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beneficii
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02 Sep 2019, 6:22 pm

Antrax wrote:
UnlikelySurface wrote:
Antrax wrote:
I have no doubt that people working low skill jobs work hard. But effort doesn't determine value. It be nice if it did, but it doesn't. Production determines value.


Understood and agreed; with some caveats. The main one being that I'm attempting to divorce "value produced" from "income received", and instead link income with "hours of effort producing value".


If you divorce "income received" from "value produced" you remove the incentive to produce value. When I was in high school I did well across the board. My favorite classes were actually history classes. I never considered being a history major in college, because I didn't feel like I could do anything with a history degree. Instead I went into engineering. I considered doing a minor in history, but the requirements were 4-5 additional classes that I just didn't have the time in my course schedule without taking an additional year.

Is the world better off with me trying to solve science and engineering problems rather than me trying to determined what happened 1000 years ago? Most of society thinks so, and have priced the value of that labor respectively.


So you do equate value and price, or at least "social value" and price.

Personally, I think there is more to social value than just price. Studying history has social value apart from what jobs will pay you to do it, or how much money you can make doing it. I think equating social value to price is a very limited view of things, and equating the two has led to the current malaise.

When progressives talk about neoliberalism, this is the sort of thing we're talking about.


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02 Sep 2019, 7:39 pm

beneficii wrote:
Antrax wrote:
UnlikelySurface wrote:
Antrax wrote:
I have no doubt that people working low skill jobs work hard. But effort doesn't determine value. It be nice if it did, but it doesn't. Production determines value.


Understood and agreed; with some caveats. The main one being that I'm attempting to divorce "value produced" from "income received", and instead link income with "hours of effort producing value".


If you divorce "income received" from "value produced" you remove the incentive to produce value. When I was in high school I did well across the board. My favorite classes were actually history classes. I never considered being a history major in college, because I didn't feel like I could do anything with a history degree. Instead I went into engineering. I considered doing a minor in history, but the requirements were 4-5 additional classes that I just didn't have the time in my course schedule without taking an additional year.

Is the world better off with me trying to solve science and engineering problems rather than me trying to determined what happened 1000 years ago? Most of society thinks so, and have priced the value of that labor respectively.


So you do equate value and price, or at least "social value" and price.

Personally, I think there is more to social value than just price. Studying history has social value apart from what jobs will pay you to do it, or how much money you can make doing it. I think equating social value to price is a very limited view of things, and equating the two has led to the current malaise.

When progressives talk about neoliberalism, this is the sort of thing we're talking about.


Pricing is the mechanism by which markets coordinate all activity. When you say there is more value to something than what its pricing says that means that you personally value it more than society has.

Take reading history. I may be interested in a particular piece of history, because it brings me joy to learn about history. I purchase a book about the topic and read it. No one is paying me to learn about history, but I am paying someone to produce historical knowledge. The societal demand for historical knowledge is reflected in the price of the production of historical knowledge.


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02 Sep 2019, 7:43 pm

Wealth incentivizes effort.

When everyone lives at the same level of poverty no matter how much effort they put into their work, then everyone is likely to do the bare minimum required to stay out of trouble.

Just ask Karl Marx how his idea of a "Workers' Paradise" worked out.


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beneficii
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02 Sep 2019, 8:10 pm

Fnord wrote:
Wealth incentivizes effort.

When everyone lives at the same level of poverty no matter how much effort they put into their work, then everyone is likely to do the bare minimum required to stay out of trouble.

Just ask Karl Marx how his idea of a "Workers' Paradise" worked out.


I agree with this. But I think the question is, what advantages in particular should people get? Should only the well-off get health care?

This is why I support social democracy. It maintains the basic capitalist system where people are rewarded for their effort, but also makes it to where the worst effects of capitalism are mitigated. America was a social democratic country from the time of the New Deal until when Reagan was elected.


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Last edited by beneficii on 02 Sep 2019, 8:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

beneficii
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02 Sep 2019, 8:11 pm

Antrax wrote:
beneficii wrote:
Antrax wrote:
UnlikelySurface wrote:
Antrax wrote:
I have no doubt that people working low skill jobs work hard. But effort doesn't determine value. It be nice if it did, but it doesn't. Production determines value.


Understood and agreed; with some caveats. The main one being that I'm attempting to divorce "value produced" from "income received", and instead link income with "hours of effort producing value".


If you divorce "income received" from "value produced" you remove the incentive to produce value. When I was in high school I did well across the board. My favorite classes were actually history classes. I never considered being a history major in college, because I didn't feel like I could do anything with a history degree. Instead I went into engineering. I considered doing a minor in history, but the requirements were 4-5 additional classes that I just didn't have the time in my course schedule without taking an additional year.

Is the world better off with me trying to solve science and engineering problems rather than me trying to determined what happened 1000 years ago? Most of society thinks so, and have priced the value of that labor respectively.


So you do equate value and price, or at least "social value" and price.

Personally, I think there is more to social value than just price. Studying history has social value apart from what jobs will pay you to do it, or how much money you can make doing it. I think equating social value to price is a very limited view of things, and equating the two has led to the current malaise.

When progressives talk about neoliberalism, this is the sort of thing we're talking about.


Pricing is the mechanism by which markets coordinate all activity. When you say there is more value to something than what its pricing says that means that you personally value it more than society has.

Take reading history. I may be interested in a particular piece of history, because it brings me joy to learn about history. I purchase a book about the topic and read it. No one is paying me to learn about history, but I am paying someone to produce historical knowledge. The societal demand for historical knowledge is reflected in the price of the production of historical knowledge.


There are other ways to determine social value than just by looking at the price. You disagree with this statement, but I agree with it. So, we are at odds.

My problem with using only price to determine social value is that it gives the most power to determine social value to those with the most money. So the rich would get the most power to dictate what society should value, which isn't right.


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02 Sep 2019, 9:07 pm

beneficii wrote:

There are other ways to determine social value than just by looking at the price. You disagree with this statement, but I agree with it. So, we are at odds.

My problem with using only price to determine social value is that it gives the most power to determine social value to those with the most money. So the rich would get the most power to dictate what society should value, which isn't right.


So how do you determine the value?


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beneficii
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02 Sep 2019, 9:14 pm

Antrax wrote:
beneficii wrote:

There are other ways to determine social value than just by looking at the price. You disagree with this statement, but I agree with it. So, we are at odds.

My problem with using only price to determine social value is that it gives the most power to determine social value to those with the most money. So the rich would get the most power to dictate what society should value, which isn't right.


So how do you determine the value?


It's subjective. But when, for example, we allocate money to support the sciences, even where it's not immediately profitable, we assert that there is value in it.

This is, for example, the case with climatology, where we realize the threat of climate change. This one kind of area where social value = price runs into problems. Industry does not want to have to change to adjust to climate change, so they spend money to encourage politicians to downplay and ignore the issue. But surely, it's not in society's interest to do this? But looking at the long run of things, we believe that tackling climate change now is what will provide us the most value in the future.

These are the kinds of externalities that the price system is not very good at accounting for.


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02 Sep 2019, 9:31 pm

beneficii wrote:
Antrax wrote:
beneficii wrote:

There are other ways to determine social value than just by looking at the price. You disagree with this statement, but I agree with it. So, we are at odds.

My problem with using only price to determine social value is that it gives the most power to determine social value to those with the most money. So the rich would get the most power to dictate what society should value, which isn't right.


So how do you determine the value?


It's subjective. But when, for example, we allocate money to support the sciences, even where it's not immediately profitable, we assert that there is value in it.

This is, for example, the case with climatology, where we realize the threat of climate change. This one kind of area where social value = price runs into problems. Industry does not want to have to change to adjust to climate change, so they spend money to encourage politicians to downplay and ignore the issue. But surely, it's not in society's interest to do this? But looking at the long run of things, we believe that tackling climate change now is what will provide us the most value in the future.

These are the kinds of externalities that the price system is not very good at accounting for.


That's an argument for a mixed economy, but not for price not being a marker of societal value. The government still competes with industry for personnel and has to pay enough to entice people to work for them.

Margaret, S. Leinen the director of Scripps Institute of Ocenography at the University of California San Diego, makes $356,604 a year.
Sources: https://scripps.ucsd.edu/about/leadership/director
https://ucannualwage.ucop.edu/wage/

Would she still be running a government atmospheric institute if she was making $30,000 a year? Maybe, everyone has their own motivations, but also maybe not.


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03 Sep 2019, 8:20 am

Antrax wrote:
What advantages should wealth convey?
beneficii wrote:
... what advantages in particular should people get?
Every possible and legally obtainable advantage.
beneficii wrote:
Should only the well-off get health care?
No. In my opinion, everyone should get the same basic health care that is necessary to save their lives and keep them healthy. Anything beyond that is elective, and should be paid for out-of-pocket.


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individuals should be judged or defined only by their actions and choices,
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03 Sep 2019, 9:40 am

Much of what you are worth economically is based on your tangent to rich people (the people who can afford to pay you).


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03 Sep 2019, 9:46 am

LoveNotHate wrote:
Much of what you are worth is based on your tangent to rich people.
Well, of course! Poor people usually don't own businesses on the NYSE and hire people like me to run them.


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individuals should be judged or defined only by their actions and choices,
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03 Sep 2019, 9:51 am

Fnord wrote:
LoveNotHate wrote:
Much of what you are worth is based on your tangent to rich people.
Well, of course! Poor people usually don't own businesses on the NYSE and hire people like me to run them.

Even further …

Person A: works for a very rich business owner as a computer programmer
Person B: works for a struggling business owner, as a computer programmer

Likely, person B workers harder AND for less money.


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03 Sep 2019, 9:58 am

LoveNotHate wrote:
Fnord wrote:
LoveNotHate wrote:
Much of what you are worth is based on your tangent to rich people.
Well, of course! Poor people usually don't own businesses on the NYSE and hire people like me to run them.
Even further … Person A: works for a very rich business owner as a computer programmer ... Person B: works for a struggling business owner, as a computer programmer ... Likely, person B workers harder AND for less money.
In real life, the "Less Money" part is almost certain, but the "Works Harder" part ... not so certain. Person B may only find work with "struggling business owners" because he/she doesn't work as hard as Person A.


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Since there is no singular, absolute definition of human nature,
nor any ultimate evaluation of human nature beyond that which we project onto others,
individuals should be judged or defined only by their actions and choices,
and not by what we only imagine their intentions and motivations to be.


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03 Sep 2019, 11:16 am

UnlikelySurface wrote:
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My only objections to the "privileges" of wealth is 1) Using said wealth to buy political positions, 2) Obtaining wealth by profiting off misery, sickness, and death, 3) Hording wealth and resources to the point that it makes it nearly impossible for the "little" people to advance in the world or to live a relatively comfortable life with their basic needs met.

Other than that, rock on.


1) At least in the united states where I live, the vast majority of political positions are essentially bought with wealth.
2) Capitalism is EXACTLY profiting off misery, sickness, and death. It's wage slavery. This point needs more support which I'll go into below.
3) Most of the hoarding of wealth issues could be resolved by a 100% tax on assets for deceased individuals. I would want some way to ensure that it's not forbidden to pass down personal possessions and mementos, but raw wealth bestowed upon you because your parents happened to be wealthy is undeserved and is the usual source of those absurdly rich billionaires.

So, on point 2 I want to point out that unequal pay is usually justified by the argument that the people at the top are thought to "own" the company, while the people at the bottom are not. But the value produced by the company wouldn't be produced if not for the efforts of everyone involved. And when the income derived from that value is unevenly distributed, the people at the top get better outcomes than the people at the bottom, who are subject to misery, sickness, and death as a direct result of poverty.


Precisely, which is why I don't worship at the alter of Capitalism, nor do I delude myself that Capitalists countries are meritocracies.


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03 Sep 2019, 12:28 pm

XFilesGeek wrote:
UnlikelySurface wrote:
XFilesGeek wrote:
My only objections to the "privileges" of wealth is 1) Using said wealth to buy political positions, 2) Obtaining wealth by profiting off misery, sickness, and death, 3) Hording wealth and resources to the point that it makes it nearly impossible for the "little" people to advance in the world or to live a relatively comfortable life with their basic needs met.

Other than that, rock on.


1) At least in the united states where I live, the vast majority of political positions are essentially bought with wealth.
2) Capitalism is EXACTLY profiting off misery, sickness, and death. It's wage slavery. This point needs more support which I'll go into below.
3) Most of the hoarding of wealth issues could be resolved by a 100% tax on assets for deceased individuals. I would want some way to ensure that it's not forbidden to pass down personal possessions and mementos, but raw wealth bestowed upon you because your parents happened to be wealthy is undeserved and is the usual source of those absurdly rich billionaires.

So, on point 2 I want to point out that unequal pay is usually justified by the argument that the people at the top are thought to "own" the company, while the people at the bottom are not. But the value produced by the company wouldn't be produced if not for the efforts of everyone involved. And when the income derived from that value is unevenly distributed, the people at the top get better outcomes than the people at the bottom, who are subject to misery, sickness, and death as a direct result of poverty.


Precisely, which is why I don't worship at the alter of Capitalism, nor do I delude myself that Capitalists countries are meritocracies.


Depends on your definition of meritocracy. Competition is a ruthless optimizer and many a once wealthy individual, family, or corporation has learned the hard way you can't sustain success by pure inertia. Free markets force the best methods and products to rise to the top.

Now there's an element of luck as to which people develop those best methods and products. A lot of right place, right time to success stories.


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03 Sep 2019, 2:11 pm

For me, locally, wealth means I get to live in a nice, safe neighborhood.

I am filled with a sense of superiority.

I am filled with a sense that my life is more valuable than others.


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