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Post by bogbrush on Sun 16 Sep 2012, 10:37 am

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hawkeye wrote:The myth of hard work. Pfft! Everyone can be a winner if they work hard. The reverse of this is that anyone who isn't a "winner" is a lazy layabout and deserves a kick. Politically this is very useful.
No, I think that's a position taken by the left to discredit arguments about responsibility.

My belief is that there are huge restrictive conditions - all created by the State - that prevent free access to markets. They include;

- the weird concept of land ownership (who was it bought from originally or wasn't it just stolen and therefore all land ownership is based on an originally criminal act). This massively restricts access to living space.
- licensing of work so people are legally prevented from offering their services.
- the debt based system of money, where all money is not a flexible medium of exchange but rather a state-backed unit rented out (for interest) by the bank system. Taxation, which must be submitted in this one unit, prevents people trading "off system" so imposes a fine on their labour.

Despite all this, people can still pull themselves through with the right combination of skill, effort and luck. That some don't doesn't mean they are all lazy wasters (most such described are actually disabled by the welfare system) but it doesn't mean some aren't.
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Post by JuliusHMarx on Wed 19 Sep 2012, 8:55 am

bogbrush wrote:Right now greed and aggression are more or less compulsory, nd the systems created to combat it only inflame it.

That is a key point of disagreement - I reckon greed and aggression are innate and the current system control in, not inflame it. In a significant number of people it is only kept in check by a 'civilisation' based on having a State. What's the saying - we're only ever three days away from the breakdown of society?

What you require is not for people to be educated to accept 'freedom', because that can never happen, but a fundamental change in the aggressive and territorial nature of mankind.

The freedom you would give people would be a freedom to be more greedy and aggressive. People don't care about owning land, in the monetary/title deed sense - they care about controlling land and natural resources and the most ruthless people with the biggest guns would control it. How would I protect my land from someone like that who decides to take it from me - I would have to rely on other people willing to die in defense of my land. People are not that cooperative.

"the vast majority recognise the advantage of cooperation and mutual assurance." - I disagree with that and even if it were true, a minority with wealth and weapons would would overrun them. The benevolence and co-operation your vision requires will never happen, because it is not ingrained enough in the nature (not nuture) of man, and it never will be, unless you're relying on some unforseen evolution over the next several hundred thousand years or so.

And I don't think our difference in thinking is because I have somehow failed to break free of my educational shackles, whereas you have made that quantum leap.


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Post by TopHat24/7 on Wed 19 Sep 2012, 12:43 pm

bogbrush wrote:
hawkeye wrote:The myth of hard work. Pfft! Everyone can be a winner if they work hard. The reverse of this is that anyone who isn't a "winner" is a lazy layabout and deserves a kick. Politically this is very useful.
No, I think that's a position taken by the left to discredit arguments about responsibility.

My belief is that there are huge restrictive conditions - all created by the State - that prevent free access to markets. They include;

- the weird concept of land ownership (who was it bought from originally or wasn't it just stolen and therefore all land ownership is based on an originally criminal act). This massively restricts access to living space.
- licensing of work so people are legally prevented from offering their services.
- the debt based system of money, where all money is not a flexible medium of exchange but rather a state-backed unit rented out (for interest) by the bank system. Taxation, which must be submitted in this one unit, prevents people trading "off system" so imposes a fine on their labour.

Despite all this, people can still pull themselves through with the right combination of skill, effort and luck. That some don't doesn't mean they are all lazy wasters (most such described are actually disabled by the welfare system) but it doesn't mean some aren't.

What an astonishing pile of claptrap.

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Post by bogbrush on Wed 19 Sep 2012, 9:58 pm

TopHat24/7 wrote:
bogbrush wrote:
hawkeye wrote:The myth of hard work. Pfft! Everyone can be a winner if they work hard. The reverse of this is that anyone who isn't a "winner" is a lazy layabout and deserves a kick. Politically this is very useful.
No, I think that's a position taken by the left to discredit arguments about responsibility.

My belief is that there are huge restrictive conditions - all created by the State - that prevent free access to markets. They include;

- the weird concept of land ownership (who was it bought from originally or wasn't it just stolen and therefore all land ownership is based on an originally criminal act). This massively restricts access to living space.
- licensing of work so people are legally prevented from offering their services.
- the debt based system of money, where all money is not a flexible medium of exchange but rather a state-backed unit rented out (for interest) by the bank system. Taxation, which must be submitted in this one unit, prevents people trading "off system" so imposes a fine on their labour.

Despite all this, people can still pull themselves through with the right combination of skill, effort and luck. That some don't doesn't mean they are all lazy wasters (most such described are actually disabled by the welfare system) but it doesn't mean some aren't.

What an astonishing pile of claptrap.
Please enlighten me on the details.
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Post by bogbrush on Wed 19 Sep 2012, 10:07 pm

JuliusHMarx wrote:

And I don't think our difference in thinking is because I have somehow failed to break free of my educational shackles, whereas you have made that quantum leap.

Absolutely not my meaning. I make no such claim to special enlightenment.

In fact, the more I look at this subject, the more I realise how hard it is to reconcile the logic of the position with the practicality of following it though. For example, I don't say it would work now for free access to land, but that can't blind me to the absurdity of the basis of current land possession, and the damaging effect it has to the vast majority of people born to the same World yet denied access to a natural resource that no human can seriously lay claim to legitimately possess.
I mean, why not buy the atmosphere and deny others the use of that? Crazy of course, but why is that more crazy than doing the same with land?
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Post by JuliusHMarx on Wed 19 Sep 2012, 10:26 pm

People never used to pay for land (going back to the very early days) - they just settled and built huts and shelters where they liked. But the huts/land had to have some value - some more than others, depending on closeness the grazing land/water etc.
Once settled they considered themselves to own that land i.e. no-one else could take it over without stealing it or paying for it. Which seems quite ressonable IMHO - it's where you live, so why shouldn't you own/control/protect it - better than just giving it away. So a prospective new owner would offer cattle and a daughter or two. Nowadays we've replaced that sort of bartering with a more uniform and flexible currency so that land can change hands.
But unlike huts and shelters, houses are worth more than most people have to hand, hence the need for loans. Why have house prices become so high - one reason is greed - even if you start again from scratch, greed will always get in the way.
If all houses were of equal value (like each cubic foot of air is) there would be no need for loans, we'd just swap.

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Post by bogbrush on Thu 20 Sep 2012, 9:47 am

Let's separate land from the value of improvement.

On improvement - say a house - clearly you have created that so you own the value. However you didn't actually create the land so you have no right to claim conclusive ownership. You have a need and a fair argument to exclusive use, but that has to be by some form of accord with your neighbours. A mutual agreement that we respect each others personal needs of use seems fair enough, but it doesn't need to cross over into terminal ownership, so if I decide to leave a place why should I be able to sell the land?

You give one origin for land ownership but actually in Britain that's not representative. Much more land title dates back to William the Conqueror who landed, killed a load of people and said this lot is mine, then carved it up to give to allies to keep order. That's why the Domesday Book was created, to document "his" property (in the sense of what the holders owed him). Nobody can really argue that is a defensible basis for title (unless they're happy that title should pass through violence), so surely all contracts since then are questionable, being purchases of stolen goods. Even to this date some of the largest land "owners" date their title directly back to that event.

As for house prices, they are so high because;

* land ownership is restricted, so supply & demand forces up the price of that which is made available.
* The government further restricts use through planning laws, driving up the market value even further.
* rampant lending through the fractional reserve banking (FRB) system whereby money is created just against a persons promise to pay increased the money supply and forced an asset bubble.
* This was exacerbated by artificially low interest rates, frigged by setting an inflation target that excluded house prices and telling the BoE to set rates to attain that target, which was being suppressed by the mass of cheap imported goods from the Far East.
* And further exacerbated by a structured tax advantage to own through commercial use as the interest payment is allowable against rental income for tax (which it isn't if you buy for personal use).

Brown needed massive house prices for people to borrow against to keep the debt-fired, consumption-based economic false boom going while the reality is that productivity is declining like mad and the nation has been getting poorer for ages. So much for the value of State managed economic health!!

So people are trapped in a sitution where

(i) there isn't much land to have a house on
(ii) the price has been driven so high they cannot buy one
(iii) if they can they have to borrow so much they pay a huge share of their income in interest
(iv) it's cheaper to buy and finance as a landlord than as a private owner

Returning to FRB, are you aware that the money the banking system "lends" doesn't actually exist? It is created as a liability in the banking balance sheet against the asset of a promise. So it's your own promise to repay that creates the money which you then pay interest on. Neat bit of business isn't it? Rolling Eyes
A few months ago I was chatting to a regional officer of the Bank of England about the moral hazard of bailing out failed institutions, and remarked that it was especially important in banking "since the money supply system is effectively a con" and he laughed and said it's true.
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Post by JuliusHMarx on Thu 20 Sep 2012, 9:03 pm

And none of that is because of the inherent greed and selfishness of the human race? If there was no State people would become less greedy and selfish?

If a con exists, it's because some people want to con other people. Nothing is going to change that (even if the con itself changes)

If there was no State, there would need to be another system, which would end up being just another big 'con', and probably an even bigger one - because that's pretty much the way it's been throughout the history of mankind.

We're all sh!t basically, when it comes down to it.

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Post by bogbrush on Fri 21 Sep 2012, 7:20 am

Pretty much all of those things I described depend on a State to make them happen. Sure, people will do things, but as we are now they still do, plus we have structures that f*ck people up that are so big they're virtually invisible.

Here's a few more things we can thank the State for

* financing of organised crime through the outlawing of drugs. An ineffective law that creates a profit margin to incentivise mass distribution, plus loads of violence, without any benefit.bathe drugs still flow, and if I as an adult want to mess my brain up like that why not? It'd be my problem (I don't drink or smoke, by the way, nor have ever taken narcotics, not aided by any law but by choice).

* patent law which damages consumer interests and costs us all billions in high pharmaceutical profit margins. All unnecessary, history shows the really great discoveries were released free to mankind by the people who discovered them.

It's all a massive f*ck up and the model never lasts more than a few centuries without revolution or collapse. I am interested in a sustainable NOT PERFECT model. Can't be perfect because we're not, that's an unfair measure to use.
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Post by JuliusHMarx on Fri 21 Sep 2012, 9:02 am

We probably have one or two good laws as well Smile
You're always going to need some sort of system of law and law enforcement and there will always be some you like and some you don't like.
And any overall system (not just law) will give advantages to some people and disadvantages to others.

There is no system that can protect consumers against the greed, selfishness and ruthlessness of multi-nationals because they have the power and wealth to control any system. Those with wealth and greed (not all wealthy people are greedy and not all greedy people are wealthy) have always controlled things. And if there is a revolution or collapse, then it's just a matter of time before the next lot of wealthy and greedy take over.

And it's not just companies, it's individuals. We're all greedy and selfish to some extent. Try and build a fair system, given those building blocks.

A sustainable model would be great, but it's beyond the capabilties of humans. The survival of the fittest instinct, self-preservation at the expense of others prevent it. We have a veneer of civilisation at the moment and we congratulate ourselves on how far we've come - but we haven't got that far, because we can't.

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Post by bogbrush on Fri 21 Sep 2012, 3:23 pm

There's only one law required; do no harm to others. Everything else is social engineering and an abuse of personal freedom.

"Sustainable" doesn't mean universally benevolent and I agree we are all selfish. Of course we are, we're the result of billions of years of evolution favouring such impulses. Indeed some people consider it impossible to be truly altruistic (arguing even apparently "pure" actions are motivated by selfish urges to feel good about ourselves). I don't know, but if someone wants to be selfish or ungenerous then we can dislike them, or refuse to deal with them, but surely we have to let them be as they will - so long as they do not harm?
Some degree of enlightenment allows us sometimes to take apparently generous actions for selfish reasons (for instance, paying employees well and providing benefits can increase profits). Pushing people beyond that is a form of violence or coercion, and just creates an environment where those who are able or prepared to break the rules - or who have got onto the inside and can create them - have an advantage over those who do not, so incentivises bad behaviour.

The State also tends to infantisise people by deciding what is good for them and legislating to enforce "good" behaviour, when surely that is (i) counter-productive and (ii) morally wrong. Take drugs; why shouldn't an adult be free, if they choose, to shoot up? It's their body, their call, their consequences. By passing laws against it the State absolves individuals of responsibility, perpetuates the behaviour and creates a profit margin (see paragraph above) to distribute drugs.
I always taught my kids taking drugs was stupid because it meant giving up accountability for personal fulfilment to a chemical, with the result of a crap life and adverse chemical reaction and I never mentioned (i) the law, or (ii) made up scare stories that they'll kill them (because, by and large, they don't, at least no more than most things).

In the end for this species to develop it must do so by finding new ways to improve. The State system is a dead end of domestication and limitation. It always fails because it creates the perfect environment for psychopaths to control others. There may always be psychpaths but it's only with all these levers of power that they can damage millions rather than a few.
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