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Jon Southall

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About Jon Southall

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  • Birthday 12/06/80

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  1. I happened across this article: http://thefederalist.com/2016/12/14/inside-donald-trumps-secret-ayn-rand-conspiracy/ My initial reaction was one of incredulity. Then laughter. I felt I must share it here as I know you are all secretly Trump lovers.
  2. Thank you for the discussion so far. I liked reading your reasoning for what might come next. Some have looked at what Objectivism can be attributed with so far; interesting context but would be good to go further and explore where you think it is going. Also in terms of not winning the cultural battle yet, is this something you would like to see happen? What do you think it might take?
  3. I am genuinely interested to know what your views are on the future of Objectivism. There are different ways you could go about answering this; as long as it is constructive you can answer it how you choose. For some examples, your focus might be the practical application of the philosophy to how you live your life. It might be more to do with expanding the influence of Objectivism. It might be creating a new community. To what extent do you think its possible in your lifetime?
  4. Snerd, could you at least try to be a bit more discriminating before casting aspersions.
  5. Certainly the explosion of mortgage lending injected a lot of money into economy and helped fuel it. Of course increasing the supply ought to reduce prices, but that assumes there aren't also shifts in demand that are pushing prices back up. Certainly changes in lending criteria unleashed additional demand. I doubt the cost of building condominiums rose significantly in the run up to the bubble bursting, but the land value did. Economic rents were therefore rising. This drove up poverty and undermined entrepreneurism to the extent there was a massive recession. George's relationship is: 1. Production = Labour + Capital + Land 2. Wealth = Wages + Interest + Economic Rent 3. Wealth - Economic Rent = Wages + Interest. As economic rents rose, it necessarily reduced the share of production which is enjoyed by workers and entrepreneurs - despite the truth that all production was a consequence of them. When interest (meaning here return to capital) and wages moved towards levels of subsistence living or below, economic activity started to collapse. A land value tax diminishes the demand for economic rents, consequently land value increases won't be fuelled by customers having a greater disposable income. The existence of a land value tax doesn't mean the house prices would not have had a tendency to rise under increasing demand, but it would have reduced the costs faced by property developers as well as incentivising rapid development and land use optimisation. Also those developers would have retained more of the revenues from putting up condos. Under a free market this would have attracted more developers to supply more, so meeting rising demand without prices becoming unaffordable for home buyers or developers alike. The land value tax has to hit as much of the economic rents as possible but without taxing any property.
  6. According to this article, there is a realisation that property tax rises can be used to dampen the effects of house price inflation: http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-11/property-tax-rise-could-reduce-house-price-booms-and-busts/8018790 I disagree with this article because it is not precise. In application, a "property" tax applies to the value of land and the value of property. To the extent it falls on land value alone, the tax will reduce the likelihood of house price booms, but the efficacy will depend on the tax rate relative to the value of land. A fixed property tax rate for example may reduce house price inflation in Medway but have no real impact in London, because the relative value of land is unequal. The problem with a property tax is that it is too indiscriminate. If they tax just the land value, there will be no adverse economic impacts and indeed it will reduce house price inflation. They need to isolate that the tax needs to be less than or equal to the economic rent in order to have its desired effect.
  7. Take it up with Mr Swig. In his judgement, Gary Johnson is the closest to an Objectivist candidate in the USA. I had no reason to suspect his judgement was wrong - and he may wish to defend his evaluation. Whether it is Gary Johnson or not, the point is it ought to be a candidate who best represents what your values are. Does Clinton or Trump even come close to that? Not in my estimation.
  8. Yes, I see the problem. To get an Objectivist elected as president, or at least someone sharing key values like Gary Johnson, will take a lot of work and it won't of course happen in this election, or possibly a few to come. However we have to take a long term view and start now. It's like Brexit in the UK. It's a long term game.
  9. No it is meaningful Nicky. You just haven't got it, but it is ok. In order to win an election, a candidate needs to garner support, ultimately from voters. A candidate's chances of winning are elevated the more support they get. If you want a particular candidate to win, the only way you can directly influence the chance of that happening is by voting for them. If you think they will need more support and backing and you care enough about it, then donate, campaign with them etc. There is loads you can do. You won't get them elected perhaps, but what they stand for, their programme of change rises in prominence. The greater the support for this, the more likely it will become mainstream until the point it is possible that a deserving candidate can be elected as president. I don't want DT to win, but he's not a politician, just a rich businessman. He has destroyed the other Republican nominees and is depending on the polls very close to Clinton, a career politician backed by just about everyone. Yes its remotely possible he will win, but given his character and background, that he has come so close is truly remarkable. Who would have taken that seriously as a prospect from the outset? But why are you & I even discussing this. You value Clinton, you want her to be president - not even as the lesser of two evils. I'm not appealing to your "reason".
  10. For the record I never said Stein was my preferred candidate. I simply agreed with what she said in the video about voting for what you want. I don't support the Green party either. I would not vote for Stein. As I'm UK based its not worth me researching it in depth, I admitted not knowing a lot about her. However if you know of a decent candidate (not DT or HC) then go for who you judge to be best.
  11. Some thinking points for you to enrich this discussion. The probability that your vote will be decisive might currently be between 1 in 10 million to 1 in 60 million. It can be as low as 1 in a billion: https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.stat.berkeley.edu/~aldous/157/Papers/vote.pdf&ved=0ahUKEwi0-tOrupPQAhUCahoKHYRRA_MQFggfMAE&usg=AFQjCNH77EB5T--coUgb_V0PhMwcbmS74g&sig2=gfKKtxE8bbihApKu4ME3_Q The odds are similar to taking part in a lottery. The thinking that your individual vote will be decisive in electing Trump or Clinton is irrational. The odds that it will do are close to zero in all cases, but greatest in swing states. Your reason for voting should therefore reflect your preferences, and not who you think may or may not win. Strategic voting is also a cause of preference intransitivity (e.g. where the candidate you vote for isn't your first preference, you are therefore ranking a lesser value over a higher one - resulting in a individually irrational intransitive ordering e.g. you vote for Clinton over McMullin but you prefer McMullin to Clinton and Trump). According to Downs's theory, if you are future orientated and rational, you will vote for your preferred candidate/party even if they have no chance of winning the current election. The reason is to grow support for them to expand the set of alternatives in the future, and also to possibly prompt the current parties/candidates to alter their platforms in order to attract more support.
  12. We will see.
  13. Nicky, You are setting up a false dichotomy and then accusing me of living in a fantasy - can't you see the contradiction? You firstly have a choice to vote or not. You secondly have a choice of whom to vote for. This is fact, not make-believe. Your individual vote is not decisive in electing the next president. The only chance of getting what you want is to vote for the candidate who best represents that. Your delusion stems from your belief that the lack of widespread popularity for candidates who merit and deserves the vote from an Objectivist, means you have no choice but to join the sheep and vote for a candidate who certainly does not deserve it - Clinton or Trump. I'm drawing attention to the fact that this is not necessary and also that it draws in to question your integrity, because you are supporting a candidate who does not share or uphold Objectivist values (you claim to hold these). Clinton may be a lesser of two evils under your appraisal, but a vote for her is still a self-sacrificial act. You have the choice not to do that, I'm encouraging you to exercise that choice. All this will fall on deaf ears with you Nicky. You want Clinton - not because she is the lesser of two evils, not to stop Trump but because you want her to be president. You value her. This speaks volumes about your values and what you stand for, but is no surprise given the standard of your contributions to this forum.
  14. Is it rational to ignore the fact? Certainly not. I am not ignoring that fact. I'm drawing attention to it, and the lack of a case for voting for either of them. It is also rational to assess which is likely to become president. However that likeliness should not influence your appraisal of which, if either of them, merits your support. Your appraisal should be based on their suitability for the position. I think there is a lack of integrity in strategic voting. The alternatives are to vote for a candidate who merits it, or if none of them do, to not vote at all. Do you want to be responsible for what Trump or Clinton do when they win? Because you would have put them there if you vote for them, knowing full well what it means. Both of them are dangerous. They are both threats to peace (acting as aggressors) and justice. They are both a threat to capitalism and meritocracy. I just can't understand how you can want that.
  15. I'm not assuming someone other than Trump or Clinton is going to be president. I'm assuming you can read, so I can only conclude your sense of being troubled is idle rhetoric - as usual.