• Is economic conservatism being sold like a religion?
    144 replies, posted
[QUOTE=Jaehead;36059906]can you provide a source on that because as far as I'm aware the US government funds its deficits by selling treasury bonds?[/QUOTE] [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_market_operations[/url] Treasury bonds are bought and sold by the Federal Reserve as one of their tools to control the supply of money. They can decrease supply by selling bonds. Money used to buy the bonds is essentially removed from circulation. The interest rates on bonds are used to entice people to buy or sell depending on if they want to increase money supply or decrease. Low interest rates gets people to sell them, thereby increasing the supply of money when the Fed gives them cash for the bond. [editline]22nd May 2012[/editline] [quote]To pay for these assets, bank reserves in the form of new base money (for example newly printed cash) are transferred to the seller's bank and the seller's account is credited. Thus, the total amount of base money in the economy is increased. Conversely, if the central bank sells these assets in the open market, the amount of base money held by the buyer's bank is decreased, effectively destroying base money.[/quote]
The government still pays interest on debt to it's own people... the interest is the entire reason people buy the bonds. If they just print the extra money for interest you get super inflation.
-pretty much what sg said above-
Um yeah they print the money to pay the interest on them. It said right in the thing I quoted that money is printed to buy Treasury bonds from people which includes the interest payment. You don't get the interest until you sell the bond. The cost doesn't matter because the function is to put money into the economy. And on top of that the Federal Reserve makes several billion dollars in profit every year (50-100 billion) and they give 90% of it to the Treasury, which they aren't required to do.
[QUOTE=Ordigenius;36060092]You know, cattle isn't just only for meat. There aree a lot of useful things made from cattle. because things made in sweatshops are far more valuable than veggies?[/QUOTE] Not useful enough to warrant committing huge percentages of the planet's grain production, it's a choice between enough food for everyone or an abundance of meat and leather products. I was talking about the workers in factories, their quality of life is disgraceful and to claim it's far better than agricultural employment is absurd. You seem to be talking about the products they produce, which hardly justifies what is essentially slavery. [QUOTE=Pepin;36060241] Can you explain why a government is not prone to the same issues of market failure? I get the impression that you are claiming that government is a valid alternative to market issues, and I'm curious as to why the government would be a entity to make decisions. It's important to realize that any government and any market is just made up of people, so the main difference is those of incentives.[/QUOTE] If there is no market, there can be no market failure. Crop failures and other shortages are inevitable in any system but a more egalitarian method would ensure as many people as possible get what they need. The market is made of many people pursuing their own personal interests, which leads to abuses of power that are evident throughout the world, not to mention complete disinterest in helping those who can't pay their way. A government is by no means immune to abuses of power, but at least officials can be held directly accountable for their actions. Both the free-market and governments are collections of people but governments are more structured and are expected to represent the interests of their citizens. Governments have to consider the effects of their decisions on society at large before committing to them, whereas actors in a free-market only need to be concerned with profit. [QUOTE=PvtCupcakes;36062655] And on top of that the Federal Reserve makes several billion dollars in profit every year (50-100 billion) and they give 90% of it to the Treasury, which they aren't required to do.[/QUOTE] How nice of them...
It's not "essentially slavery". If they have a choice between working in prostitution, begging on the streets, or working in a sweat shop, they are going to work at a sweat shop. They choose it because it is the best possible alternative. No one is being abducted and forced into "slave labor", there is heavy competition to get into these jobs. [QUOTE=PvtCupcakes;36062655]And on top of that the Federal Reserve makes several billion dollars in profit every year (50-100 billion) and they give 90% of it to the Treasury, which they aren't required to do.[/QUOTE] How on earth could you ever [b]not[/b] make a profit when you can print trillions of dollars out at no cost and lend it out at interest. If they lend out 2 trillion printed dollars at a 2% interest rate that is 40 billion in "profit". Not to mention what are they doing with the money that don't go back to the Treasury?
[QUOTE=WhatTheKlent;36071802]Not useful enough to warrant committing huge percentages of the planet's grain production, it's a choice between enough food for everyone or an abundance of meat and leather products. I was talking about the workers in factories, their quality of life is disgraceful and to claim it's far better than agricultural employment is absurd. You seem to be talking about the products they produce, which hardly justifies what is essentially slavery. [/QUOTE] Unless I'm missing something here, all workers choose to work. Maybe its just me, but I haven't heard of evil greedy corporations kidnapping people in the night and holding a gun to their heads; forcing them to work. Workers work because they choose to seek employment, was satisfied by the pay/job quality offered by the employer, and choose to show up and work. If they really thought their jobs were shit and that agricultural work was easy as pie (toiling in the sweltering sun all day isn't much better than sweatshop labor), then why in the world would they work for those "evil evil greedy corporations"
[QUOTE=Pepin;36060241]It's a little difficult to reply to this when there are only claims to respond to. I'm certain you have evidence, but I need to be made aware of it, as I can't argue against claims, as claims aren't arguments. It may end up that I agree with your premises but disagree that it follows, or maybe I agree with everything. Can you explain the need for empirical research to validate many basic micro and macro economic concepts? It might be a good place to start on the laws on diminishing returns.[/QUOTE] You need empirical data for everything, economics is no exception. I don't believe in [I]a priori[/I] truths, but even if I did, it still doesn't necessarily follow that any given mathematical formalisation of an economic concept applies to the real world. If I have any formal system X, and it turns out that p is a theorem in X, then p is true [B]if and only if[/B] there is an isomorphism found between X and some aspect of the real world. The empirical research is needed to establish the isomorphism between X and the real world. [editline]24th May 2012[/editline] In the most trivial sense, you need empirical data to establish that humans can be modelled as economic agents, for example. If you were a non-human observer, it wouldn't be [I]immediately[/I] obvious that this was the case. A concrete example: there is [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Behavioral_economics]substantial evidence[/url] that humans do not always act in the rational manner that most(?) economic theories predict. The Allais Paradox is a good example.
[QUOTE=LF9000;36072779]Unless I'm missing something here, all workers choose to work. Maybe its just me, but I haven't heard of evil greedy corporations kidnapping people in the night and holding a gun to their heads; forcing them to work. Workers work because they choose to seek employment, was satisfied by the pay/job quality offered by the employer, and choose to show up and work. If they really thought their jobs were shit and that agricultural work was easy as pie (toiling in the sweltering sun all day isn't much better than sweatshop labor), then why in the world would they work for those "evil evil greedy corporations"[/QUOTE] Because, in a lot of countries (China for example) if you don't work then you can't afford food and you DIE. So they might as well be holding a gun to your head because you HAVE to work in order to stay alive. It's that simple. Society holds a gun to your head by requiring you to have a steady stream of money in order to stay alive. It's not entirely like that in most developed countries (we have SS, unemployment, charities, etc.) but it sure as hell will be if economic conservatives succeed in cutting all of the government provided services.
[QUOTE=Key_in_skillee;36081389]Because, in a lot of countries (China for example) if you don't work then you can't afford food and you DIE. So they might as well be holding a gun to your head because you HAVE to work in order to stay alive. It's that simple. Society holds a gun to your head by requiring you to have a steady stream of money in order to stay alive. It's not entirely like that in most developed countries (we have SS, unemployment, charities, etc.) but it sure as hell will be if economic conservatives succeed in cutting all of the government provided services.[/QUOTE] if you stop breathing you die as well, oh no oxygen is holding a gun to my head
[QUOTE=WhatTheKlent;36071802]Not useful enough to warrant committing huge percentages of the planet's grain production, it's a choice between enough food for everyone or an abundance of meat and leather products. I was talking about the workers in factories, their quality of life is disgraceful and to claim it's far better than agricultural employment is absurd. You seem to be talking about the products they produce, which hardly justifies what is essentially slavery. [/QUOTE] way more than just leather, bro. [url]http://lists.envirolink.org/pipermail/ar-news/Week-of-Mon-20040105/015167.html[/url] [editline]25th May 2012[/editline] yeah social conservativism is shit
ugh i see a thread about economic conservatism, and what i get is people arguing about economic liberalism. for me the problem with capitalism is the same problem Marx had with capitalism, it's too costly and exploits one group of people for the sake of another group of people. essentially feudalism without divine right. [editline]25th May 2012[/editline] [QUOTE=Kentz;36005582]i believe in a free market because (as a libertarian) i am against the use of force which government infererence would imply[/QUOTE] exactly which free market could possibly function without government infererence? even the most free of markets during the colonial days was made possible only due to the aggressive policies of governments in that era.
[QUOTE=thisispain;36085216]ugh i see a thread about economic conservatism, and what i get is people arguing about economic liberalism. for me the problem with capitalism is the same problem Marx had with capitalism, it's too costly and exploits one group of people for the sake of another group of people. essentially feudalism without divine right. [editline]25th May 2012[/editline] exactly which free market could possibly function without government infererence? even the most free of markets during the colonial days was made possible only due to the aggressive policies of governments in that era.[/QUOTE] I am not very well versed in early American history, but from what you're saying you suggest that government intervention (aggressive policies), created free markets. By the definition of free market, that is not a very free market. But I am interested in the actual policies though, if you could name some that would be very interesting
free market just means the prices of goods are controlled by supply and demand and not by government intervention the definition doesn't say anything about how the goods or capital is acquired. slavery ultimately operated in a free-market. colonial governments making that possible doesn't change a thing.
[QUOTE=DainBramageStudios;36076691]You need empirical data for everything, economics is no exception. I don't believe in [I]a priori[/I] truths, but even if I did, it still doesn't necessarily follow that any given mathematical formalisation of an economic concept applies to the real world. If I have any formal system X, and it turns out that p is a theorem in X, then p is true [B]if and only if[/B] there is an isomorphism found between X and some aspect of the real world. The empirical research is needed to establish the isomorphism between X and the real world.[/quote] It seems that you are more agreeing with me than disagreeing with me. Empirical research is of course needed for any theory that attempts to predict accuracy. Many economic predictions attempt to make prediction based on variables and numbers, and these predictions most definitively require testing. It is also important not to get sucked into the Platonic thought that concepts are not derived from reality. I would put forward that any axiomatic statement is a statement derived from all particular instances in reality and that the statement is the proof itself. For instance, the core axiom in Austrian economics is that humans act. This is considered to be axiomatic as making the claim that humans act, is acting. Logically, the claim cannot be refuted or even responded to without someone acting. [QUOTE=DainBramageStudios;36076691]A concrete example: there is [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Behavioral_economics]substantial evidence[/url] that humans do not always act in the rational manner that most(?) economic theories predict. The Allais Paradox is a good example.[/QUOTE] It seems like you are making a claim for Austrian economics with this one. Austrian economics is one of the few disciplines that doesn't assume and actually argues against the idea that the average person uses calculus to make economic decisions. But I am slightly confused by the claim you are making. Why would humans have to always act rationally for economic theories to be valid? Would a biological science need the same prediction ability as a physical science to be considered valid? If so, why?
[QUOTE=Noble;36072316]It's not "essentially slavery". If they have a choice between working in prostitution, begging on the streets, or working in a sweat shop, they are going to work at a sweat shop. They choose it because it is the best possible alternative. No one is being abducted and forced into "slave labor", there is heavy competition to get into these jobs. [/QUOTE] Their 'choices' are all despicable, it's the inexplicable economic system we currently have that forces people to make such choices to live. If I have you in a cage and tell you to either make me clothes or starve to death, you will do whatever you can to stay alive, that doesn't make the situation acceptable by even the lowest standards of human dignity. [QUOTE=LF9000;36072779]Unless I'm missing something here, all workers choose to work. Maybe its just me, but I haven't heard of evil greedy corporations kidnapping people in the night and holding a gun to their heads; forcing them to work. Workers work because they choose to seek employment, was satisfied by the pay/job quality offered by the employer, and choose to show up and work. If they really thought their jobs were shit and that agricultural work was easy as pie (toiling in the sweltering sun all day isn't much better than sweatshop labor), then why in the world would they work for those "evil evil greedy corporations"[/QUOTE] I agree that they choose to work there due to a lack of alternatives, sweat-shops are merely a symptom of a flawed system of resource management that leaves people desperate to the point where they will do anything they need to survive. Are the workers satisfied with the pay and job quality? Because a huge number of workers who have protested against the poor pay and conditions are murdered, leaving others reluctant to speak up, were these workers just 'greedy' for wanting basic rights and minimal wage increases to afford adequate food? A huge part of the problem with agricultural work is land ownership and guess what? People who try to initiate policies of land reform also routinely go 'missing'. If sweat-shop workers and tenant farmers are so satisfied with their lot in life why is it necessary to kill people who try to organise to get better pay and conditions? Surely if the workers are so happy there's no reason to make an example to prevent them asking for more. [QUOTE=DainBramageStudios;36083518]if you stop breathing you die as well, oh no oxygen is holding a gun to my head[/QUOTE] If I put you in an airless room and asked you whether or not you wanted make shoes in exchange for oxygen would that be reasonable?
[QUOTE=Pepin;36088202]For instance, the core axiom in Austrian economics is that humans act. This is considered to be axiomatic as making the claim that humans act, is acting. Logically, the claim cannot be refuted or even responded to without someone acting.[/QUOTE] I'd be extremely careful when using anthropic reasoning. It's an unsolved problem in philosophy. Other than that I seem to be in agreement with you. I'll not post more because my knowledge of economics is limited.
[QUOTE=WhatTheKlent;36090673]Their 'choices' are all despicable, it's the inexplicable economic system we currently have that forces people to make such choices to live. If I have you in a cage and tell you to either make me clothes or starve to death, you will do whatever you can to stay alive, that doesn't make the situation acceptable by even the lowest standards of human dignity.[/QUOTE] My point is that these people are already in shit conditions before our companies arrive there. Our companies arrive and set up these sweatshops, giving them a better alternative to the shit conditions they were already living in. If the companies never arrived there they would have been worse off because they would be working for much lower wages, and in worse conditions as in the examples I described above. I also don't get your example, no one is forcing these workers to do anything. They simply provide a better alternative to what these workers would normally be doing to survive. There is no force, no extortion going on here. Same thing with your example about the airless room. Unlike your examples, there is actually no force being exercised on these people. They're offered a better alternative to the normal way of life in their country, and they take it, that's all there is to it. No force involved. How is capitalism to blame for anything? Why shouldn't people have to provide resources for themselves to survive? i.e receiving money by selling their labor. It's either that, or someone else has to provide the resources for them, they don't appear out of thin air. Capitalism has always worked because the profit motive drives businesses to cut inefficiency and waste and make improvements in technology so that they can produce more with less resources. It's far from inexplicable, and you aren't ever going to find a better or more efficient economic system.
[QUOTE=Noble;36098289]How is capitalism to blame for anything? Why shouldn't people have to provide resources for themselves to survive? i.e receiving money by selling their labor. It's either that, or someone else has to provide the resources for them, they don't appear out of thin air. Capitalism has always worked because the profit motive drives businesses to cut inefficiency and waste and make improvements in technology so that they can produce more with less resources. It's far from inexplicable, and [B]you aren't ever going to find a better or more efficient economic system.[/B][/QUOTE] i can think of a few
[QUOTE=Noble;36098289]My point is that these people are already in shit conditions before our companies arrive there. Our companies arrive and set up these sweatshops, giving them a better alternative to the shit conditions they were already living in. If the companies never arrived there they would have been worse off because they would be working for much lower wages, and in worse conditions as in the examples I described above. [/QUOTE] They are living in shit conditions due to a flawed system that is more concerned abstract numbers and concept than human needs, which should logically be the focus of [U]any[/U] method of resource management. You seem to believe I blame the companies for this, their exploitative actions are merely incidental and are predictable given the system in which they operate. [QUOTE=Noble;36098289] I also don't get your example, no one is forcing these workers to do anything. They simply provide a better alternative to what these workers would normally be doing to survive. There is no force, no extortion going on here. Same thing with your example about the airless room. Unlike your examples, there is actually no force being exercised on these people. They're offered a better alternative to the normal way of life in their country, and they take it, that's all there is to it. No force involved. [/QUOTE] No one is forcing them to do anything but they are taking advantage of their situation to obtain cheap, unskilled labour for personal gain. There is no force involved because there is no need for force. Working in a sweatshop is certainly preferable to starvation but neither should happen in a world of abundant resources such as we live in. [QUOTE=Noble;36098289] How is capitalism to blame for anything? Why shouldn't people have to provide resources for themselves to survive? i.e receiving money by selling their labor. It's either that, or someone else has to provide the resources for them, they don't appear out of thin air. Capitalism has always worked because the profit motive drives businesses to cut inefficiency and waste and make improvements in technology so that they can produce more with less resources. It's far from inexplicable, and you aren't ever going to find a better or more efficient economic system.[/QUOTE] Capitalism, as it currently stands, is directly responsible for this. If we operated on an economy that held human life and dignity above profit and 'efficiency' such regrettable situations would not occur. I agree that people should provide something in return for what they need, the problem lies in the fact that more powerful individuals and organisations can dictate rewards for labour, they have enough control that they can give people a pittance and reap the rewards of their productivity. Capitalism hasn't been around for very long, has it always worked? Economic systems are put in place to provide goods and services in an efficient manner, when you see people starving while others are dying from obesity there's clearly a problem with that system. Allowing such utter mismanagement of the earth's resources (Not to mention overuse of those resources) is inexplicable unless you can offer a reasonable explanation for why this is the case. Improved efficiency depends on your definition of the word, surely rearing cattle for slaughter is inefficient when you could take the grain fed to cows and simply give it to people. To merely assume there is no other possible system, now or in the future, that is better than capitalism is nonsensical and naive.
I really don't think you understand some basic economic principles. For example, a free market is objectively the most efficient economic system. It rewards efficiency in every way and discourages inefficiency. A free market is also the only real way to gauge any sort of objective value.
[QUOTE=sgman91;36116123]I really don't think you understand some basic economic principles. For example, a free market is objectively the most efficient economic system. It rewards efficiency in every way and discourages inefficiency. A free market is also the only real way to gauge any sort of objective value.[/QUOTE] Yes. This. The free market is an example of emergence, a complex system which emerges from relatively simple interactions. Emergence is what gives us intelligence, evolution, life itself, and the universe as we know it. Emergent systems are examples of spontaneous order. Any excessive restrictions only serve to distort the price discovery mechanism and any other market corrections.
[QUOTE=sgman91;36116123]I really don't think you understand some basic economic principles. For example, a free market is objectively the most efficient economic system. It rewards efficiency in every way and discourages inefficiency. A free market is also the only real way to gauge any sort of objective value.[/QUOTE] It's only 'the most efficient' in the sense that it will inevitably produce the most for the cheapest cost and the most profit if left alone, but that by no means makes it the best economic system for the people, only the best in terms of wealth production.
[QUOTE=LF9000;36116334]Yes. This. The free market is an example of emergence, a complex system which emerges from relatively simple interactions. Emergence is what gives us intelligence, evolution, life itself, and the universe as we know it. Emergent systems are examples of spontaneous order.[/QUOTE] uh no just no [editline]29th May 2012[/editline] you can substitute the word "magic" for "emergence" in that and it will have the same meaning.
[QUOTE=LF9000;36116334]Yes. This. The free market is an example of emergence, a complex system which emerges from relatively simple interactions. Emergence is what gives us intelligence, evolution, life itself, and the universe as we know it. Emergent systems are examples of spontaneous order. [/QUOTE] empty rhetoric. capitalism is simply a step up in development from feudalism. Marx believed that socialism would follow, but anything could develop and turn the concept of "the free market" into an anachronistic dinosaur. unless you actually believe capitalism is the end all for human civilization, in which case i would ask you to be a lot less pessimistic.
[QUOTE=thisispain;36117310]empty rhetoric. capitalism is simply a step up in development from feudalism. Marx believed that socialism would follow, [B]but anything could develop and turn the concept of "the free market" into an anachronistic dinosaur. [/B] unless you actually believe capitalism is the end all for human civilization, in which case i would ask you to be a lot less pessimistic.[/QUOTE] what do you mean
[QUOTE=sgman91;36116123]I really don't think you understand some basic economic principles. For example, a free market is objectively the most efficient economic system. It rewards efficiency in every way and discourages inefficiency. A free market is also the only real way to gauge any sort of objective value.[/QUOTE] Are you for free market with fewer government intervention like no minimum wages or max working hours? If so, then you might want to live in 1840s Manchester as a factory worker. I doubt that you would work as efficently.
britain didn't have a minimum wage until the late 90s
[QUOTE=WhatTheKlent;36111319]They are living in shit conditions due to a flawed system that is more concerned abstract numbers and concept than human needs, which should logically be the focus of [U]any[/U] method of resource management. You seem to believe I blame the companies for this, their exploitative actions are merely incidental and are predictable given the system in which they operate.[/quote] They are living in shit conditions because their country is poor. No violation of human needs is taking place, the company wants labor and is willing to provide money and the worker is willing to provide labor in exchange for money. Both parties are benefiting from the (entirely voluntary) transaction. [quote]No one is forcing them to do anything but they are taking advantage of their situation to obtain cheap, unskilled labour for personal gain. There is no force involved because there is no need for force. Working in a sweatshop is certainly preferable to starvation but neither should happen in a world of abundant resources such as we live in.[/quote] Resources are finite and they have to come from somewhere. We don't have the resources to endlessly feed, house, and cloth every single person on this planet. We have finite resources and we exchange things for them. [quote]Capitalism, as it currently stands, is directly responsible for this. If we operated on an economy that held human life and dignity above profit and 'efficiency' such regrettable situations would not occur. I agree that people should provide something in return for what they need, the problem lies in the fact that more powerful individuals and organisations can dictate rewards for labour, they have enough control that they can give people a pittance and reap the rewards of their productivity.[/quote] They can't dictate anything under free market conditions, really. They come there and provide an alternative to working under the sun for 16 hours a day, where they get to make more money doing less back-breaking labor. If it was not a better alternative to the pre-existing poor conditions the workers live in, then they would not choose to do it. [quote]Capitalism hasn't been around for very long, has it always worked? Economic systems are put in place to provide goods and services in an efficient manner, when you see people starving while others are dying from obesity there's clearly a problem with that system. Allowing such utter mismanagement of the earth's resources (Not to mention overuse of those resources) is inexplicable unless you can offer a reasonable explanation for why this is the case. Improved efficiency depends on your definition of the word, surely rearing cattle for slaughter is inefficient when you could take the grain fed to cows and simply give it to people. To merely assume there is no other possible system, now or in the future, that is better than capitalism is nonsensical and naive.[/QUOTE] It's not inexplicable and it doesn't indicate there's a problem with the system. Some people have more resources than others, can buy more of what they want, and enjoy a higher standard of living than others. Improving inefficiency to me means producing more goods with less resources. Competition in the free market and the profit motive drive producers to make technological improvements so that they can do more with less, and then pass the savings down to consumers in the form of prices. They will beat the competitors prices and/or offer superior goods, then the competitor will have to adapt by improving their means of production or die off. That is the system that has driven us to the highest standard of living that humanity has ever enjoyed, and it's the system that just simply works.
However I would add that empirically it seems like moderate government intervention is beneficial. The countries with the highest standards of living tend to have a large welfare state and high-ish taxes.
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