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  • #91
    Him, your thoughts are very interesting and also in line with things I have been thinking about lately. The "problem" of automation only has to be a problem if we refuse to reconsider our basic assumptions about the way our economy works. At some point we have to realize that if there are enough goods and services available for everyone, but no one has a job because machines do everything, that it makes no sense to allow only the owners of the machines to profit from their products.

    I've been thinking about the idea of a "basic income" for all citizens for a while now. To me it seems like the advantages are clear: you're basically ensuring a baseline level of demand, because everyone has access to a regular income, and your're also freeing basically everyone to take long-term creative risks with no clear payoff, which can only be a boon to discovery, innovation and art in my opinion.

    I'm not quite sure I'm clear on what your head tax idea entails, but I think I just need to go back and reread it again. I love the idea of open-enrollment government, though. Absolutely brilliant, and very voluntarist, which resonates with me strongly. Thanks for putting your thoughts down so thoroughly!

    EDIT: OK, I read it again and I think I've got it. But I have an objection that you may be able to answer. What happens when someone has a child and doesn't pay the tax? Either through deceit (not reporting the birth or whatever) or simple lack of means? I suppose if everyone has a trust fund, the Kernel Gov (I love that name, btw) could simply garnish future trust income against the balance of head tax owed for as long as necessary? It's definitely an interesting idea. But what if someone has 14 kids and they deplete all of their "birth wealth"? Who pays?

    I think due to the fact that this will be pretty rare (most people have no interest in having that many children!), we could get away with simply publicly insuring against non-payment--basically maintain a public fund that will support the head-tax cost for any children whose parents are incapable of paying it. This is a concern for me because I could easily see an "unpaid child" growing up denied access to services or stigmatized through no fault of his/her own, or without the basic income stream that everyone else is entitled to.
    Last edited by Uncephalized; 01-25-2013, 11:19 AM.
    Today I will: Eat food, not poison. Plan for success, not settle for failure. Live my real life, not a virtual one. Move and grow, not sit and die.

    My Primal Journal

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    • #92
      Originally posted by Him View Post
      Only if 100% of the value is generated by the workers. Since workers alone (without materials, equipment, sales channels, etc.) don't generate any value, that is clearly false.
      Not 100% of the value but 100% of the value added. IE, if $10 worth of leather is turned into $90 shoes, $80 is generated by workers, who take home less than that. Unless, of course, the owner's not interested in profits.

      Comment


      • #93
        Originally posted by Rojo View Post
        Not 100% of the value but 100% of the value added. IE, if $10 worth of leather is turned into $90 shoes, $80 is generated by workers, who take home less than that.
        Nope. Under your theory a worker who makes shoes, some of which are branded Nike and sold for $90, and others branded J-Mart and sold for $30, would be responsible for the $60 retail price difference between functionally identical products. Likewise, a worker told to make shoes in really ugly colors would be responsible for the fact that they didn't sell at all and would owe the factory for following instructions.

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        • #94
          Originally posted by Him View Post
          Nope. Under your theory a worker who makes shoes, some of which are branded Nike and sold for $90, and others branded J-Mart and sold for $30, would be responsible for the $60 retail price difference between functionally identical products. Likewise, a worker told to make shoes in really ugly colors would be responsible for the fact that they didn't sell at all and would owe the factory for following instructions.
          First, it's not "my theory". Marx, Ricardo and Adam Smith all had varied but similar "labor theories of value".

          Second, in the scenario above the brand doesn't matter much if there's no actual shoe. And the brand is also created by workers.

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          • #95
            Originally posted by Uncephalized View Post
            I've been thinking about the idea of a "basic income" for all citizens for a while now. To me it seems like the advantages are clear: you're basically ensuring a baseline level of demand, because everyone has access to a regular income, and your're also freeing basically everyone to take long-term creative risks with no clear payoff, which can only be a boon to discovery, innovation and art in my opinion.
            In Agrarian Justice, Thomas Paine advocates a guaranteed income to compensate for the fact that private property has denied many people of their natural birthright to the earth's bounty.

            Guaranteed income has a surprising history. Martin Luther King, John Kenneth Galbraith, Milton Friedman and Friedrick von Hayek have all advocated it.

            However, I'd like to see us lower the work week. Productivity shouldn't be a problem. We just need to leverage it to give us something we could all use --- more time.

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            • #96
              Originally posted by Rojo View Post
              First, it's not "my theory". Marx, Ricardo and Adam Smith all had varied but similar "labor theories of value".
              Actually, it was your theory. Smith et al may have had similar theories, but I was addressing yours. I specified yours because I didn't want anyone to mistakenly believe I was addressing Smith's theory when the errors I was pointing out are owned by you.

              Originally posted by Rojo View Post
              Second, in the scenario above the brand doesn't matter much if there's no actual shoe. And the brand is also created by workers.
              So to start....you don't need workers to make a shoe. Not any more.

              To end: Both claims are false.

              Consider Polaroid. After they were totally kaput, had no products, no labor, people were still willing to pay tens of millions of dollars for them. Why? For the brand. The buyers slapped the Polaroid name/logo on generic made-in-China products and made a lot of money BECAUSE the brand (not the shoes) increased the value. The brand was worth a lot, even with no shoe (product).

              Second: What worker(s) created the value of the Brittany Spears brand? People have paid her millions of dollars to use her name on their products (products she had little or nothing to do with). That brand was created by managers and artists - the professional class - not by labor.

              When it comes down to it, workers do not provide ANY of the value. Not one jot. Value is entirely a measure of what buyers are willing to pay. Workers can INFLUENCE value (not provide it) in that people are often willing to pay more for well made products, or less for crap, but at the end of the day the entire value of a product boils down to this: How much is someone willing to pay, right now, for this item? A bottle of water makes a great example. It takes essentially zero labor to manufacture (all done by machines) and most of the time it's worth basically nothing. I wouldn't pay $0.10 for one right now. However, in the right circumstances (after several days in the desert), that bottle of water would be extremely valuable. It's all a matter of what the buyer is wiling to pay. Labor, distribution/merchant, design/creation, management/planning, marketing/advertising all influence the buyer, but value itself is determined 100% by the buyer.

              Which brings us to our snazzy word of the day: Synergy. The idea that combined efforts can/do yield more than the sum of the individual contributions. Labor contributes 25%, management/investment 25%, distribution/sales 25%, government 25%... but the output is 105%. That's what you are missing with your theory.
              Last edited by Him; 01-25-2013, 02:49 PM.

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              • #97
                Originally posted by Kris C View Post
                I already have political issues. I am generally more a liberal, but I am a military officer's wife (the military world is quite conservative and due to my husband's job I keep very quiet about my own beliefs to make his life easier; I don't want my opinions to be a reflection on my husband who does not always share my opinion). I am an atheist surrounded (especially now living in SC) by very religious people (again, the military is populated with very evangelical people, or if not evangelical, very vocal about their beliefs). I have homeschooled (difficult to find a secular curriculum to use as guidance) and returned the kids to public school. I am a consumer and do find I have to make compromises, even if it does sometimes bother me, but no compromise is easy. I have a family and obligations to them because I chose to have and love this family. And yes, sometimes I feel my Primal-ness reminds me of the politics out there and I feel torn. As if they all didn't think I was nuts already...
                If it makes you feel any better I am an enlisted Marine corps wife, and I am a Paleo wiccan, so I can relate! hahaha. But we have a naval officer friend that I met through other independant hobbies and recently at my house she saw some of my paleo/primal cookbooks and got all excited because she had heard of it and had wanted to try it she has been gaining weight slowly and steadily and asked me how it has been. We chatted for awhile about the basics. Not sure if she will go through with it, but definately not condeming either

                But in SC yeah, good old boy very traditional area. We are in SoCal, different atmosphere I think.

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                • #98
                  Originally posted by Him View Post
                  Second: What worker(s) created the value of the Brittany Spears brand? People have paid her millions of dollars to use her name on their products (products she had little or nothing to do with). That brand was created by managers and artists - the professional class - not by labor.
                  Managers and artists are workers. The people who made Polaroid cameras and the Polariod brand are workers -- workers who made the brand worth something even after Polaroid stopped making cameras.

                  Honestly, I didn't realize I'd have to point this stuff out to you. I suggest you brush up on your political economy -- which is far different than Investment Business Daily articles.

                  Comment


                  • #99
                    Originally posted by Rojo View Post
                    Managers and artists are workers. The people who made Polaroid cameras and the Polariod brand are workers -- workers who made the brand worth something even after Polaroid stopped making cameras.

                    Honestly, I didn't realize I'd have to point this stuff out to you. I suggest you brush up on your political economy -- which is far different than Investment Business Daily articles.
                    I assume "Investment Business Daily" was a dig but I've never heard of it so you are totally off the mark there. I'd brush up on political economy but honestly it doesn't interest me much. The people who use that term are usually Karl throwbacks, which means wrong in ways you have demonstrated.

                    Managers and artists are not workers in the "making shoes" sense.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Rojo View Post
                      First, it's not "my theory". Marx, Ricardo and Adam Smith all had varied but similar "labor theories of value".
                      Yes, but Ricardo and Adam Smith did not attribute the additional value to labor.
                      "When the search for truth is confused with political advocacy, the pursuit of knowledge is reduced to the quest for power." - Alston Chase

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Rojo View Post
                        Guaranteed income has a surprising history. Martin Luther King, John Kenneth Galbraith, Milton Friedman and Friedrick von Hayek have all advocated it.
                        NO they have not all advocated it. Please stop make falsely claimed attributes.
                        "When the search for truth is confused with political advocacy, the pursuit of knowledge is reduced to the quest for power." - Alston Chase

                        Comment


                        • You probably will but you made my day

                          Originally posted by Cryptocode View Post
                          Most interesting Comments, but no one has responded to my question "What would your perfect ideal America look like and how would it function?"

                          For those of profound humorlessness or lack of imagination I offer this:

                          The Americans With No Abilities Act*

                          *President Barack Obama and the Democratic Senate are considering sweeping legislation that will provide new benefits for many Americans. The Americans With No Abilities Act is being hailed as a major legislative goal by advocates of the millions of Americans who lack any real skills or ambition.*

                          *"Roughly 50 percent of Americans do not possess the competence and drive necessary to carve out a meaningful role for themselves in society," said
                          California Sen. Barbara Boxer. "We can no longer stand by and allow People of Inability (POI) to be ridiculed and passed over. * *With this legislation, employers will no longer be able to grant special favors to a small group of workers simply because they have some idea of what they are doing."*

                          *In a Capitol Hill press conference, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pointed to the success of the U.S. Postal Service, which has a long-standing policy of providing opportunity without regard to performance. *

                          *At the state government level, the Department of Motor Vehicles also has an excellent record of hiring Persons with No Ability (63 percent).*

                          *Under the Americans With No Abilities Act, more than 25 million mid-level positions will be created, with important-sounding titles but little real responsibility, thus providing an illusory sense of purpose and performance.*
                          *Mandatory non-performance-based raises and promotions will be given to
                          guarantee upward mobility for even the most unremarkable employees. *

                          *The legislation provides substantial tax breaks to corporations that
                          promote a significant number of Persons of Inability (POI) into
                          middle-management positions, and give a tax credit to small and
                          medium-sized businesses that agree to hire one clueless worker for every
                          two talented hires.*

                          *Finally, the Americans With No Abilities Act contains tough new measures
                          to make it more difficult to discriminate against the non-abled; for
                          example, banning discriminatory interview questions such as, "Do you have
                          any skills or experience that relate to this job?"*

                          *"As a non-abled person, I can't be expected to keep up with people who
                          have something going for them," said Mary Lou Gertz, who lost her position
                          as a lug-nut twister at the GM plant in Flint, Mich., due to her inability
                          to remember righty tighty, lefty loosey. "This new law should be real good
                          for people like me. I'll finally have job security." *

                          *With the passage of this bill, Gertz and millions of other untalented
                          citizens will finally see a light at the end of the tunnel.*

                          *Said Senator Dick Durbin: "As a senator with no abilities, I believe the
                          same privileges that elected officials enjoy ought to be extended to every
                          American with no abilities. It is our duty as lawmakers to provide each and
                          every American citizen, regardless of his or her inadequacy, with some sort
                          of space to take up in this great nation and a good salary for doing so."*

                          - - - - - - - - - -

                          Sorry, I just couldn't help myself. I know I'm going to really regret this!
                          You know all those things you wanted to do: You should go do them.

                          Age 48
                          height 5'3
                          SW 215 lbs
                          CW 180 lbs (whole foods/primal eating)
                          LW 172 lbs
                          GW 125ish lbs

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Cryptocode View Post
                            NO they have not all advocated it. Please stop make falsely claimed attributes.
                            In his 1994 "autobiographical dialog" Friedrich Hayek stated "I have always said that I am in favor of a minimum income for every person in the country."

                            MLK: I am now convinced that the simplest approach will prove to be the most effective — the solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income.
                            —from the chapter titled "Where We Are Going"

                            Friedman proposed the Negative Income Tax:

                            In economics, a negative income tax (abbreviated NIT) is a progressive income tax system where people earning below a certain amount receive supplemental pay from the government instead of paying taxes to the government. Such a system has been discussed by economists but never fully implemented. It was developed by British politician Juliet Rhys-Williams in the 1940s[1] and later when United States economist Milton Friedman combined NIT with his flat tax proposals.[2]

                            Comment


                            • Rojo heres Mises on upstream. It's a class for HS live and may be a good review.
                              Mises.tv on USTREAM: Live lectures and seminars presented by the Ludwig von Mises Institute, the world center of the Austrian School of economics and liber...

                              Please review The Possibility of Private Law - Robert P. Murphy - Mises Daily and http://archive.mises.org/18395/can-t...ce-and-courts/
                              Which presents a view of the private security, law, and court system.

                              Overall I think you'all are greatly diminishing the value of real money. If you have not read "The Ethics of Money Production" please do. It will break your heart.

                              I have been trying to remember the name of a famous man in the late 18th or early 19th century who made a very good living by working 1 day a week - if he did in fact need more money. He supported a wife and 5 children in come class (for the time).

                              Before I retired I was sad about my future, I wanted to continue working. After 2 years of retirement I was angry that everyone couldn't retire by 50 or earlier. And if we had real money we certainly could.

                              Now to recent comments on numbers of people (available and needed) and classes of income in the future. Today we have way to many people for our territoral land to support. We cannot sustainably continue with this many people. (Remember my years of civic duty in environmental planning.) Our Gov'ts continually want more people because our Federal Reserve continually pumps money into the economy. When they pump more than the real GDP growth, the money is devalued, but it also stimulates politicians to believe more workers are needed to push up the GDP growth. It's madness.

                              There is no need for any GDP growth. With real money and no taxes people who worked, for themselves or others, would grow richer, and simultaneously the value of that money would increase.

                              To change the subject slightly, please all consider adding our culture and society into the business and lifestyle discussions. In HIM's proposal they are missing, they were in mine also. Neither of us went that deeply. But HIM seems to want more personal mobility.

                              I distinguish between the words culture and society, yet i'm not sure exactly what definitions I'm using. I'd say that America has a culture of Family and Community; Mexico has a culture of Family and Extended Family; Iran has a tribal culture; Scotland had a clan and tribe culture. That the culture is the basic factor promoting and supporting life. Whereas Society or the social system includes work habits, lifestyle (outside the family maybe), leisure activities, etc. Class by income may then be a social factor or a choice between higher income or higher savings.

                              I agree that our means of wealth production are changing greatly and will continue on that path. And I can easily imagine small towns, surrounded by family farms, with local merchants and a few industrial businesses in each. Herein the town people might work not more than 1/2 day, or less, in any occupation. Huge cities, like huge corporations, would be gone. That is far to great a drain on surrounding environmental resources.

                              Many more people could be artisans, they don't all have to be stars or in entertainment. I'd much rather have a hand-made shoe which I would be able to afford,and used to bea ble to afford, but can't today; than to have a mass-production shoe. This is already happening. The stupidly high cost of Universities is resulting in more students switching to what used to be called trade schools, and in earlier centuries, apprentice-ships. These resulted in classes of tradesmen such as Master Butcher (Germany) and Master Baker (France) and wouldn't I love to have them in my town. The mass production and mass consumption businesses would slowly loose customers and as these customers became more selective and as the human population growth rate slowed or reversed. I see this trend as very similar to that of switching from feed-lot beef to GF beef.

                              Back to HIM's proposal. On considering your geographic state replacements, I don't see any significant difference between them and my private companies. The one difference is that those state (businesses) would have a board of governors elected by the customers of that business. Otherwise, both are simply offering one or more services.

                              I guess my biggest concern is that I don't think a society and culture can be sustained with out personal (face to face) contact as the basis.
                              Last edited by Cryptocode; 01-25-2013, 04:44 PM.
                              "When the search for truth is confused with political advocacy, the pursuit of knowledge is reduced to the quest for power." - Alston Chase

                              Comment


                              • Thank you Rojo, perhaps I was wrong.
                                But can you give me a link to the Hayek quote?
                                "When the search for truth is confused with political advocacy, the pursuit of knowledge is reduced to the quest for power." - Alston Chase

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