libertarianism, socialism and other wonderful but clearly off-topic matters

Things that don't belong anywhere else. (Check first).

Moderators: Moderators General, Prelates, Magistrates

User avatar
pogrmman
Posts: 540
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:53 pm UTC
Location: Probably outside

libertarianism, socialism and other wonderful but clearly off-topic matters

Postby pogrmman » Tue May 01, 2018 1:36 pm UTC

I didn’t know whether to put this here or not — but, to nobody’s surprise, TX Republicans are keeping with their agenda of rolling back every decision by the Austin city council. It always cracks me up how these proponents of “states’ rights” with their dislike of thefederal government turn around and do the exact same their rhetoric is about to local cities. It’s like clockwork — every time the legislature meets, you know part of the agenda will be undoing local ordinances. Aren’t they supposed to support local control and not act like big government?

Granted, it is depressing that anybody is trying to fight an increase in paid sick leave. But it doesn’t even seem like they’ve got grounds for it in court! They’re saying it conflicts with the stage-wide minimum wage law... It’s just doing their normal fear, panic, and outrage over what goes on in Austin.

jewish_scientist
Posts: 944
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:15 pm UTC

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby jewish_scientist » Tue May 01, 2018 3:47 pm UTC

In reality the are libertarians who are not brave enough to openly admit it. They are against a power federal government, because they are against any powerful government.

They may have standing in court if the argue that the City Counsel is relying on annulment, which is the idea that small government that are part of a large government can annul the laws of the larger government. The Supreme Court has stuck annulment down as unconstitutional several times. The Counsel would have to counter that they were adding to and not subtracting from Texas law.
"You are not running off with Cow-Skull Man Dracula Skeletor!"
-Socrates

User avatar
pogrmman
Posts: 540
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:53 pm UTC
Location: Probably outside

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby pogrmman » Tue May 01, 2018 4:30 pm UTC

They aren’t against a powerful state government though — as long as they use it to suppress the dissenting views. The real reason they hate all of Austin’s policies is because it’s the only big city in TX where a majority of white people vote for Democrats. Pretty much everywhere else in the state, it’s “minorities” (in quotes because they are more like a plurality now) who vote Democratic, and a majority of white people vote Republican. While this is from 2014, only 26% of (non-Hispanic) white people in TX are Democrats. In Austin, that’s certainly not the case — in Travis County, non-Hispanic whites only stopped being an absolute majority a few years ago. It’s still quite white for TX, but it’s consistently voted for the Democrats in an overwhelming fashion.

I don’t think they could effectively argue annulment — from Paxton’s statement, it seems like they’re gonna argue that setting the minimum wage is a task that only should fall upon the state legislature, and cities have no right to supplement it, and that mandating sick leave is equivalent to a change in minimum wage.

User avatar
Dauric
Posts: 3941
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 6:58 pm UTC
Location: In midair, traversing laterally over a container of sharks. No water, just sharks, with lasers.

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Dauric » Tue May 01, 2018 4:36 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:In reality the are libertarians who are not brave enough to openly admit it. They are against a power federal government, because they are against any powerful government.

They may have standing in court if the argue that the City Counsel is relying on annulment, which is the idea that small government that are part of a large government can annul the laws of the larger government. The Supreme Court has stuck annulment down as unconstitutional several times. The Counsel would have to counter that they were adding to and not subtracting from Texas law.


The irony of course is that preventing a proper government from exercising power, ostensibly in the name of individual self-determination and local control, leaves a power vacuum which gets filled by corporate interests. This flavor of libertarian will rail against the big-bad federal government, and then utterly fail to notice how they're being effectively 'governed' (through proxy-by-lobbyist) by a corporation just as far away and just as divorced from local interests.
We're in the traffic-chopper over the XKCD boards where there's been a thread-derailment. A Liquified Godwin spill has evacuated threads in a fourty-post radius of the accident, Lolcats and TVTropes have broken free of their containers. It is believed that the Point has perished.

User avatar
Quercus
Posts: 1756
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:22 pm UTC
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Quercus » Tue May 01, 2018 4:56 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:
jewish_scientist wrote:In reality the are libertarians who are not brave enough to openly admit it. They are against a power federal government, because they are against any powerful government.

They may have standing in court if the argue that the City Counsel is relying on annulment, which is the idea that small government that are part of a large government can annul the laws of the larger government. The Supreme Court has stuck annulment down as unconstitutional several times. The Counsel would have to counter that they were adding to and not subtracting from Texas law.


The irony of course is that preventing a proper government from exercising power, ostensibly in the name of individual self-determination and local control, leaves a power vacuum which gets filled by corporate interests. This flavor of libertarian will rail against the big-bad federal government, and then utterly fail to notice how they're being effectively 'governed' (through proxy-by-lobbyist) by a corporation just as far away and just as divorced from local interests.


Was just about to come here to say this. I'm not particularly comfortable with the government having power over my life, but I'm a hell of a lot more comfortable with that than the idea of corporations having equivalent power over my life.

User avatar
pogrmman
Posts: 540
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:53 pm UTC
Location: Probably outside

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby pogrmman » Tue May 01, 2018 5:50 pm UTC

Quercus wrote:
Dauric wrote:
jewish_scientist wrote:In reality the are libertarians who are not brave enough to openly admit it. They are against a power federal government, because they are against any powerful government.

They may have standing in court if the argue that the City Counsel is relying on annulment, which is the idea that small government that are part of a large government can annul the laws of the larger government. The Supreme Court has stuck annulment down as unconstitutional several times. The Counsel would have to counter that they were adding to and not subtracting from Texas law.


The irony of course is that preventing a proper government from exercising power, ostensibly in the name of individual self-determination and local control, leaves a power vacuum which gets filled by corporate interests. This flavor of libertarian will rail against the big-bad federal government, and then utterly fail to notice how they're being effectively 'governed' (through proxy-by-lobbyist) by a corporation just as far away and just as divorced from local interests.


Was just about to come here to say this. I'm not particularly comfortable with the government having power over my life, but I'm a hell of a lot more comfortable with that than the idea of corporations having equivalent power over my life.


Same here. The crazy level of power some corporations are amassing is unsettling, to say the least. And of all the levels of government having power over my life, I much prefer local than state or federal — my voice actually matters a lot more at the local level and the people in local government have a better idea of what is wanted/needed than people at the state or federal levels ever could. Sure, all the levels are necessary, but rolling back local power in favor of state, federal, and (worst of all) corporate power is certainly not what I want.

Personally, I think we should be persuing more antitrust enforcement and regulation — between individual excessively large companies and the cooperation of smaller ones (like with internet service), the average American is getting screwed over more and more.

User avatar
Quercus
Posts: 1756
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:22 pm UTC
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Quercus » Tue May 01, 2018 6:10 pm UTC

pogrmman wrote:Personally, I think we should be persuing more antitrust enforcement and regulation — between individual excessively large companies and the cooperation of smaller ones (like with internet service), the average American is getting screwed over more and more.


Personally I think we should be abandoning incorporation entirely and running businesses as (privately managed, not state controlled) workers (and possibly customers) cooperatives, but then I'm a filthy socialist (who'd love to be an anarcho-communist if I could ever convince myself it would work in the real world).

But yeah, antitrust regulation is a good start (and would probably be necessary even in my ideal world)

jewish_scientist
Posts: 944
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:15 pm UTC

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby jewish_scientist » Tue May 01, 2018 6:40 pm UTC

pogrmman wrote:I don’t think they could effectively argue annulment — from Paxton’s statement, it seems like they’re gonna argue that setting the minimum wage is a task that only should fall upon the state legislature, and cities have no right to supplement it, and that mandating sick leave is equivalent to a change in minimum wage.

I said that was their best argument; I never said they were smart enough to use it. Now that I think about it, I think I know why they are going another way. Republicans have a record of supporting annulment. I remember them doing it a lot with regard to Obama-Care, but I can not find an article on it.
"You are not running off with Cow-Skull Man Dracula Skeletor!"
-Socrates

User avatar
Soupspoon
You have done something you shouldn't. Or are about to.
Posts: 3665
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:00 pm UTC
Location: 53-1

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Soupspoon » Tue May 01, 2018 7:33 pm UTC

The mention (in other words) of a Corporatocracy supplanting government as we know it puts me in mind of the (written almost-pre-Web!) world of Snow Crash.

User avatar
pogrmman
Posts: 540
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:53 pm UTC
Location: Probably outside

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby pogrmman » Tue May 01, 2018 7:42 pm UTC

Quercus wrote:
pogrmman wrote:Personally, I think we should be persuing more antitrust enforcement and regulation — between individual excessively large companies and the cooperation of smaller ones (like with internet service), the average American is getting screwed over more and more.


Personally I think we should be abandoning incorporation entirely and running businesses as (privately managed, not state controlled) workers (and possibly customers) cooperatives, but then I'm a filthy socialist (who'd love to be an anarcho-communist if I could ever convince myself it would work in the real world).

But yeah, antitrust regulation is a good start (and would probably be necessary even in my ideal world)


Everything being a workers cooperative would be nice. Sure, there are benefits to incorporation (especially for small businesses), but idk how I feel about it. I guess that’s kind of hypocritical because my friends and I have built a product, have interested potential customers, and are planning to incorporate soonish. Given my position, I have to appreciate the capitalist system — it’s definately put me in a great place, but it’s certaibly not the most ethical or moral way of doing things (so I’m not really much of a fan).

Two of my strongest beliefs though are that we need antitrust regulation and that corporations should not be treated like people.

jewish_scientist wrote:
pogrmman wrote:I don’t think they could effectively argue annulment — from Paxton’s statement, it seems like they’re gonna argue that setting the minimum wage is a task that only should fall upon the state legislature, and cities have no right to supplement it, and that mandating sick leave is equivalent to a change in minimum wage.

I said that was their best argument; I never said they were smart enough to use it. Now that I think about it, I think I know why they are going another way. Republicans have a record of supporting annulment. I remember them doing it a lot with regard to Obama-Care, but I can not find an article on it.


I think quite a lot depends on venue — if it’s argued in Travis County, the city will win. If it’s argued at the state level, it depends on which state court it goes to — because of the partisan elections we’ve got for judges, they vary a lot. I think this might go all the way to the state Supreme Court — it just smells like the kind of case that will keep being appealed if they lose.

Re: Snow Crash, that’s one of my favorite books. You’re right about the corporatocracy aspect of it.

EDIT: Sorry this kept changing, I’m on mobile and hit submit before I was done posting...

idonno
Posts: 218
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2015 3:34 am UTC

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby idonno » Wed May 02, 2018 3:55 am UTC

Quercus wrote:Personally I think we should be abandoning incorporation entirely and running businesses as (privately managed, not state controlled) workers (and possibly customers) cooperatives, but then I'm a filthy socialist (who'd love to be an anarcho-communist if I could ever convince myself it would work in the real world).

Unless you outlawed trade between cooperatives (which would have some pretty negative economic consequences) I'm pretty sure you would just end up with wealthy elite cooperatives contracting out work to poorer cooperatives rather than letting the poorer working class people into their cooperative. So probably not that different from corporate boards and unions.

User avatar
Quercus
Posts: 1756
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:22 pm UTC
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Quercus » Wed May 02, 2018 7:05 am UTC

idonno wrote:
Quercus wrote:Personally I think we should be abandoning incorporation entirely and running businesses as (privately managed, not state controlled) workers (and possibly customers) cooperatives, but then I'm a filthy socialist (who'd love to be an anarcho-communist if I could ever convince myself it would work in the real world).

Unless you outlawed trade between cooperatives (which would have some pretty negative economic consequences) I'm pretty sure you would just end up with wealthy elite cooperatives contracting out work to poorer cooperatives rather than letting the poorer working class people into their cooperative. So probably not that different from corporate boards and unions.


My initial reaction to this would be to go straight back to the fundamental principle behind this idea: that those that do the work should get the reward. Something like: if you contract with another cooperative you have to give them shares, not just money, therefore if you try to get rich by others work rather than your own you end up losing control of your rich cooperative to the those that are doing the work.

I can see real problems with this when it comes to international contracting and trade, that I'm not sure how to solve... If anyone has any ideas?

User avatar
CorruptUser
Posts: 10239
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:12 pm UTC

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby CorruptUser » Wed May 02, 2018 1:14 pm UTC

You dont solve it. You do what's proven to work, neo-Keynesian economics such as Sweden or Norway.


I'm all in favor of workers getting together and forming their own business; Valve is my go to example of the very best managed company. We should definitely encourage it, there's less abuse. Well not quite true; no classist abuse but co ops are still made up of people and people are assholes, and unlike a regular Corp there isn't an HR department so it has the potential of being the good ol boys network on roids. But co ops shouldn't be mandatory.

User avatar
ucim
Posts: 6566
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:23 pm UTC
Location: The One True Thread

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby ucim » Wed May 02, 2018 1:52 pm UTC

Quercus wrote:My initial reaction to this would be to go straight back to the fundamental principle behind this idea: that those that do the work should get the reward.
That's all well and good, but how much work (and when) merits how much reward? Do proxies for work count? (If not, why not? After all, the work was done.) Is some work more valuable than other work? Does cleverness count for anything? Are some goods more valuable than other goods? What if the value of the {work|goods} changes over time?

It is these fundamental questions that make the answers complicated.

Jose
Order of the Sillies, Honoris Causam - bestowed by charlie_grumbles on NP 859 * OTTscar winner: Wordsmith - bestowed by yappobiscuts and the OTT on NP 1832 * Ecclesiastical Calendar of the Order of the Holy Contradiction * Please help addams if you can. She needs all of us.

jewish_scientist
Posts: 944
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:15 pm UTC

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby jewish_scientist » Wed May 02, 2018 3:02 pm UTC

I just realized something huge. Libertarianism is undeveloped Hobbian philosophy. Hobbs said that the reason people in the Natural State will inevitably surrender some rights in order to create a Social Contract is that man's greatest fear is the fear of death; all forms of government eventually rise out of this initial Social Contract. Libertarians say that the only role government can morally have is protecting its citizens and their property. In addition, Hobbs said that the Natural State is everyone pursuing their self interests and libertarians say that everyone pursuing their self interests is the best course of action.
"You are not running off with Cow-Skull Man Dracula Skeletor!"
-Socrates

User avatar
Quercus
Posts: 1756
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:22 pm UTC
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Quercus » Wed May 02, 2018 4:44 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:You dont solve it. You do what's proven to work, neo-Keynesian economics such as Sweden or Norway.


You may be right, but I'd really like to see other ideas more openly, publicly and seriously explored. The Overton window around economic policy is far too narrow IMO.

Also, I do acknowledge that I really need to learn some economic theory so that I can back up my gut feelings with at least some sort of evidence.

ucim wrote:
Quercus wrote:My initial reaction to this would be to go straight back to the fundamental principle behind this idea: that those that do the work should get the reward.
That's all well and good, but how much work (and when) merits how much reward? Do proxies for work count? (If not, why not? After all, the work was done.) Is some work more valuable than other work? Does cleverness count for anything? Are some goods more valuable than other goods? What if the value of the {work|goods} changes over time?

It is these fundamental questions that make the answers complicated.

Jose


Okay, so initial thoughts: share of ownership is tied to time worked - every full time worker gets the same share of ownership in the organisation they work for, part time workers and contractors get it pro-rata according to their hours, then all the other questions get decided by the board elected by the co-op members. Will lead to a diversity of solutions, which is probably a good thing overall, but any idea unacceptable to a broad enough base of workers is going to get voted down. Basically democratisation of the workplace. This idea probably has fundamental issues too... but hell, I like talking about this stuff I guess, so if you want to shoot me down, go for it - It'll help me learn.

One BIG problem I can see with such a model is that I can't see how a country employing such a socialist system can compete with capitalist economies who wring everything they can get out of their workers for as little as they can get away with. It's the tragedy of the commons on an international scale. If anyone has solutions to that, I'm all ears.

Edit: I figured I should give folks some idea of why I'm arguing for a consideration of radical solutions like these. Basically I believe that the degree of wealth disparity, concentration of power and poverty (i.e. the inability to afford all of good healthcare, secure housing and a decent diet) in most countries (even rich ones) is morally unacceptable. Like way, way beyond what I could ever consider reasonable. This conviction prompts me to look for any better model that we can use. I've yet to be convinced that one doesn't exist, and by and large the only people who have tried to convince me of that (through the media) are the rich and powerful, who have one socking great ulterior motive.

User avatar
ucim
Posts: 6566
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:23 pm UTC
Location: The One True Thread

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby ucim » Wed May 02, 2018 5:14 pm UTC

Quercus wrote:Okay, so initial thoughts: share of ownership is tied to time worked
It took me five minutes to type in the commands that fixed your problem. It took me seventeen years to learn which commands they were.

How much share of ownership am I entitled to?

Jose
Order of the Sillies, Honoris Causam - bestowed by charlie_grumbles on NP 859 * OTTscar winner: Wordsmith - bestowed by yappobiscuts and the OTT on NP 1832 * Ecclesiastical Calendar of the Order of the Holy Contradiction * Please help addams if you can. She needs all of us.

Tyndmyr
Posts: 11443
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:38 pm UTC

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed May 02, 2018 5:32 pm UTC

Quercus wrote:Okay, so initial thoughts: share of ownership is tied to time worked - every full time worker gets the same share of ownership in the organisation they work for, part time workers and contractors get it pro-rata according to their hours, then all the other questions get decided by the board elected by the co-op members. Will lead to a diversity of solutions, which is probably a good thing overall, but any idea unacceptable to a broad enough base of workers is going to get voted down. Basically democratisation of the workplace. This idea probably has fundamental issues too... but hell, I like talking about this stuff I guess, so if you want to shoot me down, go for it - It'll help me learn.


Runs into the issue of loot councils in MMOs. Namely, collaboration. If folks can vote on how valuable things are, then those with influence will attempt to have their tasks seen as more valuable. This doesn't require evil intent, a LOT of people in power have very inflated senses of their own worth. And, even in smaller, informal groups, folks will develop unequal amounts of social capital, with some far more able to affect voting than others. In addition, some folks will outright collaborate to vote up the value of stuff produced by their smaller clique, and vote down the value produced by others.

Also, going too much by time, rather than end productivity, can be a problem in itself, although this remains a common issue in many organizations.

User avatar
Quercus
Posts: 1756
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:22 pm UTC
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Quercus » Wed May 02, 2018 5:41 pm UTC

ucim wrote:
Quercus wrote:Okay, so initial thoughts: share of ownership is tied to time worked
It took me five minutes to type in the commands that fixed your problem. It took me seventeen years to learn which commands they were.

How much share of ownership am I entitled to?

Jose


Assuming you're a full time worker, the same share as anybody else, from cleaners to the CTO. Shared ownership isn't primarily a reward for work done (I realise that my wording made this very unclear in a previous post), it's a check on the concentration of power*. However, I would hope that you would have a considerably greater monetary reward than someone with less advanced skill-set, and if you didn't would advise you to move to a different organisation that rewards people in a more sensible way.

TL;DR - I'm not saying that all workers should be paid the same, I'm saying that all workers should have an equal share of power within the organisation.

Now I guess the question is... does democracy among workers actually tend to lead to the creation of a functional organisation? I don't know, but I've put it on my list of things to research, and am open to others thoughts.

*I'd be open to the idea of splitting shares into "voting shares" and "profit shares" - it's the voting rights I'm interested in sharing equally among workers, not necessarily the organisation's profits.

Edit: Ninja'd by Tyndmyr:

Tyndmyr wrote:Runs into the issue of loot councils in MMOs. Namely, collaboration. If folks can vote on how valuable things are, then those with influence will attempt to have their tasks seen as more valuable. This doesn't require evil intent, a LOT of people in power have very inflated senses of their own worth. And, even in smaller, informal groups, folks will develop unequal amounts of social capital, with some far more able to affect voting than others. In addition, some folks will outright collaborate to vote up the value of stuff produced by their smaller clique, and vote down the value produced by others.


I think you're right, unfortunately. Thanks for the critique.

That's that idea shot out of the water... On to the next idea for how to stop the rich fucking over everyone else.

User avatar
Soupspoon
You have done something you shouldn't. Or are about to.
Posts: 3665
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:00 pm UTC
Location: 53-1

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Soupspoon » Wed May 02, 2018 6:01 pm UTC

pkcommando wrote:In other news,Play-Doh sucks as a shoplifting aid in more ways than one.

Before anyone brings it up - to be fair, he wouldn't have needed to use gloves if his plan had worked.


/waits for someone to now back-engineer his fingerprint from this photo freely shared by the authorities and start dabbing it in historically-incriminating locations…

User avatar
Thesh
Made to Fuck Dinosaurs
Posts: 6299
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:55 am UTC
Location: Colorado

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Thesh » Wed May 02, 2018 6:13 pm UTC

Worker cooperatives still use market-based pricing, it's just that they are directly incentivized to maximize gross profits over net profits. I don't know why there is a question of whether they work or could function; they exist today, they function, and they have been shown to be more productive than similar for-profit corporations.
Summum ius, summa iniuria.

User avatar
eran_rathan
Mostly Wrong
Posts: 1821
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2010 2:36 pm UTC
Location: in your ceiling, judging you

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby eran_rathan » Wed May 02, 2018 6:17 pm UTC

Quercus wrote:I think you're right, unfortunately. Thanks for the critique.

That's that idea shot out of the water... On to the next idea for how to stop the rich fucking over everyone else.


Once you're worth a certain amount, you're on the menu. Food security AND social security in a neat little package.
"Does this smell like chloroform to you?"
"Google tells me you are not unique. You are, however, wrong."
nɒʜƚɒɿ_nɒɿɘ

User avatar
Thesh
Made to Fuck Dinosaurs
Posts: 6299
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:55 am UTC
Location: Colorado

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Thesh » Wed May 02, 2018 6:53 pm UTC

Quercus wrote:I think you're right, unfortunately. Thanks for the critique.

That's that idea shot out of the water... On to the next idea for how to stop the rich fucking over everyone else.


Please don't abandon your thinking just because you listened to them. They do not put thought into the arguments for socialism, they have simply accepted that the people with wealth and power under the capitalist system deserve that wealth and power and that there is nothing we can do about the injustices of the world, and so they pick out the first argument they can to shoot them down. Ultimately, they have never studied any system outside of capitalism; they have never really researched cooperative ownership, and they have never put thought into the effects that capitalism has on our power structures or the consequences those have on society.

They ultimately distrust democracy - they look at a world where people with massive amounts of wealth and power are influencing education, academia, the media, and government, and then say democracy is the problem; that most people are just too stupid to take care of themselves, and so authoritarian leaders must control the property for the good of the public. Ultimately, this system benefits them, and so they assume that all of the good in the US is because of capitalism and not the fact that the US has basically taken wealth and power through force, while forcing a large portion of the US population into wage slavery. To listen to them is to accept that people are inherently terrible, and that the leaders who manipulate us into being terrible are ultimately making the world a better place.
Summum ius, summa iniuria.

User avatar
Quercus
Posts: 1756
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:22 pm UTC
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Quercus » Wed May 02, 2018 7:15 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:
Quercus wrote:I think you're right, unfortunately. Thanks for the critique.

That's that idea shot out of the water... On to the next idea for how to stop the rich fucking over everyone else.


Please don't abandon your thinking just because you listened to them. They do not put thought into the arguments for socialism, they have simply accepted that the people with wealth and power under the capitalist system deserve that wealth and power and that there is nothing we can do about the injustices of the world, and so they pick out the first argument they can to shoot them down. Ultimately, they have never studied any system outside of capitalism; they have never really researched cooperative ownership, and they have never put thought into the effects that capitalism has on our power structures or the consequences those have on society.

They ultimately distrust democracy - they look at a world where people with massive amounts of wealth and power are influencing education, academia, the media, and government, and then say democracy is the problem; that most people are just too stupid to take care of themselves, and so authoritarian leaders must control the property for the good of the public. Ultimately, this system benefits them, and so they assume that all of the good in the US is because of capitalism and not the fact that the US has basically taken wealth and power through force, while forcing a large portion of the US population into wage slavery. To listen to them is to accept that people are inherently terrible, and that the leaders who manipulate us into being terrible are ultimately making the world a better place.



Thanks for the encouragement! To be clear, I haven't abandoned my general thinking, merely my one specific (very naive) idea for the implementation of cooperative ownership. The concept in general brings so many advantages that it will take me far more than an internet discussion to dissuade me. I should probably study how actual cooperatives work as a first step!

Thesh wrote:they function, and they have been shown to be more productive than similar for-profit corporations.


Cool!

Do you happen to have a source for that statement? (despite how asking for sources is often used on the internet I'm not implying I don't believe you - I'm just genuinely interested in reading more about this).

One question that concerns me - is it possible that the functioning of worker cooperatives depends on their operation in the context of a market dominated by capitalist corporations? That is, what evidence (presumably theoretical or simulation based) do we have that worker cooperatives would still function well if every large business was a worker cooperative?

User avatar
ucim
Posts: 6566
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:23 pm UTC
Location: The One True Thread

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby ucim » Wed May 02, 2018 7:21 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:They do not put thought into the arguments for socialism
Socialism: the simple answer to complex problems.

Yes, there is inequality. But simply saying socialism (or any other -ism) is "the" answer begs the question, replacing one kind of unfairness with another kind of unfairness. That's what I was pointing out with my "five minutes/seventeen years" question.

Should designing, building, owning, and using a machine that makes {whatever} much more efficient, but as a consequence puts people out of work (or lowers their demand) be encouraged, discouraged, tolerated, banned, or what? This is (one) question that underlies the particular -isms that are being discussed, and absent agreement on that score, agreement on -isms is just (uh...) tribalism.

Jose
Order of the Sillies, Honoris Causam - bestowed by charlie_grumbles on NP 859 * OTTscar winner: Wordsmith - bestowed by yappobiscuts and the OTT on NP 1832 * Ecclesiastical Calendar of the Order of the Holy Contradiction * Please help addams if you can. She needs all of us.

User avatar
Thesh
Made to Fuck Dinosaurs
Posts: 6299
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:55 am UTC
Location: Colorado

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Thesh » Wed May 02, 2018 7:33 pm UTC

Quercus wrote:Do you happen to have a source for that statement? (despite how asking for sources is often used on the internet I'm not implying I don't believe you - I'm just genuinely interested in reading more about this).


https://www.thenation.com/article/worke ... companies/

Quercus wrote:One question that concerns me - is it possible that the functioning of worker cooperatives depends on their operation in the context of a market dominated by capitalist corporations? That is, what evidence (presumably theoretical or simulation based) do we have that worker cooperatives would still function well if every large business was a worker cooperative?


It's a matter of structure. Most of our businesses are designed to concentrate decision making power in the hands of people at the top. This has some advantages to the owners, and is necessary to coordinate the organization into focusing on a single goal (such as the growth and profits of the business). However, this isn't actually more productive in terms of structure; in general, the management is overhead, and it's only more profitable because by limiting the decision making power they can pay employees less (this limiting of opportunity is where wage slavery comes from). Large businesses generally lead to worse decision making on average (more customers means their customers have more conflicts of interest, and it means that the decision makers are further distanced from them) and less consumer choice, but by taking advantage of the size they can get a better bargaining position on purchasing goods.

However, there is no reason that we need a large business like this. Take a wal-mart for example - you could have each store be completely independently ran, but structured as a franchise. Each store in and of itself is democratically operated by their workers or customers, and those stores collectively own a purchasing cooperative that takes care of all the purchasing and distribution. By allowing employees to self-manage the store without supervisory labor, you have less overhead to begin with, and can have decision-making power in the hands of those who are working most directly with the customers and who are naturally incentivized to do what's best for the community they live in. On top of that, productivity is about those things that increase wages or improve customer satisfaction - the decisions that a for-profit wal-mart would make differently over a decentralized franchise are generally going to be decisions that either result in less pay for workers or less satisfaction for consumers.

ucim wrote:Socialism: the simple answer to complex problems.


I recommend Reagan and Thatcher if you are looking for quotes about socialism by people who don't know what they fuck they are talking about.
Summum ius, summa iniuria.

User avatar
Quercus
Posts: 1756
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:22 pm UTC
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Quercus » Wed May 02, 2018 7:47 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:Snip

Thanks!

User avatar
Zamfir
I built a novelty castle, the irony was lost on some.
Posts: 7507
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 2:43 pm UTC
Location: Nederland

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Zamfir » Wed May 02, 2018 7:55 pm UTC

ucim wrote:Yes, there is inequality. But simply saying socialism (or any other -ism) is "the" answer begs the question, replacing one kind of unfairness with another kind of unfairness. That's what I was pointing out with my "five minutes/seventeen years" question.

I am failing to see how the 17 years question is difficult. You should be paid for 17 years of work, during those 17 years. Then for 5 minutes during the 5 minutes that you type the command, and another 5 minutes the next time.
ucim wrote:Should designing, building, owning, and using a machine that makes {whatever} much more efficient, but as a consequence puts people out of work (or lowers their demand) be encouraged, discouraged, tolerated, banned, or what? This is (one) question that underlies the particular -isms that are being discussed, and absent agreement on that score, agreement on -isms is just (uh...) tribalism.

Again, the high level principle here seems straightforward to me. If, extreme case, the only thing that your machine acomplishes is that some people lose their job and are miserably unemployed, then the machine is fairly useless. It looks useful to someone who no longer has to pay wages, but that's rather limited as POV.

Of course, the picture changes if there are other attractive work offers, or if the unemployment is not miserable. Both should be possible. After all, we have the gains from the productivity-enhancing machines to aid us. If the social order cannot organize such offsets, and can only create gains for some at the detriment of others, then that's a problem. And that would make such potentially worthwhile machinery a lot less useful.

User avatar
CorruptUser
Posts: 10239
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:12 pm UTC

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby CorruptUser » Wed May 02, 2018 8:17 pm UTC

And what if it only took someone else 12 years to learn what ucim learned in 17? Why should they both be paid the same per year when the other guy is more productive?

Even Karl Marx thought more productive workers should be compensated more...

User avatar
ucim
Posts: 6566
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 3:23 pm UTC
Location: The One True Thread

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby ucim » Wed May 02, 2018 8:26 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:I am failing to see how the 17 years question is difficult. You should be paid for 17 years of work, during those 17 years.
By whom? In those seventeen years I'm studying and experimenting at my own expense. Because of this hard work, I know the commands. My friends spent seventeen years goofing off, also at their own expense. They are the ones that need me to fix their system.

Forgive me if I'd like some payback on the 17 years of work I put in to learn these commands.

As to the machine... it picks apples much faster and better than people can. Apples are cheaper now, and apple pickers are out of work. This has happened. Now they are working on a machine that {does something else} faster and better. Should this be encouraged? Whose responsibility is it to take care of displaced workers? What happens when we're all displaced? Is it perhaps time to throw shoes at the machines?

One way or another, power and influence are going to accumulate. At the present time, it is the data aggregators that are the most dangerous ones in this regard. Facebook, Google, and the like. And the actual power to influence people is going to be ensconced in software, not in people. I don't see socialism (or any -ism) as a solution to this.

And under socialism, who will build rockets to Mars? The concentration of wealth and power is not ipso facto a bad thing. It's what people do with this power that can be problematic.

CorruptUser wrote:And what if it only took someone else 12 years to learn what ucim learned in 17?
That's not possible. I have the best words. Yuge words!

Jose
Order of the Sillies, Honoris Causam - bestowed by charlie_grumbles on NP 859 * OTTscar winner: Wordsmith - bestowed by yappobiscuts and the OTT on NP 1832 * Ecclesiastical Calendar of the Order of the Holy Contradiction * Please help addams if you can. She needs all of us.

User avatar
CorruptUser
Posts: 10239
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:12 pm UTC

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby CorruptUser » Wed May 02, 2018 8:31 pm UTC

Your apple picking machine should be encouraged. Putting people out of work is actually a good thing. We just need to get our heads out of our anuses (ani?) and then retrain those people for other jobs. We have a shortage of teachers, of detectives, of nurses, etc. We just need to actually hire people to do those jobs, and if that means taxing the apple picking machine owners then so be it.

In my utopia, virtually all the current jobs will be automated, but rather than have unemployed masses we'd have the economy geared towards megaprojects like space elevators...

User avatar
Sableagle
Ormurinn's Alt
Posts: 1900
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2015 4:26 pm UTC
Location: The wrong side of the mirror
Contact:

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Sableagle » Wed May 02, 2018 8:45 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:We have a shortage of teachers, of detectives, of nurses, etc.
Theresa May 'blocking requests' to allow in more overseas doctors for NHS

Downing Street has insisted it stands by the government’s strict immigration regime, after Theresa May was accused of blocking requests to allow more overseas doctors to come to Britain to fill staff shortages in the NHS.

The Evening Standard reported on Tuesday that at least three government departments – including the Home Office – had urged Downing Street to lift visa quotas temporarily. May turned down the requests.

Up to 100 Indian doctors have reportedly had their applications for tier 2 visas turned down. These are offered to skilled workers from outside the EU with a job offer in Britain; but the number available is limited.
The important thing isn't the children waiting for a diagnosis and treatment. The important thing is that Rupert Murdoch's fanclub doesn't want any more Indians moving to Britain. That's what *really* matters ... to a politician wholly owned by Rupert Murdoch.
Oh, Willie McBride, it was all done in vain.

User avatar
Thesh
Made to Fuck Dinosaurs
Posts: 6299
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:55 am UTC
Location: Colorado

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Thesh » Wed May 02, 2018 9:02 pm UTC

ucim wrote:And under socialism, who will build rockets to Mars? The concentration of wealth and power is not ipso facto a bad thing. It's what people do with this power that can be problematic.


Whoever benefits from it will work to get it done. At the moment, it wouldn't be a high priority if you ensured greater equality due to all the people starving and stuff today.

Also, I'm not sure what your point is with the 17/5 thing. Most people get paid in wages, and for the most part it is the people who are already in control of the property that get rewarded for the innovations wage earners make. Paying everyone in wages is more equitable anyway, and more fair most of the time. Property ownership simply doesn't pay anyone based on how much they contributed.
Summum ius, summa iniuria.

elasto
Posts: 3568
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 1:53 am UTC

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby elasto » Wed May 02, 2018 9:37 pm UTC

Capitalism is very good at allocating capital and labour into projects that make the most money. The government's role should be to ensure that 'making heaps of money' and 'benefiting society as a whole' roughly correlate.

So, 'making a better apple picking machine' is to be encouraged, because everyone benefits from cheaper apples, but 'forming a monopoly on a vital medicine' is to be discouraged, because noone but the owner benefits from price-gouging.

Likewise, it's definitely better to let the market set wages, because the market is much more nimble and efficient than a central government could be, and a flat rate definitely does not encourage or reward self-improvement. But the market's ruthlessness is both its strength and its weakness in humanitarian terms. So there needs to be a backstop of a decent universal income or equivalent.

As others have said, Scandinavian countries (through historical accident as much as anything) have the balance pretty good in this regard.

User avatar
Thesh
Made to Fuck Dinosaurs
Posts: 6299
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:55 am UTC
Location: Colorado

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Thesh » Wed May 02, 2018 11:36 pm UTC

elasto wrote:Capitalism is very good at allocating capital and labour into projects that make the most money.


Based on what? Most of our public debate around economics centers around how we can change the law or distribution of income in order to incentivize capitalists to create jobs because they are failing to do so. This has been a problem since the beginning, and no amount of additional incentives like patents or copyrights have ever fixed the problem. The problem is ultimately that capitalists seek to create artificial scarcity for the sake of increasing profits and that leaves some people without jobs, or without good jobs as large national chains buy up all the small businesses and we watch as entire towns decay due to a lack of investment and income.
Summum ius, summa iniuria.

User avatar
CorruptUser
Posts: 10239
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:12 pm UTC

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby CorruptUser » Wed May 02, 2018 11:59 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:
elasto wrote:Capitalism is very good at allocating capital and labour into projects that make the most money.


Based on what?


The fact that that's entire fawkin point of capitalism? Money may only be a proxy for value to society, and there's definitely room for improvement, but it's a fairly decent proxy for it.

And while rent seeking is indeed a serious problem in capitalistic societies, if not its most serious problem, it's hardly unique to capitalism and is virtually every other system on earth is even worse in this regard.

elasto
Posts: 3568
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 1:53 am UTC

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby elasto » Thu May 03, 2018 12:15 am UTC

Thesh wrote:Based on what?

Based on the fact that countries with free markets have experienced faster economic growth than countries without them throughout history.

Can you name a counter-example? You might think China but, having lived there, it's basically a libertarian's wet dream: It's so corrupt that if you have money you can buy your way through any amount of supposed red tape.

Most of our public debate around economics centers around how we can change the law or distribution of income in order to incentivize capitalists to create jobs because they are failing to do so.

Capitalism has no problem at all creating jobs. It has problems creating jobs that pay a living wage but that's because the standard of living is so much higher in the West than elsewhere. It's capitalism that is shifting billions out of poverty in the third-world though, not governments or charity.

Government's job here (imo) is to provide free lifelong education and training so that when the so-called 'disruptive technologies' arrive, workers can shift industry.

The problem is ultimately that capitalists seek to create artificial scarcity for the sake of increasing profits

Well, I gave that as a specific example of where governments should intervene. Free markets break down once monopolies arise. That's not a failure of free markets though, that's a failure of good governance.

and we watch as entire towns decay due to a lack of investment and income

The ideal is for labour to be as mobile as capital, and one day when everyone can work from home or telecommute that may occur. I think a universal income is a safer bet though personally.

User avatar
Thesh
Made to Fuck Dinosaurs
Posts: 6299
Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:55 am UTC
Location: Colorado

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby Thesh » Thu May 03, 2018 12:24 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:The fact that that's entire fawkin point of capitalism? Money may only be a proxy for value to society, and there's definitely room for improvement, but it's a fairly decent proxy for it.


But, I mean, it's wrong. The areas with the greatest potential for economic growth are the poorest areas, not just in the US, but worldwide. These are also the areas we are least likely to invest in. The problem is that capitalists make their money off of bargaining power differences, not productive efforts on their part, and at this point we can't create more productive jobs without giving workers more bargaining power, and that comes at the expense of profits. From the perspective of the capitalist, it's better to have an inefficient economy that is controlled centrally by them than an efficient economy that they don't control.

elasto wrote:Based on the fact that countries with free markets have experienced faster economic growth than countries without them throughout history.


We're not comparing free markets to command economies. We are comparing free market socialism to free market capitalism.

elasto wrote:
Most of our public debate around economics centers around how we can change the law or distribution of income in order to incentivize capitalists to create jobs because they are failing to do so.

Capitalism has no problem at all creating jobs. It has problems creating jobs that pay a living wage but that's because the standard of living is so much higher in the West than elsewhere. It's capitalism that is shifting billions out of poverty in the third-world though, not governments or charity.


The world is a capitalist economy. The wealth of the west comes at the expense of the poorest countries, and there is no reason to believe that the poorest countries are coming out of poverty due to capitalism. People have been coming out of poverty throughout the history of civilization, and I'd argue that it's the fact that the countries are industrializing, and not capitalism itself that is responsible.

The question is who is building the infrastructure that allows them to industrialize? Largely, it's the governments that are getting involved, and the capitalists that are taking the credit. But the economies aren't being structured efficiently, they are being structured as low-wage economies that are entirely dependent on exports from Western countries for survival, and they are being limited to jobs with low decision making power that primarily serve to undercut Western labor. They are profitable purely because of a power imbalance, and so for the time being there will be some investment so long as it leads to lower wages overall, but they aren't going to lead to an economy where they can actually compete with Westerners.

And seriously, manufacturing everything half-way across the world because of low wages is not actually more efficient - we are consuming more material and labor resources in the manufacturing and shipping, we just pay less for it.
Summum ius, summa iniuria.

User avatar
CorruptUser
Posts: 10239
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:12 pm UTC

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby CorruptUser » Thu May 03, 2018 12:28 am UTC

Thesh wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:The fact that that's entire fawkin point of capitalism? Money may only be a proxy for value to society, and there's definitely room for improvement, but it's a fairly decent proxy for it.


But, I mean, it's wrong. The areas with the greatest potential for economic growth are the poorest areas, not just in the US, but worldwide. These are also the areas we are least likely to invest in. The problem is that capitalists make their money off of bargaining power differences, not productive efforts on their part, and at this point we can't create more productive jobs without giving workers more bargaining power, and that comes at the expense of profits. From the perspective of the capitalist, it's better to have an inefficient economy that is controlled centrally by them than an efficient economy that they don't control.


Going to need a big ol' cite on that. I mean, if you are going to claim that we don't invest enough in poor communities in the form of education, etc, I'm going to respond that that's a governance failure, not a failure of capitalism itself. Capitalists have virtually never invested in infrastructure and the like, which is why everyone but the most thickskulled libertarian understands the importance of things like the DoT, DoE, HHS, etc.

elasto
Posts: 3568
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 1:53 am UTC

Re: In other news... (humorous news items)

Postby elasto » Thu May 03, 2018 12:38 am UTC

Thesh wrote:We're not comparing free markets to command economies. We are comparing free market socialism to free market capitalism.

You'll have to explain what you mean by 'free market socialism' then.

I have already said I think that, out of all the economies around in the world today, the Scandinavian countries have the economic model I myself most favour. I'd consider them both pretty free market and pretty socialist. But they are definitely still capitalist - as in the vast majority of capital is owned and invested by individuals/companies and not the state.

Can you name an example of a successful 'free market non-capitalist' country then?

The world is a capitalist economy. The wealth of the west comes at the expense of the poorest countries, and there is no reason to believe that the poorest countries are coming out of poverty due to capitalism. People have been coming out of poverty throughout the history of civilization, and I'd argue that it's the fact that the countries are industrializing, and not capitalism itself that is responsible.

Not sure I agree with that. Countries are industrializing for sure, but the money to pay for that is coming from individuals/companies paying taxes, not from government projects turning a profit. Yeah, governments by and large direct large infrastructure projects but that's a good thing, isn't it? It's one of the few things they are the best at both in theory and in practice.

But the economies aren't being structured efficiently, they are being structured as low-wage economies that are entirely dependent on exports from Western countries for survival

I don't think that's particularly fair. The new industries tend to be higher paid and with better working conditions. Yeah, working in a factory in China assembling iPads might suck by Western standards but it's good compared to the alternatives and what was there before. Would you prefer to be harvesting rice in a paddy field 14 hours a day..?

And seriously, manufacturing everything half-way across the world because of low wages is not actually more efficient - we are consuming more material and labor resources in the manufacturing and shipping, we just pay less for it.

You can't on the one hand complain that capitalism is bad because it isn't creating enough jobs and also complain it's creating too many...


Return to “General”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests