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"You have always considered money-making as such an important virtue," Jim had said to her [Dagny] with an odd half-smile. "Well, it seems to me that I'm better at it than you are." — Atlas Shrugged, pg. 329.

To interject here that William James was a heavy influence on Ayn Rand's epistemology seems à propos.

Borrowing 'Rule One of Development: OPM [presumably: Other People's Money], Jim was gloating over the fact that his 'profits' were more than hers.

So many issues here. 'Rescuing' failed developments absconds with with already made investments. The fact that it is "very common" suggests, to me, that this is a thinly veiled way of 'pulling strings'; a variant on the "Aristocracy of Pull."

How does William James weigh into this? Peikoff classifies him as a Pragmatist, sub-categorizing him as a variant of Hegel. The ends justify the means (pragmatically) while ignoring, or evading, the package dealing of "making money" based on solely the bottom line as the 'sole' omitted measurement.

Between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the focus always seems to come down to the characteristics of the two concrete examples of the participants, while setting aside the more abstract "objective purpose of government". Neither of these two could pull their own weight if the fulcrum of the debate reciprocated along the axis of individual rights as the primary pivot point . . . or so it seems to me [interjecting a little subjectivist lingo here.]

 

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On 8/1/2016 at 0:57 AM, DonAthos said:

National borders are defined by the mutually recognized jurisdictions of the respective governments sharing those borders, not through any claim that immigration must be restricted between them. Were immigration unrestricted, this would not lead to the "abolishment of national borders" any more than it would be "anarchy." Doing away with immoral laws does not mean eliminating all law, and citing that a specific law is immoral and ought to be eliminated is no call for anarchy.

Or the anarchy involved would be similar to the "anarchy" experienced when people within the US go to and from Los Angeles without restriction.

What exactly is the moral justification behind unrestricted immigration?  It is not an initiation of force to stop people from immigrating unless those immigrants have a right to do so, so establishing that right is important.  What does establish that right?  

Making a certain destination country into a desirable place to move, a great value, requires a large effort over time in attention and knowledge and energy and money and sometimes loss of life by its current and former residents.  A potential immigrant had no part in any of that and has no claim on the result.  If you or anyone else disagrees with this I would like to know not merely that you disagree but why.

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4 hours ago, Grames said:

What exactly is the moral justification behind unrestricted immigration?  It is not an initiation of force to stop people from immigrating unless those immigrants have a right to do so, so establishing that right is important.  What does establish that right?

When someone else looks to take some particular course of action, I don't ask "what establishes their right to do so?" I don't look to stop any person anywhere from doing anything, unless I believe that their action or proposed action initiates the use of force against another person.

But if we're looking for the positive grant which underlies immigration, here is Rand, broadly, on rights (from "Man's Rights"):

Quote

There is only one fundamental right (all the others are its consequences or corollaries): a man’s right to his own life. Life is a process of self-sustaining and self-generated action; the right to life means the right to engage in self-sustaining and self-generated action—which means: the freedom to take all the actions required by the nature of a rational being for the support, the furtherance, the fulfillment and the enjoyment of his own life. (Such is the meaning of the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.)

The concept of a “right” pertains only to action—specifically, to freedom of action. It means freedom from physical compulsion, coercion or interference by other men.

Thus, for every individual, a right is the moral sanction of a positive—of his freedom to act on his own judgment, for his own goals, by his own voluntary, uncoerced choice.

So far as I can tell, this also describes the immigrant, who claims the freedom to act on his own judgment, for his own goals, by his own voluntary, uncoerced choice -- when he moves from Mexico to the United States, for instance. The "right to immigrate," then, is one of the numerous "consequences or corollaries" Rand mentions of a man's right to his own life.

When the prospective immigrant, per his own judgment, decides that "the support, the furtherance, the fulfillment and the enjoyment of his own life" requires that he move to the United States -- and when he has negotiated the specific permission(s) required of relevant private property holders to effect his travel, his new accommodations, employment, etc. (as for instance the earlier example of going to Eiuol's property, which sits just on the far side of some national border), then he has the right to take those actions as the implementation of his right to his own life.

(He should only be barred in some measure if his actions are themselves the initiation of the use of force. For instance, if he were to steal a car to make his journey. Or if Eiuol were to refuse the immigrant's entry onto his land, yet the immigrant trespasses anyway. But then these actions are crimes regardless of the immigrant's status as an "immigrant," which perhaps suggests a shorthand: if some action would be a crime outside of any question of "immigration," then it is still a crime when immigration is introduced; if not, then not.)

Rand also then addresses herself to Trump:

Quote

As to his neighbors, his rights impose no obligations on them except of a negative kind: to abstain from violating his rights.

Trump has every right to bar a man from trespass against his own property, and may build such walls as he pleases on the land he owns, but he has no right bar the immigrant from crossing the border to conduct business with Eiuol, or to stop Eiuol from using his own property to conduct that business in the manner he sees fit.

The immigrant imposes no obligation on Trump except this: stay out of the way.

4 hours ago, Grames said:

Making a certain destination country into a desirable place to move, a great value, requires a large effort over time in attention and knowledge and energy and money and sometimes loss of life by its current and former residents.  A potential immigrant had no part in any of that and has no claim on the result.

If I build a house in a neighborhood, I own that house. It may be that my actions increase neighboring property values. It may be that the house I build, or the business I create in the community, or simply the fact of my being (with all of the beatific radiance this entails) makes it so that other people wish to move there, to work there, to be there.

Yet I own my house -- the house that I built, which is my property -- and this alone. The surrounding "value" which I have also created as a consequence of my actions (and which further depend upon the judgment of others: this form of "value" must be clearly understood, to its roots), does not give me any claim as to their actions or property.

Because I have made a particular neighborhood a desirable place to move, a great value, and because doing so required my effort and knowledge and energy and money and perhaps even some form of loss/"sacrifice" -- this does not give me ownership over anything other than the property I have created, and it does not give me the authority to infringe upon any other man's rights.

Specifically, a potential newcomer to the neighborhood -- though he has had no part in building my house and has no claim on the result (which is the house itself) -- may move in across the street, according to his own rights, and I have no conceivable authority to deny it to him. He may enjoy all of the blessings my efforts have afforded the community generally, gratis, and this is as true if he was moving from San Francisco to Los Angeles to be in my presence as if he was moving from Tijuana.

Edited by DonAthos

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That is a very good post Don Athos, very civil and on point.  I hope you can continue in the same style even in the face of my fault-finding.

The argument offered is sound and the only fault with it I identify is that it conflates unrestricted immigration with unrestricted border-crossing.  If we accept unrestricted immigration as the proper immigration policy, then the immigration law should not contain quotas that halt immigration after some arbitrary number is reached.  And of course since an immigrant must cross the border in order to be an immigrant at all then they must all be permitted to cross the border regardless of their number.  So far so good, it is established that no number of immigrants can justify restricted border-crossing.   But are there any other possible justifications for restricting the crossing of national borders that are not concerned with numbers?

9 hours ago, DonAthos said:

(He should only be barred in some measure if his actions are themselves the initiation of the use of force. For instance, if he were to steal a car to make his journey. Or if Eiuol were to refuse the immigrant's entry onto his land, yet the immigrant trespasses anyway. But then these actions are crimes regardless of the immigrant's status as an "immigrant," which perhaps suggests a shorthand: if some action would be a crime outside of any question of "immigration," then it is still a crime when immigration is introduced; if not, then not.)

So there is at least one justification to restrict crossing a national border: initiation of the use of force.  The initiation of the use of force can take many forms besides theft and trespass: intentional or unwitting spread of contagious disease; breach of contract; inflicting property damage; threats to inflict injury to extort some kind of compliance; etc.   A squad of men fully armed and garbed in the uniform of a foreign military ought not to be presumed to be merely exercising their right to immigrate when they cross the border.

But noting this justification is useless if there is no one on the border acting as a guard to be alert for and recognize when such situations occur, and also useless if the government can do nothing about them.   It is also useless if there is a guard but no requirement for border-crossers to cross under the judgmental hairy eyeball of a guard.  

To take the example of America's southern border with Mexico, the complaint of many ranchers with property on the border is specifically trespass and property damage inflicted by those trespassers.  What, if anything, should the government do on behalf of those ranchers?  

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HP CEO and long time Republican activist and donor Meg Whitman:

Quote

 

As a proud Republican, casting my vote for President has usually been a simple matter. This year is different. To vote Republican out of party loyalty alone would be to endorse a candidacy that I believe has exploited anger, grievance, xenophobia and racial division. Donald Trump’s demagoguery has undermined the fabric of our national character.

Trump’s reckless and uninformed positions on critical issues -– from immigration to our economy to foreign policy -- have made it abundantly clear that he lacks both the policy depth and sound judgment required as President. Trump's unsteady hand would endanger our prosperity and national security. His authoritarian character could threaten much more.

In a tumultuous world, America needs the kind of stable and aspirational leadership Secretary Clinton can provide. I urge all Republicans to reject Donald Trump this November.

 

 

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10 hours ago, Grames said:

That is a very good post Don Athos, very civil and on point.

Gracious of you to say.

10 hours ago, Grames said:

I hope you can continue in the same style even in the face of my fault-finding.

I shall do my best.

10 hours ago, Grames said:

The argument offered is sound and the only fault with it I identify is that it conflates unrestricted immigration with unrestricted border-crossing.

I agree that these are two separate (though related) issues.

10 hours ago, Grames said:

But are there any other possible justifications for restricting the crossing of national borders that are not concerned with numbers?

I believe so. Certainly in cases of force initiation (which is not strictly to do with immigration policy, or even border crossing, but is simply criminal), but also there is another broad area where we may encounter some form of justifiable restriction -- although I would think of this as less a matter of "restriction," and more a matter of implementation, or procedure. If we agree, for instance, in the procedural right to a "fair and speedy trial" for those accused of a crime, that does not amount to justice on demand: you cannot simply show up at the courthouse, any time day or night, and expect immediate resolution. A "fair and speedy trial" requires a certain underlying orientation, which we hope is reflected in our law, and yet it must still be implemented in a particular way, bound by its contextual circumstances in reality.

If we further agree that people have the right to cross borders, immigrate, and/or even become citizens, should they choose, it yet remains for us to implement these things procedurally. (For instance, becoming a citizen ought require more than simple self-declaration.) And in dealing with such procedure, there is the opportunity for delay and error, which may have the effect of a temporary restriction regardless of our central convictions.

Even as (I suspect) we come closer to fundamental agreement, we must recognize the potential for abuse here... just as with a "fair and speedy trial," or other similar areas of governmental policy. For instance, I expect that we would roundly agree that citizens should have the right to vote in our elections... and that this (as everything) must be implemented in a particular way. Yet it has happened in our history (and perhaps continues today) that some politicians look to use these procedures as a weapon against their enemies, real or perceived.

But if we agree on the rights we've discussed, and if we look to protect those rights in the creation of our procedures, in earnest, then despite the faults and flaws which will doubtless persist, I believe we have hit upon the proper path.

10 hours ago, Grames said:

So there is at least one justification to restrict crossing a national border: initiation of the use of force.  The initiation of the use of force can take many forms besides theft and trespass...

Yes.

10 hours ago, Grames said:

A squad of men fully armed and garbed in the uniform of a foreign military ought not to be presumed to be merely exercising their right to immigrate when they cross the border.

No. We continue to recognize and treat invading armies, as such.

10 hours ago, Grames said:

But noting this justification is useless if there is no one on the border acting as a guard to be alert for and recognize when such situations occur, and also useless if the government can do nothing about them.

I would not suggest withdrawing our military from the border (to whatever extent they are customarily deployed), such that they could not respond to an invasion. If we can recognize the difference between immigrants and an army on the march, then I would advise we prepare ourselves for both and treat them each as they merit.

Even before our forces prepare to defend the border, however, I would hope that our intelligence community would provide some advanced notice about a militarizing neighbor. (Perhaps we could even fight the resultant war away from home, as I suspect would be preferable.) Yet I am not currently concerned about either Canada or Mexico launching a ground war against the US, and believe that immigration is the more pressing issue with respect to our shared borders.

10 hours ago, Grames said:

It is also useless if there is a guard but no requirement for border-crossers to cross under the judgmental hairy eyeball of a guard.

I think that having specific border crossings -- and guards to man them (judgmental hairy eyeballs and all) -- is absolutely reasonable. (Note that this is not specific to "immigrants": American citizens who vacation in Mexico must recross the border, too.)

10 hours ago, Grames said:

To take the example of America's southern border with Mexico, the complaint of many ranchers with property on the border is specifically trespass and property damage inflicted by those trespassers.  What, if anything, should the government do on behalf of those ranchers?

The government should protect those ranchers to the extent that it is feasible, and ideally in conjunction with the efforts of the Mexican government. The criminals who damage those ranchers' property should be dealt with, as criminals. (Not for the crime of "illegal immigration," but trespass and property damage.)

To be frank, I believe that if we had a rational immigration policy, issues like these would almost completely cease to be a problem. Those who seek to live and work as productive citizens in the United States, if offered a fair immigration system geared to protect them in their rights to do so (as swiftly and free from hassle as can be managed), will doubtless seek that avenue out -- with gratitude.

Those who stick to the shadows because they cannot allow themselves to be detected, whether crossing a border in some unguarded locale, or hiding in caves or hills, or in cities -- those on the run from the law, and terrorists -- will continue to behave in this skulking fashion. We seek to eliminate them from our society, not because they are "undocumented," or because they have flouted some notion of law and order by evading our border-crossing procedures, for their own sake, but because they are criminals.

(The case of someone who is not on the run from the law, not a terrorist, not otherwise a criminal by any reasonable understanding of that term, but who yet evades some rational immigration procedure [whether intentionally or mistakenly] can be considered -- though I think it would be quite rare. In such an event, what would the rational/proper response be? I expect it would be quite minimal -- perhaps on the order of a "fix-it ticket" -- and certainly no such idea like "deportation" would even enter the discussion.)

When we have unjust laws (and our current immigration system is deeply unjust), we force otherwise moral people to have to make choices between "obeying the law" and doing what they believe to be in their self-interest (e.g. moving to the United States), as is and ought to be their right. In the present case, as is typical, this sort of unnatural division leads to a host of tragedies and troubles on all sides. I believe that where immigration is concerned, Donald Trump does not propose any solution to this problem, or even to make headway against it, but that his stated proposals (and what we can infer of his underlying beliefs) stand to make it worse.

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On 8/1/2016 at 9:12 PM, dream_weaver said:

So many issues here.

So little understanding of business here.

1.  The most common reason for developments "going south" is that they get stalled in the minefields laid down by the various government departments/agencies.  This should be something that Objectivists rally against.  Most of Trumps problems were in Atlantic City, NJ.  I can only imagine the cost of developing a gaming property in AC.  Even fairly simple retail properties in the People's Republic of the Pacific Northwest, where I work, get hammered by the government.

2.  No one is absconding with anything. There is a fine-line between placing too much money in a development relative to the expected return over the long term.  The short-term, cash-flow return on development is not that great, but the long term equity is very great.  A development may "go south" not because the developer necessarily runs out of money, per se, but rather, the development doesn't warrant more investment on his part -- so he attracts additional investors/money to meet that amount required to secure the construction loan or finish the project.  The long-term equity is so great (relative to the cost of construction) that there is plenty of money to go around.  But you don't want to tie too much cash in a project.

3.  OPM:  Again, this ties in to item No. 2.  The developer that I worked for is wealthy enough to have written a personal check for the entire cost of the $15M development - but he would never do so.  It would be foolish to tie up $15M for the 15 years or so that it would take to see a return on his investment.  You balance the amount of cash you invest/borrow versus expected returns over the long term and the cost of servicing the loan.

I find it interesting that your comment on business references Atlas Shrugged (not your own personal knowledge) and your comment on William James references Peikoff (as opposed to your bothering to read his works).  Why would I accept an Argument from Authority?

Edited by New Buddha

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11 hours ago, DonAthos said:

... I am not currently concerned about either Canada or Mexico launching a ground war against the US, ...

So, you wouldn't have taken the Canadian Defence Scheme No. 1 too seriously :) 

11 hours ago, DonAthos said:

...   ...

The government should protect those ranchers to the extent that it is feasible, and ideally in conjunction with the efforts of the Mexican government. The criminals who damage those ranchers' property should be dealt with, as criminals. (Not for the crime of "illegal immigration," but trespass and property damage.)

Foreigners would love to have a legal way of coming to the U.S. to work: a way where they could fill in the right forms, be interviewed, have a background check, and then be admitted. If they're in Mexico, they could then get in a car and drive over, the way people drive over like regular folk. It'd be a breeze.

The only reason they cross illegally, and trespass in the process, is that the U.S. does not give them a reasonable chance to do it another way. The destruction of ranchers' property can be traced back to voters who want to keep immigrants out. If the only people kept out legally were criminals and so on, the U.S. would receive much more cooperation in identifying illegal entrants (from people on both sides of the border). It is a bit like prohibition: people on both sides often turn a blind eye to illegal behavior because they realize that there is no legitimate crime being committed... yet, this also spawns a class of criminals organizing the illegal activities. Ending prohibition will see most of the problems disappear, and rebuild faith in the law.

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53 minutes ago, New Buddha said:

I find it interesting that your comment on business references Atlas Shrugged (not your own personal knowledge) and your comment on William James references Peikoff (as opposed to your bothering to read his works).  Why would I accept an Argument from Authority?

The fact that Rand wrote Atlas Shrugged and Leonard Peikoff presented an audio course on the History of Philosophy, in themselves, are not an Argument from Authority. The brevity of thought Rand offers in Atlas Shrugged, I find immensely useful. The fact that Peikoff taught philosophy, and it raises no immediate flags with W.T. Jones' A History of Western Philosophy, are not a substitute for you doing your own due diligence (an economic term?).

As to "So little understanding of business here", I'm not sure if that was/is a generalization being applied to forum participants at large, or myself in particular.

With regard to Trump's business acumen, it serves well in keeping the focus for the current election at hand, as an anchor on the list of Trump's perceived shortcomings to serve as a benchmark to contrast with a comparable list of H. Clinton's perceived shortcomings.

Are Donald and Hillary both pragmatists? Are they both existentialists? Are they both nihilists? Do such issues serve in any way to trim the metaphorical sails of the ship of state and direct the future course of this nation? Are they on differing sides of the soul/body dichotomy with Trump representing the soul and Hillary the body, where both are united in an effort at undermining the mind?

How would these factors get implemented into such issues as immigration, speech, trade, etc?

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@Dream

My entire participation in the post is limited to my exchanges with Louie.

Louie stated that Trump is a stupid businessman -- and I perceived that this stemmed from his (obvious) lack of knowledge of Development, and what it means to file Chapter 11.  I attempted to clarify this.

This lack of understanding of what it means to file Chapter 11 is something that the Democrats have exploited.  They want the average voter to believe that Trump's filing for Chapter 11 meant that poor, weak, unprotected grandmothers went broke for his having done so.  This is wrong.

I don't know why you felt it necessary to jump in, or what you felt you were adding to the discussion.

Can you point out where I'm wrong in any of my posts?

Edit:  Please explain what you meant when you said that Trump absconded with investments.  I'm assuming that if you make such a claim that you can back it up.  Or am I wrong? 

Edited by New Buddha

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29 minutes ago, New Buddha said:

Louie stated that Trump is a stupid businessman -- and I perceived that this stemmed from his (obvious) lack of knowledge of Development, and what it means to file Chapter 11.  I attempted to clarify this.

Nah. I used the term businessman to talk about business skills in general. Regardless of how you may talk of his real estate development skills (you didn't necessarily explain that using chapter 11 is an honorable practice, just that it happens all the time and it isn't necessarily going to end up badly after that), it doesn't go further. He's bad at about everything, except maybe manufacturing an image, and real estate development. Hence "stupid". Forget that even, just stick to concrete-bound to get my meaning. It isn't wise to be that way all the time. Compare that to even better businesspeople than Trump who really are able to think abstractly and systematically across many areas of business, they'll read books, they'll talk about ideas, etc.

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13 hours ago, New Buddha said:

@ Louie,

Did you learn anything from my posts about Development or Chapter 11?

I already knew it wasn't utter disaster, but I still want to look into what it is legally speaking. It's one thing to restructure debt, it's another if it effectively forces people to accept your terms that otherwise people don't agree to, as he does with eminent domain. I don't care if it's done "all the time". So, all I learned is Trump and other people in the field even -expect- to use chapter 11 without it signalling failure. 

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17 hours ago, New Buddha said:

@Dream

Edit:  Please explain what you meant when you said that Trump absconded with investments.  I'm assuming that if you make such a claim that you can back it up.  Or am I wrong? 

 

On 8/2/2016 at 0:12 AM, dream_weaver said:

So many issues here. 'Rescuing' failed developments absconds with with already made investments. The fact that it is "very common" suggests, to me, that this is a thinly veiled way of 'pulling strings'; a variant on the "Aristocracy of Pull."

Consider the frozen railroad bonds in Atlas Shruggede, sold for 30¢ on the dollar, turned around and unfrozen for the dollar. Who paid the initial up front cost on the bond vs. who reaps the benefit.

Picking up a development out of bankruptcy passes the profits on as a loss to initial investors with the gain being collected by the bargain hunter, akin to picking up the bond for 30¢ to redeem it for the dollar by crossing the proper t's and dotting the appropriate i's.

As you indicated, the Democrats are trying to make an issue of this and demonize Trump. Isn't he just playing by the establishment rules.

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5 hours ago, Eiuol said:

I already knew it wasn't utter disaster, but I still want to look into what it is legally speaking. It's one thing to restructure debt, it's another if it effectively forces people to accept your terms that otherwise people don't agree to, as he does with eminent domain. I don't care if it's done "all the time". So, all I learned is Trump and other people in the field even -expect- to use chapter 11 without it signalling failure. 

Any type of bankruptcy is the legal recognition that an entity cannot pay back what it owes its creditors according to the original terms. Typically, there are two ways in which this unfolds:

  • Under "Chapter 11"  the court approves a new repayment plan: it could be lower than the original, it could have lower ongoing interest rates, it might defer some payments, and so on
  • Under "Chapter 7" the court approves the sale/liquidation of the debtor's assets and the repayment of creditors from the proceeds of the sale.

Typically creditors and judges would prefer "Chapter 11" if there's a decent prospect that the debtor can pay back more by remaining in business. It's clearly forces the creditors to accept terms that are different from the original terms; but, it is a correct approach in principle because the context is that there is no way the debtor can meet the original terms.

Also, we're speaking of limited-liability corporate entities here. So, inability to pay means that corporate entity is unable. The owners have limited liability. So, the owners may be able to pay, but have no legal obligation to do so.

Edited by softwareNerd

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19 hours ago, New Buddha said:

@ Louie,

Did you learn anything from my posts about Development or Chapter 11?

 

5 hours ago, Eiuol said:

I already knew it wasn't utter disaster, but I still want to look into what it is legally speaking.

 

3 hours ago, dream_weaver said:

As you indicated, the Democrats are trying to make an issue of this and demonize Trump. Isn't he just playing by the establishment rules.

 

57 minutes ago, softwareNerd said:

Typically creditors and judges would prefer "Chapter 11" if there's a decent prospect that the debtor can pay back more by remaining in business. It's clearly forces the creditors to accept terms that are different from the original terms; but, it is a correct approach in principle because the context is that there is no way the debtor can meet the original terms.

It's a little unclear to me as to what central question we're trying to resolve with this sub-thread. Is the question... whether it reflects poorly on a businessman, declaring bankruptcy (personal or otherwise)?

I don't have a degree from Wharton, I'll confess, but I've always imagined that businessmen look to avoid bankruptcy, all things considered (even if it might be the best option among several poor ones, at a given moment in time... something like voting for Clinton in our current presidential election, actually :)). And I further have to believe that bankruptcy is not "victimless," exactly, even if it is a routine and anticipated feature of the economy. Whether it's "little old ladies" or not who suffer directly, someone has to pay for the failure that a bankruptcy represents -- right? (Even if it is a bank or similar institution, that must eventually resolve into individuals, possibly even some little old ladies among them: when banks suffer, people suffer; when debtors default, when businesses fail -- to whatever extent Chapter 11 represents a failure -- that's a poor outcome for somebody.)

But then, Trump's business exploits are near the last thing I care about when it comes to assessing him as a politician (qua business; those same dealings might also shed light on his character, which is important... but I don't give a damn as to whether he was a good real estate developer, or a good steak pitchman, as such. I further accept the fact that even successful people, generally speaking, often fail in specific endeavors: being a businessman or entrepreneur especially entails risk... and periodic failure is part and parcel to taking risks).

Yet if we are to discuss Trump's business record, perhaps it makes sense to approach the subject more holistically -- and with greater reference to detail -- than just referring to the number of bankruptcies he's had (four, I believe, not six), and then debating bankruptcy in the abstract. I don't know a great deal about Trump's history (though so, so much more than I'd ever wanted to), and I don't plan on learning much more if I can avoid it, but after trying to make sense of some of the posts in this thread I went ahead and read this recently published article. It is heavily biased, but it may still be a springboard to a fuller discussion about Trump's business past, for those so inclined.

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On 8/2/2016 at 7:56 PM, Grames said:

A squad of men fully armed and garbed in the uniform of a foreign military ought not to be presumed to be merely exercising their right to immigrate when they cross the border.

Wouldn't that be more applicable to the Syrian "refugees" than anybody who's managed to live and work here, peacefully?

 

We don't need any new concept or principle to justify that, though; it's another form of self-defense. And (much like the boy who cried wolf) when we use the government's guns to 'defend ourselves' from economic competitors, we leave ourselves disarmed against actual force.

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On 8/3/2016 at 7:49 PM, New Buddha said:

I find it interesting that your comment on business references Atlas Shrugged (not your own personal knowledge) and your comment on William James references Peikoff (as opposed to your bothering to read his works).  Why would I accept an Argument from Authority?

That was disingenuous.

 

Firstly, this is an Objectivist website - people are going to refer to Atlas Shrugged. It's a common frame of reference that we can all understand.

Secondly, whether or not Peikoff was right about Willy James is actually irrelevant; he was making an insinuation about Trump's character. I would've dispensed with the subtlety and just said it, but that's also irrelevant; it was not an argument from authority.

Thirdly, this:

On 8/1/2016 at 11:12 PM, dream_weaver said:

Between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the focus always seems to come down to the characteristics of the two concrete examples of the participants, while setting aside the more abstract "objective purpose of government". Neither of these two could pull their own weight if the fulcrum of the debate reciprocated along the axis of individual rights as the primary pivot point[.]

 

The fact that you completely ignored it indicates that an inability to refute the point and an unwillingness to concede it. That you did so by means of such a 'yuuge' misrepresentation was what prompted this post.

 

That sort of response belongs on CNN, and not here.

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1 hour ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

Whether he's a good businessman or not, his economic ideas are pure Mercantilism. And that's bad.

Businessmen who become politicians often think of America as if it is corporation with a somewhat singular interest, and in a battle for market share with other "corporate countries". There are two problems with this:

Firstly, it favors a "President as CEO" viewpoint over an "invisible hand" viewpoint. Rather than being CEOs, our Presidents and Congress should aspire to be the janitors: mostly unseen and keeping things clean, allowing others to get their jobs done. Okay, I exaggerate: they should be like admin staff of a building that rents out office-space, provides basic security, makes sure things are clean, and so on. [Perhaps too big a role, but close enough for a metaphor.]

Secondly, even corporations are increasingly realizing that they must move toward a model where individuals are given as much autonomy as possible, where corporate standards sound great in theory but become bureaucratic, and where subsidizing one division with profits from another is often a bad idea.

Hoover is an example of a successful businessman and a very competent organizer. He might be the Romney of his day, except that instead of financing companies and managing an Olympic games, Hoover built dams and organized food-relief for Russia. When the Great Depression began, Hoover's natural response was to play a CEO role, calling in other businessmen and asking them to subsidize people impacted by the downturn, even if it did not make longer-term business sense to them. Of course, being a businessman and intellectually for free-markets, he tried to temper the degree of such aid. In doing so, he set the intellectual ground for Roosevelt, who came in a went whole-hog (many of Roosevelt's interventions started with baby-steps during Hoover's response to the crash and recession).

Edited by softwareNerd

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15 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

@Buddha:

 

I'm sorry if my last post was a bit harsher than warranted (I can no longer edit it). I'm glad to see no such flaws in your last post.

That's okay.  My posts were also getting pretty testy, so I just backed out of the discussion.

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On 7/28/2016 at 11:55 PM, Nicky said:

You don't have the right to do that to innocent people.

Just been skim reading this thread, but I have to say the double standards here made me chuckle. Read any thread on nuking Iran, and Nicky you would be one of the first to argue there are no innocents when we are defending our rights, which we must do to the full. Well it seems you do care about the innocents - when it suits your position.

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On 7/27/2016 at 9:31 AM, Grames said:

How exactly does any of that lead to a trade war

I guess that question has been answered. Welcome to the trade war: General Motors, after repeated warnings, and lower 2018 profits due to the rising cost of steel and aluminum, closes five plants and fires 15% of its workforce, in the US and Canada. The American plants are located in Ohio and Michigan, two states that voted for Trump's protectionist platform in 2016.

Trump doesn't understand how this could've happened, throws a fit and issues threats. Hopefully, the voters in Ohio and Michigan are a little smarter, and able to figure it out.

Edited by Nicky

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