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  1. #81
    Senior Member Dark Razor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Architectonic View Post
    How does that work exactly?
    In a competitive environment, it is actually quite hard to maintain market capitalization. In the United States for example, many those corporations that were successful in the early 20th century are no longer, or have had to change dramatically to survive.
    The fact is that the more money you have to invest, the harder it is to achieve high ROI - hence why large investment funds typically receive lower ROI than smaller, more agile funds. It is actually easier for the middle class to maintain their level of wealth than the upper class.
    Well, the "competetive market" only exists because of regulation. Without regulation I can just buy up all the little start-ups and liquidate them, or incorporate their ideas into my corporation. If some of my competitors are too large and powerfull I can make arrangements to create a cozy oligopoly, so we can combine forces to screw over our customers. The thing is the market only exists because there is extensive regulation at work, and such a thing as a "free market" cannot exist on a large scale since it will abolish itself. A free market may work on a village level, but I actually don't think that it would, without at least some publicly shared resources.

    Also, if you look at countries that have the "free market" imposed on them, (the "Third World", the West uses protectionist measures to guard its people against the worst effects of capitalism) you'll see that there usually is no Middle Class, there is a very small class of super rich and a grand mass of exploited slaves, something I'd expect as outcome of the free market based on the way it works structurally.


    Quote Originally Posted by Architectonic View Post
    Last time I checked, living standards for the average working man dramatically improved through the 19th century, combined with dramatic political reform.
    However it was in fact the rich landowners who asked for strong protectionism from the government not to mention restricting other civil liberties such as joining a union.
    Yes, living conditions at the end of the 19th century where a lot better than at the end of the 18th, which was achieved through regulation of industrialists' activities and actually helps to show how free enterprise without limitations leads to excesses of cruelty and appalling living conditions. The rich landowners in Britain are a special case since the were mostly part of nobility so their influence was not a manifestation of capitalism, though that does not really matter as private ownership of land in general needs to be severely restricted to prevent concentration of excessive power in the hands of the few.

    Of course the structure of government would also have to change, you can't have people profit privately from decisions they make as government officials.

    Quote Originally Posted by Architectonic View Post
    Perhaps you should move to Australia? You might enjoy our artificially low priced water (which creates excessive wastage) and strict water rationing laws (an attempt to lower said wastage).
    I would not be opposed to water rationing. When I talk about the distribution of resources in the way I did I mean to say that the evaluation whether the intended purpose is sensible should take place before aquisition is granted. So basically you're asked what you intend to do with the resource and the decision whether you are allowed to aquire it is based on your answer / the purpose you intend to use it for.

    So you could assign a monthly water contigent to a household / other entity based on what they reasonably need, excluding wasteful activities in that calculation.

    As opposed to regulation via the price, which genuinely hurts poor people while still not encouraging the rich to save water, or petrol or other things. It only forces behaviour change in those with low incomes and leaves more for the rich to waste. If you use water rationing with equal criteria for everyone you distribute the burden equally, with regulation via increased prices you always put the poor at a disadvantage and lower their living standard more than necessary.

  2. #82
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Architectonic View Post
    It is actually easier for the middle class to maintain their level of wealth than the upper class.
    That is actually not true in the United States. Our economy is becoming bipolarized. In other words, our middle class is disappearing. Most of the new jobs that are created are low wage jobs, and many of the higher wage jobs have been outsourced. In other words, the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. The top 1% own 33% of the nation's wealth and since the 1970's have seen 94% of the nation's income growth. Whereas the working class has been the fastest growing class, making just barely enough to get by. In addition to that, the upper class has higher social mobility. It's easier in this country to go from rich to super rich than it is for someone to go from working class to middle class. This is exceptionally different form Western European countries which generally have higher regulation and are much closer to a normal curve in their economic distribution.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
    OMNi: Wisdom at the cost of Sanity.

  3. #83
    Senior Member Mr Galt's Avatar
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    When I saw "water...basic human right" I couldn't help but think about the concept of manifest destiny.
    But sir, your opinion is wrong.
    TANSTAAFL!

  4. #84
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Galt View Post
    When I saw "water...basic human right" I couldn't help but think about the concept of manifest destiny.
    The idea that the people of America were God ordained to control the land from the Atlantic to the Pacific? It isn't too much a stretch.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
    OMNi: Wisdom at the cost of Sanity.

  5. #85
    The Eighth Colour Octarine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Razor View Post
    Without regulation I can just buy up all the little start-ups and liquidate them, or incorporate their ideas into my corporation.
    If such practices were widespread then start-ups would charge very high prices so such activities become uneconomical (US tech boom anyone?).

    In a competitive market, oligopolies/monopolies can only exist (in the medium-long term) when they can provide services more effectively than any potential competitors. As soon as such organizations try price gouging, a competitor will soon arise. Uncompetitive practises are only sustainable in the short term.
    What would you currently consider to be the most competitive industries in the last 30 years? One would be the microprocessor industry which has remained competitive, despite being an oligarchic market. (and even a protected market, with intellectual property laws!)

    But you are right that markets do require regulation to function - some kind of property laws, otherwise he who has the biggest stick can just take what he wants by force (European imperialism anyone?).

    I personally advocate more regulations - welfare for those who cannot work, education, health care subsidies for children (consumer subsidies, rather than state run hospital/schooling systems), environmental regulations (even a carbon tax, including on imports), even progressive taxation (negative income tax system) etc - but then I never said I advocated a minarchist state.

    But I care less about the 'there' and more about how to get there, especially more efficient political systems...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Razor View Post
    Also, if you look at countries that have the "free market" imposed on them
    I'm sorry but I strongly disagree that such states have had anything resembling an ideal libertarian state imposed on them.

    Yes, living conditions at the end of the 19th century where a lot better than at the end of the 18th, which was achieved through regulation of industrialists' activities and actually helps to show how free enterprise without limitations leads to excesses of cruelty and appalling living conditions.
    Except certain regulations tended to slow the improvements in living standards......

    Of course the structure of government would also have to change, you can't have people profit privately from decisions they make as government officials.
    Certainly.

    When I talk about the distribution of resources in the way I did I mean to say that the evaluation whether the intended purpose is sensible should take place before aquisition is granted. So basically you're asked what you intend to do with the resource and the decision whether you are allowed to aquire it is based on your answer / the purpose you intend to use it for.
    The problem is that the state, even if it is truly benevolent will never have the information processing resources to do this as effectively as a market - the information you propose to examine for evaluation is not sufficent.

    If you use water rationing with equal criteria for everyone you distribute the burden equally, with regulation via increased prices you always put the poor at a disadvantage and lower their living standard more than necessary.
    Except in the west, workers commonly demand that their wages (at the very least) keep up with the measured price inflation index. So if the price of water goes up significantly (as it has done in one Australian state), wages (and welfare) will adjust in the short term.

  6. #86
    Luctor et emergo Ezra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heart View Post
    This is the moment prison guards and torturers worldwide have been waiting for.

  7. #87
    Senior Member creativeRhino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ezra View Post
    This is the moment prison guards and torturers worldwide have been waiting for.
    dead right (probably literally for many folks...)

    It is worth remembering that a right means it should not be withheld as a political move, but does not guarantee a supply beyond some basic level.

    eg the right to free speech doesn't mean any funding for an alternative news outlet... just the right to voice the opinion...

    case in point I've actually seen. In Zambia, right near Victoria Falls (ie lots and lots of water...) there is no direct access to the Zambesi (well it is in a steep gorge) but there's a village may be 2 km away, but they have no access to water at the 2km point (geographic and private property restrictions). They have to head off in a different direction - more than 6kms away to get water. So, folks spend 2+ hours a day fetching water.

  8. #88
    Senior Member htb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    They've done that, though. Had volunteer organizations sell food at low cost. And it tears apart their world! Seriously: I had a discussion with a bunch of live-in-a-hut Africans who can't afford education and need farming to sustain their economy. Shipping them food only kills them off and they know it. It slaughters their farming. This is a picture I took in Mozambique; the closest nearby city was Xai-Xai.
    ...Volunteer organizations?

    I am talking about large-scale commercial introductions and processions of low-cost, high-quality goods; not inconstant, limited bursts of charity from missionaries or NGOs. Since when need trade be bilateral? Even poor, illiberal countries have at least one neighbor. North America doesn't need Mozambique's cashews and electrical generation, but South Africa and Malawi just might.

    Step back from provincial wisdom and look at Mozambique from a national, comparative standpoint. It is run by a liberalizing but still fairly corrupt government that limits both private enterprise and international trade through burdensome regulation. All land, including the dirt under that squalid hut, is owned by the state -- that same liberalizing but still fairly corrupt government, which we shall now associatively characterize as ponderous and inefficient. How in the world can any industry, agronomics or otherwise, prosper? Food imports are the least of a Mozambican's problems.

    Now, what do you think about your conversation with the locals, dear, volunteering Canadian?

  9. #89
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Everyone should know more liberalization is the cure for every social ill on the planet.
    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
    OMNi: Wisdom at the cost of Sanity.

  10. #90
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    I wonder how many more children have died since this thread was buried. I apologised to heart for my reactionary answer as return-of-uni for it was just more dead wood buried in a wave of global commercial sound. I spent the next two days trying to look for information to base a more rational argument that we shold pay heed to our fellow mans suffering .After two days i found i was still stuck in nairobi where the humanitarian situation is dire and realised I could work for a year and possibly never raise a penny for Heart. I decided it should be top of my list of questions for the wise man. I had waited three years and now Jesus has sent me back down the hill to say

    W/ater
    I/s
    s/acred
    e/nough

    It should have been Water Is Sacred Enjoy but as a conglomerate the cup of hope seems a bit empty. I pray this can ease your fire a little heart, for water is the heart and soul that all life is based on and we shame our father.

    star trex should give you a clue but it wont be the whales eternal cry but the wail of lost scrolls i mean souls that seal our doom.

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