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    Value of goods

    nomadski
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    Post  nomadski on Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:44 am


    I want to start a topic on the true or real value of goods . I hope to find out , if we can establish an accurate and easily understood system . One that an ordinary person can understand and apply in their every day lives . So that alternate sustainable economics can be built . Not based on capitalism.

    I start with the question , do human relations and survival depend on economics ? Or can another metric be used ? Those with economic opinions , and knowledge , specially welcome .
    verkhoturye51
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    Post  verkhoturye51 on Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:52 am

    I start with the question , do  human relations and survival depend on economics ?

    When you have a problem of scarcity of resources, you must think of a way to distribute them. This is the economics. You can distribute them via market or decision by central planner. It's basically the debate about socialism vs. capitalism. The question is which system is more efficient. You can measure this with how equally distributed are the pieces of pie or how does the pie grow over time. Socialism focuses more on the first one and capitalism more on the second. In both systems you have to decide which companies will banks give credit to.

    In capitalism, the distribution depends on efficiency. You give resources to the one that produces the most for the least cost. So you don't support ineffiecient guys, but then you get inequality, because the inefficient become unemployed and they don't have enough money to buy from the efficient guys. The other problem is, that the efficient guys don't play by the rules and they help each other, so they don't have to invest so hard in tech to remain efficient. So clearly, some state is needed to intervene in the market when inequality becomes so big and when market efficiency is threatened.

    Socialism on the other hand fails when it comes to efficiency. Why would you try hard and innovate to produce efficiently if your salary remains the same in any case. Some market is required to let the inefficient guys go bankrupt and let larger market share to cheap producers.
    nomadski
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    Post  nomadski on Tue Mar 26, 2019 11:08 am

    Thanks 51 , for reply

    I hope to take the arguments slowly . First I start by saying that , I can not think about a world where destructive relations can exist . Since we see around us infinite diversity . Therefore contradictions in our mind , must not exist in nature . Or if so then they must not exist for a long time . They may only exist to allow their self destruction . Indeed there can be no idea of contradictions without idea of concordance  .

    Capitalism is by nature destructive . Contradictory . It may exist , like the quantum atomic relations as a temporary event .  Other economic forms , that exist , must reflect this aspect of logic and natural law .
    Now about scarcity not enabling trade , you are right . But question remains , how did a fair distribution take place even during scarcity  . At a time when humans did not have knowledge  of arithmetic  ? How were human relations moderated ? How was it that greed needing the vehicle of surplus goods , did not destroy human society and species ?

    During times of plenty , the young and  old  and the sick and the unemployed are looked after . But during times of scarcity , they are allowed to die first . Saving the reproductive portion of society . A matter of logic and necessity . So economy and trade , describes a narrow band of relations . Limited in scope and domain . And to be operational , they must follow the underlying natural laws , that may give rise to them .

    How did ancient humans survive , without an economy or knowledge of arithmetic ? How did they organise work and distributed food ? How  were social relations governed without an economy ?
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    Post  verkhoturye51 on Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:37 pm

    I hope to take the arguments slowly .

    Sorry about the first post. I'm an economist, so I went immediately where I feel home Smile But it's an interesting topic.

    I can not think about a world where destructive relations can exist

    I think that we see destruction in the nature all the time. Weak animals die and only the strongest survives. Diversity is a way of competition. You try new things to be different, better.

    But question remains , how did a fair distribution take place even during scarcity

    Price increases when quantity available falls and then not everybody can afford it. It's a natural consequence of the situation when there's a lack of something. The problem of scarcity is inherent in all economic systems. Socialism tries to mitigate it with industrial production and fair distribution, but is in the long run not feasible.

    But during times of scarcity , they are allowed to die first .

    Liberal capitalism can be cruel, that's why state capitalism with social walfare was invented by Bismarck.

    How did ancient humans survive , without an economy or knowledge of arithmetic ?

    There's always an economy - even animals and plants have the problem of management of goods like food, water and sunshine. You can see how it works in nature. When there's not enough food, animals die.
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    Post  nomadski on Wed Mar 27, 2019 3:33 pm

    Ok . Nature is destructive . The strong survive . The weak die . Therefore there is strong  and weak . Therefore the strongest  survive . Therefore there is only one species left .  But we see many species . The idea of fitness  to survive , does not mean strongest , as in physical strength.  An animal that is a predator , and  kills other animals . Infact maintains them in good health . It is a constructive relationship . We should not confuse what we do , which is hunting , using tools or machines . To what they do , without tools , which is predation .

    Again about scarcity  , I was referring  to primitive tribes , at or below subsistence  food levels . We can not really call this an economic system . As no surplus yet exists . Let alone money . It may be a proto - economy . I saw a documdntary about hunter gatherer tribes in Africa . The hunters ( men ) brought back the kill . And they were responsible for it ' s distribution . It seemed an approximate method . But was precise . Since hunger would be immediately and accurately conveyed . And aid in effective distribution . These small groups depended for their survival on each other . Another example is cosmonauts on space station . They depend for survival on each other . They need no money . Or economy . Yet they survive .

    I am not sure , we can compare what happens in primitive society to modern economic system . They abide by natural laws , like animals . A kind of proto - economy . That is why they lasted and evolved . And that is why modern systems fail . Agricultural fuedalism , died after a few thousand years . Capitalistic industrialism failed after a few hundred years and macro - socialist industrialism failed after a few decades .

    What happened to hunter gatherer people , was not social Darwinism , or survival of the " strongest " ,  hence modern capitalism . Nor did the law of Moses apply , thou shall not kill . Since they killed or let starve the portion of population . Nor was it communistic , for same reason .

    There are still many hunter gatherer people left in the world . From Australia to Papua new Guinea to North pole to Africa to south America . Such societies lasted for millions of years . Small groups of inter-dependent humans . Living within nature . Are there lessons for us today ?  Can small family run farms exists without need for money ? How about larger groups ? Cosmonauts seem to do without it ! As a thought experiment , imagine that an entire city or country , can stop using money for a day ! But do exactly as they did before . I think it will work . What do you think ?
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    Post  verkhoturye51 on Wed Mar 27, 2019 4:24 pm

    But we see many species .

    I see the nature as a mix of two forces. One is natural selection, allowing only the strongest/fastest/smartest to survive. The other is diversity. Every DNA is unique, because chromosomes arrange themselves on the double helix differently each time. Moreover, if part of individuals of certain species mate themselves in certain area only among themselves, and they get less fresh chromosomes, they become different than the others, they adjust to that area. This is also how new species have evolved.

    We should not confuse what we do , which is hunting , using tools or machines . To what they do , without tools , which is predation .

    Yes, we've invented tools for killing, because we wanted to get more and in an easier way. But that's the driving force of development. If we wouldn't try to make our life easier, we would still live on the stone age level. Besides, animals adjust, too. When I was younger I liked spearfishing in the summer. But after rain, cold water started pouring in the sea. At the mounths of these tiny underground rivers there's never been any fish. They just weren't that intelligent that they'd dress themselves in sea grass Smile

    As no surplus yet exists .

    One day there was born a highly skilled hunter in a tribe. The tribe figured they don't need to send 5 hunters on the hunt, because this guy can get enough meat for all tribe. In fact, he could get more then enough meat. So they could save some for winter and were better off. Other hunters found themselves some other work. The other one was very good at fishing. Via specialization the civilization level increased. Without it, we would be still living like those tribes in the jungle. I don't doubt that the distribution was very fair (everybody got what he needed). But without surplus, there was no motivation for trying something else and progress. They were just surviving. The moment before the good hunter became so good, he asked himself: Can I hunt this animal in an easier way? So curiosity/greed is the real driver, that can't allow primitive tribes to remain on that level. They have to either progress or...lose the race for survival with the other tribe which progresses.
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    Post  nomadski on Thu Mar 28, 2019 2:31 pm

    I am glad , we take  the discussion , a bit further back . This is important . About tools for hunting , it is interesting that you said that . I remember seeing on TV  (  I watch a lot of TV ) ,  a study that showed  ancient hunters , that buried their very precious hunting tools . The scientists did not know why they did this . Unless they had exhausted  food supply and abandoned hunting . These group of ancient hunters , had settled in what is today Alaska .

    Without tools , a predator uses muscles and sinew to hunt . It is muscle power against muscle power . Both the prey and predator expend energy ( work done or calories burnt ) . If the predator spends more energy than gains then it starves and is diminished in number . If it gains more energy than spends , it thrives and increases in number . So it comes down to efficient use of calories . Given that biological cells operate similarly , their efficiency only varies slightly . This maintains a balance .

    Many times , during evolutionary history , there has been mass extinctions . And existence of  mono - cultures . Species that grew  in  size  and  number . But every time , the number of species  grew again . Giving rise to diversity . It looks like no species can fill all the ecological niches.  Or efficiently occupy different environments . Tools gave early man , an unfair advantage . Increased efficiency . We became top hunters . But going against the original rule , of expenditure of work and work efficiency to maintain diversity .

    Now about the existence of surplus  ,  how did it come about ?  All food had energetic or calorific value . Man hunting without tools , with same efficiency , or roughly , as other animals , existed in population stability . Filling a particular niche . Tools made a difference . Efficiency increased . Surplus was created . Money was later coined to enable easy exchange .

    When did greed come into it ?  I don't think it was because no surplus existed before , because greed could have operated ( unfair distribution ) , even before money existed . I think greed came to be , when the original and close inter-dependent  relationships broke down . Populations expanded . Agriculture started . It was kane who killed Abel . During agriculture . So I should think about sin , more accurately as a change of economy . And population growth  . Leading to alienation of individuals . And destruction of inter-dependent  relations .

    But you did not mention , or reply to communities now existing without money . Also there are a lot of workers in the voluntary sector.  No money here either . So even if greed or sin came about . A change of economy . Still humans operate , without money . I think there should be an international no money day . Like mother's day !

    But since a surplus exists , and so does money , how does this reflect or should reflect the work energy or work efficiency , that seems to be operational in nature ?
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    Post  GarryB on Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:32 am

    Socialism on the other hand fails when it comes to efficiency. Why would you try hard and innovate to produce efficiently if your salary remains the same in any case.

    Some of the lowest paid jobs get minimum wage and expect 100% effort... some of the most wealthy western companies have minimum wage workers and often even then that is not enough so they move production to another country where there is no minimum wage or it is a fraction of what it is in their home country.

    Are you trying to suggest capitalism means everyone can get rich if they just work hard enough?

    Tell that to people living in trailer parks working three jobs because one job wont pay the bills...
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    Post  verkhoturye51 on Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:47 am

    Tools made a difference . Efficiency increased . Surplus was created

    I think that we shouldn't underestimate human intelligence. Thinking long enough allows us to find an efficient way to kill (almost) any animal species and make a surplus. Bare hands could be enough, provided that tribe is large enough. There are many documentaries about salmon and its way up the rivers. When fish swim a long way against the stream, they get exhausted and it's very easy for bears to hunt them down. They barely move. In such a river, I think that almost any man could catch more than enough fish.

    I think greed came to be , when the original and close inter-dependent  relationships broke down . Populations expanded .  

    Good, I must admit that first there was a need. When population expanded, they really needed more. But then, in the times of plenty all the needs were fulfilled. But they still wanted more. And they started finding new ways of agriculture etc. So greed is deep inside of everyone.

    I agree, there are two sides to every medal. Efficiency and ethics. Growth and distribution. Logic and imagination. It's good to take into account both when analysing history. Hegel would call this dialectics. Just optimising means of hunting would probably lead to the extinction of animals. While focusing on distribution and not improving ways of hunting wouldn't allow much progress. The most stabilizing seems to be taking into account both in a sustainable way and try to prevent destruction. This is how "the fittest survives" has gone out of fashion in the civilized world. We're capable of imaginary thinking of what will be in the long run and we know that overconsumption would break the system down.

    Are you trying to suggest capitalism means everyone can get rich if they just work hard enough?

    The unemployment in the US right now is close to historic low, so I'd expect that anybody who wants a job, can get one. The taxes have also been decreased, meaning that bills are smaller and the net salary is higher. There's a part of population though that prefer to get financial aid and just don't want to work hard. Regardless, as I said, it's good to have a strong state that will encourage and enable people to go to university and develop sectors with high salaries.



    nomadski
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    Post  nomadski on Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:53 am

    Yes , I once saw a bird try to eat a fruit , hanging from a tree . It sat on the branch , but could not get it . It tried to hang on a lower and weaker branch , with difficulty , and could not do it . And it finally ate the fruit , flying on the wing . Using least effort first . Most effort last . We are all programmed in this way . We do not even all need tools like humans . Certain evolutionary adaptations , gives creatures an advantage . Horns , claws etc . They then multiply and exhaust food source . Plant or animal . They then are themselves reduced in number . They are subject to rules in nature . Balance is maintained . In human society , this exists . Irrespective of the mechanism , humans who live in society , have become hunters of each other . Using others labour or goods to survive . But destroying others in process . And in this way society becomes unstable . Both the hunters and hunted suffer . This process takes time . Depending on degree of destruction or imbalances  . Several hundred years for industrial  capitalism . A million years for a  T - Rex  dinosaurs  .

    About greed being inside all , I think it is present among sections of populations that have lost direct relations of  co- dependence  .  But agree that social fabric has broken down . I think problem is deeper than excess  consumption or production . Imagine an AI  robot farmer , running on fusion fuel . Not interacting with humans in any way other than to grow some cows in a field . Ever producing more food . For expanding population of humans . More land is cleared . The machine is efficient . All species are lost . Climate is destroyed . Because forests die . Then cows die . Then humans die . The rules in nature impose diversity . And limitations on populations .

    About this supposedly buoyant  economy . Capitalists from time to time spend money . To avert civil disturbances . The jobs are not long term . The occupy movement had to be curtailed . By populist politics and a loaf of bread . All you need now is to let the lions out of the cage , to kill the Christians  . To keep the crowd  happy .  What tricks the Romans used in the arena , for social control . But Rome fell .
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    Post  verkhoturye51 on Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:50 pm

    Using least effort first .

    Generally, the difference between humans and animals is imaginary thinking. It's correct that birds can also be intelligent and even use tools. Have you ever seen a crow throw a nut on the street so a car would drive over it and crash the shell? They on the other hand lack the ability to think about something that is not in front of them. Or think about past or future.

    They are subject to rules in nature . Balance is maintained .

    There's an economic theory by Schumpeter called "creative destruction". Extinction of one species frees space and allows creation of a new one. In nature, weak animals die, strong survive and the balance is maintained. But in civilized world there is less destruction. We wage wars less as our culture is getting to higher level. We're learning to be tolerant of what is different. The destruction is mainly limited to less cruel fields, like economics.

    The ecology remains a topical issue and also population growth. The liberal capitalism will have to be made more sustainable. Even at the expense of efficiency and profit of multinational corporations. It's important that people become more conscious and sympathetic of people that are more hurt by the climate change and pollution. This is one of the big questions that liberalism probably can't answer. Chinese industrial economy is today far more eco oriented than the US. I'm just waiting that Europe wakes up from the liberal dream and starts talking with East.
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    Post  nomadski on Sat Mar 30, 2019 9:42 am


    The two processes are similar , but not identical . In nature there is over - predation , but is limited by natural forces . In society , there is greed . This is a conscious process . The net effects are not identical either . No two identical causes exist , let alone give rise to identical effects .

    Thanks for pointing to economic theory . However , I like to arrive at solutions . By discussion . Rather than accept the given status quo situation . I don't think that present economic models , reflect the human conditions or natural law . That is why we face extinction . Together with all our models and plans . All plans of mice and men , as they say .

    So I want to ask the question , how are value of goods determined ?
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    Post  verkhoturye51 on Sat Mar 30, 2019 10:45 am

    There's an increasing degree of heterogeneity in economics. Neoliberal models are getting merged with alternative assumptions from Marxism, Keynesianism and non-economical fields. So basically everyone can make his or her own model with desired assumptions and variables and try to explain the world and/or make forecasts.

    But to answer an economic question without economics is beyond my knowledge.
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    Post  GarryB on Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:04 am

    The unemployment in the US right now is close to historic low, so I'd expect that anybody who wants a job, can get one. The taxes have also been decreased, meaning that bills are smaller and the net salary is higher. There's a part of population though that prefer to get financial aid and just don't want to work hard. Regardless, as I said, it's good to have a strong state that will encourage and enable people to go to university and develop sectors with high salaries.

    Hahahahaha... how naive are you?

    Getting a job... the American dream... a university qualification will get you an interview, but not a job... for many jobs they wont even consider someone with a university qualification... having a job does not mean being able to pay the bills... many companies offer minimum wage jobs with zero hour contracts... where there is no guarantee of any hours for any given week.

    A local burgerking store was fined recently because one of the managers on a salary was working too many hours per week so ended up getting paid less than minimum wage... a manager...

    The issue is not getting a job, the issue is getting a job that pays well... not everyone can be a CEO of a big corporation and not pay for anything... meals paid for by company, free parking space, company car, company paid holiday, enormous bonuses for just doing your job... even if things are not going well for the company, free healthcare, clothing allowance, etc etc... and the people who actually work for the company and produce the product or provide the service get minimum wage and Zero perks... yeah... that is sustainable....
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    Post  verkhoturye51 on Sat Mar 30, 2019 1:57 pm

    The issue is not getting a job, the issue is getting a job that pays well...

    Obviously there's a difference between crying girls and men who take care of things.

    The problem with complainers who blame others for their lack of ability is that they want to tax the overachievers. There's no reason for someone to stay in a country with free healthcare and universities, if taxes steal half of his salary. That system of course sounds very nice to the life-is-hard socialists who don't feel like studying and working hard and just want the state to pay their bills.
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    Post  GarryB on Sun Mar 31, 2019 1:22 am

    Obviously there's a difference between crying girls and men who take care of things.

    Of course... men get better paid jobs than women... and a man just gets better pay than everyone else doing the same job... NOT.

    The problem with complainers who blame others for their lack of ability is that they want to tax the overachievers.

    The problem with people who support full balls capitalism ignore a few fundamental problems... especially regarding corruption.

    If everyone has small businesses then there would not be so much of a problem, but if you get a business that expands to other areas and becomes a chain it gets an advantage of purchasing and advertising. Which of course should help to make it become even more successful... which means more money and more power. If Fred Smith from the corner store tells the local MP the trading hours laws need to be changed so he can open later, the MP might think about it perhaps, but most wont do more work than they need to so ignoring the request is easier than actually doing anything about it. Tim Apple from the Apple company that is world wide and employs millions of people and is worth more than many countries buys the people around the PM  and says... would be much better if we could open longer... and guess what... a little hundred thousand dollar donation and guess what.

    Worse than that, when a government is planning new laws they don't talk to corner shop guys, they talk to the major companies for expertise... do you think those laws will be fair and balanced.

    So basically big companies make laws and don't pay tax because they spend large amounts of money on accountants so they don't have to pay tax for whatever loophole reason.

    All their assets are in Ireland because they get enormous tax breaks for doing so... but the instant there was a problem they left there pretty quick and abandoned Ireland when it could have used some help... but big business is not about being nice or doing the right thing... it is about making as much money as possible.

    The structure of most companies means most employees earn the minimum the law says they have to be paid, while the managers get a little more, but not always that much more. Last time I worked in retail the managers were on salaries so if they had to come in on their day off they didn't get paid for those extra hours... if someone is sick they might end up earning less than minimum wage... it is the CEOs and owners of the company that make the big money... the only other structure like that would be a pyramid scheme... but that is illegal.

    The irony is that it was not actually worth being a manager because if you could get enough hours to actually match what they had to do some times you could earn as much or more than what they earned.

    Capitalism is broken... the rich have too much say and too much power, and they tend to direct any attempts at regulation in their industry area which normally just makes things worse.

    There's no reason for someone to stay in a country with free healthcare and universities, if taxes steal half of his salary.

    I would rather pay half my income on tax and have free healthcare and education, than pay nothing and have to pay for healthcare and education... in this day an age you have to be able to change job areas at least 4-5 times, which means student loans and eventually your body will slow down and need the health system for assistance... look at the corrupt system in the US... the best healthcare system in the world... that three quarters of the population can't afford... but it is OK because the people on minimum wage are not paying a few cents in the dollar extra for healthcare...

    That system of course sounds very nice to the life-is-hard socialists who don't feel like studying and working hard and just want the state to pay their bills.

    Well when the rich control the government what do you get... the American system... and they bribe both parties so you can't change anything with a vote.

    The super rich like it the way it is... they can afford private healthcare and private schooling... why should they care about any other fellow Americans... they are poor because they are stupid and lazy right?

    Socialism on the other hand fails when it comes to efficiency. Why would you try hard and innovate to produce efficiently if your salary remains the same in any case. Some market is required to let the inefficient guys go bankrupt and let larger market share to cheap producers.

    This is a Gem... capitalism means 30 different brands of toothpaste all promising to be 20% better than the other brands... so 29 of them must be lying. Some areas don't need to be "efficient".
    Not everyone needs a university degree, yet that is the focus of most education systems... to prepare you for further study... but the majority of jobs don't require tertiary education levels... most trades you need apprenticeships... but here big companies stopped those because it was cheaper to hire already skilled workers... except over time those skilled workers got hired or started working for themselves and there were no applicants who could do the work.

    At the heart of it... socialism means we are in this together and we are working together to make a better place to live... company picnics, companies paying tuition for the children of their workers, and helping them with housing, instead of paying everything to the mostly foreign investors that "own" the company.

    In New Zealand the electrical power grid and the telecommunications network was all government owned and controlled, but money got a bit tight so they decided to make a bit of money by privatising both and a few other things too. The telecommunications and electrical system were MAKING MONEY, they were bloated and had lots of well paid government employees, but everything worked and all the equipment was maintained properly. They sold both... the telecommunications network was sold to a Canadian company for a ridiculously low price... the first thing they did was fire the entire staff and then hired back 1/3rd of the best, which probably saved them a lot of money, and about two years after the sale their yearly profit was more than what they paid to buy Telecom... the problem is that they were Canadian... they didn't give a shit about outlying regions, which suffered. Even in busy areas the lack of staff meant there were delays for getting anything done and it was usually rushed and half arsed. They eventually sold to someone else, but the promise of cheaper phone and communications never happened... the prices went up, just like the company profits... but the change in the company was fundamental... previously thousands of people had paid employment and got good wages, even if a lot of the time they weren't working very hard, and the government had a country with stable communications everywhere that was practical. After privatisation most of the people fired changed jobs... lots of cowboys ripped off a lot of old people, but the industry was made much worse.

    I decided a couple of years ago to get fast internet... it took over a year to get it put in...

    The story about the electrical power grid is much much worse... why should the government not control critical infrastructure?

    Auckland is out biggest city... 2 million of four million NZrs live there and it had 6 main power lines going in to the city. Christchurch is a much much smaller city... smaller after the earthquakes and also has 6 main power lines going in to the city... they were put there by the government. A few years back there were electricity cuts because only two of the main power lines in to Auckland are working and they can't turn off either to do maintenance that needs to be done to keep it going... but they are making a nice profit that is going over seas to the owners...

    Some market is required to let the inefficient guys go bankrupt and let larger market share to cheap producers.

    Inefficient guys go bankrupt anyway, the problem is that when successful guys go bankrupt because they can't compete with the big chain stores that can artificially reduce prices in one area for a few years to kill off the competition and then when it is either gone or they bought them out the prices go back up again and they can make a good profit out of those people who no longer have a choice.

    A free market economy is like the trickle down effect... rich people are good because they have to spend their money so the whole community benefits and everybody gets money... except that is bullshit... the guy is rich because he owns all the shops and major money making companies, so more often than not it is the poor people buying stuff from his shops and making him more rich... rich people are not rich because they are generous... they only make donations so they can claim that money back in tax, and even then it is more likely a dirty offshore company that is losing money that allows them to not pay any tax at all.


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    verkhoturye51
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    Post  verkhoturye51 on Sun Mar 31, 2019 11:44 am

    the rich have too much say and too much power

    Ok, I must admit capitalism is a wild animal. It gets out of control if you don't regulate it appropriately. Since Reagan and Thatcher deregulated the economy the inequality has increased enormously. That's why I support more fair system - state capitalism. You have necessary social welfare to give people opportunities. If the majority can't afford university, social mobility will be low. So if someone is born into a poor class family, he won't afford university, won't get a good job (finance, IT, technology, pharmacy) and will remain in that class. But if state with special policies makes studies more affordable for those students, they have en equal chance. The same goes for middle to higher class and in the opposite direction. No privileges for the rich means they can lose their property, if they don't invest well.

    After privatisation most of the people fired changed jobs

    It's good that government owns branches that serve a lot of people and are making loss. For example, public transportation. It serves thousands of people, but it's rarely profitable. It's in public interest that it operates, so it makes sense that government funds the loss from the budget. On the other hand, why should the government nationalize high tech sector, that needs highly efficient investment. Nokia's made one bad decision when it didn't follow Apple's move to the smart phone applications and it went from winner to loser overnight. Besides these economic reasons, there are also strategic security areas, like MIC.

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    Post  nomadski on Tue Apr 02, 2019 12:05 am

    I am of the idea , that alternate economic system can exist . But there may not be a giant leap for human kind . It may be many small steps . What is a non - capitalist road to development ? Does it start with soviet Tanks in Afghanistan ? and end in a Hippy communue in 1960's USA ? How does a successful strawberry farm commune exist today outside of Moscow ? Why did a train load of rotten tomatoes,  bring down the Soviet  union  ? I wish I was there , I could see and learn and remember . For future generations .

    Economic models can be run on computers . In successive  iterative  succession  . The results can be indicative of the applicability of economic system . In practice , economic zones can be established . The voluntary participation of a farm or factory or town . Results obtained .

    But no economy student will get a degree  from London school of economics . With theory to establish a  non capitalist commune  . But they will get a degree  if they know how to establish a Hippy commune . You know , one with CIA drugs introduced  into it .

    Perhaps  Bernie Sanders can bring in new laws . One that allows people to know the value of every thing  and the price of nothing . Instead of knowing the price of everything , and  the value of nothing . Once a micro system is set up and working . It could be repeated on macro level . From town to town . Country to country .

    Communes , without the CIA drugged Hippy element . Advancing by many small steps . The non - capitalist road for humanity . Without the soviet Tanks .
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    Post  GarryB on Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:49 am

    Ok, I must admit capitalism is a wild animal.

    But communism and socialism breed welfare states... your argument is that capitalism forces people to work hard... yet the truly rich seem indifferent to hard work... for them all they will pay is minimum wage to their workers why should they expect good work?

    That's why I support more fair system - state capitalism. You have necessary social welfare to give people opportunities.

    A fair system?

    You have people living in trailer parks in the US, you have empty houses because no one can afford them or the bank has seized them from someone who could not pay... but when the multi billion dollar banks suffer from their greed the government bails them out and does not even get paid back... those bank CEOs give themselves multi million dollar bonuses... AND NO ONE GOES TO JAIL... BECAUSE THEY ARE ALL RICH AND THEY ARE ALL WHITE.

    So if someone is born into a poor class family, he won't afford university, won't get a good job (finance, IT, technology, pharmacy) and will remain in that class.

    Actually that poor kid could get an apprenticeship and become an electrician or plumber or vinyl layer or a carpenter or a gibstopper... and if he is good he can actually make really good money. And when he has to go to a rich part of town to fix some rich persons sink he can rob them blind with extra hidden fees and costs they wont know anything about.

    But if state with special policies makes studies more affordable for those students, they have en equal chance.

    Most jobs wont require tertiary qualifications, and who needs the debt anyway...

    The same goes for middle to higher class and in the opposite direction. No privileges for the rich means they can lose their property, if they don't invest well.

    Those poor rich people might have to work to pay their bills... how sad.


    It's good that government owns branches that serve a lot of people and are making loss. For example, public transportation. It serves thousands of people, but it's rarely profitable. It's in public interest that it operates, so it makes sense that government funds the loss from the budget. On the other hand, why should the government nationalize high tech sector, that needs highly efficient investment. Nokia's made one bad decision when it didn't follow Apple's move to the smart phone applications and it went from winner to loser overnight. Besides these economic reasons, there are also strategic security areas, like MIC.

    There are plenty of areas where making a profit should not be the first priority... Healthcare, education, the electrical grid of a country are three pretty obvious ones, but also the police force and fire department, as well as water supply and rubbish management...

    With your Nokia/Apple comment... when our telecommunications was government run they were free to adopt any new technology they liked, and more importantly could plan ahead for future technologies better because they knew they were going to have to deal with it then too... unlike the canadian company that bought telecom who decided to sell it after a few years of making good profits and customers expense of course...

    Economic models can be run on computers . In successive iterative succession .

    Ironically management and computers have improved to the point that managed economies are probably easier to execute today than ever before so the enormous waste of 20 different brands of toothpaste... compounded by globalisation that adds 200 more brands, could be optimised down to much fewer that would still offer choice and variety but also eliminate waste and duplication of effort only to lead to ultimate failure.
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    Post  verkhoturye51 on Tue Apr 02, 2019 10:09 am

    What is a non - capitalist road to development ? Does it start with soviet Tanks in Afghanistan ? and end in a Hippy communue in 1960's USA ?

    You've had the longest functioning socialism in Russia and yet you look for it in the most successful capitalist country. Success is when world's most profitable company Aramco makes over 100 bn dollars of pure profit. There were no such companies in central planning economy.

    But they will get a degree  if they know how to establish a Hippy commune .

    Obviously you haven't studied economics. Why would the best European economics school give you a degree for establishing a system that doesn't work?  

     Instead of knowing the price of everything , and  the value of nothing .  

    Price tells you relative value. Even Marx's understood the three meanings of prices. But you want to return to barter exchange. Ok.

    Without the soviet Tanks .

    Without them you can't protect even existing socialism in Venezuela.
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    Post  verkhoturye51 on Tue Apr 02, 2019 10:15 pm

    your argument is that capitalism forces people to work hard.

    I don't think it's about forcing. While Eastern civilization prioritizes stability and security, the West most values opportunity and freedom. You can work an average job whole life or you work really hard and land a good job. You have a choice. Again, the downsides are clear. The lack of stability means that you have one year high growth, next year recession, which causes downfall of certain industries and rise of other. Some adjust to this easier, some not so much, so unemployment and inequality rise, seriously limiting future growth.

    You have people living in trailer parks in the US.

    The main difference between liberal capitalism in the US or UK, social welfare capitalism in the EU and state capitalism in BRIC countries is in share of government expenditure in the GDP. It's impossible to emphasize enough how telling is this chart https://data.oecd.org/gga/general-government-spending.htm
    Large state with state ownership of entire sectors stabilizes the economy greatly, allowing firms to operate during recessions and cover their losses from public budget, preventing bankruptcies.

    And when he has to go to a rich part of town to fix some rich persons sink he can rob them blind with extra hidden fees and costs they wont know anything about.

    So state needs to enhance the situation where ervice sector offers high salaries, too, and that inequality isn't too big. What do I mean exactly? Electrician with high school can just lay electricity in construction and earn a little, because competition is high. Electric engineer with BSc or MSc will instead lay complex electricity in factories and earn more.
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    Post  GarryB on Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:01 am

    Success is when world's most profitable company Aramco makes over 100 bn dollars of pure profit. There were no such companies in central planning economy.

    Your definition of success means a cure for cancer is not to be sought... just find drugs to treat it and contain it and keep the people suffering from cancer on your expensive drugs for the rest of their long sad limited lives... you would make a fortune... and be a monster.

    Obviously you haven't studied economics.

    Read a study at the local university that covered students from first year to postdoctorate students, over a range of study areas and what they found was the economics students started out similar to everyone else but as they progressed they gave less and less to charities and donated less time to their community than any other university department...

    In other words their studies turned them into cold hearted unfeeling tight bastards...

    You can work an average job whole life or you work really hard and land a good job. You have a choice.

    Hahahahaha... that is like saying you have a choice to win the lottery... you have a choice to work or not work and you can try to find a better job while you work at a job that pays min wage, but there is no guarantee you will ever get paid what you are worth, and those companies that make enormous profits and don't increase the wages of the workers who actually do the work that earns the money a more part of the problem than part of any useful solution.

    Some adjust to this easier, some not so much, so unemployment and inequality rise, seriously limiting future growth.

    Unemployment levels are meaningless if even those who are working can barely get by and live by credit card bill to credit card bill and loans from the bank.

    So state needs to enhance the situation where ervice sector offers high salaries, too, and that inequality isn't too big.

    The state fixes salaries... are you a communist?

    Minimum wage is not a solution, it is a distraction.... oh, we are helping poor people by increasing minimum wage... and then those companies that employ people at minimum wage reduce their hours and expect them to do more work and don't really end up paying them very much more, but now they end up having to do more in less time because time is money.

    What they really need is a wage ratio. In any given company there should not be a situation where the guy at the top is making hundreds of millions of dollars and people at the bottom are earning minimum wage... especially when the difference is even bigger than that in reality because the guys at the top get healthcare paid for, and often have business related dinners at fancy resaurants paid for by the company, not to mention company cars and phones and holidays and even car parks, and the minimum wage worker for the same company get minimum wage that is probably less a week than the clothing allowance for the month for the higher ups.

    What do I mean exactly? Electrician with high school can just lay electricity in construction and earn a little, because competition is high. Electric engineer with BSc or MSc will instead lay complex electricity in factories and earn more.

    Yeah, I worked with a guy that was a glorified plumber... his official title was refrigeration technician... they flew him down from Auckland for a job... he worked about 3 hours and then they flew him home... he got $300 per hour in pay, but he never worked on any job for more than a couple of hours and they flew him all over the country for the jobs... he wasn't getting much more than I was because he spent most of his time travelling and most of his job was done by other people.... he just hooked things up and made sure they worked properly and then left.
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    Post  verkhoturye51 on Wed Apr 03, 2019 1:19 pm

    you would make a fortune... and be a monster.

    We like feasible systems, so it's important to have companies that survive in the market in the long run. Because only profitable companies stay, a company can't operate at a loss forever. It's like when oligarch in transitional Russia were stealing money from companies, and state covered it from the budget. So they've done it again. If the state lets such company go bankrupt, it's a clear signal that thefts won't be tolerated. Guilty executives are convicted and jailed.

    they gave less and less to charities

    So do you think that solution for hunger in Africa is giving people fish, rather then teaching them how to fish? You can humiliate them and treat them as poor incapable objects or study economics, get a job in a bank and decide which companies deserve a credit. Correct choices build long-term sectors, wrong misallocate the resources, impoverishing the country flushing the only money they have down the toilet even more.

    no guarantee you will ever get paid what you are worth.

    You are a human resources manager and you need to employ a new worker. Two candidates show up for the inteview. Same degrees and work experience, but no. 1 says he's willing to work overtime. Do you take a hard working or the lazy? Which will do just the necessary job and which will try to improve the processes? In the case of corruption, which is more likely to report it and which to turn a blind eye? Which is more likely to participate in all company's events and fully cooperate with others to find solutionos and which will just sit in the back not caring about anything? Which is more likely to be more motivated, intelligent or capable?

    Minimum wage is not a solution

    High salaries are, and they are paid in profitable sectors. If you are China in 1949, you can start industrialization and make good school programs to educate labour force you need for desired sectors or you can let the market do it's job, like Bangladesh did. And the only sector it has today is still textile.


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    Post  GarryB on Thu Apr 04, 2019 7:14 am

    We like feasible systems, so it's important to have companies that survive in the market in the long run. Because only profitable companies stay, a company can't operate at a loss forever.

    Companies grow and when they dominate the market they can crush any small company opposition... I have seen it all my life... when I was a kid there were corner stores often called Corner Dairies here because you got milk and bread and stuff, and there were grocery shops and butcher shops, but the arrival of the supermarket destroyed all that... those little shops simply could not compete with an enormous chain family of shops that bought in bulk and could sell a lot cheaper than any corner store could survive on. The best chance for survival is the most brutal... pay minimum wage and have people on zero hour contracts, because competition is fierce... might be a little better for the consumer who gets more choice and sometimes cheaper prices, but for the working person it is not so good... and for the quality of company management... who knows... they live in Australia and don't give a fk.

    It's like when oligarch in transitional Russia were stealing money from companies, and state covered it from the budget. So they've done it again. If the state lets such company go bankrupt, it's a clear signal that thefts won't be tolerated. Guilty executives are convicted and jailed.

    That should be a one off situation... in most countries there used to be a law that if you give someone a loan with the knowledge that they could never pay you back they don't have to pay you back. That law was changed in the US and many other countries. The result was that a bank would give anyone a loan to buy a house simply because if you could not pay back the loan they could simply seize the house and sell it and get more than their money back. That of course works while house prices are going up at a stupid rate. Buy a house now for $500,000 and next year it would be worth $750,000, so even if you borrowed the full value of the house by the time you could not pay back the 500K it was OK because the house was now worth 750K so they could get their money back by seizing it and selling it. The collapse occurred because house prices went down, so your 2 million dollar loan from the bank for your house that is now worth 1.2 million puts you in a bad spot because even if the bank seizes the house and sells it for the market rate... if they can sell it at all... you will still likely owe lots of money to the bank... but now you are homeless and have to pay rent as well.

    Obviously it was poor judgement.... should I say greed on the part of the Banks to hand out house loans to anyone... but the US government didn't buy the loans, they just payed the banks out... the government should have owned the loans or the banks... but it ended up with neither. Bank CEOs got huge bonuses that year and a few years afterwards and people got kicked out of their homes... how screwed up is that?

    No bankers went to jail.

    So do you think that solution for hunger in Africa is giving people fish, rather then teaching them how to fish?

    Fuck africa, their problems start at the government level, I am talking about going to a local old folks home and spending time with them. I mean donating to local orphanages and dog and cat shelters... donate to get cats and dogs neutered so over population is not a problem... Giving up old clothes you don't wear any more to people who could use them but can't afford them...

    You can humiliate them and treat them as poor incapable objects or study economics, get a job in a bank and decide which companies deserve a credit.

    Yeah... silly people, obviously people who wont give to a charity like cancer research, is obviously going to be a moral compass when it comes to investing in companies... so the cigarette companies and companies that make bombs will never be able to find investors, and start ups trying to save the planet will be buried in cash... yeah, that is going to happen... right.

    80% of a pharmaceutical companies budget is advertising and bribes to doctors and medical professionals to use their products... most countries governments spend more on research than they do...

    But big business is just misunderstood... they care... about money.

    Correct choices build long-term sectors, wrong misallocate the resources, impoverishing the country flushing the only money they have down the toilet even more.

    Of course... don't give poor people money... they will just waste it or wont even get it because of corruption... yeah... good excuse to be a censored .

    You are a human resources manager and you need to employ a new worker. Two candidates show up for the inteview. Same degrees and work experience, but no. 1 says he's willing to work overtime. Do you take a hard working or the lazy?

    First of all it is easier to say than to do... for all you know the guy wanting to work overtime wants overtime because he is saving up to go on his overseas experience and he wants spending money... he is going to work for a year and then bugger off overseas and you will never see him again... even after you trained him up and got him qualifications and credits while he was working for you because he was so keen. The other guy might have family commitments and is not going to bugger off on holiday or leave the company... but he does want to get home in time to see his kids and wife at night... what a bastard...

    Which will do just the necessary job and which will try to improve the processes?

    Actually it is often the lazy people who work out simplified or quicker work processes... it makes their job easier... and there is nothing wrong with that as long as it does not compromise safety or quality.

    In the case of corruption, which is more likely to report it and which to turn a blind eye?

    Actually that is a totally different factor entirely... there is honest and dishonest and even an honest person might not see it as their position to interfere, and a dishonest person might shop them so they can get their job or promotion or whatever.

    And when your boss is involved... who do you report it to?

    What will your career be like in that work environment after some people lose their jobs? And for this reason many people might just ignore it.... even honest ones.

    Which is more likely to participate in all company's events and fully cooperate with others to find solutionos and which will just sit in the back not caring about anything?

    And do you think people are honest in interviews and that the person offering to do overtime is genuine and even gives a shit about the company... the only thing you can be sure of is that both want a job.... the guy asking for overtime might want the extra time to get work done he should have gotten done in normal hours, or wants after hours access so he can sneak product out the back door at night to his mates...

    Which is more likely to be more motivated, intelligent or capable?

    And how can you tell any of these three things about a person in a one hour interview?

    A good communicator can sell you a lemon... their CV comes from them, their references are chosen by them... are they going to tell you the full truth... are they going to use the company they stole from as a reference or even mention them on their CV?

    Most of the time you try to narrow it down to the top three and then give them a trial period and if they can get on with the other staff, get the job done in reasonable time, and are interested in learning, then you give them a temporary contract and see how they go. It does not hurt if they are young and pretty, but sometimes that does not matter at all. (It helps in retail).

    High salaries are, and they are paid in profitable sectors.

    But if everyone gets high salaries then the prices of everything will explode... you can't send a letter for 50 cents if the postie is earning $50K a year...
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    Post  nomadski on Thu Apr 04, 2019 1:36 pm

    At 51 . I never said that I wanted a barter system . Although a barter system would also  work  in some cases . The reason I started this topic , was that I wanted to learn , if there was an easy way to find value of goods . So that , if people wanted , then they could quickly establish the value of goods that was accurate and fair . In this way , exploitation could not take place . Wealth will be fairly divided . Instead of benefitting  the one percent . This will be a universal method , that workers from all nations could use . Not based on national currency . A bit like trying  to establish a new international language like esperanto .

    Stopping exploitation will not alone save humanity from disaster . We need to stop wars . Stop social breakdown . Stop environmental damage . Stop growth . There is a lot to do . Capitalism is by nature  a system doomed to fail . If you see capitalism and it's billions of " profits " as  good . Then it is like a fat child with a healthy glow , that has just devoured the flesh of his brother .

    The relationship between the value of goods and prices , can be determined by the calorific output by organism ( in this case humans )  versus the calorific value obtained from food stuffs or if non - food products then the saving in calorific food intake by the use of the goods . I know this probably is not economic theory . It is more like science or thermodynamics . But economists are not solving our problems .

    For the average person , it is easy these days to accurately measure calorific output . By many smart devices . Also the calorific value of foods are known . But not non - food products . The only link now is to establish a relationship . How can this be done ? How can we move away from prices ? That increasingly do not reflect the value of goods ?


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