need food to continue producing or I will stop? What makes you think a worker producing something would have any more of a problem gaining access to that product than we have under the current system? Is it because you think having a cost on a product will curb consumption and therefore increase supply and decrease demand?
  11. cosmictotem Registered Senior Member

    The house, not the concrete block under the ground the house could be anchored to.

    Okay so you can completely wreck your land under the current system you are defending. Then why is my system under attack for the same possibility, which would be less because low-impact living would be encouraged?

    Well, then maybe there would be supply depots.
  12. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Because your system DISCOURAGES people who take care of their property. Why should they? There's a good chance someone will come along and just take it. Why work hard to benefit someone else?
    Yep - and those depots will need space. "Sorry, we need your property, you're not using it enough. And we need it more."
  13. billvon Valued Senior Member

    OK. So like I said - how many gold watches will people be allowed? TV's? SUV's? If someone wants to eat nothing but jumbo shrimp, is that OK? Who decides? (assuming those things are available, of course.)
    You just said "immediate family only." That means children. So many families who might otherwise hire a gardener, or a contractor, or a housepainter, or an auto mechanic, would instead turn to their only legal source of labor - their children.
    So that's a question you can't answer. Perhaps considering why you can't answer it would be illuminating.
    Why would ANYONE work to support a system that keeps them in misery? The system kept promising prosperity - the Soviet government published "five year plans" for decades promising prosperity to all. But the system kept them in misery. Why do anything other but the bare minimum for a system that keeps you penniless and hungry?

    "If the minimum work required for provisions was so low" - I can guarantee you that saying "work harder or starve" to someone who is already hungry is not going to incentivize anyone. And who is in charge of starving families? Which government official decides who lives and who dies?

    I'd really like a Tesla. They're electric and very clean - and I can charge them via my solar array. It is the comfort I am looking for. Right now I can't afford one, but if the government is giving me things to supply the comfort I am looking for, why not? (Of course, someone without a solar array shouldn't be able to get one. It's only fair.)

    And yet we did far better than the USSR - people worked harder, and our productivity per person was much higher than the USSR. Why do you think that was?
  14. cosmictotem Registered Senior Member

    You are under the impression it doesn't? You think in order to gain access to a particular supply a worker has to work to produce that particular supply?

    No. All an individual has to do gain access to supplies is work the minimum in any field and they will be granted enough supplies to secure their comfort and continued activity. And as any luxuries are produced they will also be dispensed. Things will be available as needed. But they are not going to be able to just stockpile goods produced under cooperative energy. And no matter where in the system they are providing their energy, they will be granted access to the various available goods produced in all other areas.
  15. cosmictotem Registered Senior Member

    What gives you the impression someone can just take the parcel someone else is using under my system? They can't. Unless you officially abandon it for another parcel nobody can take it.

    How about instead of taking the parcels people are using we put the depots where the strip malls, supermarkets and big box stores used to be?

    You're gonna make me spell out every detail, aren't you? Lol.

    And again, eminent domain exists in the current system you are defending.
    Last edited: May 12, 2015
  16. cosmictotem Registered Senior Member

    As many watches as are available for equal distribution as on a first come, first served basis. If there's a million watches and a million people, each person gets one watch. If there's two million watches and 1 million people, each person gets two watches. If there's 100,000 watches produced and 2 million people, first come, first served.

    Why would they turn to their children when they could get those services free from a cooperative system? And again, beyond chores, you can't work your children like adults no matter what you want to do. Do you think I'm crazy? Do you think I'd propose something that would allow that?
    Last edited: May 12, 2015
  17. cosmictotem Registered Senior Member

    Yes, if all you want to eat is shrimp you can have shrimp. But you're not going to get an over abundance of shrimp. You'll get shrimp. Shrimp for one person of your general size. Not shrimp for an army.

    I agree. If it didn't work right away, I would suspend my plan.

    First, government merely monitors mass production and provides the equipment and facilities. It would be private citizens with the approval of the government who would cooperate to produce a product. And if enough private citizens wanted to pool their energies to produce a Tesla, they could. But availability would be subject to how long those citizens would be able to cooperate and how many they produced. If you happened to get one on a first come first served basis then you happened you get one. But you are not guaranteed one. Luxuries would obviously be harder to guarantee than staples like food because, obviously, food is a necessity that must be made in constant supply. But remember, even in our current system, not everyone can have a Tesla either anyway. Most people can't so you can't claim the current system would be better at providing people with luxury cars than mine. Most people have to take out loans to get a luxury car today.

    Again, there might have been extenuating circumstances preventing the USSR's success. I'm not sure their model was entirely like the one I'm proposing. Again, I'm not sure their state wasn't siphoning too much resources for non-civilian purposes or had more of an obligation to support all its citizens, on principle, than the United States. I have to read up on that. One needs to understand what the state was doing with the energy its people were providing. But even with its problems, it is of note that the USSR, under its system, was able to position itself as a rival to the United States.
    Last edited: May 12, 2015
  18. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Ah, OK. So as long as you don't officially abandon it, you effectively own it. That makes a bit more sense. In the previous examples, the woman traveling overseas, the soldier etc would not officially abandon it and so continue to own it.

    Can you then abandon it to a specific person, like your son or your friend?
    Well, that's the point of the discussion, isn't it? Whenever we dig into the details, it turns out that we're heading back into the direction of capitalism. "Well, you would own it until you officially abandoned it" - which sounds a lot like selling.
    Yes. However, 1) you have to pay the landowner fair market value, 2) it must be a public interest (like an important highway that cannot take any other route) and 3) Wal-Mart can't do it, only the government. In your plan, the government runs the Wal-Marts (the supply depots) and thus are going to be using that a lot more.
    If there's 100,000 watches produced and 2 million people, first come, first served.[/quote]
    Who decides to waste so much of our country's resources that we are making two gold watches for everyone?
    So people have to physically get in line for things in short supply? This is sounding more and more like the USSR. "This is the line for shoes, comrade - the line for bread is over there."
    So you are getting free labor from people now? What incentivizes them to work your garden or paint your house?
    Not at all. I think you have just proposed an idealistic system which works well on paper - but would not survive in the real world.
  19. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    On(1): Demand and or needs much greater than supply. Only at a greatly reduced standard of living (less than a peasant of the middle ages had) can one produce for them selves what they consume.
    Specialization makes for more efficient production but barter is very inconvenient even in the internet age, which of course would not even exist if all produced only for their own consumption.

    On (2): To considerable extent, yes, for consumer needs. I.e. demand is made equal to supply by the price rising until that is true. It of course is a continuously adjusting process. I. e. the higher price will induce more production of the goods in demand and the higher price will lower demand. Governments can and do interfere with this natural process. Change the equilibrium point between supply and demand and there are of course time lags. I.e. price can surge up as production may not be able to expand as rapid and then fall back in price when production has grown.

    You seem to want to distribute a limited supply of "X" to the first come N people until that the X available is gone. That sends no signal at all to increase the production of X as a rising price does. The signal it sends is get up early to get near the front of line for X. Encourages people to waste time in lines instead of trying to find a more efficient (lower cost in time, and materials) way to produce X. Why would anyone want to spend time / effort trying to find more efficient way to produce, X when they get a better chance to get some X by spending more time in the "X distribution" line?

    The same is true of corporations that need X. Best to spend corporate efforts making bribes (gifts like wine, services of prostitutes, trip to Bermuda in the corporate jet, etc.) to what ever set of people, which instead of the market place, decided which corporation gets larger share of the available X.
    X could be pounds of copper, joules of electric power, or even non-material things right to use certain part of the radio / TV spectrum, etc.

    To get X to increase (or decrease) there MUST be some signal sent to potential producers of X. In China the price signal does that with very little interference from the government for consumer good, but for new infrastructure (or its repair) they use a "command economy." They learned from the USSR's disaster not to command to production of consumer goods. For example, USSR paper factories made plenty of computer printer paper, some of which got torn up to wipe asses as the volume of toilet paper production was too small.*- The market place price can and does provide very efficient consumer goods production signals, but of course government agency modify that signal, and make it less economically efficient as is common with regulations and permit requirements** (all in the name of the "public good"). For example, the production of corn can be increased by government forcing some corn based alcohol to be added to gasoline and the production of liquor and cigarettes reduced by specific taxes on them.

    Some how a "signal" MUST be sent to the producers of goods and services and relatively free market's price seems to do that best for consumer goods; However, for long time before first benefit /return on infrastructure investments, a command economy seems to be best, if the command comes form well educated engineers not needing to run for re-election. That is why China has more mile of high speed rail than rest of the world's total and why Beijing now gets water from more than 1000 miles south. - First completed part of three that will use 2700 miles of mainly open viaducts and deliver more than half the annual flow of the Nile to the very dry NE of China but California will need to use much more expensive salt water desalination (both in energy and dollars) to get much less fresh water but some comes within 5 years of funding.

    Planning for that huge Chinese SN water transfer infrastructure project began back in the first part of the 1950s! US Congress can not fund multi-decade, large infrastructure projects as needs to show some first benefits to the voters before all the current members of Congress are dead or at least not running for re-election any more. Even if it could, they are about 90% lawyers, not 90% engineers by education, as the Chinese CCP is and mainly skilled at "horse trading" votes between themselves to get pet projects funded (like multi-year study by the state university of the sex habits of the mountain goat).

    Without use of money, how will you generate and send the MANDITORY signals to the producers of:
    (1) consumer needs and (2) long term infrastructure?

    * They made mistakes too. I rode next to Russian college student many years ago on train in Hungry. She worked three summers in a tomato processing plant, every one of which was an economic disaster, but for different reasons. - I just tell one: The central planners had forgotten that the big whole-sale size cans needed lids. Three or four truck loads of tomatoes arrived at the plant daily. The Manager signed for them and bribed the drivers to dump the tomatoes at the town dump. All that labor, fertilizer, pesticide, harvest and delivery fuel etc. totally wasted. That summer she sat at her work station, and was paid while she read 6 English books.

    ** I. e. the US "pre-regulates" and China "post-regulates." I.e. in China you can open almost any business you think will yield a profit, with almost no "red tape" to wade through, but if you injure many people, the authorities will close it, sell its assets, and send you to jail. If you kill a few people, your life expectance falls to less than year as the eight people who put a mildly toxic chemical in milk to compensated for it being "watered down" discovered. They killed about a dozen small babies.

    I don't know which is better:
    A very free market place with some risk to the population OR a tightly controlled regulated market place using regulations, permits and frequent inspections with less risk to public but much more difficult for new businesses to start up.

    Answer the question in bold above so we (me at least) will not be certain you are just spouting confused, non-functional BS.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 13, 2015
  20. cosmictotem Registered Senior Member

    I guess that would depend on how in demand the area is. Around the shores, there would have to be rules prohibiting inheriting parcels to prevent prime property from remaining in the same family for forever.

    No, you don't own it for selling. You can occupy and use it, and your use can't be denied you while you're using it, but you can't sell it; only abandon it for a different parcel.

    Well, that was your example, not mine. But a proposal for the production of a good would be submitted by a collective cooperative of private citizens to the state industry bureau where it would either be approved or rejected based on any number of considerations. Once approved, the voluntary labor needed to produce the good would be recruited and production would begin.

    No. You could obtain a good through any of the same means we do now. For instance, there are plenty of Kickstarter products in short supply right now that you or I can order over the internet right now. It's just a matter of when a good becomes available.

    By supply the system with some of their energy, in whatever means and occupation, they are assured their own resources from the cooperative economy.
  21. cosmictotem Registered Senior Member


    Thanks for this post, Bill. Your post contains many facets I am not completely prepared to agree, disagree or refute at the moment. It may be some time before I reply to this specific post. I need to do more research and thinking.
  22. cosmictotem Registered Senior Member

    For now I can say each person would get to choose themselves where they will work, not the state or a king. But there would be a list of the areas where workers were needed most as a guide, if an individual is not choosy on where they contribute their energy.
  23. cosmictotem Registered Senior Member

    Because I'm not entirely clear on what your last post is suggesting, I'm going to try and tackle it bit by bit.

    Are you under the impression that there is no cooperative energy and distribution of goods under my proposed system? It sounds like you think a person who wants a particular good, exerts the energy to produce that particular good entirely themselves in every case and then takes the good they made. Sort of like the way your peasant would be living directly off the land in your example.

    If that is your understanding of my proposed system, I am afraid I haven't adequately made it clear enough.

    My proposed system would have industry of mass production where people would be producing for more than just their personal consumption but the consumption of all.

    The only time an individual would produce exclusively for themselves is when some kind of technology made it much more efficient and less work intensive for an individual to do so. One example would be a 3D printer. Another would be a solar electricity system.

    If I'm wrong and you do understand that, I will have to think about what you are trying to imply some more.

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