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Old 8th Nov 2012, 00:24   #281
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Originally Posted by DXR_13KE View Post
And here is where the USA is at this moment in time. It has the choice of making regulation to stop monopolies and oligarchies but instead feeds them and gives them power. If the government tries to make regulation against this they are called communist and everyone cries for deregulation.
This might shed some light on that topic.

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Old 8th Nov 2012, 03:00   #282
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Old 8th Nov 2012, 05:58   #283
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No surprise he lost... POOR GUY DIDNT HAVE A CHANCE!!!! (It was rigged and planned)
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Old 8th Nov 2012, 08:47   #284
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No surprise he lost... POOR GUY DIDNT HAVE A CHANCE!!!! (It was rigged and planned)
That is a joke right?

According to the statisticians the result was as expected. All of the close race guff came from commentators with their own agenda guessing.

I saw an interview with a statistician, from Berkleey University IIRC, last night. Extrapolating the data from polls close to voting day has proven very reliable in predicting the outcoming of the previous few elections.

He and his ilk were some of the few who predicted the larger win for Obama. Of course their voices were drowned out, at least he got invited over to predict the next UK election - we may be able to get away from some of the vacuous hot air that flies around during election time.

One thing I'm sure everyone in the US can be pleased about is that you won't have to suffer political adverts being rammed down your throat every 5 minutes now.
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Old 8th Nov 2012, 14:40   #285
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One thing I'm sure everyone in the US can be pleased about is that you won't have to suffer political adverts being rammed down your throat every 5 minutes now.
This quote is worth $10,000. I don't have cable/satellite TV so I was pretty insulated and I STILL could not wait until it was over.

(now if the "discussions" on facebook would just get back to normal...)
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Old 9th Nov 2012, 00:05   #286
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Also consider this: capitalism sells baby milk powder in developing countries to mothers who would do better to just breast feed their babies. It sells expensive oral rehydration powders to hospitals when a spoon of salt and sugar will do the same trick. And just look at the Ford Pinto scandal to see market forces at work. In all those cases the customer is actually harmed by the transaction. Assymetry of information, moral hazard; all such factors skew choice in the free market.


All that is true, but capitalism has its own myths we should be aware of:

1 - The market is free (there is an equal balance of choice, which is valid and informed)
2 - Hence everybody is equally empowered to put their own interests first
3 - Hence capitalism is never a zero-sum game: both parties benefit more than they would have if the transaction had not occured.
Again, where is it ever suggested that there is an equal balance of choice, or that it's even required? Also, why do you assert that force and fraud is exclusive to a market structured society? Capitalism is an idea that ACKNOWLEDGES the fact that people will seek profit and sometimes even use force/fraud within any socio-economic system, it's not something that only markets encourage. Free-markets provide the spontaneous mechanism to deal with this whilst avoiding the moral hazards and economic calculation problem, that inevitably come with a government arranged measure.

There are reasons why in our current non-free market society that is prevented from occurring, and how exactly such a system could generally prevent and deal with the extreme circumstances that you cite, but to be honest I can't be bothered to delve into that in this post. I just thought you should at least know what the philosophy is that you have a few certain misgivings about.

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Old 9th Nov 2012, 02:30   #287
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Strange how some people believe that the solution to our economic woes is more free marketism, when most of the problems that led to a recession were due to a lack of regulation of banking.

Free market ideology in its purer forms is as dangerous and ill advisable as communist ideology in relation to the economy and the interests of the people.

Lack of regulation/control of the market lwads to economic instability monopolisation, greater inequality, plutocracy, sheer poverty and stagnant wages at the bottom of society.

The ills of communism have already been seen,
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Old 9th Nov 2012, 12:41   #288
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Originally Posted by Er-El View Post
Again, where is it ever suggested that there is an equal balance of choice, or that it's even required? Also, why do you assert that force and fraud is exclusive to a market structured society? Capitalism is an idea that ACKNOWLEDGES the fact that people will seek profit and sometimes even use force/fraud within any socio-economic system, it's not something that only markets encourage. Free-markets provide the spontaneous mechanism to deal with this whilst avoiding the moral hazards and economic calculation problem, that inevitably come with a government arranged measure.

There are reasons why in our current non-free market society that is prevented from occurring, and how exactly such a system could generally prevent and deal with the extreme circumstances that you cite, but to be honest I can't be bothered to delve into that in this post. I just thought you should at least know what the philosophy is that you have a few certain misgivings about.
I did not have time to respond to the thread properly yesterday but Er-El has said it much more succinctly then I would have. Capitalism does not promote exploitation or benevolence, that is the choice of the individuals involved.

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Strange how some people believe that the solution to our economic woes is more free marketism, when most of the problems that led to a recession were due to a lack of regulation of banking.

Free market ideology in its purer forms is as dangerous and ill advisable as communist ideology in relation to the economy and the interests of the people.

Lack of regulation/control of the market lwads to economic instability monopolisation, greater inequality, plutocracy, sheer poverty and stagnant wages at the bottom of society.

The ills of communism have already been seen,
I agree with you to a point and until recently would have agreed with you completely. My interest in economics began when I wanted to find out what caused the recent financial meltdown. What I learned shocked me, particularly the behavior of the financial sector and the US government responses to it and I have numerous posts in serious discussion calling for better regulation. How ever the more I learn the more my point of view changes. Eddie_dane pointed out in other threads that we should appreciate the role the US government had in creating the sub-prime property bubble. I was completely ignorant of the US housing market and although I had heard of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac I did not know what they did. Now I have read more about them the more I realise what a major part government intervention into the housing market played in creating the bubble.

In the US, the housing market had effectively self regulated itself with out issues for decades until government intervention in the name of "affordable-housing" created the sub-prime bubble. The bonds and securities created from the sub-prime mortgages were traded on Wall street and spread the fallout from a localised housing bubble onto the global markets. Sub-prime mortgages and the investments created from them were a new invention and were there fore hard for the rating agencies to accurately assess. Looking at the history of conventional mortgages and the data available at the time on sub-prime foreclosures and delinquincies they looked to be safe investments, especially as they were backed by Fannie and Freddie who were in turn backed by the US treasury (and were exempt from the financial rules and regulations private institutions had to adhere too). There are hundreds of rating agencies in the US but only three were authorised by the SEC so with no competition there is less need to innovate and develop new models of assessing risk. A salient example of government regulation interfering with the free market.

So, given the above, why do you think government regulation would have the seen the oncoming crisis (which it played a significant part in creating) when the vast majority of the financial sector didn't? Which part of the process should the regulators oversee?

I think regulation is vital but the the answer is not necessarily more regulation. Who does the regulation? What do they regulate? How do they regulate? These are all vitally important questions. If we want to avoid another crisis lik the one we are all living through now then we have to get to the truth of what actually happened. Yes, corruption, greed and predatory lending in the financial sector played their part but politicians and their interference played an equally large part which most of us are unaware of.

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Old 9th Nov 2012, 13:06   #289
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The problem, i think, is when there are laws that are created with basis on ideology instead of facts and numbers.
I think that there is a need for regulation and equality of regulation, but this regulation has to be well made and well thought of. There is nothing worse than lobby money changing regulation to serve some companies and screw the others.

Serious question: Why isn't lobby money considered a bribe?
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Old 9th Nov 2012, 14:39   #290
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Originally Posted by Er-El View Post
Again, where is it ever suggested that there is an equal balance of choice, or that it's even required? Also, why do you assert that force and fraud is exclusive to a market structured society? Capitalism is an idea that ACKNOWLEDGES the fact that people will seek profit and sometimes even use force/fraud within any socio-economic system, it's not something that only markets encourage. Free-markets provide the spontaneous mechanism to deal with this whilst avoiding the moral hazards and economic calculation problem, that inevitably come with a government arranged measure.

There are reasons why in our current non-free market society that is prevented from occurring, and how exactly such a system could generally prevent and deal with the extreme circumstances that you cite, but to be honest I can't be bothered to delve into that in this post. I just thought you should at least know what the philosophy is that you have a few certain misgivings about.
I think you misunderstand my argument. You are essentially saying that capitalism is amoral. I'm saying that this is exactly the problem. That does not mean that I think that other systems presuming to incorporate a moral dimension (e.g. Communism) are free from fraud, but you should not think that being amoral neatly sidesteps the issue of (im)morality. Denial is not a river in Egypt.
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Old 9th Nov 2012, 21:42   #291
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I think you misunderstand my argument. You are essentially saying that capitalism is amoral. I'm saying that this is exactly the problem. That does not mean that I think that other systems presuming to incorporate a moral dimension (e.g. Communism) are free from fraud, but you should not think that being amoral neatly sidesteps the issue of (im)morality. Denial is not a river in Egypt.
That wasn't particularly the point of my last post, but just to counter specifically your argument that it assumes equality of choice (this is untrue, it doesn't), and that it has nothing to offer in terms of preventing/dealing with immoral acts such as fraud, environmental damage, etc.
But, seeing as you stress the importance of morality, which I can appreciate, I will add that that's not the same as suggesting free market 'system' is moral either, because like Da_Rude_Baboon, I maintain that morality can only be judged on an individual basis; on ethics and someone's actions. Therefore arguing which socio-economic system is moral is fallacious. The difference with free-markets compared to other political/philosophical theories is that it respects your right to be moral, whilst peacefully penalising those who are immoral by making it unprofitable.

*how many times did I use that word now?*

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Old 10th Nov 2012, 08:33   #292
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Old 10th Nov 2012, 12:45   #293
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That wasn't particularly the point of my last post, but just to counter specifically your argument that it assumes equality of choice (this is untrue, it doesn't), and that it has nothing to offer in terms of preventing/dealing with immoral acts such as fraud, environmental damage, etc.
But, seeing as you stress the importance of morality, which I can appreciate, I will add that that's not the same as suggesting free market 'system' is moral either, because like Da_Rude_Baboon, I maintain that morality can only be judged on an individual basis; on ethics and someone's actions. Therefore arguing which socio-economic system is moral is fallacious. The difference with free-markets compared to other political/philosophical theories is that it respects your right to be moral, whilst peacefully penalising those who are immoral by making it unprofitable.

*how many times did I use that word now?*
I am arguing that people assume an equality of choice in capitalism, which is illustrated by calling its market a "free market". As participants not necessarily have a realistic choice to engage in a transaction, that is a misnomer.

Furthermore (im)moral behaviour can only occur in relation to another human being (and if you're that way inclined philosophically, other lifeforms). You cannot act morally if you are the only person on an uninhabited island. Hence moral behaviour does not occur in an individual context but in a context of human relationships (you may act in isolation and be morally judged only by yourself, but the morality of your behaviour is still about how it will affect others). A socio-economic system is a system of human relationships, which is a description of a set of human behaviours. As such it very much has as much a moral dimension as any behaviour between humans does. Indeed such human relationship systems can by their inherent morality foster moral or immoral behaviour (not convinced? Ask Zimbardo).

Capitalism allows people to act morally, but it also allows them to act immorally. There is a reasonable presumption of social control by people judging with their wallet, so to speak, which may make honesty and virtue a good business policy. But as I said: the market does not necessarily have an equality of choice and hence not all customers can exert their moral judgement with their wallet. Immoral behaviour is not necessarily punished, and moral behaviour not necessarily rewarded.
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Old 10th Nov 2012, 17:20   #294
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Is this normal in the USA?
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Old 11th Nov 2012, 11:49   #295
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I'd imagine the people who chose to attend a political rally are all well to one extreme as in this country. Combine that with taking small sound bites and you can tarnish pretty much any group.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/155285/at...andidates.aspx
Polls do show that its a fairly widespread problem though.
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Old 11th Nov 2012, 13:17   #296
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Why the atheist hate? I would figure it would be a positive trait for a government that should and must be separate from religion.
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Old 11th Nov 2012, 14:05   #297
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Atheists being even less popular than Muslims and homosexuals surprised me too when I first saw that poll. I still can't think of a good reason why.
Unless the view that atheists have no morality is really that prevalent?
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Old 11th Nov 2012, 14:16   #298
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Unless the view that atheists have no morality is really that prevalent?
<redneck christian logic hat>You know, they probably view Muslims as "mistaken" in their choice of prophet, but still worshipping one God in the end. Homosexuals ? That is a curable non-transferable disease. But atheists ? They don't believe in the god, so they must be at least worshipers of Satan, if not worse.</redneck christian logic hat>

*the lines above are not my viewpoint, but a probable approximation of a logic behind that poll.
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Old 11th Nov 2012, 16:35   #299
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I am arguing that people assume an equality of choice in capitalism, which is illustrated by calling its market a "free market". As participants not necessarily have a realistic choice to engage in a transaction, that is a misnomer.
You seem to continue digging at this equal choice straw man. It doesn't matter what people assume, some people like in the video above think you can be a muslim and an atheist at the same time, doesn't make it true though. What actual free-market theory states is that there
is a choice because you are not being coerced by an uninvited third party or even first party, and that it is the best means to increase choice. Apart from both participants ending up better off than before, nothing else is ever claimed about the outcome. Any exchange which does not fit that basic ethical standard of no force and no fraud, does not qualify as a free-market transaction.
Every one of us is driven by circumstance, and some individuals/societies are more productive than others for perfectly explainable reasons. So if you're arguing from that perspective then you're not really arguing from principle. Still, I agree it does depend in what context you use the word 'free'.

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Furthermore (im)moral behaviour can only occur in relation to another human being (and if you're that way inclined philosophically, other lifeforms). You cannot act morally if you are the only person on an uninhabited island. Hence moral behaviour does not occur in an individual context but in a context of human relationships (you may act in isolation and be morally judged only by yourself, but the morality of your behaviour is still about how it will affect others).
This doesn't contradict anything. Of course a crime can only be committed in relation to someone else but only individuals participate in an immoral act.

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Originally Posted by Nexxo View Post
A socio-economic system is a system of human relationships, which is a description of a set of human behaviours. As such it very much has as much a moral dimension as any behaviour between humans does. Indeed such human relationship systems can by their inherent morality foster moral or immoral behaviour (not convinced? Ask Zimbardo).
Most other political theories describe very little about human relationships because of their top-down hierarchical nature. Sure, the fact that the people vote for a large welfare state and politicians make pledges based on it to attract votes might suggest that the general public are morally good, but it doesn't demonstrate any morally good behaviour in terms of our relationships between one another.

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Originally Posted by Nexxo View Post
Capitalism allows people to act morally, but it also allows them to act immorally. There is a reasonable presumption of social control by people judging with their wallet, so to speak, which may make honesty and virtue a good business policy. But as I said: the market does not necessarily have an equality of choice and hence not all customers can exert their moral judgement with their wallet. Immoral behaviour is not necessarily punished, and moral behaviour not necessarily rewarded.
When I referred to businesses being penalised in a free-market for coercive or fraudulent actions I didn't quite mean appealing to their emotions, pleading them to stop, and start cute little petitions hoping they'll change their mind, and not necessarily voting with our money either. But that's a really big can of worms which I'm being careful to avoid. Look it up. It's just worth considering if maybe, just maybe, sometimes the threat of prison isn't only way to solve these problems. That to me seems like a good start for establishing this moral dimension.

A large extent of contemporary social inequality is caused by the government, when you consider the cost of basics goods such as housing fuelled by government and central bank policy, extortionate tuition fees due to guaranteed loans with zero interest rates, the cost of energy thanks to distortion of prices and inflation from a non-free market currency; I could go on. So even from a positive rights perspective such as yours, it has a far better track record of improving outcomes and making us 'free'. But as you might have guessed, we don't exactly live in a liberal, laissez-faire utopia right now

Last edited by Er-El; 11th Nov 2012 at 17:57.
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Old 11th Nov 2012, 18:07   #300
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Originally Posted by Er-El View Post
What actual free-market theory states is that there
is a choice because you are not being coerced by an uninvited third party or even first party, and that it is the best means to increase choice. Apart from both participants ending up better off than before, nothing else is ever claimed about the outcome. Any exchange which does not fit that basic ethical standard of no force and no fraud, does not qualify as a free-market transaction.
And again, that is a nice ideal but not a reflection of reality. Certain choices are not really a choice, and where there is deliberate asymmetry of information there is fraud. These issues which are central to the whole notion of a free market are common occurrences and there are no inherent checks or balances in capitalism.

Just claiming that this is how it works in principle does not make it a reality.

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Originally Posted by Er-El View Post
This doesn't contradict anything. Of course a crime can only be committed in relation to someone else but only individuals participate in an immoral act.
So people acting as a group would behave in exactly the same way as individuals?

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Originally Posted by Er-El View Post
Most other political theories describe very little about human relationships because of their top-down hierarchical nature. Sure, the fact that the people vote for a large welfare state and politicians make pledges based on it to attract votes might suggest that the general public are morally good, but it doesn't demonstrate any morally good behaviour in terms of our relationships between one another.
It is way more complicated than that. But given that most people operate morally on a social approval basis (it's good when society approves; it's bad when society disapproves) there is most definitely a relationship between political systems and how people behave morally.

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Originally Posted by Er-El View Post
When I referred to businesses being penalised in a free-market for coercive or fraudulent actions I didn't quite mean appealing to their emotions, pleading them to stop, and start cute little petitions hoping they'll change their mind, and not necessarily voting with our money either. But that's a really big can of worms which I'm being careful to avoid. Look it up. It's just worth considering if maybe, just maybe, sometimes the threat of prison isn't only way to solve these problems. That to me seems like a good start for establishing this moral dimension.

A large extent of contemporary social inequality is caused by the government, when you consider the cost of basics goods such as housing fuelled by government and central bank policy, extortionate tuition fees due to guaranteed loans with zero interest rates, the cost of energy thanks to distortion of prices and inflation from a non-free market currency; I could go on. So even from a positive rights perspective such as yours, it has a far better track record of improving outcomes and making us 'free'. But as you might have guessed, we don't exactly live in a liberal, laissez-faire utopia right now.
And of course banks, if left to it, don't fix Libor rates. Companies don't price fix. Big Pharma does not hide bad test results. I could go on too. Just because government control is dumb, inefficient or corrupt does not mean that no control is better. If you wind back to the Victorian age for a good look, you might see why we have labour laws, health and safety laws, food and drug quality controls and building regulations, utility regulations and health care regulations. You are taking an awful lot of this for granted, chugging away behind the scenes to make your life safer and healthier, and it all exists because experience has shown us that you can't trust a free market to regulate itself.

You are a bit like people who moan about paying taxes while they are walking down rubbish-free, well-lit streets at night in relative safety. You don't quite realise what a true unregulated free market looks like in the raw.
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