Monday, April 30, 2012

Free Market Capitalism


Chad said...

The title is missing some information.

It should read.

This is what happens to
when government gets involved.

Now its right.

Jon said...

Explain how that works, Chad, and when you do think about this question. What prevents these homeless people from entering these empty, unused homes?

Chad said...

This should answer your question.

Jon said...

That's one explanation of the housing bubble, but it doesn't explain why right now those homeless people can't come in out of the rain and go inside those empty homes. What prevents them from doing that? Isn't it free market capitalism?

Examinator said...

It seems to me that Free Market Capitalism like Free Speech …. fall under examinator's 2nd & 3rd law of philosophies.
“ They (philosophies) can ONLY exist in their purity in theoretical abstraction of the human imagination”.
“There is a direct inverse relationship between a the purity of a philosophy and its functional and appropriateness.”

theVOID said...

That picture is blatant nonsense.

We can argue all day about free markets vs regulation but the argument about whether or not the free market is preventing homeless people from inhabiting housing is unequivocally false, necessarily due to the absence of any free markets.

Chad said...

I would argue that true Free Market Capitalism is the answer to the problem.

Simple question - If unemployment is under 4% - does this problem exist to this level?

The answer is obvious.

Chad said...

Jon - Did you see Krugman get schooled by Ron Paul on Bloomberg TV about free markets and the fed?

Krugman says Paul's ideas are from a 150 years ago and Paul comes back and says Krugman's ideas were tried 2,000 years ago - classic beat down.

Jon said...

To the Void, I technically agree with you. There is no such thing as free market capitalism, though Haiti and most of Africa comes pretty close. Still, I think the point is still valid. In a theoretical free market model these homeless would be blocked from using the unused homes.

Chad, obviously lower unemployment levels would improve things. Unemployment in Haiti runs between 50 and 70%. In Chile Milton Friedman's economic regime drove unemployment from 3.8% under Allende to a whopping 30%, and this was while slashing welfare services, extending the suffering of the poor.

Yeah, I did see Paul vs Paul and I agree that Ron held up his end of the debate well. If I were in Krugman's shoes I'd have handled it much differently.

Chad said...

The poor are extending the suffering of the poor Jon.

Success is reserved for only those who strive to attain success. How many stories of people going from the Projects to the Penthouse do you need to finally realize that when your born in the USA - success is determined by the individual. Your feeding the animals talking the way you do - the poor do not have an incurable disease. Grab a shovel and work 10 hrs a day then go to school/tech school for 4 hrs a day - sleep in your car, a relatives place, in a ditch or whatever and repeat as many times necessary until you have developed or honed a skill that employers value. Get a job, improve, grow and one day own that company.

When someone has done all those things Jon and they still are on hard times, I will have a warm bed and a hot meal waiting for them at my place.

Example and my wife hates this, but you know those guys on the side of the road "will work for food" I always stop, offer to pay them by food or money to wash my car or to come and mow my lawn - zero people say yes because most people throw money and they didn't have to work.

Sheldon said...

Seems to me there is plenty of demand for the homes, just not enough money/resources in the hands of those in need. And why don't they have that money, because they don't have jobs or wages necessary to buy those homes. Why, because capitalists want to make higher profits, and thus search for cheaper wages. Once again, the whole "free-market vs. not-free market debate is just a distraction.

Jon said...

Chad, you are now just drifting away from the subject and spewing talking points. Come back and address the issue.

What prevents homeless people right now from coming in out of the rain and resting in empty unused homes? It is the institution of private property that is a product of (theoretical) free market capitalism, which is enforced by the state.

Chad said...

Yes it is and a good for it.

Are you advocating that these homes should be siezed and given to the homeless simply because they are homeless?

How about the family trying to do it right, living within their means - making ends just meet - do they get first choice or just the homeless? For that matter - what about my wife and I - we pay taxes, donate and do acts of charity can we claim the house across the street that is bigger and more beautiful because it is empty?

I know that your not advocating that the homeless should simply occupy these residence so for arguements sake lets pretend for a minute that the the Liberal Magic Wand Waves and you have full control. What is your plan here - what is the end game - how are you helping the problem? Having people in homes that they can not afford is kinda why we are in this spot in the first place - right? So you give away houses - who pays for the utilities, groceries and the end damage to the property? How will the maintain the property - keep the toliets clean, carpets clean, yard mowed and so on? You going to steal more money from me and the other 49% who pay income taxes? Or are you just targeting the top 1% to pay for all this?

How about the surrounding homes, values are falling today sure, but imagine what what happen to a home value next to a house filled with the homeless?

Your topic has way too many holes to even have a quality discussion in my opinion and thus why I went in the direction of jobs and embracing Capitalism.

However reading Sheldon's arguement tells me that the Progressives are not really interested in fixing the problem only telling us who to blame or telling business owners/successfull people just how much they are allowed to earn.

Funny though - I don't know a lot of rich people living in a small house with one car taking no vacations and not spending the money. Without the rich who is buying high end houses (jobs), boats (jobs), nice cars (jobs), 3 air conditioners (jobs), 4 dishwashers (jobs), a live in nanny (jobs), pool cleaners (jobs), yard workers (jobs), taking vacations (jobs), eating out (jobs). Not to mention they normally take their money and invest to make more money (jobs) - interesting.

Jon said...

Great. You're finally addressing the issue. Lots of homeless people. Lots of unused homes. For you that's a fine state of affairs.

Why would you get one? Are you homeless? You can't be in two homes at once. If you are just looking to stockpile homes to pad your wealth, well that kind of defeats the whole purpose. What I'm talking about is the fact that we have a lot of people with needs, we have a lot of unused homes that can fulfill that need, and it's not just stupid. It's cruel. It's like having thousands of starving people looking at piles of food that just sits and rots and you say to them "No, you can't have that. That is someone else's property, and if he wants it to rot that's his choice."

As far as my plan, well, I could write a book. What I'm trying to highlight here is the absurdity of a system that produces large masses of people with need, produces products that can fulfill that need, but assigns the ownership of these products to people who don't need them, and tells the people that do need them to take a hike. I think we can do better.

Chad said...

You dodged my questions.

Who pays for the electric, gas and water - who pays for the home maintenance and most important what have you solved? So you put a roof over a head of a homeless person, but you have not outlined who is going to pay for it? If all your interested is in a structure then what I suggest is that you and all your Liberal friends pool your cash together and buy some they are cheap.. You take on the costs and property losses - how does that sound to you? Why is it that Liberals won't voluntarily pool 10% of your money for these great and worthy causes? If your so right about this then simply do it - start a foundation like a Union and force every card carrying member of the Democratic Party to commit wages to a fund and get er done.

This is where you can never win the argument - I promise that my ideas will not steal a single dime from you, but in order for any of your ideas to work you have to steal money from some other group. By definition it is almost slavery - my labor is seized to give to another group against my will.

You also didn't answer my other question - what about those families that are working multiple jobs just to make ends meet living in a small house - do they get a chance at a new house? What is the cutoff - are you only taking houses of a certain value or are you claiming that your going to put x number of homeless per square foot?

Why not build a Super Dome every 500 miles and open the doors to the homeless. I will personally volunteer to give you New York City, California and Chicago - take all empty properties and use them however you want (lol).

Also once you start seizing property :where does it end - can you take my second lawn mower because I have 2? Are you going to force me to give one of my 6 TV's because they have none? Because we have 3 vehicles - is that too many since we only drive one of them 2,500 miles a year? That will be your next step right?

Examinator said...

I agree with Jon et al in that your argument is more belief than either objective observation and provable.
As a corollary of my original post absolutes simply don't/can't exist in a civilised society. Therefore neither extreme/absolute will provide 'THE best answer/solution'. Clearly this leaves us with two alternatives.
Find the compromise between the two extremes that will give the best outcome for the MOST people. This in its self brings up a myriad of issues to be resolved, none of which are served by myopic 'talking points'. The premise for these point is fatally flawed in that it is predicated on the 'absolute' objective of one side triumphing over the other. Given this they are more strategic than objective and as such the 't p' are inevitably both selectively chosen and self referential... anosegnotic in their intent and 'china eggs'.
The second option and the one I prefer is to broaden the discussion to encompass the logical realities that there are other options to 'Capitalism' and 'Liberalism' (sic).
As part of that discussion it is essential that we stop using idiomatic ( American [ PR partisan intended] ) redefinitions of the 'isms' as they limit ( over simplify ) the real options, meanings of the concepts and ultimately reduce the discussion to that of the lowest POSSIBLE level.
People and their motives aren't simple or simplistic. It is reality that if the answer is simple then it's either the wrong question or simply wrong..

Jon said...

i didn't dodge your questions. What I said is in order to answer them I would need to write a book, and I don't think you want that. What about dinner? When are we going to do dinner? I can explain a more detailed plan over drinks. If I write it here I doubt you'd read it. You already give me crap for being long winded.

So let me just make one point here. The rich are already stealing from the poor. That's what you need to realize. Apple Computer made $400,000K in profit for every employee last year. Who gets the money? Investors, most of whom don't work for Apple. They do zero work and get most of the money. Who does the work? Chinese laborers that live in dorms and are woken at midnight. Children who are sometimes subjected to 24 straight hours of work, for which they are paid $34. They create a ton of value, churning out masses of ipads at the drop of a hat even with late design changes. Conditions are so bad that many are driven to suicide. Their fingers and wrists can be ruined from repetitive work. How can they be exploited so badly, for the benefit of investors? If they dare try and organize the government comes in and cracks skulls. No unions. Ship the leaders to death camps. Investors say hooray. Thanks to government violence I can destroy these people for pennies and make huge profits while I do nothing. That's the theft. You are a part of it. I'm a part of it. Anybody with a half way decent 401k is part of it, but of course the rich are part of it to a greater degree. This is a HUGE theft. You approve of that theft, but when your thieved goods are taxed you object only to that theft. Even though that one isn't driving you to suicide. Theft by the poor is a problem. The much larger theft by the rich you don't notice. I do.

Chad said...

Now who is off topic?

I thought that I was coming to the mill next week, but that has been scrubbed. Coming up for a charity golf outing in 2 weeks, but will be with my dad and brother. I will get in touch the next run North for sure.

So what's the answer then Jon. Regulate profitability through gov't? Why is there not another company making g-Pads where the profit per person is only $100k a head? You see the fact that a company is playing by the rules and is successful as a bad thing, I see an opportunity to start new tech companies making g-Pads and f-Pads. Keep in mind that the $36 per day the factory worker in China makes is pretty good money over there. Also keep in mind that they receive this work because of the cheap labor. If they demand higher wages they stand to lose the business to another country or back to the US. Does some of it suck - yes, but businesses had no choice but to send work off shore because of gov't, unions, min wage laws and all that. Imagine going to Wal Mart and having to pay $4.85 for a matchbox car or paying $1,500 for an I-Pad? That would be the prices if produced here with all the regs, unions, rules and taxes. Talk about an unemployment problem and a truly weak global economy - there you go. At that point you would be talking about an America that had very little retail/consumer spending and that would be real real bad. There would be far less distribution chains, less need for traders and I would predict that only the strongest companies producing only tangible goods would be in business. What kind of unemployment rate we looking at then? What kind of poor class will be created?

I don't know Jon, but I think the animal your chasing is bigger, meaner and more dangerous than you realize.

theVOID said...

Jon, you're factually mistaken, Haiti scores extremely poorly on indexes of economic freedom.

Jon said...

You see the fact that a company is playing by the rules and is successful as a bad thing

Yep. Sometimes playing by the rules is a bad thing. When the rules in Germany are "Kill the Jews and hand their wealth over to politicians" I say playing by those rules is a bad thing. The rules in Jesus day said you don't eat with sinners. You don't talk to prostitutes. They are dirty and bad. And you wash your hands properly if you want to be Godly. Jesus said playing by the rules was bad and he proposed different rules.

In China the rules are that the workers are not permitted, via the free market, to engage in peaceful activity that will tend to improve their pay and working conditions. If you and I and 10 other people want to walk into a Subway and say "We want 12 subs and we'll pay $4 each. Take it or leave it." That's fine. We can use our collective bargaining power to engage in a free transaction to get a better price, and Subway can say yes or no. But in China if workers at FoxConn say "We want to use our collective bargaining power to negotiate a better wage" the government comes in, blocks the free market, breaks them up, maybe murder a few, and the workers are resigned to the fact that it's $17 for a 12 hour shift doing what is literally body destroying work.

That is theft. I don't care if it also part of the rules. Taxes in the US are part of the rules and you call that theft. Why don't you see the destruction of these poor Chinese workers as theft? Is it because this theft allows you to buy a cheap matchbox car and ipad? Since it benefits you it's OK.

And by the way, the price of the ipad actually wouldn't go up that much if it were built here becuase labor is a pretty small portion of the total cost.  A good article on the subject here.

Jon said...

Void, I'm not mistaken as long as you understand the semantic games being played.  Haiti is obviously not a place where it's easy to do business.  So when I say it's "free market" what I mean is that policies preferred by Chad have been imposed on it.  The IMF has basically been running Haiti for decades, and you can take a look at the policies they impose here.  It's a Republican fantasy economy, exactly what Chad recommends.  After these polices have been imposed and the place is a wreck Republican people like to talk about how it's a terrible place to do business.  No doubt about it.  Thanks to you.

I address the Heritage spin in a detailed post here.  I touch on the IMF ease of doing business here and in the comments.  So called "free market" advocates have literally used major parts of the world as a proving ground for their theories for decades.  Today these places are referred to as "the third world".  It's such a spectacular failure it takes real fortitude to fail to see it.

Jon said...

One further comment for Chad. You write:

If they demand higher wages they stand to lose the business to another country or back to the US. Does some of it suck - yes, but businesses had no choice but to send work off shore because of gov't, unions, min wage laws and all that.

What you say is true under Captialism. But are there any alternatives? Yes.

Examinator said...

Chad's talking points (tp) the deliberately “created product” of those who currently hold power. They are intended for or to influence (manipulate) the unwary, by limiting both the available language and the depth of the topic discussed/examined.
As I indicated before, they are in the first part based on false (re) definitions of the terms i.e. Communism does NOT = Socialism. And despite the word socialism appearing in the title of the USSR it was NEVER a socialist state. Neither was it really Communism as originally writ. Labels are part of the National myth creating process to justify their legitimacy by manufacturing consent via national propaganda that favours the interests of the powerful, not everyone's).

While I'm on this topic neither Liberalism nor Conservatism are as portrayed in America.
For example Noam Chomsky [well known Leftie (sic)] while lamenting the loss of workable language, described himself accurately, as a conservative. Likewise Capitalism as written bares little relationship with the Corporatism ( aka Free Market Capitalism) of the Western world.

Once the language has been 'redefined' (limited/biased in their favour) of this well known/used technique to salespersons/advertisers et al and has three clear components.
First it facilitates redefinition of the problem i.e. it is no longer about inequity of opportunities and basic humanity (human rights) it's about property, capital rights and the right for profligate consumption by those who can. In this way diminishing the overall human rights of.... the majority not to mention the finite ability of the Earth's to support humanity.

The second part is in essence about small (personalised) decisions confirming large ones i.e. “Do you want Muslims to tell you how to run YOUR life?” as opposed to “do you want to spend $3 trillion on a war and occupying (in which WE the powerful benefit)?” Or maybe “do you want illegals taking OUR (US) jobs and lowering your wage rate?”. What is missing in both these statements is a more involved context.

The third is a strategic technique is called ' fly swatting' essentially keep the person bogged down with arguing over specific minutia. Think of it in terms of a game “Wack'em O”

This 'unwary' demographic's motivation , can be defined in terms of “human nature” (both nature and nurture).
Genetics and neuropsychology comprise the majority of “nature”. Recent Research has recently determined that they influence the propensity/susceptibility (degrees) for greater need for a 'psychological security blanket' i.e. a greater need for (limiting) belief structures. This can be activated, heightened by conditioning (upbringing, circumstances etc) i.e. 'nurture'.

Generally those who have these needs are also those who are also those who trot out tp's (il)logic.
It has been argued ( reasonably convincingly) that those who have really internalised these tps do so at an viscerally emotional (instinctual) level. Arguing reason or facts will only tend to reinforce their views with defensive reactions from heightened fear from the perceived 'socialist attack'.

I fear for Chad's name sake country and the coming catastrophic famine that will affect 11 million people (read kill/Maim a whole generation).
Then again I'm sure his mentors will see it as a captive market, an opportunity for profit, and for Chad to enhance his 401k or buy another vintage vehicle, a nanny, boat etc.

Jon said...

Well said, Examinator. I'm a former right winger that had a similarly confused understanding of the meaning of words as Chad does now. I know exactly what you mean, how the words are manipulated in a way that makes it almost impossible to communicate and express criticism of the status quo. In fact I can look at some old posts of mine, like the one I linked to regarding the Heritage rankings, and still see confused semantics. Shedding these delusions is a process that I'm still going through.

For instance it's not entirely clear to me what Chomsky means when he says he's a conservative. I think he means traditional values, like values that were widespread maybe a century ago, and today's Friedmanite novelties are radical historically and not conservative. But that could be wrong.

theVOID said...

Jon, I appreciate the conversation. I've been a long time reader but have rarely ventured onto the comment section, I tend to get into too many long winded discussions that engulf my time.

Just as a disclaimer before anyone misconstrues my intentions and because I have you at a disadvantage knowing your philosophies reasonably well, I would describe myself politically as some form of classical liberal pragmatist, though ideologically I'm a proponent of individual sovereignty.

That being said...

The ease of doing business is secondary to the environment in which the people are trying to do said business - at best you could consider them highly correlated under most circumstances, but in the case of a free market it's almost certainly an indication that no such market exists.

In the case of Haiti however there are many additional reasons to believe that Haiti does not qualify as a free market, either in concept or practice, principally because Haiti have a highly corrupt political system being overrun by, as yourself acknowledge, international collaborations of nation states such as the IMF.

I don't agree with all of Chad's particular arguments, but at an extremely fundamental level the situations described by Chad when taking of the free market are diametrically opposed to a situation in which international government in it's various fragmented forms is pulling the puppet strings.

The ideological difference between a free market and a corrupt puppet state is as drastic as the difference between a free market and communism.

As for the housing situation:

Given you believe that a government has the right to seize private property to distribute among others, or at least the right to coerce the owners into allowing the use of said property through threats of violence then it may well make sense to say, "Unused houses? Check. People without homes? Check. Move people without homes into unused houses? Solved."

That is where some form of utilitarianism on your part becomes immediately apparent, and where I fundamentally disagree with you. In my view individual sovereignty is the foundation of morality and the very context which without all moral dialogue would become meaningless. Such a government action is naught but a violation of the rights of sovereign individuals and thus should be opposed.

Examinator said...

I think you are right about Fiedman and his acolytes. I don't know of any long term success of his theories especially in practice. They all tend to leave massive collateral damage and more power in the hands of the corporatists. In my opinion ( which may not be worth much) his was a myopic view of how the world actually works, a general short coming of all dogma.

You are correct about Chomsky as this vid shows
I'd recommend this and a little research to anyone who wishes to discuss related topics...simply because as he describes, one needs to have the vocabulary to do so. Also the context of Adam Smith's Capitalism.
To me context is God in that it gives meaning to all things. In this vid
along with many things including the 'the vocabulary, he add's a context and validity/ internally consistent logic to the Tbaggers claims and their suspended reality conclusions.... in essence

Given that you are aware of the first vid I wonder if you have considered you have pondered the mass of re-interpretation ( national mythology) the USA tends to put out and why? I can understand the need for the heightened level of propaganda mythology in those countries that have not popularly elected governments (natural paranoia , legitimising et al) but the USA? Like Chomsky says in the second one something has been lost. Proof of the first law of thermodynamics, Organisational theory or perhaps our inability to come to grips with who we are as humans?
I have the opinion that we are the only species that can consciously influence our own evolution but we don't seem to be able to manage the responsibility of it. We are floundering around doing what is animalistic looking for someone else to take responsibility or blame.....god liberals( US meaning)

Jon said...


I appreciate the disclaimer. I feel the same way about some of my calls to talk show hosts like Bob Dutko. I know his philosophy and can dig into a detail and pounce on him. That being said I really do appreciate correction and am glad to have your analysis, even if at the end of the day my ego takes a beating.

I think once again we're not really disagreeing as much as you might think. I agree that there are no free markets. Free market is an ideal, never actually implemented. I think it's fair to say some places meet that ideal closer than others, but I think this can also be viewed as semantic distinctions.

Take the case of Haiti. Corruption violates free market principles. Fine. My claim though is that imposition of structural adjustment naturally leads to corruption.

It's kind of like austerity measures in EU. The right says that we need to cut welfare state measures to balance the budget. When they do that what they end up with, since the economy gets further depressed, is they get even larger deficits than before. Is it fair for them to then say "This isn't what we advocate. Look at that deficit."

But it is your policies that led to the deficit. The same is true in Haiti. When you impose structural adjustment programs, which are precisely the programs Chad would recommend, you sometimes have to do it by overriding democracy. What kind of people are willing to undermine their own people for the benefit of outsiders? Often it's dirtbags. They are often simplistic, authoritarian rubes. And what do they do? Corrupt things. Naturally. Does it make sense for the IMF to say "We aren't responsible. We don't recommend corruption." Well, obviously. But your policies lead directly to corruption.

Additionally people are starving. So they engage in crime. Naturally. That's what happens when you are desperate. It's the natural outworking of policies implemented that Chad prefers. He can't look at the disastrous consequences and say that his prescriptions weren't really followed because if they were everything would be great. Whether they would produce good outcomes is the very question being disputed.

I didn't actually say I support the seizure of the homes. My view is a bit more complicated than that. But as far as being utilitarian, would you tell starving people that they can't pick the fruit from the apple tree, fruit that otherwise will fall to the ground and rot, because it is the property of the landowner and you wouldn't want to sully your principles? At what point does the fact that people in fact are starving and the food is being wasted enter the picture?

Chad said...

I appreciate the concern, but I am not confused and I am supremely confident that I am on the right side of the argument.

Chad said...

THIS is the America I believe in. Not the nanny state we've become, but individualism.

Chad said...

One more thing, the reason I come out to Jon's site (other than to boil his blood) is because I want him accept that all I ever want is for his ideas to stand on their own without stealing liberty, money or property. To date, he has yet been able to put an argument on the board that does not require one, two or all three to accomplish.

What's odd here is that the Constitution actually has the answer for both of us. Each individual State should be given the right to run it's individual State the best way they see fit. Then John and all the Liberals can pay for their own programs and all us Conservatives can do our thing. We'll just find out who is right.

Examinator said...

Jon, the void,
It seems to me that we all agree that Free market Capitalism doesn't and as I said can't exist in it's purest form. I offered the next steps in the logic to suggest that NO ideology can exist in its 'pure' state.... at best they are all aspirational. Having said that there seems to me two logical truths.
First no ideology can lay claim to absolute truths or exclusitivity of concepts....
Second this means that reality is a syncretism of all and a compromise with my previously mentioned, and universally ignored/underestimated, by debaters ( political & economic pundits), Human Nature ( genetics/neuropsychology et al).
I think history proves beyond plausible doubt that the the absence of detailed consideration of base human nature invariably results in a Malthusian Condition. All that changes is which minority is best able to pervert the ideals into their favor.
As an example only, Void, true to 'conservative' (sic?) views, the core is, the right to attainment of non human capital (and property) . By definition all else becomes subordinate to the acquisition etc. this places humanistic and pragmatic survival of the species as a lesser priority (ACC etc). Demonstrably a myopic, unrealistic priority for a society. Part of the belonging to a society one must (for it to exist/function e.g. society is for *mutual * (aka All) protection and well being.) cede the decision of those 'rights' to the law. Clearly the purpose of the law must be to protect the individual in the interests of the majority.

Nor would I argue for an extreme Unitarian/communist state ( again 'deck chairs on the Titanic').
This Malthusian State is simply the precursor to failure and proof of sociological version of the first law of thermodynamics.

From there one can also conclude that either arguing in minutia or extremes by any doctrinal philosophy are largely moot. Therefore, I would suggest that there are two meaningful options left.
One, do as Jon suggested look for a totally novel philosophy (the chances of which I doubt...but I'm open to be proved wrong).
Two, work on a pragmatic syncretism of philosophies that meets the majority of human NEEDS.
As an aside (?) I don't think it's possible unless the majority agree on those needs/objectives.

Reality abhors absolutes.

Examinator said...

Your problem is that you need to understand the difference between a federation and a confederacy.
The USA is a federation and as such it takes precedence over the the states in SPECIFIED areas as defined by the Constitution and amendments.

Jon said...

Chad you must distinguish between some policies I advocate as a temporary solution to alleviate some suffering with the policies I would advocate that represent my ideal framework. My ideal framework I haven't really presented to you (I could write a book). As a temporary solution though to alleviate immediate suffering that is a product of theft from the poor to the rich, I think some should be given back. You call that theft, but I'd call it restitution.

I've argued, Chad, that what you are advocating is theft. Theft of poor Chinese workers compelled by government to negotiate their wage from a weak position. You and I can use our collective bargaining power to get a get rate on a Subway sub. The government doesn't stop us. In China the government stops them, compelling them to accept less than the fair market value of their labor, and the difference is sent to investors. That's straight theft, which you enjoy in your stock portfolio and those cheap products that are so important to you.

I've also shown that the US is the modern country where the poor are less likely to pull themselves up and out of poverty than they are in just about any other modern country. We are low on the scale of opportunity measured in that way.

I've also argued that you've already had many states where your theories have been tried. Africa, Haiti, Latin America. You want another crack at it after 40 years of ruining countries all over the world. If those failed experiments don't persuade you, why would you be persuaded if you wrecked various other states within the US the same way you wrecked Haiti?

You need to stop repeating the same slogans and address the replies I've already made to those slogans.

Chad said...

Examinator - have you read the Constitution? The power to make key decisions are supposed to fall to the states. Under what Constitutional provision does the gov't find the power to have an Education Department for instance. Where does it allow for Freddie and Fanny? I could go on for ever. I would also suggest that you read the Fedearlist Papers before you even try to mention the Commerce Clause for anything. The founders never thought that the commerce clause would be this badly mis understood.

Chad said...

JC - You've replied to those 'slogans', but have not made a good argument as to why I am wrong. Also - it's awfully rich saying that I repeat slogans when your only response to anything - at anytime is Haiti. I am pretty sure you can't go to the bathroom without mentioning Haiti.

The people of Haiti are responsible for their country - if they don't like something it is their responsibility to rise up and make change.

The theft comment - obviously a severe over reach on your part yet again, but I am game. If theft is two companies coming to a mutual agreement about producing and selling goods at a price then you stealing my money for programs I do not subscribe to is slavery. I may not have said this before, but I think it would be a great idea to allow citizens the ability to choose where an individuals tax money goes by program. Let the citizens paying the taxes (49% of us for income taxes) choose what programs will be funded and with how much money.

I will continue with my slogan as you call it because it makes sense. I don't care what your beliefs are I only ask that you do not steal my money, property and liberty to do it. If you want to change something, by all means go out raise the money and hell I may even participate by giving some money, but to simply say to Mr. Citizen I am taking your money for program x because I know better than you is B

What's interesting Jon is that I hope the people in Haiti and China rise up, but since I really believe in Individual Responsibility so much, I have no bones in saying that if the people in those countries are not interested in change then neither am I. If 90% of the citizens wanted real change they would get it, but I have a sneaky suspicion that less than 50% want what you want and your just one of those people pushing a group to get killed from thousands of miles away. If you feel that strongly I would suggest flying to Haiti or China and to be their leader - otherwise please stop using them as your talking point and your verbal pawn. I've talked to a lot of people that have been to these places and most people living there do not feel the way you do, but that's right your more interested in telling people how they should think and how they should live while pointing out who the big bad wolf is - I forgot that was your mission.

Jon said...

Are you familiar with the word chutzpah? Poor Chad with his various cars and cushy life is a slave. Poor baby. The Chinese child laborer doing body destroying work for $17 per day and driven to suicide? He has nobody to blame but himself. Poor Chad is the real slave. He's the real victim. We should feel bad for him.

Again, are you just going to ignore your theft from the Chinese? Are you just going to ignore the fact that you and I can do whatever we want in order to negotiate better wages or prices. In fact Wal-Mart can use their collective buying power to get a good price on paper towels. But if the Chinese laborer does the same out come the billy clubs. That's freedom in your world? FoxConn and Apple came to an agreement, so what's the problem?

Your concern about theft extends only to one group of people. The super rich. When extremely poor, border line starving and suicidal people are robbed you call that freedom. It's very much like southern whites who would talk about their own hardships as black slaves toiled in the cotton fields. The plantation owners thought of themselves as the real victims. They were the slaves because they were taxed. Meaning the black slaves did all the work and gave the revenue to the owner, and that poor owner had to pay taxes. Poor baby. How dare the government take his hard earned money!! Money the slaves actually created. The plight of the slave? Who cares? He has nobody to blame but himself.

Chad said...

I am not lost on the fact that there are people working in bad conditions for a small amount of pay, but on the other hand if not for Wal-Mart they may not be earning anything for their family.

I hope they continue to push for improved working conditions and pay - I really do because that will most likely allow US Manufacturing to come back on line. I have seen a lot of opportunities in 2012 coming back to the USA because the cost structure is no longer making sense to have something produced overseas so I am all for it. Once the labor force out prices their labor (like what happened in the US) there will be no reason to have paper towels produced in China, they will be produced in South Carolina, Indiana or some other business friendly state so that would be a good thing.

I am on your side on that one.

Chad said...

Also Jon, if owning a 67' Fixer Mustang, a 2003 Ford Truck and a 2004 van both with more than 135,000 miles, leasing a house and not taking a vacation anywhere for 4 years is living a plush life style then you can call Mr. Plush from now on sir.

Like many out there today we live on a pretty strict budget, we don't have any designer clothes, definitely do not have a boat and we buy most of the kids clothes from second hand shops.

With that said, the kids go to the best daycare/school money can buy and if we need something generally we can get it. About the only thing that I can say I buy that is on the upper end of the spectrum is the booze in my liquor cabinet. Glenlivet, Crown Black, Grey Goose is about is low as I go there.

Chad said...

By your response, it is clear who needs to do more reading and air ain't me.

Examinator said...


I really think you need to read some more civics. Clearly you don't fully understand about the how the system was designed to work. Specifically, the Supreme Court is there to arbitrate and ensure that any legislation is within the authority of either the Fed or state under the Constitution, when called on to do so. Note the nature (wording) of the Obamacare States' challenge.
BTW the constitution is more than just the words on the document. That only forms the index (broad topic headings) if you like.

The states' interests are proffered by the Senate under the system of checks and balances that EXISTS... Hence the (seemingly) disproportionate numbers of senators from each state when compared to population.
Freddie et al was within the Federal authority if it hadn't been it would have failed (struck down) a supreme Court challenge by one or more states.
The (legal) constitutional justification (which section of the constitution provided the authority) is in the public domain. It is your responsibility as a citizen, if you have concerns to find out what, and then criticise. Then again Democracy permits your ignorance and to display it, if you so wish.. It isn't my responsibility to educate you....

BTW Freddy et al was only a smaller part of the problem. Factually, it was private enterprise i.e. the Debt swap packaging entrepreneurs and lack of Meaningful FEDERAL oversight (Bush/ Republican responsibility failure) lack of laws of control and oversight.

Stating the obvious: The system isn't perfect but neither is any system anywhere, that involves people. They are the intangible..

FYI Australia dodged bullet simply because their banking system is far more controlled. Oh yes they are among the most profitable banks in the world because of of those controls. i.e. profit percentage.

I accept that V1.2 wasn't the best of English expression. However what ever connotations you add is yours not mine
ignorance means not knowing and clearly you don't know.
Either that or you're trolling

Chad said...

I did not get to read version 1.2 - it has been removed which suggests that it may not have been appropriate.

Not sure where the conversation went sideways anyhow.

I think I mentioned something about government overeach and how the Constitution outlines that outside the enumerated powers the responsibility to make policies falls to the people within the States. I think I asked where in the Constitution does it give the Federal Leviathan its powers to create these programs like Social Security and Fannie/Freddie.

And to your point about Private Enterprise having a big hand in the housing bubble your right. HOWEVER and this is a big however, a changed policy to federally back banks/people to lend money to folks who could not afford homes was the key. I am not a guy who will back Republicans when they screw up like and that was a horrible mis-step by Bush - one of many in my opinion.

If the program was never born - there would not have been a housing collapse and my comment to the situation is that when gov't gets involved in the semi free market we have here by policy or by regulations it always always fails.

Jon said...

Chad, you live a life of luxury. I'm not saying you don't work hard, but you live in abundance. Chinese children working 12 hour days also work hard but don't have abundance. So who's the slave? The value they bring goes to investors. You obviously get to keep a large portion of the value you generate. Who's the slave?

As the Void notes, there are no free markets. Some government intervention helps investors (like the imprisonment of Chinese dissidents calling for reform) and some government intervention harms investors, at least in the short term (taxation, welfare state measures). The former cause immense suffering. Chinese laborers are poor, hungry, and powerless, so when they are blocked from organizing it's a real hardship. When you are taxed let's be honest. It's not much of a hardship. You're not going to miss a meal. We could probably double your federal income tax rate and what would that mean in terms of your lifestlye? Probably no change. You have more than enough to pay for it.

So which government interventions should we focus on first? The ones that cause a large amount of suffering amongst the very poor or the ones that affect the rich, which at the end of the day they really don't notice?

Chad said...

I actually get all that stuff Jon - it is not lost on me. I would prefer (strongly prefer) like I said before and will say over and over again for the Chinese to rise up and fight for better wages and living conditions, but that is up to them - that is their fight my brother. Even if I agreed with you 100%, what could you and I possibly do to affect real change so what are we talking about here? I will not ever agree to surrender my earnings for a cause that is thousands of miles away when I can affect real change in my neighborhood, city and county. The other key factor is that I don't think the gov't will have the money to care for me when I grow old so I have to look out for me and my family first while trying to enjoy this one life that I get to live.

From a philosophy standpoint - you just mentioning to me that my life would not be significantly altered by doubling my taxes is like a kick in the groin my friend. What right do you have to dictate how I live my life sir? First off - doubling my taxes would affect my families life dramatically - I would no longer be able to buy my dad's heart medications, my mom's arthritis meds that they can't afford, I would no longer be able to help my brother with his medical bills (he's in the hospital again) - most likely it would not allow us to keep the kids at the daycare we prefer just to give you a couple things off the top of my head. At a certain point - what would be the use of working? Why shouldn't I just stop working/earning and sit at the table with my hand out as well?

What actually bothers me the most is that you (and other Progressives) think that you can use my earnings better than I can - and frankly you can't. No matter how much money you take it will never be enough to solve all the worlds problems it will only create new problems. If you came to me and said - Chad here is a plan to end poverty in Ohio and we'd like you to participate voluntarily to the cause because of these factors then I would listen, but to say to me - Chad you live too well, you have too much and because you have done so well for you self through your hard work we must take that away is utter garbage and I will never stand for it no matter how many people in China work for $17 a day.

Jon said...

Man, you are putting all kinds of words in my mouth I didn't say. I never said you live too well and so your money should be taken. And I didn't talk about doubling your tax burden. I was careful not to say that. I said if we doubled your "federal income tax rate" your lifestyle wouldn't change. That's not the same as doubling your total tax bill, because I understand it's entirely possible that you already pay like 40% of your income in taxes, so if we doubled your tax bill I assume that would be a stretch.

It sounds to me like you get to keep a large portion of the wealth you generate. That's how I think it should work. The ones that do the work keep what they make. That's not how it works with Apple Investors. They can do zero work but they get the revenue generated by the Chinese kid. I think you work hard enough that you should be living well.

And this goes back to a point I made earlier about how I'd have to write a book to explain my views, and this is why I look forward to sitting down to dinner with you. I think your tax rate is too high. That's right. You should pay LESS in taxes as far as I'm concerned. If I could wave my magic wand and dictate how things are you'd pay less.

The biggest part of our tax burden is so called defense, which is really not defense at all, but war to expand the interests of investors. It's true that Social Security and Medicare are a huge portion of our tax bill, but those are fully funded with dedicated taxes. Cut the defense budget and you can simultaneously cut income taxes dramatically.

Medicare forecasts are looking bad, but I'd move to single payer and that problem is gone. And the burden you bear covering your brother and Dad is gone. Your health care costs go down dramatically.

I know what you're thinking. Somebody has to pay for your Dad's medication and if it's not you, why should it be someone else? But take me as an example. Fortunately none of my family members have serious medical conditions that require my monetary assistance. So in my case if we had single payer my tax bill would be more than what is spent on me. So I'm partly paying for your Dad's medications. But I don't mind because I'd still be paying less on that system than what I pay now. I have to have insurance coverage, and it's extremely expensive even though I never go to the doctor. Single payer means costs go down so much that I pay less, you pay MUCH less, and your Dad still gets his medications. Not bad, eh?

I can't get all that stuff right away, so as a temporary solution I do favor raising taxes back to the level they were prior to the 80's. That's a tax hike on people in the top 1%, which is not where you are yet from what you've said. Taxes for the bottom 99% haven't changed a lot since then. So I'm not really looking at raising your taxes even if I can't get defense and health care changed.

Sorry, I know that was long.

Examinator said...

I deleted it because of your comment it was clear that you either misunderstood the comment and the expression grammar was poor.Not because it was was rewritten in deference to you. I wrote V1.2 on the fly.

I still stand by my conclusion that your understanding of the Federal System is fairly wanting. the monolithic Federal over-reach as suggested by you in a previous post about Fed letting 'conservative' states do their thing.
The point is/was that was based on false assumptions.
i.e. most of your talking points are based on false assumptions in order to scare the unwary.
The system's flaws are because of vested interests.

The point of mentioning the Australian stand out is to show that Regulation of the market if done sensibly can work.
What doesn't work is making extreme extrapolations i.e. Corporate Tax increases = end of the world market simply isn't that simple. If it was anybody could run a bank, a corporation or be a scientist. This is demonstrably NONSENSICAL.

Examinator said...

Chad Au Contraire,
I'd suggest that it won't get through firstly and secondly as indicated they already have their taxable well Squirrelled away.
In fact if you look as the treasury analysis you'll discover that 85% or there abouts is paid by the average wage earner. How come? Forget Canada blame the squirrels.
I remember one company I worked for used the tax code to recover from a cock up of management.
Abridged story....
The executives discovered that they were just short of the 2nd tier Bonus.
So they put all staff on sub contracts that way they could avoid Xmas bonuses, gain Profit the sale of the vehicles to the sub contractors, and no maintenence petrol etc.
They figured that if business continued on at current levels and the workers worked 10% harder (more calls)each they could increase their pay by 6-8% (benefit to the company was 14%).
I disagreed and said so. I went under incredible pressure to hold the line ....even my wife was pressured by other exec wives!
I quit taking my 1X bonus.
Forward 3 years ... an ex-employee(manager) applied for a job at my new employer.
He told me the pressure caused a big staff turnover....Service dropped did business.... 30% of the subcontractor drivers either went broke or sold their contracts cheap.
Of the execs 1 retired (I knew that)
One was ill and retired early(I knew that)
One having got a big bonus ...good job on his resume moved on to a better job.
The other took my job.
All in 12 months
The next year was a big loss, first time in 60 years ....100 people laid off.
Year 2 the company was going backward so....the exec who went to a Bain and co type company came back and made a bid...the remaining execs + new ones accepted.
They sold the company for cheeeeep.
They stripped the assets closed the company and 223 people in a small town were sacked.
They used the tax code to reduce their tax liability ...
The ex manager showed me a front page story in the area's paper where the remaining manager blamed the tax rate.....BS it was a short term grab for profit for the share holders ( and the extra enormous bonus).Illegal ? ...prove it!
Moral of the story don't believe what the media tell you.
THESE GUYS WEREN'T PARTICULARLY UNIQUE. They are human and were simply looking after themselves and the shareholders ....and employees are considered disposable.
If you went to look at corporate morality (sic) look up what happened at Bopal India 50000 people affected ...did the company suffer no! look up it's current name. and that's not unique either

Examinator said...

FYI, Most tax codes are 'progressive'
including the French one(last time I looked at it.
for example sake only

0- $10000 = Nil tax
10001- 30000= 10% therefore a person on that $30000 would pay 10% on the last $20,000 only =$2000.Max
$30001- 100000= 25% (the marginal rate)
They would pay 20% on last $70000 or portion thereof = $10500.max
Therefore if they earned $100000 their total tax bill would be....$2000+ $14,000 = $16,000 that equals an effective tax rate of 16%... of their $100k
the person on $30000 pays an effective rate of 15%.
The higher the taxable income goes the less the effective rate becomes to the point where someone on $1 million is paying perhaps 7% effective tax unless the marginal rate is significantly higher or the gaps in the rates are narrowed.
Ergo a 75% marginal rate at $1mil could effectively they are paying a lessor percentage than the person on $30K.
In reality if a person earned $1000001 it is ONLY THE LAST $ that would be at 75% that person may still be on an effective rate less than the person on $30k

Before you calculate the taxable income one makes the deductions... I.e. a millionaire maybe able to lease a Masarati at the same payback rate of the cost of your car...but his payments are tax deductible in which means his taxable income Just dropped by $40k and so on.
If he has a family company(trust) his million$ is firstly taxed at a lower corporate rate.
Or he can equalise it across his family members and their individual incomes would attract lessor again.especially when you consider each one is entitled to deductions.
These practices are wide spread and are often in addition to the other methods.
Conclusion Don't believe the hype about rich people being unfairly taxed. You need to look at what tax they actually pay! In most cases its nothing or next to.
One famous case in Aust their richest man worth Billions paid $5000 over a 3 year period.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Chad knows what the free market is.

The free market is 'free' from government interference (regulation).

Maybe you're getting a market economy confused with a free market economy.

Although the free market is a ridiculous idea I am not sure the picture is perfectly accurate, it gives the impression that companies would spend money to build houses and not let people live in them for a profit.

The problem with the free-market is that corporations can't be trusted. Without regulation corporations will turn into monopolies and eventually there will be almost no competition.