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Posts posted by tadmjones

  1. Does gasoline cause fire? Yes. No. Depends.

    I've had a tank of gas sitting in my garage for years. There has been no fire there.

    QE can cause inflation if there is sufficient aggregate demand. If there is not, then there will be no inflation.

    What are the factors within an economic system that would cause lower demand going forward? And if lower demand is experienced would not prices fall? Are we currently experiencing lower levels of demand with at least consisitent or slightly higher prices , isn't that in indication of an inflationary influence?

  2. Inflation is a general rise in the level of prices. QE is the creation of new money by the central bank which is sold in exchange for financial assets.

    What do you mean by 'new money'? A different kind, or adding more and if so how does someone add money without creating wealth?

  3. 2046 said

    "Well that's all good and well, but that still falls short of justifying a coercive monopoly, as I've pointed out before, being committed to the view that vigilantism is unjustified doesn't commit you to a monopoly government."

    If vigilantism is deemed unjustified ,by both proponents of a monopoly of retalitory force being vested in the government and opponents of this idea(which i assume is the stance of anarcho'ists) do they come to the same conclusion by using two different standards?

  4. Severe shortages across the board *can* cause prices of all goods to rise. One sees this during war-time, but governments usually respond by rationing goods to slash "demand". More typically, prices rise because of an increase in the supply of money, money-substitutes and credit outpacing both the supply of real goods and the demand to hold money as a store of value. ("Hyper" inflation is more than just very high price-rise. It signifies a major political event: the crossing of some point, where people actually lose faith in a fiat currency: as in Weimar Germany or Zimbabwe.)

    The major reasons price-rises have been very tame in the U.S. is that the explosion of government-credit has been countered by a reduction in private credit. Meanwhile, the post-bust caution has meant an increased demand to hold money and money-substitutes. So: fairly tame growth in supply of money and money-like aggregates have been coupled with an increased demand for the same.

    So market forces(the total economic activity between individuals in a given 'economy') respond to government interventions(or dictates of individual power brokers) to bring about an almost artificial change in pricing? And these changes have been shown to vary in intensity given different specific historical events?

    Or do you mean that economic theory can accurately predict when and to what extent such changes in pricing will occur? The variables in pricing are somehow under a predetermined schematic(of economic activity?)

  5. Am I wrong to assert that inflation or hyper- inflation results from consumer goods(capital translated into goods brought to market to realize profit) become scarcer due to liquidating inventories and general slow down in production as a whole, and the nominal costs of those goods per unit of "purchasing power" see a general rise as assumed purchasing power decreases?

  6. Well again, I've already answered this objection and tried to be more than accomodating to you in the other thread. Notice there is no argumentation in there, just a string of assertions. Well, okay, I agree we should have law, more law in fact, I agree with rational law (actually I think this is a redundancy), however I just think that this rules out monopoly, and that a monopolist of law is lawless. I want a rational ethics and politics too, I'm definitely not opposed to that. I agree that to "blend market effects with the institution of government is to divorce the concepts (market and governement) from their 'meanings,'" but I think this yeilds a conclusion different from yours. In the interest of not derailing this thread, why feel free to explain why you think the market can't produce objective law in one of the many other threads dedicated to this topic and I will be glad to respond.

    First of all thanks for the back arching accomodation, secondly listing assertions can be considered argumentation in some circles(when the opposing view rests on less than principled first assertions),so either my assertions are not principledly asserted or they are poorly articulated.

    The reason I do not think that markets can produce principles is based on what markets 'are'. For markets to exist there must first be the rule of law(yes I agree rational law is redundant), the idea of anarcho-anything seemingly tries to derive fuundamentals from consequences.

    Please direct me to the correct thread and I will continue my reasoning(or lack thereof) there, of course only as long as you consider accomodating my rankings is appropriate.

  7. Understood.

    Let me ask you then, in the first place, whether you're comfortable with the language of Rand that I'd introduced in that post: that "[t]he individual does possess the right of self-defense and that is the right which he delegates to the government."

    I would be comfortable in stipulating that an individual would recognize that principles of law should be used to solve disputes in a civil sense, and that the govt on different levels is tasked with apprehending criminals domestically, and the military of the govt tasked with protecting national interests. As far as ownership of arms per citizens the govt involvement would only be to apprehend those that use arms to infringe on rights.

    If it is the case that an individual "delegates" his "right of self-defense" to the government (though I might suggest that this is only proper in relation to a government that is, itself, properly constituted), then what is the nature of this "delegation"? Does the individual thereby "lose" anything of his "right of self-defense"? Could this extend to arms?

    Not in the sense of owning objects.

    And, if the government is "the agency vested with the ability/responsibility of stopping the actions of individuals that seek to infringe on the rights of others," then isn't it necessary in practice that the government must be more powerful than the individuals by which it is vested? Is it the case that an individual (or group of individuals) could become so powerful that their government would no longer be able to stop their actions (whether rightly or wrongly)? And if so, then is there a case that arms control of some kind is necessary so that a government can effectively govern?

    By what do you mean an individual or group becoming powerful?(or so powerful?) If the government is the principle of law , carried out by people acting according to the law, and its function is to protect the citizenry, who then is the citizenry protecting itself from in this case ?If it is from a rogue band of irrational nihilists then citizens should want the govt to use whatever means necessary to counter the threat. If it is to protect individuals from the actions of tyrannical govt , I think they call that revolution.

  8. DonAthos said

    In any event, even a proper government cannot predict the future to guarantee that its citizens will not suffer from future tyranny. So would a proper government seek to eliminate its citizens' ability to defend themselves against such a thing in the first place? Or is one of the hallmarks of a proper government that it will undertake the defense of its individual citzens' right to self-defense, now and in the future, by not reducing any individual's means to defend himself; i.e. that it will not seek any form of gun/arms control?

    My two cents is that a proper government would not be seen as an entity that grants anything to individuals citizens other than the protection and recognition of their rights, and therefore would not seek control of objects. It would be the agency vested with the ability/responsibility of stopping the actions of individuals that seek to infringe on the rights of others.

  9. Does that mean you’ve taken a step closer to anarchy, well yes, in the sense that, the whole point of advocating limited government is that having various “checks and balances” (of which I think private weapon ownership is a part) and “separation of powers” provides a superior political structure for freedom, then a free market political structure is just taking these constitutional principles to their logical conclusion. But then limited government itself is a step closer to practical anarchy, since on this view, limited government is designed to imitate the mechanisms of the market.

    Anarchy, practical, anarcho or otherwise, is a nonprincipled stance and this passage I think illustrates that point. Markets can only function optimally in a society with a strong, or highly principled governemnt stucture. To say that it would be possible to blend market effects with the institution of government is to divorce the concepts (market and governement) from their 'meanings'.

    A rational government would be one of laws not man, obviously people would perform the functions of government but only to the extend of carrying out the laws(in bureaucratic fashion).

    Markets , division of labor, come about because individuals will voluntarily associate with one and other if they feel their rights will be protected and secured by a stable government.

    Human nature is immalleable, no?

    A proper government based on rational ethics and politics is possible, would it arise from competing ideas or structures? Possibly but it seems to be putting thecart

    before the horse.

    Marketsw on the other hand are the aggregate result of voluntary trade betweens millions of individuals, and are fallible. Markets do not necessarily bring about the best or most rational choices, hence the need to base human institutions of governance on 'hard' principles, eg the US constitution( ultimately minus some contradictions).

  10. But if an individual is "allowed" to be powerful enough to mount a successful defense against his government, turned tyrannical, then how can that government be powerful enough to fulfill its initial function as a guarantor of rights? For if its powerful individuals themselves initiate force against one another, the state may not have the power necessary to enforce justice... and in all cases, criminals would feel emboldened, knowing that they at least have a "fighting chance."

    If a populace were sufficiently armed that they felt confident that they could wage war against its government and win... then would that government have the authority necessary such that we can finally call it a "government" at all? Or have we taken a step closer to a practical "anarchy"?

    At what point would a government be termed tyrannical? A rational government should or should not let citizens acquire nuclear devices? Is the situation in the US currently that citizens are banned by law from owning nuclear weapons, or is the operating principle that no individual citizen is allowed to own the specific materials that constitute a weapon, is that a distinction without a difference?
  11. I understand your assertion. You needn't repeat it. Evidence would be particular facts about the practices of news organizations. Since you say that this is pervasive and built-in, a few anecdotes, even if accurate, would not be enough. You'd need a thorough history touching on all the outlets.

    I guess my broader point is that news programming is in no way different from any programming on broadcast media. As to specific examples of owners of media slanting, shading,or editting content to suit viewer tastes, I doubt I could site any, so let's just call it a bias I hold. I withdraw any implcation I may have made to the effect that is was in fact fact.

    I did however like it better 'in the old days' when Cronkite would actually hold up a box of Tide or some such and state the news hour was brought to you by...

  12. #25: If I understand you correctly (a big if), you are just about everybody in the media of a lack of professional integrity (saying that they shade the truth to please advertisers). I'd have to see your evidence.

    When has broadcast media been anything but placating the viewers? The different news departments may have people who hold professional ethics, but the broadcast of their views , unless they are self broadcasters, is subject to others' motivations for 'putting it out there'.

    I did not mean to suggest anyone is shading anything, just that the decisions as to what to broadcast is not seen in the light of what do the people need to know.

    Do you think it is incumbent for the 'news media' to inform the populace, do 'news' broadcasters have some special imperative they must follow just because they disseminate information? Or are they just as likely to produce content they feel will increase any profits they may accrue by playing to an audience suitable to their advertisers?

  13. It amounts to the same thing.

    This "specialized concern" is ultimately another individual or collection of individuals. If we say that we're authorizing the government to control that individual's disposition of his property -- in ways that we would not do with Pez dispensers -- then, again, we're talking about gun control.

    Though trying to introduce hypothetical examples is always fraught with peril, allow me to posit one example, and maybe we can illuminate some aspects of this issue.

    Suppose that outer space nuclear mining is a thing, and that there is a private business which manufactures these explosive devices (which can also be used as weapons).

    Now say that I live on earth and I'm rich, and I'd like to buy one of these nuclear devices for my own personal use on earth -- and they'd like to sell it to me. If we'd like for me to have a defined motive, let's say that I've read these recent threads here on Objectivism Online (archived into the far future, because our writings are all so brilliant that scholars into the far future have looked back on our efforts in awe)... and I was moved by CrowEpistemologist's argument that "civilian weapons are completely irrelevant in the face of the US government."

    Suppose I want to be able to defend myself against the future possibility of a tyrannical government, and so I would like to possess a nuclear weapon so that, should the government turn tyrannical and initiate force against its citizenry, I would have the capability of mounting a meaningful response in the name of self-defense. I may even hold out some hope that my mere possession of such a thing will function as a deterrent against said tyranny.

    Is there any problem with my purchase and maintenance of this weapon? Ought there be?

    This still goes to proving my point, no government can rationally legislate against physical objects, we can only govern by responding to actions of individuals.

    What premise could exist that denies anyone's right to self defense, the means notwithstanding?

  14. It's an old story, but I'm pretty sure the woman being bullied was collecting a salary for the job of supervising these kids. So she was suffering the effects of her own failure (and the failure of people like her, and the system they are a part of).

    As for the OP's question, I think Lord of the Flies is spot on. If you're gonna let any group of children form a pack, without any adult input or supervision, horrible things are bound to happen.

    No children are equipped to live moral lives on their own, they all need adult guidance. Blaming the children is idiotic. And yes, even if you grow up like that, once an adult, you can start re-evaluating your values and change yourself.

    I nominate this for Unsupported Claim of the Thread. Being a CEO or Prime Minister has absolutely nothing to do with bullying people.

    There's nothing of value in being a bully. Not as a child, and not as an adult. If you were a bully, and your goal is to become a CEO or a Prime Minister, my main advice is to start working on yourself, identify the values you hold that cause you to be a bully and an asshole, and change them. Otherwise, you're going to achieve nothing. No one will want to work for you, let alone vote for you.

    I would add not only without adult supervision, but without supervision by an adult that is at all concerned or cognizant of the fact that childern need to be guided toward developing respect for themselves and others.
  15. The 'media' is not an accruate portrayer of what the philosphic trend is /or what that trend is becoming. It can be viewed as an accruate portrayer of what the current philosophic trend is(if philosophic trend is equivalent to what the producers of media content think are the ideas that most resonate with prospective consumers), eg what types of content will comport with what the advertisers see as their prospective audiences.

  16. I frankly don't see much reason why an individual should ever want to own a nuclear weapon (notwithstanding asteroid mining, or what-have-you, if anything like that works out). I don't expect that it would be a common scenario, if that's what you mean by "an extreme example of hyperbole."

    As to whether the difficulty of manufacturing a nuclear weapon factors in, I don't know. An individual rich enough wouldn't necessarily have to engineer or manufacture his own nuke, but could buy it from some other, specialized concern.

    Which is my point if and when using a functional nuclear device were to be used to mine an asteroid, the action of the individual to mine would not seen as a use of a weapon, mining does not violate rights.

    If some 'specialized concern' transferred a device to a particular individual that action could in itself be described as the action that a governement should control.

  17. I think that Eiuol has long attempted to phrase his argument in the strongest possible terms, and that folks have demurred from taking him up on it: but If we are comfortable with an a priori restriction against possession of a functioning nuclear weapon -- if we consider its ownership alone to constitute a general "threat" subject to regulation or prohibition (let's say I have some "suitcase bomb" in my garage) -- then I think that we have already agreed with Eiuol's fundamental claims, and what remains to be worked out is the application of our rationale to smaller-scale weaponry, such as various "assault rifles," etc.

    You of course would stipulate that ownership of a functional nuclear weapon by an individual is an extreme example of hyperbole, given what is required to engineer and manufacture such a thing.

  18. This is unlike how we approach, say, a Pez dispenser. You may buy a Pez dispenser over the counter, and there is no license required, and neither should there be. Gun control is, in essence, treating these weapons ("objects not normally used for life sustaining action, like a tank, nuclear devices, etc., and are dangerous if mishandled or lost") different than Pez dispensers with respect to law; the subject of discussion does not need to be a wholesale ban of any or all to agree in principle that there ought to be some measure of gun control.

    Is not the idea of rational governemnt to recognize and protect individual rights in a societal context? Is it not true that only way to violate rights is an initiation of force? Isn't the idea of governemnt then solely based on actions of individuals? What principle of rational government would deal with physical objects per se?

  19. That is why discovering the murder weapon in a mystery is part of solving the crime of who done it instead of vice versa. It is simply a link to the cause (the murderer) but otherwise is no different than other factors of solving the mystery like access to the crime scene or motive (which ironically has also been criminalized by progressives in the form of “Hate Crimes”).

    If the weapon itself had culpability then too should the murder victim, "I'm not entirely to blame, had he not existed I would not have killed him"

    And maybe to try and bring in the other point, if we are to fine people for driving fast and incorporating a danger purposely, then perhaps we should mandate bullet proof clothing.

  20. I think stories like this show the pack like mentality of obviously undisciplined children(by undisciplined I don't mean in the sense of authoratarian nature, more along the lines of self discipline and self respect). They act and defy accepted social norms of behaviour seemingly for the thrill of doing just that. That type of behaviour shows a total lack of critical thinking, is any consideration giving to what if any consequences may be endured at the end of the bus ride? Why does it seem like the participants don't care what may happen in say the next ten minutes? Is it because they are fairly sure nothing detrimental will happen, is this their past experience? Perhaps.

    I doubt this was a video of home schooled children going on a field trip organized by a group of seperate home schooling parents saving money by renting a bus, nor does it appear to be a group of students from an academy that screens applicants. Pretty sure this was footage from a public school bus in anytown USA.

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