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Everything posted by LeoPTY

  1. Yeah, it's kind of hazy right now what happened, but the timing of this is utter BS. With regard to whether or not disclosure of Paulson's position ABACUS would have been a deciding factor in investment, I would agree that it was a moot point. Investors going long on the CDO and Goldman thought that whoever was short was a fool.
  2. Even worse than complanency, the SEC led retail investors to slaughter with this one. This has partisan interests written all over it. The fact that the "Insecurity and Change Commission" announced the charges during market hours without suspending GS shares from trading hammered retail investors' positions. A question on the topic. The SEC charges that Let's assume for a second that this is true and that investors in ABACUS, rather than the SEC brought the suit forward. If GS told ACA that Paulson was long on the CDO when he was in fact short, and ACA gave the CDO the seal of approval, was fraud committed, and if so who bears the responsibility? EDIT: Grammar
  3. I don't think that an Obama win would have affected the stock market to the degree portrayed by the media. By most measures Obama was the predicted winner at least a week before the election. The market would have already digested the news. Edit: Grammar
  4. That's true. We can't be sure if Bob Barr turned over a new leaf, or if he's paying lip-service to individual liberty just to further his career.
  5. The irony is that since the Fed is a private bank, they get any future AIG profits from their 80% stake, while taxpayers cover the losses. Bernanke is laughing all the way to the bank today.
  6. Thanks for the replies all. It is not that I don't think I can live up to these standards. I thought that it was quite distressing that a code of ethics created to enable man to live his life to the fullest seems to have made me more aware of life's obstacles and threats, rather than my values. I certainly do not want to live other peoples lives, but it seems they want to tell me how to live mine. While I don't usually fret about things that are beyond my control, the idea of being press-ganged into a life of servitude does concern me. I am aware that I probably cannot do anything about it, and that makes it all the worse. Being not fully acquainted with Objectivism (nor fully integrated), it simply may be conflicting ideas. However, I think my main issue is fighting battles that are too large and messy, rather than focusing on my immediate environment as softwareNerd suggested. I would definitely like to know more about the unrealistic standards that Mammon and DavidOdden have encountered among some Objectivists. Good advice from everyone!
  7. Hello all, In the course of studying Objectivism I have learned of man’s morals which enable him to live. Knowledge of these morals is burdensome to me. While I try to focus on the things that make my life wonderful, I am overwhelmed by a feeling of powerlessness when I realize that certain people are working (with increasing degrees of success) to enslave us under the yoke of collectivism. Does anyone else find being an Objectivist wearying at times, especially when faced with loved ones who champion immoral causes? How do the people on this forum put this aside and happily pursue their values, rather than living with constant angst?
  8. -Final Fantasy (Nobuo Uematsu) -Starcraft -Metroid Prime -Metal Gear Solid 2 (Harry Gregson-Williams) -Silent Hill series (The acoustic guitar songs that usually accompany cutscenes)
  9. Hi Corey, I will attempt to answer the first part of your question, but I will leave the second part for someone else since my knowledge of the subject is rudimentary at best. It would be quite a feat to buy up all of the fresh water in Canada. However, just because your hypothetical company would have the money to buy up all of the water in Canada, it still requires a voluntary sale from the owners of the water supplies. As more and more of these water supplies are bought up, current owners may be reluctant to sell to this large company since they can raise their prices, too. The wonderful thing about Capitalism is the lack of barriers to entry. If the company does gain control of fresh water supplies in Canada, then yes, they can charge what they want. On the other hand, since the price for water is so high, people will have an incentive to devise new ways to get water. As an idea, people would turn to de-salinating the oceans, or sucking moisture out of the air and putting it into a bottle. In today's world these ideas would be costly compared to taking fresh water from an already existing source, but in a world with higher prices they suddenly become economically viable. Additionally, the higher prices would give people stronger incentive to start looking for new reservoirs and aquifers underground. Heck, people can even import water from other nations. Hong Kong imports its water and its one of the wealthiest nations on Earth. I hope this helps.
  10. I had friend of mine recommend some of Cramer's books, as an introduction to stock trading. I'm planning on checking them out.
  11. Believe me, I would have rather taken something else, but I had to take another social science to get my A.A. I had already taken economics and the second class had to be from another discipline. I think there are valid uses for sociology. As a tool for studying societal patterns, relationships, communication, etc. However, I would assume that collectivists enjoy studying the collective, which explains all of the leftist crap in a "value-free" environment. I'm still miffed, but I'm mostly over being told that the only reason I am where I am was because I'm a white male, rather than my drive, intelligence and ambition. I can't wait to be done in 2 weeks- no more sitting through rants about "social inequity" and "screwing workers."
  12. This definitely takes the cake. I'm probably not the first person to ask how people get away with this kind of stuff. I don't get why this happens. The word "race" comes up in a conversation and suddenly everyone starts walking on eggshells, ready to backpedal at the first sign of offense or disagreement.
  13. How did the management let that fly? I don't know what it does for the supposed beneficiaries, but it would only seem to alienate the victimized demographic.
  14. Thanks for the replies. I'll be sure to keep these things in mind. David, you seem to have said what I've had trouble articulating.
  15. Hi all, I'm am about to finish my second year in college. Before today I had had no significant exposure to the left's insidious agenda. It puzzled me when I first entered college why I wasn't immediately assailed by such filth. I initially thought that my school in Europe was insulated from this sort of thinking for some reason or another. However, today in Intro. to Sociology class we watched a film called "Blue Eyed." In this film, Jane Elliott, an educator, performs an experiment on her class by separating her students into two groups: brown-eyed and blue-eyed people. In effect, the brown-eyed students were instructed to isolate and ostracize the blue-eyed students so that member of the "power group" (whites) could come to experience racism. My sociology professor (who I previously considered a rational man), put forth the argument that because a person belongs to the "power" demographic (white, male, straight, protestant) they are by default prejudiced in some way towards others. Essentially, either you're part of the problem, or you're part of the solution. It is this type of thinking that irks me the most. Personally, I really haven't been exposed to discriminatory behavior. As an American, it has happened a few times here in Europe, but I would otherwise consider myself trapped in societal limbo. I haven't witnessed very much European racism, nor have I seen any of it in the military communities. It just seems to me that the correct answer is to recognize the rights of every human being, not to "confront the racist within ourselves." I'm sorry if this is some content-less rant, but I feel the urge to discuss such a disillusionment. Who else on the forum has been subjected to such de-humanizing beliefs? How do/did you survive on campus?
  16. Hear hear! If Eskom is calling for conservation then it is ignoring the wake-up call of progress. To put it in their terms: Eskom has a public duty to supply South Africa with electricity. As a member of the public, you have a right to as much electricity as it takes to meet your needs. This was probably Eskom's original train of thought, despite being economically unsustainable.
  17. I just bought 5x5 today. Excellent lyrics and wonderful instruments. It is definitely a new approach with hip-hop. I highly recommend it- legally BTW, what is the name of the brown creature in your pictures? I see them all over the internet, but I've never known what they are.
  18. Wow. Some excellent points. Interesting how Keynesian theory falls apart under scrutiny. I'll need to do some reading on wage determination in the market. So, in the example I mentioned above, such a scenario is just about impossible because wages are a large spectrum, rather than just a 0 or a 1, correct? I'm sure that in the real world with so many goods and services on the economy stagnation due to income inequality wouldn't happen either. Thanks for the help, everyone. I've never lived in the U.S before, so I'm not entirely sure how things are going over there.
  19. I don't think it is reduction in overall buying power so much as it is a shift in the way wealth is spent. Let me illustrate my train of thought: Let's say we have two different factories A and B. Assume that factory A pays its workers more "equitably" because the management feels obligated to pay its workers above market value. Workers at factory A make $500 per month (in the interest of simplicity). Workers at factory A theoretically spend their income like this: $200 for rent $50 for food $50 for gas $200 on a TV (or some other commodity) The income received by each of these industries is compounded for each worker at the factory. However, at factory B, the management pays its worker $300 per month. Workers at factory B theoretically spend their income like this: $200 for rent $50 for food $50 for gas The owner of the factory in this case would have an extra $200 from each worker, however due to diminishing utility he probably would not buy the same amount of televisions that each worker in factory B could have theoretically bought, and as a result the television industry would not develop. Due to diminishing utility, a single person would not buy as much as a group of individuals. Wouldn't factory B's scenario cause the consumer goods industries to not develop, assuming certis paribus? Which would lead to greater prosperity: "spreading the wealth around" so that everyone can own a TV (not morally justified), or the owner of factory B using the extra $200 to invest in capital goods, and boost the economy in the long term? Yeah, I know its not the best example. The whole thing has me very confused since I don't have a fully formed opinion about the matter, except that it sounded dodgy.
  20. The definition of what constitutes a recession always changes depending on who I talk to. Looks like I fell into the nihilist "abandon-all-hope" trap . So the economy has to actually shrink for 2 quarters in order to have a recession, or can painstakingly slow near-zero growth be considered grounds for a recession? BTW, looks like you've got a lot of snow up there.
  21. Thanks for the replies, everyone, there is a lot of good info here. I'll be sure to expand my reading list since my economics course insists on stacking the deck against Capitalism, freedom and de-regulation. Do you mean that if this were the case, the same amount of money would stay in the economy since the supposedly expropriated income would trickle through banks and investments (just as an example)? My knowledge of what is going on in the U.S. economy is very limited right now. Doesn't the falling U.S. dollar indicate lower confidence in the U.S. economy (higher supply of dollars on the market)?
  22. Most of the discussion regarding to U.S. economy at my university has a strong marxist/socialist slant. Perhaps someone on this board can clarify, if not refute outright, some of the things being said. My economics professor claims that the current recession in the U.S. economy is the result of a mammoth income disparity. He claims that the upper class (pejoratively referred to as the "entrepreneurs") have been able to push U.S. wages so low that the middle and lower classes have no buying power. The problem is further compounded by the entrepreneur's quest to maximize profits which leads to the reduction of product quality. This supposedly causes international trade to suffer as no one wants to buy American exports of "crap" quality. I agree that Capitalism is supposed to cause income disparities due to differences in talent, ability, motivation etc., but his argument logically makes sense when examined by itself. So what is the missing the piece that has been surreptitiously omitted? It seems to me that if an entrepreneur is able to sell a good or service, he is satisfying someone's unmet need and therefore doing good for society as well as himself. What is the real cause of our economic woes? Is it simply politicians monkeying with the money supply to boost their approval ratings?
  23. Hello everyone, I'm an American who has spent his whole life outside of the United States. I'm 19 years old, and I'm currently taking classes with the University of Maryland University College, but I hope to transfer in the Fall. My father is a pharmacist who works at military hospitals, so we've stayed in Europe for quite a while. I'd call myself one of the few Capitalists over here, as everyone is always sounding off about the government's need to take care of us. In my free time I enjoy reading (I should do more), paintball, working out, running, learning, clubbing, gaming, jousting with my catholic mother, and my latest obsession- polishing my college applications. I'm glad I discovered this sane corner of the internet. There is a lot of productive discussion here. I've been lurking on this forum for about two months, but I figured I may as well try to contribute something to the boards. Initially, I used to be a communist because I've always upheld productivity. Then one day I realized that these were Capitalist ideals, and that the whole "killing people" thing didn't sit well with me. I first learned about Objectivism in high school when I read Atlas Shrugged for one of my English classes. I think I more or less embraced Objectivist ethics before I was actually introduced to them. In the way of ethics, I'm looking to understand how Objectivism is not is not carte blanche to be a jerk. Also, I want to learn more about Rand's metaphysics and epistemology. I have a copy of OPAR in the mail though, so I hope that that will clear up some questions. I look forward to be a productive member on these boards!
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