mat.tia wrote:This world is no more the apple picking world.
One is born and cannot freely put some bricks together and build a house; tear down some trees, build a fence, and plant apple trees inside it.
Actually, that's exactly what this world is like in some areas. The web for example is just like this. It does not take massive investment and government connections to write a killer app or website. It takes a killer idea, some talent, dedication, and publicity. This of course does not guarantee success, but at least in this field there are no big barriers to climb.
ucim wrote:I will admit that most resources are already spoken for. We are not being born into a wilderness; we are being born into an existing civilization. But we are also capable of providing services in exchange for those resources; some of those services could be quite valuable.
But there are necessary goods and superfluous goods. You seem to treat all of them the same way.
They all respond to the word "wealth".
But while some goods can virtually be created out of thin air, the necessary ones can't.
So even if you grow indefinitely the number of services available, the underlying problem of distributing/trading the basic resouces still remains.
I don't even think it's necessary to consider the two kinds of goods differently: with fluorishing apps you will be using some necessary resources to create them (materials, energy) but there will be so many of them (apps) that their cost will decrease.
On the contrary, with less necessary resources available and everyone wanting them, their cost will increase a lot, making up for the most significant part of wealth. And you find yourself again in a world that does not resemble apple-picking. Does it make sense?
mat.tia wrote:First of all, voting power: the more money you have, the more things you can buy, the more decisional power you have.
Why should rich people have more decisional power on public issues related to companies' behaviour (even within legal limits)?
They don't. They do however have more persuasive power. You seem to think there's something wrong with that, but let me turn the question around.
Why should the Pink Flowers Advocacy group have more persuasive power than the Green Cement advocacy group, just because they have more members? At the polls, the Pink Flowers advocacy group constantly outvotes the Green Cement advocacy group, and thus the GCAG can't get any of their policies passed. Why shouldn't each group have equal shares in governance? (It's a serious question, and the way you back up your reasoning should illustrate the parallels here).
Well not completely. The Pink Flowers Advocacy group has more influence because it is formed by more people.
The Rich Man's wallet's transactions has more influence because it contains more money.
Not exactly the same thing.
This is the context of this bit of discussion:
ucim wrote:Just who is going to "fix" these wages? And adjust them every so often to correlate with a changed world? Either
3: You let individuals vote with their pocketbook at every transaction. So long as free market conditions prevail, this has the greatest tendency to coalesce around a fair set of prices which are dynamically responsive to the market. It has its issues, but they mainly revolve around keeping a free market, and dealing with the fact that the number of suppliers tends to shrink while the number of consumers tends to expand.
It could make sense if the money contained in a person's wallet was proportional to his honesty, intelligence, culture... but saying so is a strong statement very far from reality.
Now you could argue that not everyone should have the same voting power because some know, some don't, some are honest, some are not, some care, some don't, and so on.
I admit I agree. But man, unless you come up with a revolutionary system that is not based on the decision of the majority, that's what we'll need to stick to.
Not only because it can be seen as the most "fair" (sorry : ))from an ethical pov, but it is the least prone to corruption (in theory, it is corruption-proof. Application of course is different).
Said that, it should be clear that creating an educated and honest majority is a priority.
mattia wrote:Secondly, this [voting with dollars] kind of decision-taking is much more prone to corruption than it is a representative democracy.[...]I don't think people are conscious of the consequences of their actions when they buy a burger, or a car, or w/e.
Not at all. The corrpution that takes place when money buys power is a flaw in representative democracy, not a flaw in markets. Conceptually, it is a natural result of having representatives make your decisions for you. It is in fact working as designed. It's one of the reasons representative democracy is the worst kind of government there is (except for all the others).
Yes, I did not make myself very clear. I didn't mean to say corruption in representative democracy is caused by free market - it is indeed cause by corruptable people in representative democracy.
What I meant to say is that there is
another form of corruption, which is very subtle but also very very efficient, which is influence of thought, inception of desires and all that disgusting messing with your minds that one can do today.
So if you leave things as they are, you get a very corrupt situation - the one we are in. And I mean "corruption" in all its meanings.
mattia wrote:Because of ads, people will stay hungry to buy shit
The gullible go hungry, the discerning rise to power. Are you saying you'd prefer the opposite?
No no, not at all. But please consider two aspects:
1. Gullibility is mainly a result of education. Gullibility is necessary to advertisement. Advertisement has become part of education: schools, universities and the media rely on advertisement (more or less directly) to function. Take your conclusions.
2. People with a bunch of money can well hire psychologists or chemists or whoever, that will make even who is not gullible prone to influence. I think I can say I am very hard to be influenced by ads today, and I consider myself not a very gullible person. But I remember when I was in my first years of schools how I wanted THAT and THAT because I saw it on tv. And I wasn't spoiled, at all. But ads' opinions would influence me more than my mother's.
What kind of society is one that not only allows
fucking with kids' minds to make them more gullible so they'll buy some shit? Is it childern's faults they are gullible?
They (kids) could have become great discerning men I'd vote... but instead of being told by society to read books and develop critical thinking they were taught to desire things they don't want and have faith in who tells them so. "Let the little children come to me, and do
not hinder them"
ucim wrote:And then you go on about misinformation and corruption and medicine... the general theme being "people do bad things for money".
Well, fine. People do bad things for lots of reasons. The problem is that people do bad things.
No it is not in my view. People do bad things, ok.
First of all it is a fact that how "bad" people are is strongly correlated to the society they are in. A society in which everyone is taught to overcome others and cheat on them to become successfull, is much more prone to generate frustrated angry blind bulls, instead of courageous intelligent noble loving men.
I was not at all surprised of reading that the percentage of sociopaths unable to experience empathy is much higher in the upper sector of society than it is on total average. I can't find the direct link, but if you're interested I can keep looking.
Secondly, even taking for granted that people are "bad", what rules and laws and such are for is exactly to try to reduce their scope of action and hence their damage.
Go back in time and you see different kinds of oligarchies concentrating pretty much all powers in their hands.
Sometimes they were enlightened rulers, sometimes not.
But people not being part of the oligarchy (the rest) decided that, even though oligarchy could be fine as a system, its powers need be diminished. That is because all people - besides the rest - even if in disagreement on many things, agreed on the fact that some things were better not be left in the hands of a few. There you have the magna charta and all other agreements of that sort.
Now even though everyone is different and an individualistic POV is as valid as a collective one, you cannot fail to see there are some interests that are in common to all people - but the ones in power.
These can be an indipendent education and news system; an uncorruptible health system that responds to the people it cures; clean air to breathe, healthy food to eat; maybe (not sure everyone shares this) a distribution of basic resources so that no one is hungry.
Why leave these aspects in the hands of a few? As long as they are a few, they can have an interest that goes against all others.
They can decide it's ok to reduce the amount of clean air, because they have the power to assure themselves some.
They can decide it's ok to make cheap food unhealthy, because they have the money to buy the healthy one.
See what I'm saying?
mattia wrote:I challenged your reasoning not on the conclusions, but on its very axioms.
I don't feel you have remotely tried understanding what I was trying my best to say.
I am going to assume you mean a general "you" here, and not me specifically.
Yes that was mainly an unpersonal "you" to the straw men or personal responses I got.
ucim wrote:And while money buys power, it's not so much personal wealth that does it as "position wealth" - the fact of being a leader of a powerful company for example gives you control of enough money (that is not yours) to make you somebody to whom politicians should listen if they wish to be re-elected.
You are right. The two problems are not the same. But they are strongly correlated, and one can be a sympton of the other. I guess we're discussing the other.
ucim wrote:The question "what is the best decision" always has at the end of it: "... for whom?"
Thanks for the question, it helps clarifying. For whom?
For "any" man that is yet to come to the world.
I say any
future man,would rather have the above mentioned basic "public" priorities granted and not in the hands of a few people acting on their own personal interest of increasing the percentage of the world they own.
And mind that this holds true even if the man is born in a rich family (read: has a rich fate): today's rich do not act in the interest of every rich man, past or future, but only on the present. So if we end up having an education system that sucks, food of lower quality, environment polluted... that will impact rich and poor.
[edit: I missed a very important bit]
ucim wrote:And that is the issue. Power doesn't "go away" because it's re-assigned to somebody else. We don't want power to "go away", otherwise the politicians we hired to do the job they do won't be able to do it.
Sure. Not only power should not go away, but power cannot
go away, as long as there is (at least something resembling to) free will. Even in an anarchist system, power is distributed evenly among people, but it still is
I guess my whole point can be summarized in: The decision place of how to distribute power, and to whom, should not be left to be taken in the marketplace.
The marketplace is a place to exchange goods and services, and is not suitable, in its structure, to be an assembly to take decisions.
And it should also be self-evident how the market is today above governments (I did not get to vote my 3 most recent Premiers; rating agencies did).