Jump to content
Guests can now reply in ALL forum topics (No registration required!) ×
Guests can now reply in ALL forum topics (No registration required!)
In the Name of God بسم الله
Sign in to follow this  
ashtonh2001

Islamic Socialism

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

guilt by association, argument invalid

 

"Self-earned private property, that is based, so to say, on the fusing together of the isolated, independent laboring-individual with the conditions of his labor, is supplanted by capitalistic private property, which rests on exploitation of the nominally free labor of others, i.e., on wage-labor. As soon as this process of transformation has sufficiently decomposed the old society from top to bottom, as soon as the laborers are turned into proletarians, their means of labor into capital, as soon as the capitalist mode of production stands on its own feet, then the further socialisation of labour and further transformation of the land and other means of production into socially exploited and, therefore, common means of production, as well as the further expropriation of private proprietors, takes a new form. That which is now to be expropriated is no longer the labourer working for himself, but the capitalist exploiting many laborers." - Capital volume 1

 

Check this out too, not a good essay but it differentiates between different kinds of property rights: http://www.academia.edu/3792905/Private_Property_Protect_or_Abolish_A_comparison_of_Kant_and_Marx

 

Anyway, the point is, until you address the inherent exploitation of labour within free market capitalism, through the enforcement of private property rights, you cannot begin to refer to taxation as theft without first at minimum acknowledging the theft of surplus that takes place to accumulate capital in the first place. 

Also, not everything that the 'right-wing' says is wrong, even if they're otherwise horrible people. People on the 'left-wing' tend to be too dismissive of core economics sometimes. One hilarious example: 

 

 

Most right wingers are not bad people, just terribly ignorant. This is because the education system (especially top US schools), systematically prohibit the discussion of 'core' economics, the only variant that is presented is one of the Austrian school (pure capitalism) and Keynesian (Controlled capitalism), leftist literature is completely absent for ideological purposes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

King states the truth - Libertarian/Austrian economics, Ayn Rand's philosophies, and "ultra free market" types are extremely destructive.

 

"Libertarianism" is cleverly named (but falsely named)... because who could be against "liberty" ?

 

But the fact is, it's really just the flipside of communism.

 

 

I think we can all agree that a fair, level playing field is a core principle?

 

-- With communism, the problem is that at some point, you'll end up with corrupt people in power, who then enact policies to help themselves and their friends.  The government manipulates the market too much in that case.

 

-- With libertarianism and its lack of proper regulations, the problem is that some people end up so powerful that they manipulate the market and crush any competition.  Huge corporations and/or wealthy people manipulate the market too much in that case.  They're quite often corrupt, or their greed leads them to act in corrupt ways.

 

Also, with libertarianism, you end up with "privatized profit" but "socialized risk"... business people will take crazy risks, because if it works, they get all the profit, but if it doesn't, then society will have to cover the cost. Wall Street basically operates like that right now, but shouldn't.

 

And one can look at who puts out certain propaganda, and then consider what their interest is... a lot of libertarian groups are supported nowadays by the Koch brothers -- they're considered very corrupt by many people and obviously don't want a level playing field. 

 

 

I think the middle ground, with some market freedom balanced with regulations (to keep it a level playing field) is best.  Scandinavian countries and Canada come closest to that (although Canada is sadly getting farther from it in recent years).  Also, re: the original post, I think maybe Iran is a little bit like that, but I don't know enough about it.

 

 

 

Anyway, I think Libertarian policies are very un-Islamic and they essentially give the powerful a free pass to crush everyone else.

 

Also, Somalia is basically a Libertarian paradise (in terms of how it operates)... so perhaps Libertarians could visit there for a first-hand look :P

Edited by Bright

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Who will take care of the elderly disabled woman across the street?  Or a child that cannot afford private school or health care insurance?  The libertarian answer to such questions are the church will take care of them or maybe some charity will  :lol: , its pure savagery.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Who will take care of the elderly disabled woman across the street? Or a child that cannot afford private school or health care insurance? The libertarian answer to such questions are the church will take care of them or maybe some charity will :lol: , its pure savagery.

Agree. There is a balance to be found.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

King states the truth - Libertarian/Austrian economics, Ayn Rand's philosophies, and "ultra free market" types are extremely destructive.

 

How is 'libertarian economics' destructive? 

Who will take care of the elderly disabled woman across the street?  Or a child that cannot afford private school or health care insurance?  The libertarian answer to such questions are the church will take care of them or maybe some charity will  :lol: , its pure savagery.

 

What they say is (as I understand it): there are some charitable situations, and there are also some charitable people.  Unless you want to ban voluntary charity, these two ends have the potential to take care of themselves.  Most large companies in the world give away millions in charity.  And the richest people like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, etc. give a large portion of their wealth away when they get older.  

 

You don't need to take money away from those who have legitimately earned it, to help those left behind. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

How is 'libertarian economics' destructive? 

 

I was going to say that the rest of my post was an explanation of that... but apparently, I should have just left it as "Austrian Economics".

 

I do know a bit about that, but I apparently don't know enough about Libertarian Economics as a whole.  The Austrian School seems to dominate any Libertarian talk, but apparently even "libertarian communism" is a thing  :wacko:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarianism#Economics

 

So I'll just change that sentence to be "Austrian economics and Ayn Rand's philosophies provide false ideological underpinnings for "ultra free market" policies & actions, which are extremely destructive."


 

You don't need to take money away from those who have legitimately earned it, to help those left behind. 

 

"Legitimate" is debatable, and often people get rich through shady methods or even just luck.  No, that's not the only reason, but too often, it plays a big role.

 

Also, as people mentioned early in the thread, wealth is often generated on the backs of public investments, especially in education and infrastructure.  And the government provides an environment to safeguard that wealth, through policies and police/military.

 

It's really just fair that people are taxed to pay for public goods.  If you don't believe in "public goods", then that's another issue, but I think pretty much everyone in society does believe in them.

 

You can't rely on the market to provide those goods, because it's not profitable and because "market failure" happens too often.

 

 

Also, once people get extremely wealthy, they try to manipulate things to they can get even wealthier (either by manipulating the market, or by buying-up politicians so they will manipulate government policies in their favour).  The US is crazy with its lack of campaign finance regulations.  

 

I basically believe that the "invisible hand" tends to push society over a cliff if it isn't kept in check.  

Edited by Bright

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How is 'libertarian economics' destructive? 

 

What they say is (as I understand it): there are some charitable situations, and there are also some charitable people.  Unless you want to ban voluntary charity, these two ends have the potential to take care of themselves.  Most large companies in the world give away millions in charity.  And the richest people like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, etc. give a large portion of their wealth away when they get older.  

 

You don't need to take money away from those who have legitimately earned it, to help those left behind. 

 

Did you bother reading any of the other posts? Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have not legitimately earned their money.

They have simply cashed in on the hard work of countless others, labour exploitation, and massive public subsidies. 

 

It really is a hilarious insight, the public bears the initial risk because business is seldom interested in prolonged not for profit research, and eventually when the breakthroughs are made, a bunch of capitalists get to modify them into marketable commodities, selling them back to the public for a massive profit!

Edited by King

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How so? 

 

Shariati felt that private property was the beginning of slavery to human beings rather than to God and thus led to exploitative systems of nobility, royalty and class

 

He was kind of operating, I suppose, on the idea that everything and everyone belongs to God, therefore the notion of "private property" that people actually own themselves would be a delusion according to this worldview, which does make some sense, I guess.

Edited by Saintly_Jinn23

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

 

I was going to say that the rest of my post was an explanation of that... but apparently, I should have just left it as "Austrian Economics".

 

I do know a bit about that, but I apparently don't know enough about Libertarian Economics as a whole.  The Austrian School seems to dominate any Libertarian talk, but apparently even "libertarian communism" is a thing  :wacko:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarianism#Economics

 

So I'll just change that sentence to be "Austrian economics and Ayn Rand's philosophies provide false ideological underpinnings for "ultra free market" policies & actions, which are extremely destructive."

 

 

Ok, how is Austrian economics 'extremely destructive'? 

1. "Legitimate" is debatable, and often people get rich through shady methods

 

2. or even just luck.  No, that's not the only reason, but too often, it plays a big role.

 

3. Also, as people mentioned early in the thread, wealth is often generated on the backs of public investments, especially in education and infrastructure.  And the government provides an environment to safeguard that wealth, through policies and police/military.

 

4. It's really just fair that people are taxed to pay for public goods.  If you don't believe in "public goods", then that's another issue, but I think pretty much everyone in society does believe in them.

 

You can't rely on the market to provide those goods, because it's not profitable and because "market failure" happens too often.

 

 

5. Also, once people get extremely wealthy, they try to manipulate things to they can get even wealthier (either by manipulating the market, or by buying-up politicians so they will manipulate government policies in their favour).  The US is crazy with its lack of campaign finance regulations.  

 

I basically believe that the "invisible hand" tends to push society over a cliff if it isn't kept in check.  

 

 

1. Those making money from crimes should be treated by the law, just like any crime right? 

 

2. You can't really punish people for being lucky, I'm sure you'll agree. 

 

3. And those services are usually have to be paid for by the private entities, such as through their electricity bills. 

 

4. We can discuss whether public services and taxes of any form should exist, but that would be another discussion. I think on this thread we should assume that all of us are in agreement about the need for a small amount of public spending through taxes. Where we probably differ is how that tax money is raised. Remember though that all of today's taxes didn't exist forever. Income tax in the US for example, was only imposed in 1913. There are other ways to raise money for a limited government role. 

 

5. Yes, that's a good argument for limiting government's role, so that nobody can abuse it to create policies benefiting themselves. Note that governments have police, weapons, army etc and can force you to do things. All private companies can do is to offer you a product/service, and it's up to you to voluntarily buy it if you wish. 

1. Did you bother reading any of the other posts? Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have not legitimately earned their money.

They have simply cashed in on the hard work of countless others, labour exploitation, and massive public subsidies. 

 

2. It really is a hilarious insight, the public bears the initial risk because business is seldom interested in prolonged not for profit research, and eventually when the breakthroughs are made, a bunch of capitalists get to modify them into marketable commodities, selling them back to the public for a massive profit!

 

1. I must have missed it - could you please point out a couple of specific examples where Bill Gates and Warren Buffet's gains were illegitimate? 

 

2. Private companies spend money on research - if they gain things out of their investment in research, do they not have a right to benefit from it?  If there was government-sponsored research instead (that led to the breakthrough), how would a private company be able to 'sell' it to the public? I would imagine the government holding the rights. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

 

1. Those making money from crimes should be treated by the law, just like any crime right? 

 

2. You can't really punish people for being lucky, I'm sure you'll agree. 

 

 

You still have yet to present a moral or economic argument against taxation, how is taxing Microsoft tantamount to punishing them?

 

 5. Yes, that's a good argument for limiting government's role, so that nobody can abuse it to create policies benefiting themselves. Note that governments have police, weapons, army etc and can force you to do things. All private companies can do is to offer you a product/service, and it's up to you to voluntarily buy it if you wish. 

 

It isn't, government is not supposed to be some foreign entity that cannot be held accountable like a modern corporation.  Governments are there to represent the democratic will of the people, if majority of the public wants universal healthcare, subsidized education and large social programs, who are you to deny people their democratic rights?  When the US government used to be relatively more democratic, it had stricter regulations in place that didn't allow private banks and financial institutions to run wild with other peoples debts.  US enjoyed its most prosperous period when taxes were higher and regulations more stern, until Reagan undid those protective mechanisms.

 

Big business wouldn't accept small government in any case, they only want to make the government smaller for poor/working people by cutting spending on social programs, education and environmental programs, all the while they demand less taxes for the rich, big government in the form of public bailouts, anti-union legislation, property rights protection and public investment to revive falling economies due to private incompetencies.  So your capitalist utopia is just that, pure fantasy because the 'private' business world would never tolerate such a thing.

 

The challenge for most ordinary people then is to get the government working for them, as they do relatively well in more socialist countries such as Sweden and Germany.

 

 

 

1. I must have missed it - could you please point out a couple of specific examples where Bill Gates and Warren Buffet's gains were illegitimate? 

 

2. Private companies spend money on research - if they gain things out of their investment in research, do they not have a right to benefit from it?  If there was government-sponsored research instead (that led to the breakthrough), how would a private company be able to 'sell' it to the public? I would imagine the government holding the rights. 

 

 

Microsoft's filthy business practices early on are well documented, this not including the exploitation of labour, massive government protection in helping secure a virtual monopoly, and the fact most of the research and innovation had taken place before these geniuses arrived at the scene.

 

Yes, technically they do, but let me know if this has ever really been the case on a major technological breakthrough.   I don't know what kind of agreements take place in the background, and the specifics are irrelevant, it's beyond obvious that the core technology underlying the modern personal computers that companies like Apple came up with existed through the efforts of countless others in the preceding decades, with massive public subsidies since the capitalists only tend to jump in when there is money to be made.  To label taxing such outrageously profitable companies as theft is beyond ludicrous.  Even Bill Gates agrees.

 

 All private companies can do is to offer you a product/service, and it's up to you to voluntarily buy it if you wish. 

 

This is absurd, unfettered capitalism tilts it all in favour of the most talented, private owners with access to the most fertile land, capital and resources, it's nothing from inception but a recipe of eventual monopolistic disaster, and you cannot cure this by simply refusing to buy the products.  Private businesses don't just sell products, they employ people.  Ordinary people with no access to capital are forced to rent themselves to the capitalists just to survive, and without the 'government' or unions, these people have ALWAYS been abused, just go look at the history of modern capitalism and the industrial revolution.  

 

If you as a private owner own the mining rights and the only factory in the land, what choice do other ordinary people have to survive but to rent themselves to you for a wage that you feel like paying under the conditions you decide to provide?  Keeping in mind small/no government, no labour laws, taxation, welfare programs and protection.  You can't just say that these people can open their own business or find work elsewhere since theoretically they have no access to capital in the first place.  This is an extreme example but a historically real scenario to demonstrate that for most people the liberty you talk about ironically begins with wage slavery.  When Adam smith talked about such liberty, he had as a prerequisite, perfect equality as a starting point, which is essentially living in a dream world.

Edited by King

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You don't need to take money away from those who have legitimately earned it, to help those left behind. 

 

What is legitimate and not legitimate is a grey area in today's corporate world. There are many ways to spin the system and make it work to your advantage so your corp can earn as much as it likes with minimum of restrictions, and that's why they bankroll politicians who then when they come into power make policies which are more for the benefit of the corps than for the betterment of the general public.

Besides, if rich won't pay taxes, from where will you run the social programs and national development, which concerns poor incapacitated people who can't work as well as building power plants and highways and bridges and million other things.

 

A libertarian system is the most redundant, bare, naked form of philosophical social contract in which strong eats the weak, and as Robert Burns put it, 'every man is to himself and let the devil take the hindmost'. That's a very individualistic and un-Islamic way of thinking. That's how most broken third world societies currently operate : under a predatory capitalistic system where there is no social security, law is weak and whoever swings a staff can control the Cow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You still have yet to present a moral or economic argument against taxation, how is taxing Microsoft tantamount to punishing them?
 
I don't get it... why was I supposed to present arguments against taxing companies like Microsoft, and did I actually say that taxing them is punishing them?
 
To clarify, the point to which I was responding was made in response to my post 'You don't need to take money away from those who have legitimately earned it, to help those left behind'. 
 
It isn't, government is not supposed to be some foreign entity that cannot be held accountable like a modern corporation.  Governments are there to represent the democratic will of the people, if majority of the public wants universal healthcare, subsidized education and large social programs, who are you to deny people their democratic rights?  
 
So yes democracy can be in conflict with liberty, as you may know: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyranny_of_the_majority
 
For example, if 51% of the people in a country vote to ban everything to do with Islam and Muslims, does that make the ban OK? It just means that the majority is limiting freedom and choice from the remaining population. 
 
To take your 'large social programs' example, if I don't want to be paying for all of that through increased taxes, the choice is taken away from me even if I'm not opting into it, which is questionable. 
 
When the US government used to be relatively more democratic, it had stricter regulations in place that didn't allow private banks and financial institutions to run wild with other peoples debts.  US enjoyed its most prosperous period when taxes were higher and regulations more stern, until Reagan undid those protective mechanisms.
 
Citation needed, because I've understood so far that prosperity in the USA resulted from the period before that when taxes were minimal and regulations rare. 
 
Big business wouldn't accept small government in any case, they only want to make the government smaller for poor/working people by cutting spending on social programs, education and environmental programs, all the while they demand less taxes for the rich, big government in the form of public bailouts, anti-union legislation, property rights protection and public investment to revive falling economies due to private incompetencies.  So your capitalist utopia is just that, pure fantasy because the 'private' business world would never tolerate such a thing.
 
You've got to take private businesses at their word, if they say they want smaller government, test that out by giving it to them. Speculation as to what they 'really' want isn't productive. As long as big government exists, businesses (just like anything else) will try to influence it to their own benefit. 

The challenge for most ordinary people then is to get the government working for them, as they do relatively well in more socialist countries such as Sweden and Germany.
 
Remember correlation is not causation, could you point out which parts of Sweden and Germany are working well for ordinary people and what was the cause? 

Microsoft's filthy business practices early on are well documented, this not including the exploitation of labour, massive government protection in helping secure a virtual monopoly, and the fact most of the research and innovation had taken place before these geniuses arrived at the scene.
 
Yes, technically they do, but let me know if this has ever really been the case on a major technological breakthrough.   I don't know what kind of agreements take place in the background, and the specifics are irrelevant, it's beyond obvious that the core technology underlying the modern personal computers that companies like Apple came up with existed through the efforts of countless others in the preceding decades, with massive public subsidies since the capitalists only tend to jump in when there is money to be made.  To label taxing such outrageously profitable companies as theft is beyond ludicrous.  Even Bill Gates agrees.
 
Again I don't know why you're arguing for taxing Microsoft (did I say they shouldn't be? it's past midnight and I could have forgotten), but about your earlier point let's suppose I create a website that makes me 500 dollars a month. Do I have to give it all away to some charity that donates all proceeds to the inventors of the internet because I couldn't have made the website without the internet being invented in the first place? Just trying to understand your logic... 
 

This is absurd, unfettered capitalism tilts it all in favour of the most talented, private owners with access to the most fertile land, capital and resources, it's nothing from inception but a recipe of eventual monopolistic disaster, and you cannot cure this by simply refusing to buy the products.  Private businesses don't just sell products, they employ people.  Ordinary people with no access to capital are forced to rent themselves to the capitalists just to survive, and without the 'government' or unions, these people have ALWAYS been abused, just go look at the history of modern capitalism and the industrial revolution.  
 
If you as a private owner own the mining rights and the only factory in the land, what choice do other ordinary people have to survive but to rent themselves to you for a wage that you feel like paying under the conditions you decide to provide?  Keeping in mind small/no government, no labour laws, taxation, welfare programs and protection.  You can't just say that these people can open their own business or find work elsewhere since theoretically they have no access to capital in the first place.  This is an extreme example but a historically real scenario to demonstrate that for most people the liberty you talk about ironically begins with wage slavery.  When Adam smith talked about such liberty, he had as a prerequisite, perfect equality as a starting point, which is essentially living in a dream world.

 

 

So who's saying unions should be banned? There shouldn't be any abuse, and I don't see problems with voluntary organizations like unions. 
 
As for the second paragraph, if workers unite and refuse to work in substandard conditions, the company can't function and they'll have to improve conditions. 

Someone just linked me this: 

 

http://www.ctvnews.ca/video?playlistId=1.2015876

 

Libertarian answer: Charitable donations and help from those who want to help will take care of bill.

 

Thanks, that's a good example of people blindly trusting government to save them, and burning their fingers in the process. 

 

Ironically, if he would have held on to private insurance, they would've been in a better position. 


And what happened on December 23 1913?
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Reserve_Act

The private bank was born. The income tax was no coincidence.

 

What happened exactly? Did the federal reserve impose taxes on Americans, or did you mean to refer to some other conspiracy? 


What is legitimate and not legitimate is a grey area in today's corporate world. There are many ways to spin the system and make it work to your advantage so your corp can earn as much as it likes with minimum of restrictions, and that's why they bankroll politicians who then when they come into power make policies which are more for the benefit of the corps than for the betterment of the general public.
 
Yes, which is why the government system shouldn't have much power in the first place to give away, that it can be lobbied/abused by corporations for their self-interest. 
 
Besides, if rich won't pay taxes, from where will you run the social programs and national development, which concerns poor incapacitated people who can't work as well as building power plants and highways and bridges and million other things.
 
Why should rich people not pay taxes (why is this your assumption)? 
 
A libertarian system is the most redundant, bare, naked form of philosophical social contract in which strong eats the weak, and as Robert Burns put it, 'every man is to himself and let the devil take the hindmost'. That's a very individualistic and un-Islamic way of thinking. That's how most broken third world societies currently operate : under a predatory capitalistic system where there is no social security, law is weak and whoever swings a staff can control the Cow.
 
Rather than using labels like libertarian, capitalist, etc. which everyone seems to have their own personal definitions for, how about specifying what rules/policies exactly are unIslamic? I try to be open-minded and can be convinced either way if there's good basis (I used to be in the socialist camp before, believe it or not; before I learned economics further and specifically that book above - economics in one lesson). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why should rich people not pay taxes (why is this your assumption)? 

 

Because you've been saying money should not be taken away from them. How else money can be taken away from big businesses and super rich other than to tax them at a high rate?

 

I am not asking the government to just rob them and nationalise those businesses; only keep an eye on their workings and don't let them influence government policy for the great public good.

 

Yes, which is why the government system shouldn't have much power in the first place to give away, that it can be lobbied/abused by corporations for their self-interest.

 

This makes zero sense. If there are no regulations the government will have no power, but then all power will be concentrated in the corporate world, and they are the ones who will act like government. Is that what you want?

 

Rather than using labels like libertarian, capitalist, etc. which everyone seems to have their own personal definitions for, how about specifying what rules/policies exactly are unIslamic? I try to be open-minded and can be convinced either way if there's good basis (I used to be in the socialist camp before, believe it or not; before I learned economics further and specifically that book above - economics in one lesson).

 
One thing, exploitation. Whenever there is exploitation it is un-Islamic. If you don't see the exploitation of people and resources and law in big businesses that are richer than some countries, then nothing anyone will say will have an effect. All haram grows from exploitation, whether it is seeking unfair profits or stripping state law of checks and balances, winning a monopoly on market etc... Only look how these banks behaved when controls were lifted and now every taxpayer has to pay for their blunders.
 
So why socialism is good for banks and corps but not good for a common cripple who can't earn?
 
You don't need to be a in a socialist camp to understand that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1. Because you've been saying money should not be taken away from them. How else money can be taken away from big businesses and super rich other than to tax them at a high rate?
 
2. I am not asking the government to just rob them and nationalise those businesses; only keep an eye on their workings and don't let them influence government policy for the great public good.
 
1. I meant these arbitrary complaints that just because someone was able to make money, they're suddenly some sort of villains who haven't paid their dues to society. We should try to treat everyone equally - if there is someone who has actually made money through evil/illegal means, they should be dealt with whether they are super-rich or middle-class or poor. Because otherwise, as soon as someone makes it big, they'll be tempted to blow it away on waste to avoid the scrutiny reserved for rich people. 
 
And taxing businesses is different, it makes some sense. I think we were talking about taxing individuals who are paid by the company from any profits (after tax). 
 
Lastly, there is more than just income tax - just because you made money, you need to pay the government (that's how neighborhood gangs operate). There should be more creativity - the government should set up businesses and use that profit to pay its expenses. It could charge for imports/exports, road use, etc.
 
And of course, if the government wasn't bloated it wouldn't have to charge that much to begin with. Small government and efficiency should be top priorities. 
 
2. Makes sense, not just for and successful people though, but for everyone. Every offense/crime should be punished. 
 
This makes zero sense. If there are no regulations the government will have no power, but then all power will be concentrated in the corporate world, and they are the ones who will act like government. Is that what you want?
 
I'm not arguing for no regulations, but minimal (the most basic) regulations such as no exclusivity and not violating other people's rights. I think it should be simple to the average person, unlike the usual books upon books of rules to you have to go through in most countries to run a business.
 
Private business can't make the general public to pay them an ongoing amount of money like government (unless government makes a rule specifically to that effect, like they do in some countries for health insurance), so they're much better than governments in that sense. And they can't gain 'all power', because it will be a voluntary market-based economy where the best product at lowest cost wins. The consumers choose the best product, and have the choice to abandon the whole market and even set up a new business (or non-profit) if the choices available don't satisfy them. They don't have to worry about all the investment a private business may have made to bring them a product. Whatever the costs to the private company, unlike governments they can't force consumers to pay it. 
 
One thing, exploitation. Whenever there is exploitation it is un-Islamic. If you don't see the exploitation of people and resources and law in big businesses that are richer than some countries, then nothing anyone will say will have an effect. All haram grows from exploitation, whether it is seeking unfair profits or stripping state law of checks and balances, winning a monopoly on market etc... Only look how these banks behaved when controls were lifted and now every taxpayer has to pay for their blunders.
 
What kind of exploitation? Even this word has many meanings, some bad and some not so (such as a country exploiting its natural resources). 
 
Among the examples you mentioned:
- what is 'unfair profit', would there be rules preventing margins over a certain limit? 
- affecting government laws to their benefit I agree shouldn't be allowed, but we come back to the fact that if the government didn't have so much power to give away, this issue wouldn't exist in the first place so that's where the solution should be 
- about 'winning a monopoly', let's say as Google Chrome is doing now you build the best product at lowest cost and consumers flock to you - should there be rules against it? or if you create a new product line that no other company builds, thus you're a monopoly for a while, should that be banned (no new products)? 

So why socialism is good for banks and corps but not good for a common cripple who can't earn?
 
You don't need to be a in a socialist camp to understand that.
 

 

 

I already do, I think you might be confusing my arguments with someone else's. I've said several times that the bank bailouts (or more generally, any government help to a selective group of private companies) is terrible and against efficient/fair free markets. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ No, I am not confusing your argument with someone else's. I'm taking the general line and critiquing it since you are in favour of minimal regulations and I am for putting reasonable checks and balances, not so much that they might stiffen the business environment but the regulations also shouldn't be so bare and unconcerned as to allow big corps to run wild with any thing they want to do.

 

I'm not concerned with Google chromes or iPads or Peugeots. I'm concerned with selling public sector like railways, national flag carriers, health, utility services, fresh water sources, coal mines and other things to whoever has the cash in his pocket so he can monopolise and exploit as much as he can because these are the things every one must use. This is what 'minimal-government' arguers want to do, in a twinkling - want to sell out every last stone in the valley and every last sand-grain in the desert.

 

And just one example of 2008 banking crash is a good reminder of what happens when there is minimal regulation in big corp sector, and when the government is forced to sleep away while the proverbial market runs the economy.

 

If the market knew best, as the City folks claim, there would be no crashes.

Edited by Marbles

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Citation needed, because I've understood so far that prosperity in the USA resulted from the period before that when taxes were minimal and regulations rare.

Why do you think taxes were minimal? Why do you think there was no income tax "from the period before?" It is all rooted in the structure of the banking system. The fact is, you're not making any concerted effort to do your own research.

Material from the Mises institute will only serve to burn out your brain cells.

What happened exactly? Did the federal reserve impose taxes on Americans, or did you mean to refer to some other conspiracy?

Don't expect me to spoon feed you. The timely coincidence of the introduction of the income tax at the same time the Central Bank was privatised should be enough of an incentive for you to study further.

Ellen Brown's articles and her books, Web of Debt and The Public Banking Solution, would be a good starting point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
^ No, I am not confusing your argument with someone else's. I'm taking the general line and critiquing it since you are in favour of minimal regulations and I am for putting reasonable checks and balances, not so much that they might stiffen the business environment but the regulations also shouldn't be so bare and unconcerned as to allow big corps to run wild with any thing they want to do.
 
This is probably just a semantics thing then, you call it 'reasonable' and I 'minimal'? 
 
I'm not concerned with Google chromes or iPads or Peugeots. I'm concerned with selling public sector like railways, national flag carriers, health, utility services, fresh water sources, coal mines and other things to whoever has the cash in his pocket so he can monopolise and exploit as much as he can because these are the things every one must use. This is what 'minimal-government' arguers want to do, in a twinkling - want to sell out every last stone in the valley and every last sand-grain in the desert.
 
It may surprise you to hear that I'm still open-minded about these subjects :) although I tend towards free market-based economies in the absence of better alternatives. 
 
I've thought about what the ideal system might look like if created from a clean/zero state, unhindered by the currently accepted systems like capitalism, socialism, etc.  I haven't fully crystallized my thoughts but so far it seems to me like there's most gains when the government is one of the players in the free market. And this government entity would not be paid for by taxes, but run like a more normal company (or non-profit) where there's no taxpayer funding.  
 
This is somewhat analogous to Google's (fairly) regular yearly releases of a top-end Android mobile phone for a reasonable price, which tends to force the rest of the manufacturer ecosystem to innovate faster and match/overtake that 'benchmark' phone. Yet Google doesn't dominate sales, the others do because of all their success in beating those (new) standard specs and their marketing. The market is helped by the additional strong player, the competition is good for end-users, the private companies are responsive and kept honest by a vanilla player. No need for exclusivity.  Disclaimer: I'm connected to Google (but speak for myself here). 
 
And just one example of 2008 banking crash is a good reminder of what happens when there is minimal regulation in big corp sector, and when the government is forced to sleep away while the proverbial market runs the economy.
 
A lesson to take from that crash is that irresponsible banks are destroyed by the free market, it's a very natural and welcome process. The whole problem arises when government steps in and tries to keeps that filth afloat (just like the US government bombs millions of Iraqi people to save them from terrorism, governments have a tendency to reward the bad companies to save consumers). 
 
If the market knew best, as the City folks claim, there would be no crashes.

 

 

Why do you believe that (what's the logic)? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why do you think taxes were minimal?

 

Why do you think there was no income tax "from the period before?" It is all rooted in the structure of the banking system. The fact is, you're not making any concerted effort to do your own research. Material from the Mises institute will only serve to burn out your brain cells. Don't expect me to spoon feed you. The timely coincidence of the introduction of the income tax at the same time the Central Bank was privatised should be enough of an incentive for you to study further. Ellen Brown's articles and her books, Web of Debt and The Public Banking Solution, would be a good starting point.

 

Because they were? Except for American wars that led to a tiny proportion of the population paying between 1-7% tax on their income, income tax was pretty non-existent in the USA till 1913. 

 

 

As for the rest of your post, there's no substantial point to follow-up on... indeed I 'do research' and 'study further' when I get the chance. But how come you're not providing a coherent response to all the points we were discussing? 

 

You actually have to bring your arguments forward, not simply ask the other guy to go away. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@aliasghark

 

The problem is that anyone who argues against the selling of public sector to private ownership and calls for stricter checks on mega corporations is quickly branded a socialist, which is a complete hogwash. You don't have to subscribe to American-style free marketism to be pro-business; there are many European economies which are doing well on the puvlic welfare size and they don't have huge income gaps between classes of people as in the US.

 

This American economics if applied in toto in poor, developing countries leads to massive income gaps between sections of society. They need to let people set up and run businesses of their own, invest and increase economic activity in the country, all that is good and I am for it, but at the same time you have to guard your national economy against the encroachments of foreign, or even local, mega corps, and this requires careful regulation. Calling for minimal or absent government would not matters easy but worse.

 

None of what I said would be acceptable to free-marketeers of American-style unrestrained capitalism who speak from the vantage point of power and money, and are able to influence politics in foreign country, and bribe regulatory bodies to enact legislation in their favour so they can skim maximum profit from the people, and in some case get raw material so cheap that it's no different then theft.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Because they were? Except for American wars that led to a tiny proportion of the population paying between 1-7% tax on their income, income tax was pretty non-existent in the USA till 1913.

Because they were? That's your response?

Let me help you out, since you're not going to do so yourself.

http://www.devvy.com/notax.html

The reason the income tax was introduced was so that the interest on the money the government borrows can be paid by the nation as a whole.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

aliasghark, you're kind of unusual in your views -- in some ways good, because some of your views would give libertarians (and right-wingers in general) fits of rage  :D   

 

Overall though, your views have a lot of problems.

 

You mentioned that you learned economics from the book "Economics in One Lesson" on the Mises Institute (Libertarian) web site.

 

That book is apparently from 1946, so part of the context is the power/risk of communism at the time.

 

You don't seem to be a libertarian, because you like the idea of "crown corporations" (state-owned enterprises) quite a lot... so that does show open-mindedness.  But in a sense, you've been reading info that may sound good at first glance, but that's because it's too simplistic and ignores important topics.

 

 

I believe the issue with your views is that they don't address these problems:

(maybe you already know about these topics, but if you don't, or don't know their specific economic definitions, they are useful to learn)

 

 
1) Market Power:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Market_power
 
"Market power gives firms the ability to engage in unilateral anti-competitive behavior. Some of the behaviours that firms with market power are accused of engaging in include predatory pricing, product tying, and creation of overcapacity or other barriers to entry."
 
 
2) Market Failure:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Market_failure
 
"Market failures are often associated with time-inconsistent preferences, information asymmetries, non-competitive markets, principal–agent problems, externalities, or public goods.  The existence of a market failure is often the reason that self-regulatory organizations, governments or supra-national institutions intervene in a particular market."
 
The listed issues are important, and each one (at the above web link) has a link to its own page:
- time-inconsistent preferences
- information asymmetries
- non-competitive markets
- principal–agent problems 
- externalities
- public goods
 
 
3) Externalities (external effects)
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Externality
 
"As an example of externalities, municipal governments enforce building codes and license tradesmen to mitigate the incentive to use cheaper (but more dangerous) construction practices, ensuring that the total cost of new construction includes the (otherwise external) cost of preventing future tragedies. The voters who elect municipal officials presumably feel that they are individually better off if everyone complies with the local codes, even if those codes may increase the cost of construction in their communities."
 
"Manufacturing activities that cause air pollution impose health and clean-up costs on the whole society" (negative externalities)
 
"The neighbors of an individual who chooses to fire-proof his home may benefit from a reduced risk of a fire spreading to their own houses" (positive externalities)
 
 
 
I think most people desire a level playing field for society. But as I detailed in an earlier post, I believe libertarians ignore the problem of market failure, while communism ignores the problem of "government failure" ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_failure ).
 
There's a lot of propaganda put out nowadays about free market ideology, and from what you've written, it seems like you have too much faith in "the free market".  
 
 
It would help to know what your views are on (1) Market Power, (2) Market Failure, and (3) Externalities
 
Because if you disagree with those concepts, then those are fundamental disagreements that create large differences in one's views  regarding how society/government/laws should be structured.
 
 
I think the basic problem is that even if you start with a "free market", eventually various players become very powerful. And then they use their market power to suppress potential competitors... so then it's not a free market anymore at all. 
 
And a fully "free market" also doesn't address problems of market failure, and that's bad for society.
 

 

Ok, how is Austrian economics 'extremely destructive'? 

 

They apparently don't believe in the concept of "market failure" (I think that's kind of insane :S).  And because of that, that seems to be their main reason in arguing against regulations and useful government activities.  If implemented, I think it would lead to a country devolving into a savage, feudal society.
 
I think most people who read the info on this page:    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Market_failure
would agree that market failures are very real, legitimate issues.
 
 
Admittedly though, right-wingers who implemented the views of Friedman & his followers have done more damage, but I think Austrian views could also do a lot of damage if implemented (and they do currently seem to be used as a background intellectual foundation for ultra free market propaganda).  It had been a while since I read much about Austrian stuff, but I'll also admit they do have a few good points... but they're mostly wrong, and something like market failure is a basic concept that most people would agree exists.
Edited by Bright

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

1. Those making money from crimes should be treated by the law, just like any crime right? 

 

2. You can't really punish people for being lucky, I'm sure you'll agree. 

 

3. And those services are usually have to be paid for by the private entities, such as through their electricity bills. 

 

4. We can discuss whether public services and taxes of any form should exist, but that would be another discussion. I think on this thread we should assume that all of us are in agreement about the need for a small amount of public spending through taxes. Where we probably differ is how that tax money is raised. Remember though that all of today's taxes didn't exist forever. Income tax in the US for example, was only imposed in 1913. There are other ways to raise money for a limited government role. 

 

5. Yes, that's a good argument for limiting government's role, so that nobody can abuse it to create policies benefiting themselves. Note that governments have police, weapons, army etc and can force you to do things. All private companies can do is to offer you a product/service, and it's up to you to voluntarily buy it if you wish. 

 

 

 

 

Regarding the above points:
 
1) The problem is that a lot of shady stuff isn't technically criminal.  People can produce negative externalities from their risky activities, and if it doesn't work out, they walk away and leave society to clean up the mess.  Read about this guy: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jérôme_Kerviel
...he was risking huge amounts of money at the bank he worked at, because if it worked, he would get a huge bonus and look like a hero.  But it didn't work, so his bank lost a lot of money.  That's the same thing banks do as a whole... and they screwed things up, and then needed the bailouts, because otherwise it would create domino effects and tear-down the entire economic system. That's "privatized profit" and "socialized risk".  
 
Also, it's amazing how many hedge fund billionaires there are... they generally don't do anything useful, but often get rich through shady methods.  Look-up info about high-frequency trading:   en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-frequency_trading#Risks_and_controversy
 
And even in the general business world, shady but non-illegal stuff can create huge profits... Facebook had very shady beginnings, and look how big that has become.
 
 
2) Taxes aren't a punishment for being lucky.  It's really just a "societal contract" in a way.  If people don't like it, they can move to a different country when they are able to.  
 
You might say that's unfair.  But the problem is that you can't simply let people decide whether they agree to that contract when they turn 18 (or even 8 years old) because by then, they already know their intelligence level, parental connections, and other advantages.  And people with those advantages won't agree to it.
 
"Macro / big-picture factors", circumstances, and luck play a HUGE part in success.  I've heard a stat that if you have a warm bed at night, enough food to eat, etc. then you're already better off than something like 80% of the world's population.
 
I haven't read the book, but Malcom Gladwell's book "David and Goliath" addresses some of those factors.  For example, most pro hockey players are born in early months like January, Feb, March, etc.  That's because for hockey registration as 5-year-olds, kids born in January are a lot bigger (on average) than kids born in December.  And so they do better at that stage, and build their skills more as the best players on the team, and it's a snowball effect... so to some extent, it helps propel kids born in those months (on average).
 
I think Hollywood is probably another example.  You could have 2 equally skilled actors who work equally hard, but just by flukey circumstances, one will hit it big while the other will be a waiter as his main job.
 
Also, one guy who became a billionaire out of Facebook... he basically didn't do anything except contribute a bit of money at the start, because he had wealthy parents (and even that was somewhat because, as the FB founder said in chat logs, they don't ban insider trading in Brazil).  Facebook as a concept was also somewhat inevitable, but FB happened to be the company that had the right timing and "seeds" of starting in desirable Ivy League campuses.
 
And then there's the factor of connections... a famous saying is: It's not about what you know, it's about who you know.
 
Sure, some people get rich by inventing something superb.   But even that is often by "standing on the shoulders of prior generations" (prior technologies they developed).
 
I think too many many people think success is because of their own hard work and how awesome they are. But they forget that there are plenty of people who work just as hard and are perhaps even more talented, but who didn't have other circumstances in their favour.
 
Anyway, my point is that taxes aren't a punishment. It's based upon a societal contract that if you get lucky by a huge number of circumstances (as well as some hard work usually), then you pay taxes to chip-in.  And people who get wealthy do so by the institutional environment provided by government, and their wealth is protected by government, and their employees are educated by government, etc. -- so it's only fair that they pay taxes.
 
And the fact is, the wealthy pay a lower effective tax rate (as a percentage) than the middle class. Their tax brackets are higher, but they're able to shield more of their money from tax, and capital gains are taxed at lower rates.  Even Warren Buffett thinks it's crazy that his secretary pays a higher percentage than him.
 
 
 
3) Electricity bills only pay for electricity.  Taxes are needed to pay for government services... mainly income taxes.
 
 
 
4) Regarding taxes, would you say the years 1946 to 1964 were mostly good economically?  Well, the top US income tax bracket rate was 91% during that time.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_tax_in_the_United_States#History_of_top_rates
 
 
 
5) This is simply not true: "All private companies can do is to offer you a product/service, and it's up to you to voluntarily buy it if you wish."
 
That's where market power and market failure come into play, as detailed above.
 
 
Anyway, overall, it seems like some of your info sources are faulty and you've put too much faith in free market ideology, and it has led you to false conclusions.
Edited by Bright

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

 

You've got to take private businesses at their word, if they say they want smaller government, test that out by giving it to them. Speculation as to what they 'really' want isn't productive. As long as big government exists, businesses (just like anything else) will try to influence it to their own benefit. 
 

 

We can't take private businesses at their word for anything, because too many will simply say whatever it takes so they can get extra profit.

 

 
 

 

To take your 'large social programs' example, if I don't want to be paying for all of that through increased taxes, the choice is taken away from me even if I'm not opting into it, which is questionable. 

 

The problem is, for example, if people don't have kids, they can't just say "Well, I don't have kids, so I don't want to pay for schools".  Plus, there are positive externalities to educated citizens anyway (i.e. even people without kids benefit from public schools).

 

The fairest system is to have various taxes, with income taxes being the main revenue tool. 

 

I don't think that's an issue of the tyranny of the majority.

 

But even if it is, if you don't like it, the only option really is to (1) move to another country that follows your views, or (2) convince enough of the population that your views are correct.  

 

I suppose the Koch brothers are implementing #2... but what they have done is put out a lot of right-wing rubbish that has polluted the intellectual landscape.

 

 

 

 

 
 
1. I meant these arbitrary complaints that just because someone was able to make money, they're suddenly some sort of villains who haven't paid their dues to society. We should try to treat everyone equally - if there is someone who has actually made money through evil/illegal means, they should be dealt with whether they are super-rich or middle-class or poor. Because otherwise, as soon as someone makes it big, they'll be tempted to blow it away on waste to avoid the scrutiny reserved for rich people. 

 

 

As mentioned above, the ultra-rich pay even a lower % effective tax rate than middle-class people, and that isn't fair.

 

 

 

Lastly, there is more than just income tax - just because you made money, you need to pay the government (that's how neighborhood gangs operate). There should be more creativity - the government should set up businesses and use that profit to pay its expenses. It could charge for imports/exports, road use, etc.

 
And of course, if the government wasn't bloated it wouldn't have to charge that much to begin with. Small government and efficiency should be top priorities. 

 

 

See, here you compare income taxes to how neighbourhood gangs operate, and in general you sound very skeptical of income taxes, so it's why people have talked about their fairness a few times.

 

Personally, I'm not totally against charging for imports/exports (within some reasonable limits), but right-wingers (and most business types) nowadays are hugely in favour of "free trade" (while forgetting about an accompanying "free movement of labour"), so it's difficult to implement i/e taxes now.  But with a clean-slate option, yes, I agree they can be useful... but import/export taxes also have problems and can only bring-in limited revenue.

 

Taxing for road use and other services works only to a limited extent.  And it chokes off positive externalities (i.e. there are benefits to being able to travel around and move goods easily, but that gets limited by extra costs).  There are also "transaction costs" and "monitoring costs" in having to charge for every little thing, and that's inefficient.

 

 

 

 

I'm not arguing for no regulations, but minimal (the most basic) regulations such as no exclusivity and not violating other people's rights. I think it should be simple to the average person, unlike the usual books upon books of rules to you have to go through in most countries to run a business.
 

 

Regulations are usually only as complicated as they need to be.  Unfortunately, they need to be very exact because otherwise things like this can happen:

business.financialpost.com/2014/09/16/bp-argues-missing-comma-in-insurance-contract-entitles-company-to-us750-million/

 

Yes, stupid red tape is bad, but most regulations are somewhat sensible (or are in place because there are too many troublemaking companies who would take advantage otherwise... it's unfortunate for everyone else, but it's just the way it has to be to deal with the issue).

 

Governments in a lot of Western countries are somewhat efficient, if you consider that they're handcuffed in how they operate because of having to be exact & certain about every little thing (that arises because if a government employee goes with their gut instinct on something and turns out to be wrong, the media/politicians/society will cite it as an example of how badly government operates).  

 

 

Okay, I think I'm done now.   Hopefully some of the above & what others wrote has replaced libertarian/right-wing views for you + others who happen to read this and were leaning that way  :excl:

Edited by Bright

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

 

So yes democracy can be in conflict with liberty, as you may know: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyranny_of_the_majority
 
For example, if 51% of the people in a country vote to ban everything to do with Islam and Muslims, does that make the ban OK? It just means that the majority is limiting freedom and choice from the remaining population. 
 
To take your 'large social programs' example, if I don't want to be paying for all of that through increased taxes, the choice is taken away from me even if I'm not opting into it, which is questionable. 

 

You seem to have an extremely simplistic view of democracy, it isn't just about numbers, democracy is a value and a process, and you can't truly have individual  liberty without a functioning collective democratic impulse.  Libertarianism has its roots in socialist/anarchist traditions and has historically always been associated as such, it's only recently (particularly in the US) that modern libertarianism (which is essentially a call for private tyranny) has taken form through propagating the ideology of pure capitalism.

 

 

 

Citation needed, because I've understood so far that prosperity in the USA resulted from the period before that when taxes were minimal and regulations rare. 

 

 

This isn't true, you can go fetch the data yourself, corporate taxes were higher through the 50s and 60s into the 70s when the US middle class enjoyed its best time in the sun, known as the golden age of capitalism with relatively stronger labour unions, single parent sustainable incomes with lower tuition and better benefits.  

 

 

You've got to take private businesses at their word, if they say they want smaller government, test that out by giving it to them. Speculation as to what they 'really' want isn't productive. As long as big government exists, businesses (just like anything else) will try to influence it to their own benefit. 
 
 
Remember correlation is not causation, could you point out which parts of Sweden and Germany are working well for ordinary people and what was the cause? 

 

This is one of the most ridiculous statements I have ever read, even businessmen don't take each other at their words unless promises are backed by collaterals and government enforced contracts.  You have witnessed modern advertising haven't you?  What is it other than the most sickening kind of business propaganda?

 

Again you can fetch the data on countries like Germany and Sweden yourself, they rank higher than US citizens on virtually every measure of social well being and prosperity.

 

 

 

Again I don't know why you're arguing for taxing Microsoft (did I say they shouldn't be? it's past midnight and I could have forgotten), but about your earlier point let's suppose I create a website that makes me 500 dollars a month. Do I have to give it all away to some charity that donates all proceeds to the inventors of the internet because I couldn't have made the website without the internet being invented in the first place? Just trying to understand your logic... 

 

No, but you should pay taxes on your income, in acknowledgement of not just past breakthroughs that allowed you to make a living today, but also virtually countless other benefits you derive from the availability of public services, whether directly or indirectly. 

 

 

 

So who's saying unions should be banned? There shouldn't be any abuse, and I don't see problems with voluntary organizations like unions. 
 

 

Working people and owners do not have the same goals and interests, they are always in conflict with each other, this is why business in general despises organized labour.  In the example I pointed out, working people had no choice but to rent themselves into wage slavery in order to put food on the table, there is no alternative but to work for another exploitive capitalist, what do you propose should be done in that situation that concentrated business power would allow?  You cannot strike because the owners can fill up their tummies while you cant, further more they can always have other desperate working people willing to work at an even lower rate, effectively forcing you to accept the terms.  This has happened over and over again as the private unionization rate in the US has dropped to 7%, virtually non existent.  The capitalists have the entire world to exploit, and they do so by putting workers in competition with each other across continents, knowing full well that most working people lack flexibility and labour cannot keep up with capital, giving the privileged few owners of capital a massive advantage. Take a look at the modern corporation, it is technically one of the most authoritarian structures ever devised.

 

 

 

Ironically, if he would have held on to private insurance, they would've been in a better position. 

 

 

What if he can't afford private insurance, don't you see this is pure savagery?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

aliasghark, you're kind of unusual in your views -- in some ways good, because some of your views would give libertarians (and right-wingers in general) fits of rage  :D   
 
Thanks, I try to be an equal-opportunity offender (or pleaser)! Heh. Seriously though, it's frustrating to be stuck with hearing the same old right-wing vs left-wing, conservative vs liberal, and other such forms of dogma. There has to be a better way to think. 

Overall though, your views have a lot of problems.
 
You mentioned that you learned economics from the book "Economics in One Lesson" on the Mises Institute (Libertarian) web site.
 
That book is apparently from 1946, so part of the context is the power/risk of communism at the time.
 
I discovered that book after years of studying the subject and following economic developments, and it made me realize some of things I had come to believe (such as prices rising was a good thing) were wrong. It's a great book, a timeless classic for someone who already knows economics, but also others with a passing interest in economic policies and wants to know what's wrong with today's economic politics and how to fix it. I'd strongly recommend it to everyone. 

You don't seem to be a libertarian, because you like the idea of "crown corporations" (state-owned enterprises) quite a lot... so that does show open-mindedness.  But in a sense, you've been reading info that may sound good at first glance, but that's because it's too simplistic and ignores important topics.
 
Yes, it may appear simplistic because we were just scratching the surface here, and the issues you point out here are real and have to be delved into. The solutions should be made effective but as simple as reasonably possible else they'll just benefit the lawyers. 

I believe the issue with your views is that they don't address these problems:
(maybe you already know about these topics, but if you don't, or don't know their specific economic definitions, they are useful to learn)
 
 
1) Market Power:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Market_power
 
"Market power gives firms the ability to engage in unilateral anti-competitive behavior. Some of the behaviours that firms with market power are accused of engaging in include predatory pricing, product tying, and creation of overcapacity or other barriers to entry."
 
 
2) Market Failure:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Market_failure
 
"Market failures are often associated with time-inconsistent preferences, information asymmetries, non-competitive markets, principal–agent problems, externalities, or public goods.  The existence of a market failure is often the reason that self-regulatory organizations, governments or supra-national institutions intervene in a particular market."
 
The listed issues are important, and each one (at the above web link) has a link to its own page:
- time-inconsistent preferences
- information asymmetries
- non-competitive markets
- principal–agent problems 
- externalities
- public goods
 
 
3) Externalities (external effects)
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Externality
 
"As an example of externalities, municipal governments enforce building codes and license tradesmen to mitigate the incentive to use cheaper (but more dangerous) construction practices, ensuring that the total cost of new construction includes the (otherwise external) cost of preventing future tragedies. The voters who elect municipal officials presumably feel that they are individually better off if everyone complies with the local codes, even if those codes may increase the cost of construction in their communities."
 
"Manufacturing activities that cause air pollution impose health and clean-up costs on the whole society" (negative externalities)
 
"The neighbors of an individual who chooses to fire-proof his home may benefit from a reduced risk of a fire spreading to their own houses" (positive externalities)
 
Good points, my first thoughts:
 
The two market issues can be solved by the broader 'no exclusivity' and government participation (in the market, not to control the market) principles. Feel free to disagree if you feel there's a problem with these solutions, but I believe in general simpler solutions are better and empowering to the average user than stifling unending rules (death by a thousand cuts). 
 
I'm unable to think of a good solution to the externalities problem, which I agree is unfortunate... maybe I'll spend more time on it and update this thread later. Are there any non-mainstream solutions that you know of, or have thought about? 
 
I think most people desire a level playing field for society. But as I detailed in an earlier post, I believe libertarians ignore the problem of market failure, while communism ignores the problem of "government failure" ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_failure ).
 
Yeah, extremes are best avoided. 
 
There's a lot of propaganda put out nowadays about free market ideology, and from what you've written, it seems like you have too much faith in "the free market".  
 
I believe I have the appropriate level of faith in it :) Anything specific that you think I've got wrong about the free market? 
 
 
And there's enormous propaganda about government control as well (how people voluntarily entrust politicians and error-prone people in government with their lives I don't understand). 

It would help to know what your views are on (1) Market Power, (2) Market Failure, and (3) Externalities
 
Because if you disagree with those concepts, then those are fundamental disagreements that create large differences in one's views  regarding how society/government/laws should be structured.
 
Our opinions may be quite close then. Do you tend more towards libertarian ideas or liberal? 

I think the basic problem is that even if you start with a "free market", eventually various players become very powerful. And then they use their market power to suppress potential competitors... so then it's not a free market anymore at all. 
 
And a fully "free market" also doesn't address problems of market failure, and that's bad for society.
 
I don't disagree, but this subject is too broad and there is not enough time on my hands now. We can maybe get back to this one once we've discussed the initial points. 

They apparently don't believe in the concept of "market failure" (I think that's kind of insane :S).  And because of that, that seems to be their main reason in arguing against regulations and useful government activities.  If implemented, I think it would lead to a country devolving into a savage, feudal society.
 
I think most people who read the info on this page:    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Market_failure
would agree that market failures are very real, legitimate issues.
 
 
Admittedly though, right-wingers who implemented the views of Friedman & his followers have done more damage, but I think Austrian views could also do a lot of damage if implemented (and they do currently seem to be used as a background intellectual foundation for ultra free market propaganda).  It had been a while since I read much about Austrian stuff, but I'll also admit they do have a few good points... but they're mostly wrong, and something like market failure is a basic concept that most people would agree exists.
 
Yes, and as above I propose a government body (profitable or non-profit, but one that doesn't need to collect citizens' tax money to run) being a responsible, guiding player in the market should address this. 
 
 
Thanks, it's refreshing to have learned something new, because of your post. I look forward to hearing your opinions on the above. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, and as above I propose a government body (profitable or non-profit, but one that doesn't need to collect citizens' tax money to run) being a responsible, guiding player in the market should address this.

I don't think you realise that you're effectively calling for no government whatsoever.

- A non-profit "government" can't govern.

- A profit-seeking "government" is unaccountable, corruptible, does not think long-term and does not have the best interests of the public at heart.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. I don't think you realise that you're effectively calling for no government whatsoever.

2. - A non-profit "government" can't govern.

3. - A profit-seeking "government" is unaccountable, corruptible, does not think long-term and does not have the best interests of the public at heart.

 

1. You seem to have misunderstood. We were talking about market failures, and how to address them. Refer to the Android ecosystem example a few posts above. 

 

2. Why not? What's causing you to believe this? 

 

3. Why do you think a profit-seeking entity is unaccountable? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Self-earned private property, that is based, so to say, on the fusing together of the isolated, independent laboring-individual with the conditions of his labor, is supplanted by capitalistic private property, which rests on exploitation of the nominally free labor of others, i.e., on wage-labor. As soon as this process of transformation has sufficiently decomposed the old society from top to bottom, as soon as the laborers are turned into proletarians, their means of labor into capital, as soon as the capitalist mode of production stands on its own feet, then the further socialisation of labour and further transformation of the land and other means of production into socially exploited and, therefore, common means of production, as well as the further expropriation of private proprietors, takes a new form. That which is now to be expropriated is no longer the labourer working for himself, but the capitalist exploiting many laborers." - Capital volume 1

Check this out too, not a good essay but it differentiates between different kinds of property rights: http://www.academia.edu/3792905/Private_Property_Protect_or_Abolish_A_comparison_of_Kant_and_Marx

Anyway, the point is, until you address the inherent exploitation of labour within free market capitalism, through the enforcement of private property rights, you cannot begin to refer to taxation as theft without first at minimum acknowledging the theft of surplus that takes place to accumulate capital in the first place.

Most right wingers are not bad people, just terribly ignorant. This is because the education system (especially top US schools), systematically prohibit the discussion of 'core' economics, the only variant that is presented is one of the Austrian school (pure capitalism) and Keynesian (Controlled capitalism), leftist literature is completely absent for ideological purposes.

The reason I support the idea of private property is because there's no good alternative to it. The only serious threat to the idea private property & the free market is monopolization wherein the rich of a society thru generations gradually amass the ownership of the production of any given good or service because without the legitimate competition the free market isnt free & a monopoly in any field pf production or service will hamper the refinement & development of that service or good.

The US & UK post Reagan & Thatcher hasnt really tried the free market to its full extent. They've eased on government regulations in finance industry, yes, but they didnt actually cancel all the billions Worth of subsidies which basically amounts to the political faction among the ruling class handing over X amount of cash expropriated from the working public to the business faction among the ruling class. Thereby blocking social mobility for the middle class/workers who in a free market would've had the opportunity to develop the better product &/or service to a better quality & better price & thus attract the money of the free market. This is closed when you have government programs which removes incentives & solidifies class structures that can eventually become hereditary aristocracies.

According to the austrian school of economics the current economic system is un-natural, only runs om artificially inflated bubbles, inherently unstable & up to 50% state controlled anyway. The difference between old schools communism/socialism & this kind of economic system is that in the past the socialist governments hired their own unemployed to build stuff that the people would use (railways, roads, houses etc. ) whereas the current system only grants the poor monthly welfare checks & little to no opurtunity to move upwards socially & economically. & If they move upwards it'll only be to become an average wage earner because starting a small business is becoming increasingly harder.

I've read some of Shariati's stuff to get a basic idea of what his theory is & it all seems to me like a shi'ite version of south american Catholic liberation theology where in marxist ideology is draped in religious vocabulary to mobilize the poor amongst the god fearing populace.

Imho, it's oligarchy & monopoly that's the enemy & not a free market. Replacing an oligarchy with a socialist rule like China will eventually turn the socialist rule into the oligarchy.

Example:

The wage earner sell his services to a customer which agrees to pay him a decided upon sum of money. This is usually done by contracts with monthly payments. But the wage earner is the owner of his/her private property: his body & his skills.

The other property owner owns a building with machines & materials but lacks the skills &/or time to put these to use to generade a product which can be sold.

The skilled individual will come to the conclusion that He would rather have money than the time which he will loose in selling these skills & his time to any other party. He will also come to the conclusion that the toil & sweat is Worth the price which he will be paid for going through it.

The owner of the Factory on his part will realize that he would rather have someone skillful operating his machines that producing products than to keep the X amount of money & have his Factory without the skills needed to operate it.

Thus the 2 parties: the private property owner who owns his own body & skills will earn & the private property owner who owns the Factory will earn & both win in this transaction as theyd rather have what they get than what theyd have if they didnt perform the transaction.

Not to mention the dignity of work which is a reward in itself.

Edited by Shamati

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@David66 <--noted because l figure you'll like it.

Resurrecting this old thread because l thought this is a good criticism, a la "social science" studies:

https://monthlyreview.org/2009/05/01/why-socialism/ 

Written by A. Einstein, this critiques socialist fantasies, such as what-does-their-future-look-like?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...