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Does Democracy Really Work Since Only the Rich and Powerful are Satisfied?
Yes 12%  12%  [ 18 ]
Yes 12%  12%  [ 18 ]
No 21%  21%  [ 31 ]
No 21%  21%  [ 31 ]
I Am President Bush and You Have Violated the Patriot Act 17%  17%  [ 25 ]
I Am President Bush and You Have Violated the Patriot Act 17%  17%  [ 25 ]
Total votes : 148

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29 Dec 2005, 9:05 am

Indeed, caution is advised...

anarkhos wrote:
Voting on whether to grow wheat or wood is utterly ridiculous. How much wheat (or cattle or wood or endangered species etc.) should be forgone for the production of more wood? Only with a market economy can one determine the economic profit of such a change, which is in turn determined by the demand for wood and wheat-based products. You cannot calculate such things without prices--period!


Yes, direct democracy in everything is inefficient. Perhaps economic control would be taken up by a much smaller group in charge of a certain area of production.

Thou hast forgotten that the government sets the prices and thus takes note of any change in demand.

Care to elaborate on "vertical integration?"


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eamonn
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29 Dec 2005, 12:40 pm

Things would work on demand, if most were happy communism then they would be productive. (having worked in lots of different places as one of the many serfs under capatilism i can assure you that production isnt very high due to being expected to work harder for little rewards while the management give themselves heavy bonuses just for them to say they have to shed jobs).

Obviously there would need to be people that had the responsibility of decisions to make as all democracies have but apart from security issues every decision would be transparent and if there was a lot of opposition to any decision then we would have a referendum.

No system is perfect and we could sit here and throw stones at any system till the cows come home but i genuinely think communism would work better for a community that wants to work together. That is why it will never work until there is enough people that feel this way and it is quite far away from happening at this point but there is still hope as people are becoming dissaluisened with capatilism and even probably the most unrestrained pro-capatilist countries in the world are starting to form a sizeable minority of socialists whereas once we would have been pretty much on your own for these views and disregarded as a nut or a traitor and persecuted for insubordination.



anarkhos
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29 Dec 2005, 8:04 pm

SB2, economics is called the dismal science for a reason; it dashes the hopes of any would-be interventionist. As for my position on government, I'll try to summarize my position once again:

Like I said before, I'm not a big idea proponent; I don't pretend to know an idillic form of government. I think trying to formulate one is a fool's errand.

For all the ballyhooing about the US government, for example, it behooves us to know that this was created in a compromise of interests--not ideals. In fact, the Founding Fathers doubted it would ever last long. They had the humility to know that no idillic form of government could ever exist, and this one should be terminated/disbanded the moment it ever overstepped its grounds.

My focus, therefore, is not on what form of government serves my ideals (which is a stupid question regardless what ideals you may have), but how can we live in better peace, prosperity, and liberty. In many ways our lifestyles and codes of conduct have more bearing, such as taking personal responsibility for our lives.

I do not advocate democracy because, as H.L. Mencken put it, "Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods." In fact, politics in general is, as Ambrose Bierce put it, "A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles." Government has almost never (if ever) been chosen. It is a system of control, usually imposed by conquering forces, which has in some cases been moderated to allow various controlling interests to participate. Let's not paint government with false colors. It is a mechanism of force. The only difference with democracy is this force is put up for sale. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't sell myself into slavery.

So sorry SB2, you may think I don't advocate a specific formulation of branches, agencies, bureaus, taxes, armies, and electorates so my opinion can't be impeached, but that isn't the case at all. I just don't believe such a magic formulation exists any more than a benign central authority can know what prices ought to be. That doesn't mean my opinions can't be attacked, and they have been. For example I believe the 17th amendment, while more democratic, made the federal government less accountable. Anybody is free to take this anti-democratic opinion to task. Let's not confuse not having a utopian ideal with not having opinions.



anarkhos
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29 Dec 2005, 8:21 pm

Insert_Nickname_Here wrote:
Yes, direct democracy in everything is inefficient. Perhaps economic control would be taken up by a much smaller group in charge of a certain area of production.


That doesn't solve anything. The fundamental problem is not the size of a steering committee. If economic calculation cannot be performed, it cannot be performed by one or one million persons.

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Thou hast forgotten that the government sets the prices and thus takes note of any change in demand.


Government prices is a <i>contradictio in adjectivo</i>.

Prices are market-driven instruments which are a manifestation of immeasurable non-quantities. Supply and demand aren't independent variables which one can determine by rationing goods. You cannot set an exchange rate then "note of any change in demand." You can increase demand for goods by lowering the exchange ratio, which sellers in a free market will do to a point.

Communism abolishes voluntary trade, and meaningful prices along with it.

Quote:
Care to elaborate on "vertical integration?"


Only if you ask a specific question.



anarkhos
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29 Dec 2005, 8:32 pm

eamonn wrote:
Things would work on demand, if most were happy communism then they would be productive. (having worked in lots of different places as one of the many serfs under capatilism i can assure you that production isnt very high due to being expected to work harder for little rewards while the management give themselves heavy bonuses just for them to say they have to shed jobs).


Productivity is not determined by how hard you work, neither can a company be managed to profitability.

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Obviously there would need to be people that had the responsibility of decisions to make as all democracies have but apart from security issues every decision would be transparent and if there was a lot of opposition to any decision then we would have a referendum.


We have these referendums already, and it doesn't work.

Some do-gooding politician decides the price of something is too high. They complain of price gouging and set their own prices. The result is the goods become more scarce, not less.

Politics cannot replace market mechanisms.

Quote:
No system is perfect and we could sit here and throw stones at any system till the cows come home but i genuinely think communism would work better for a community that wants to work together. That is why it will never work until there is enough people that feel this way and it is quite far away from happening at this point but there is still hope as people are becoming dissaluisened with capatilism and even probably the most unrestrained pro-capatilist countries in the world are starting to form a sizeable minority of socialists whereas once we would have been pretty much on your own for these views and disregarded as a nut or a traitor and persecuted for insubordination.


Communism doesn't fail due to discontent or laziness or lack of community values. Frankly, I don't even know what you're babbling on about, but it obviously doesn't address the calculability problem.

The fallacy you're working from is that one can determine, without prices, what form of 'work' is productive. Not only is this impossible to determine, but even in a market economy it isn't possible to manage a company to prosperity. Most of the key decisions are not managerial, but entrepreneurial. For example, the capital goods in use have mortality, like a factory. Say you can produce more goods for a shorter period of time or less for a longer period of time. There is no managerial way to determine the best course of action because they depend on future prices, which cannot be predicted.

If companies could be managed to profitability, no company would ever go bust!



eamonn
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29 Dec 2005, 8:59 pm

If you cannot understand what i am "babbling" on about the polite thing on a forum were you come for support would be to not answer or just answer the bits you see sense in.



anarkhos
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29 Dec 2005, 9:04 pm

eamonn wrote:
If you cannot understand what i am "babbling" on about the polite thing on a forum were you come for support would be to not answer or just answer the bits you see sense in.


I'll be more clear then: I didn't understand what your final paragraph was referring to, except it had nothing to do with the incalculability problem. I then expounded on the fallacy in your first paragraph.



eamonn
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29 Dec 2005, 9:21 pm

People dont need prices to tell what work is productive. Common sense should tell them that as well as a need to eat and be comfortable. People like nice things and would continue to make them under communism.

The cavemen needed to work together to survive long before money came into play. Money was just brought in as a way for some people to rule and devide. I dont see any difference between a wolf being a pack leader by force or people using their brains to have higher positions than other humans.

Let's face it most rich people got that way by being miserable with their money and being fly and dishonest. This isnt something that's peculiar to the rich but our acceptance and frequence of lies and getting the better over other people needs to be tackled and this world changed to one that people, their honesty and willingness to help each other is valued over anything else not being fly, cheeky and dominant over each other mentally and in some places physically.

Being kind and generous is seen as being soft and people take advantage of it because that is what our animal instinct and capatilist programming has taught us to do.



anarkhos
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29 Dec 2005, 9:55 pm

eamonn wrote:
People dont need prices to tell what work is productive. Common sense should tell them that as well as a need to eat and be comfortable. People like nice things and would continue to make them under communism.


But people don't make nice things for themselves, they buy them from others.

If each one of us made what we wanted, there would be no prices because there would be no division of labour and thus no trade.

Quote:
The cavemen needed to work together to survive long before money came into play. Money was just brought in as a way for some people to rule and devide. I dont see any difference between a wolf being a pack leader by force or people using their brains to have higher positions than other humans.


If you wish to live like a caveman, nobody is stopping you.

The reason we no longer live in caves is due to capital accumulation, division of labour, and yes, money.

Your theory as to how money came about is fallacious. Money was not imposed by anyone. In fact, it is <b>impossible</b> to create fiat money without first usurping the exchange medium which came about in the market economy. It would be impossible, for example, the Euro to come into use if it could not have been exchanged with Marks. In fact, once again, this was one of Ludwig von Mises's many contributions of economics: the Regression Theorem ("Theory of Money" 1912).

The first three pages of "The Mystery of Banking" (q.v.) explains in a non-technical manner how money comes about, and how it is an essential part of the industrial economy.

Quote:
Let's face it most rich people got that way by being miserable with their money and being fly and dishonest. This isnt something that's peculiar to the rich but our acceptance and frequence of lies and getting the better over other people needs to be tackled and this world changed to one that people, their honesty and willingness to help each other is valued over anything else not being fly, cheeky and dominant over each other mentally and in some places physically.

Being kind and generous is seen as being soft and people take advantage of it because that is what our animal instinct and capatilist programming has taught us to do.


What does any of this have to do with prices or productivity?

Getting back ON TOPIC:

If you produce everything you want, then prices are indeed meaningless. However, you would also have to forgo anything which (or the larger quantities of) you cannot produce yourself.

If, however, you wish to have division of labour, you must then have exchange ratios. If these ratios are not allowed to change depending on scarcity, i.e. market prices, you can't know what kind of specialized work is productive.

But by all means, go live in a cave. I'm not stopping you.



eamonn
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29 Dec 2005, 10:02 pm

If nobody liked me and i was isolated and miserable i probably would go and live in a cave and only come out from it to set about knocking down everyone elses ideas to try and cover for my own inadequices because if i wasnt feeling good about myself then at least i was trying to make sure others didnt feel good. :wink:



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30 Dec 2005, 8:37 am

Sorry Anarkhos,

As previously stated i believe that you have a brilliant mind for politics and economics.

I think it may be in the communication of your brilliance.

Do i feel small next to you. Yes, i do.
Because you are undoubtedly well learned, with an excellent comprehension of the abstract theories.

But when you take the symantics (please god let me to have spelled it correct) of someones thoughts and break them down for a simple comma error, then you appear to be petty. And as i had stated previously, a caution was all that i was giving.

Even though you may out reason 99.9 of every 100 people you debate on these topics, you will lose legitimacy, for appearing nit-picky. And if/when that occurs, everybody loses.

I enjoy reading your views on these subjects. However, put others on the defensive, they will act likewise. Human nature.



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