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  1. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Righty-o then!
    I take it you disagree. That's fine, I hope neither of us has to be proven incorrect.

    But there are a lot of people without a lot of money but a lot of Tec-9s who might have something to say about starvation if it really came down to that.

  2. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Obvious...? To you, maybe, but not to me. What level of medicine do you want? And for science, do you think we should be building atom smashers? Fusion generators?

    Not tribal, because we need efficiencies in farming. Ok, so we need machines. And that means machining, refining, smelting, mining... we need oil for lubes, and power. We need maintenance, electronics.

    And that's just for the farm. Then we need distribution networks, trucking/rail/etc... We need refrigeration, power systems...

    Keep in mind I don't disagree with you, in principle. This is about how it can be done. It's impossible to come up with a method to simply cut consumption. Everything is connected together.
    I guess I would start by taking away the shopping culture. Myself I've been fine with one pair of jeans for couple of years...

    But, yes, I see what you are getting at. There is some point where the limit should be drawn. I don't know where. But, as far as we talk about distribution, we should see how much of that we need after decentralization. And we shouldn't have much use for cars after we make public transportation more effective (and, in my opinion it should be free at least inside cities). The science and medical treatment should be prioritized also. For that, I can't say much, but it should be top priority to develop more sustainable energy, like fusion reactors you mentioned.

  3. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flak View Post
    I take it you disagree. That's fine, I hope neither of us has to be proven incorrect.
    Me too, and it isn't like gas will hit 20 tomorrow. Oil would have to hit 500+ a barrel, which would require a complete shutdown of the market.

    But there are a lot of people without a lot of money but a lot of Tec-9s who might have something to say about starvation if it really came down to that.
    History tells me that depending on the mercy of the wealthy is not... the best strategy. Keep in mind that we aren't talking about "money" issues, but price issues. You'd have to turn the economy into a command economy to even maintain production. Money would become virtually useless in that contex... otherwise the government could just print it off. Even the bailout recently is more than all the billionaires in the US combined (by my best guess).

  4. #74
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    I guess I would start by taking away the shopping culture. Myself I've been fine with one pair of jeans for couple of years...

    But, yes, I see what you are getting at. There is some point where the limit should be drawn. I don't know where. But, as far as we talk about distribution, we should see how much of that we need after decentralization. And we shouldn't have much use for cars after we make public transportation more effective (and, in my opinion it should be free at least inside cities). The science and medical treatment should be prioritized also. For that, I can't say much, but it should be top priority to develop more sustainable energy, like fusion reactors you mentioned.
    I'm positive we agree, but the whole topic is... very conveluted.

    I'm one of the few people who think that transportation is a public good, so in terms of transportation, I'm probably farther "left" than you are, by a huge degree. On other things, I'm probably not (ie: I am not against over-consumption, and think prices should set that)... I'm a big fan of land taxes (density) and abode size taxes (as in rebates for smaller areas, taxes for higher. I hate setting taxes by market value!)

    You'll find me advocating the end of the welfare system, while at the same time as advocating tax rebates, exactly the same concept for all intents and purposes (but single system, rather than a myriad of them). I'm far enough left to want to create a standard of living, but not so far as to prevent choices for those that earn them.

    It's difficult to find agreement on all things That's kind of the catch...

  5. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuranes View Post
    I remember a story about a tycoon who was on vacation and noticed from his villa view that a local fisherman was always coming home after half the day was over. He watched it enough to know that it was probably a regular pattern and then he accosted the fisherman, and asked him why not stay out all day. The fisherman replied that he met his needs in less time than that, and that he wanted to spend the time with his wife and family, enjoying himself and them. The tycoon told the fisherman that by working beyond his own personal needs he could amass more capital or profits to re-invest. The fisherman asked him what he would invest in, and he replied "More boats, or better equipment" and the man asked "What for ?" The tycoon replied that "This way you will eventually be able to simply hire a guy to do the fishing for you." "And why would I want to do that ?" "So you can enjoy yourself." The reply - "But I am already doing that."
    Such an attitude creates massive problems for future generations; subsistence rural economies lead to overpopulation and resource depletion. Its kind of like wishing we never used fossil fuels, ignoring the fact that the alternative would be to cut down every tree in existence.

  6. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    Yes, I am very surprised by this attitude and lack of imagination. Also, how is it possible that the psychological perspective is ignored? This forum should have many people interested in psychology, so it shouldn't be much of a problem to look at capitalism from that perspective.
    Its not lack of imagination on our part, its a lack of prudence on yours. As for the psychological perspective, you keep proposing systems that essentially seek to re-create the human psych, rather than work within its limitations. That opens the door to disastrous "utopian" (many proposed utopias sound like utter hell to me, particularly some kind of needs-based barter economy) experiments, communism being the most famous.

  7. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    I'm positive we agree, but the whole topic is... very conveluted.

    You'll find me advocating the end of the welfare system, while at the same time as advocating tax rebates, exactly the same concept for all intents and purposes (but single system, rather than a myriad of them). I'm far enough left to want to create a standard of living, but not so far as to prevent choices for those that earn them.

    It's difficult to find agreement on all things That's kind of the catch...
    Yeah, well, the way I think is that this system is based on created desires. The option would be to take those away and focus on what people need. So, I am on left. Except that I always vote for green because I also think that politics should be about ideology and not about how much money you have (here we have a bit different system, but it basically goes like: lots of money = right; poor = left). I oppose the greens in that they dont want nuclear power while I think it is important for to make a smooth transition to clean energy.

    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    Its not lack of imagination on our part, its a lack of prudence on yours. As for the psychological perspective, you keep proposing systems that essentially seek to re-create the human psych, rather than work within its limitations. That opens the door to disastrous "utopian" (many proposed utopias sound like utter hell to me, particularly some kind of needs-based barter economy) experiments, communism being the most famous.
    So, I should just shut up? Come on, you must admit that this system will not be the final. What I am proposing is that we explore the possible alternatives just to give us some clue of the future.

    This system isn't perfect for human psyche. It is isolative compared to the way people used to live. This creates problems. I don't know how you think that I am re-inventing psyche. Please explain.

  8. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    Yeah, well, the way I think is that this system is based on created desires. The option would be to take those away and focus on what people need. So, I am on left. Except that I always vote for green because I also think that politics should be about ideology and not about how much money you have (here we have a bit different system, but it basically goes like: lots of money = right; poor = left).
    It just doesn't work. Ever. As I alluded to about a mile up, the only conceivable way for that to work is the equivalent of worldwide slave labor in the form of machines, so people will only work if and how they desire.

    And I'm generally unfond of people who favor policy based on self-interest. This includes the poor who vote based on some backwards idea of what a politician will do for them at the expense of the rich, and vice versa. I wish people tried to take everyone in the voting district into account, and not just the individuals but the success of the nation, for example.

    So, I should just shut up? Come on, you must admit that this system will not be the final. What I am proposing is that we explore the possible alternatives just to give us some clue of the future.
    The time has not come.

  9. #79
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    The word 'capitalism' was coined by Karl Marx. What he described was an abhorrent economic system doomed to unravel itself. Fortunately, capitalism never has, and never will, exist anywhere in the world.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  10. #80
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    Marx did say capitalism was a necessary step on the way to communism, if I remember correctly.

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