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Everything posted by JamesShrugged

  1. I don't make that equivocation at all. I asked "How would a monopoly government set the prices it charges for security, criminal courts, arbitration and wages for its employees?" I actually advocate the abolition of monopolies, like the government. I talk about competition on a free market for the security and arbitration industries. I understand that you want this field (security and arbitration) to be exempt from economics, but it isn't. The establishment of a monopoly in a particular field (in this case security and arbitration) does not change the fact that it is an economy, that is, there is an exchange of goods and services, namely money in exchange for security and arbitration services, and that people have to be paid to perform those services. That's a market.
  2. What about arbitration? Those are essentially private courts. Police and Courts are the primary fixtures of Rands government (Military too, i know.)
  3. Edit: The title got cut off. It was supposed to be: "Why do Ayn Rands views on coersive monopolies not apply to her ideal government?" Ayn Rand had this view of monopolies: http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/monopoly.html#order_2 How would the Objectivist government, which is, according to Rand, a monopoly ("a government holds a legal monopoly on the use of physical force".), avoid the problems that Rand illustrates ("[the ability to] set its prices and production policies independent of the market," "immunity from competition," "[immunity] from the law of supply and demand" "An economy dominated by such monopolies would be rigid and stagnant." How would a monopoly government set the prices it charges for security, criminal courts, arbitration and wages for its employees?
  4. I don't really consider myself a leftist, but I think this was directed at me, so I'll answer: No, what I want is for the government restrictions that deny people opportunitys in business start up, self-employment and cottage industry to be abolished. It is those restrictions that create an artificial surplus of labor which leads to these terms of employment becoming viable. Tucker talks about this when he advocates the abolition of the central bank: "This facility of acquiring capital will give an unheard of impetus to business, and consequently create an unprecedented demand for labor, – a demand which will always be in excess of the supply, directly to the contrary of the present condition of the labor market. Then will be seen an exemplification of the words of Richard Cobden that, when two laborers are after one employer, wages fall, but when two employers are after one laborer, wages rise. Labor will then be in a position to dictate its wages, and will thus secure its natural wage, its entire product."
  5. TL;DR: alleged defender of free market comes out in defense of mixed economy, claims regulation is trivial.
  6. How different would walmarts business model (their actually, current, existing right now in reality business model) be if they * had to pay for the roads that are made by the government for the use of large military vehicles (amounts to a transportation subsidy) how would walmart have built the interstate highway system without taxation and eminent domain? the majority of citizens have no need for those kinds of roads) * Couldnt use imminent domain to aquire property * didnt have access to a cheap disposible, artificially inflated labor market created by government regulation * couldnt use minimum wage legislation to push competitors out of business * didnt have the healthcare of its labor force subsidize by government Their efficiency as a discounter is a direct result of their ability to take advantage of government intervention into the economy. That in and of itself is not particularly objectionable, as all companies must do so to some degree. But the fact is that walmart is not a free market advocate. They actively advocate governmnet intervention into the economy so that they can exploit them.
  7. So, the question is does the actual practice match up with the theory you posted? No. http://prq.sagepub.com/content/66/3/585.abstract "Using data from the 2004 National Annenberg Election Survey, and multiple roll call votes, I examine Senate responsiveness for the 107th through 111th Congresses. The results show consistent responsiveness toward upper income constituents. Moreover, Republicans are more responsive than Democrats to middle-income constituents in the 109th Congress, and a case study of the 107th Senate reveals that responsiveness toward the wealthy increases once Democrats take control of the chamber." here is more information and quotes from that study: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/08/19/oligarchic-tendencies-study-finds-only-the-wealthy-get-represented-in-the-senate/ My question for you is why you appear to have a vested interest in the defense of a nations evils which result from its factual status as a democratic mixed economy as if it were a free nation?
  8. "James would have us believe the country has minimum wage laws because companies like Walmart pushes for them." Its actually a matter of fact: http://money.cnn.com/2005/10/25/news/fortune500/walmart_wage/ "Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott said he's urging Congress to consider raising the minimum wage" http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304908304579563763405679116 ""We are not opposed to minimum wage increase, unless its directed exclusively at us," said Wal-Mart U.S. President Bill Simon," "James and all his similar anti-business posts." I'm actually against cronyism and the mixed economy, not business. EDIT: Im actually not primarily against cronyism, but for free markets. "If you want to (plausibly) criticize Walmart for anything, do so for their use of eminent domain." Did you read the article? Because I said this: "The most direct of Walmart’s cronyism are two-fold. First, Walmart’s push for a raise in minimum wage to push competition out of business, since Walmart can afford to pay the higher minimum wage, but smaller competitors may not be able. Using legislation to destroy competition for customers, also destroys competition for employees and furthers the effect of labor supply inflation that allows Walmart to have the terms of employment it sets be accepted by the labor market. Secondly, the corporation has engaged in the abuse of eminent domain to misappropriate land from private owners by the force, which stops any resistance by a community to the abuses cited above."
  9. Actually you can see from this study: http://prq.sagepub.com/content/66/3/585 that only the wealthy are represented in congress. "I examine Senate responsiveness for the 107th through 111th Congresses. The results show consistent responsiveness toward upper income constituents." Further: "The average American doesn't realize how much of the laws are written by lobbyists" to protect incumbent interests, Google CEO Eric Schmidt told Atlantic editor James Bennet at the Washington Ideas Forum. "It's shocking how the system actually works." www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2010/10/googles-ceo-the-laws-are-written-by-lobbyists/63908/ "In a sign of Wall Street’s resurgent influence in Washington, Citigroup’s recommendations were reflected in more than 70 lines of the House committee’s 85-line bill. Two crucial paragraphs, prepared by Citigroup in conjunction with other Wall Street banks, were copied nearly word for word. (Lawmakers changed two words to make them plural.)" http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/05/23/banks-lobbyists-help-in-drafting-financial-bills/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0 "In an example a week and a half ago, the House passed a measure that would roll back a portion of the 2010 financial reforms known as Dodd-Frank. And reports from and revealed that language in the final legislation was nearly identical to language suggested by lobbyists. It's been a long-accepted truth in Washington that lobbyists write the actual laws," http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2013/11/11/243973620/when-lobbyists-literally-write-the-bill I wrote it about a month ago, but never posted it here. You may have seen it on reddit, or objectivistliving?
  10. http://anarchobjectivist.wordpress.com/2014/05/21/a-free-market-defense-of-walmart-not-so-fast/ "In his November 27, 2013 Forbes article, Doug Altner asks the question, “Why do 1.4 million Americans work at walmart?” His answer, presumed to be along free market lines, is that walmart and its employees voluntarily trade value for value to mutual benefit and satisfaction."
  11. Thanks for your comments... Parah and I started that forum /r/objectivism a couple of years ago while it was abandoned. There are plenty of mainstream objectivist forums, like this one, or 4aynrandfans.com. I really don't understand the desire to have that one as well. I would really encourage the people who don't like /r/objectivism because of who it's moderators are, or because of our views on the various objectivish movements, to join one of the other forums.
  12. http://mises.org/document/1022 History of Money and Banking in the United States: The Colonial Era to World War II Murray N. Rothbard The master teacher of American economic history covers money and banking in the whole of American history, to show that the meltdown of our times is hardly the first. And guess what caused them in the past? Paper money, loose credit, reckless lending standards, government profligacy, and central banking When will we learn? When people understand the cause and effect in the history of these repeating calamities In a complete revision of the standard account, Rothbard traces inflations, banking panics, and money meltdowns from the Colonial Period through the mid-20th century to show how government's systematic war on sound money is the hidden force behind nearly all major economic calamities in American history. Never has the story of money and banking been told with such rhetorical power and theoretical vigor. Here is how this book came to be. Rothbard died in 1995, leaving many people to wish that he had written a historical treatise on this topic. But the the archives assisted: Rothbard had in fact left several large manuscripts dedicated to American banking history. In the course of his career, meanwhile, he had published other pieces along the same lines, but they appeared in venues not readily accessible. Given the desperate need for a single volume that covers the topic, the Mises Institute put together this thrilling book. So seamless is the style and argument, and comprehensive is coverage, that it might as well have been written in exactly the format.
  13. Early adopter and long time Rand associate Barbara Branden passed away yesterday, 12/11/2013. I would highly recommend her course “Principles of Efficient Thinking.” I wanted to recognize her life and passing with this blog: http://anarchobjectivist.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/barbara-branden-rip/
  14. "That's because big businesses are always targeted as evil simply because of their success." [Citation needed.] This one of those Randian assumptions that doesn't fit the facts. "It's a point that almost no one makes other than Objectivists." Except every conservative ever. "There's nothing wrong with being large or successful." What if you are at successful at graft and political pull? Still virtuous? "To think Objectivists never point out that the poor are hurt the most due to government intervention is fallacious." Do you have a link to an article explaining as much? "Rand, herself, pointed it out." Yes, She did. But objectivists today don't. That's why I think there is a disconnect between objectivist philosophy and the modern orthodox objectivist movement.
  15. "In political systems across all of history, we always see economic power buying political power. So, one can always point to this and say: these people are buying their way to violating the rights of others. It begs the question though: how did they get that economic power in the first place? In order to show that the rights-violation is primary, we have to argue that the "economic power" flows primarily from political power. This is where the two threads by James Shrugged and the linked article parallel the Marxian argument." How did Orren Boyle get his economic power? If I remember correctly, it was from a government loan, in contrast to Hank Rearden who saved enough to buy his first factory. "we have to argue that the "economic power" flows primarily from political power." In a mixed economy, absolutely it does. And it isn't a Marxist theory, it's Randian: "When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion--when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing--when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors--when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you--when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice--you may know that your society is doomed."
  16. One group of individuals *federal reserve) has a monopoly on printing legal tender which the law requires everyone to accept as payment. That group sells the legal tender to another group (banks) at very low rates. That group then sells the money to a group (general public) that is not privy to the low interest at high enough rates to make a "profit." Thats a banking cartel. here is a great book on the topic http://mises.org/Books/mysteryofbanking.pdf
  17. Alleged bank cartels? Are you really denying the existence of central banking in the US?
  18. "The article is about minimum wage and fast-food, not everything the fast food industry does. Basically, minimum wage is not a fix." Right, but I wonder why the author chose to frame his argument this way, as if this is what he sees as essential. "At best you could say the article is too narrow, and isn't written well enough. But it's not that silly "orthodox" Objectivism thing in any case." I agree, with the first sentence. As for the second, this error is a pattern in the orthodox objectivist movement all the way from Rand calling big business a "persecuted minority," to Binswanger and now Svanberg. It's wrong, and it needs to stop.
  19. "So, are you also in favor of immigration laws that restrict third-world labor from streaming into the U.S. and undercutting U.S. labor?" "Immigration laws" is a silly way to put it. I'm in favor of freed markets. "The notion that U.S. labor gets less than what it would otherwise get -- if not for this mixed-economy -- is false. " Thats a nice assertion and all but... http://c4ss.org/content/10124 "Economic exploitation is possible only when competition from the possibility of self-employment is closed off and wage employment is the only game in town. Just as the British state colluded with employers in the Enclosures to obstruct access to natural opportunities, modern employers under corporate capitalism use the state to enclose natural opportunities as a source of rent. The overall effect is to increase the share of needs that must be met through wage employment rather than self-employment or the informal and household sector, and to inflate the number of people seeking employment relative to available jobs. Hence, workers are forced to compete for jobs in a buyer’s market. In a freed market, with all these artificial property rights and artificial scarcities removed, the situation would be reversed. Many people on the margin would leave wage employment altogether, each household would require fewer wage-workers to bring in cash income, those engaged in wage employment would have to work fewer hours to supplement their self-provisioning in the informal economy, and millions of people would retire earlier. Employers would find themselves forced to compete for labor, instead of the other way around, and workers would have the material means to step away from the bargaining table and live off their own resources while awaiting offers more to their liking. In short, the state is the friend of employers and the enemy of labor." and http://c4ss.org/content/21202 "The fact that workers toil under such conditions for so little money is not the effect of the free market pricing mechanism. It’s the result of the structure of power that controls the factors of production. Historically, as Franz Oppenheimer argued in The State, it is impossible to exploit labor so long as employers are forced to compete with the possibility of self-employment. Exploitation only becomes possible when unoccupied land is no longer freely available for independent production. And the land is nowhere near being fully occupied by natural means — i.e., actually using it. Instead, it’s enclosed by a privileged class of landlords, who control access to vacant and unimproved land. Other forms of productive property are likewise enclosed for rents by an economic ruling class, with the help of the state. The purpose of the state, since its origin, has been to enforce such artificial scarcities and artificial property rights on behalf of the economic ruling class. The rents of the propertied classes result not from their contributions to production – i.e., actually producing something — but from enclosing and controlling access to productive opportunities. The great share of income, under capitalism, comes not from production but from controlling the conditions under which others are allowed to produce. The result is that, by artificially restricting independent access to the means of production and subsistence, the supply of wage labor is artificially inflated compared to the demand for it. So in a truly free market, the main source of commodity value would be the requirement to pay labor enough to make it worth their while, in their own subjective perception, to engage in production. Our goal ... is not to “force” anyone to pay labor more, but to tear down the enclosures that force workers to accept wage employment only on the terms offered by the economic ruling class." "Can we extrapolate that in your view all U.S. businesses are just as mixed as anyone living off welfare?" No, they are much worse. The state and its cronys have a need of cheap labor and have created a regulatory environoment that provides it by limiting the options avaliable to laborers and create systemic poverty. (If people accumulated any capital they might not have to work for 7.75$ an hour anymore and then what would happen to McDonalds, and their political contributions who claims they can't afford to pay workers any more because of the slow economy, despite records that show a 7% increase in profits over the last decade.) "So, in your view, are all social-security recipients also just as immoral as someone who has lived off clear-cut welfare, fake "disability", food-stamps etc.?" The question of morality here has more to do with the virtues of independence and productivity, than politics I'd say.
  20. "No, they're not. Come to think of it, they're far from horrible compared to any other time in human history, and any other country through human history." Ah, so you are an advocate of the mixed economy? "The question you should be asking is why not? Who has made it better? Who should you be grateful to for working and living conditions that are by orders of magnitude better than the average human has had through history?" The mixed economy? or is it that freedom thing I keep talking about and advocating? "Instead, you spend your days being angry at the world, because it isn't perfect. And your anger blinds you from considering how lucky you actually are, and how good this world (a world created by SOMEONE, unless you think it just magically appeared) actually is. Take a moment, and identify that SOMEONE, who made this world as good as it is. Thank them. Then focus on making it even better, keeping in mind that you'll probably have to settle for "better": it's probably never going to be perfect." You are psychologizing. Besides, I'm not angry, except at writers who claim to be advocates of liberty and then do a piss poor job of defending it by attacking welfare recipients and ignoring corporate subsidies. "Oh, and when you're done making the world better, expect your reward to be some angry "anarchist" calling you names for daring to work in a world that isn't perfect." Once again, strawman. The target of my article was not those who are working, it's those who live by looting off others work, and their apologists, like you, binswanger, svanberg and other orthodox objectivists.
  21. Compared to a true free market, yes. Compared to a third world country, probably not.
  22. The fast food industrys actions werent really my point in this article. The point was that Svanberg praises the fast food industry for its actions in a mixed economy as if it was in a free market. Why did he choose to attack welfare? What about the fact that state regulation has artificially inflated the labour supply by restricting opportunity (making the barriers to entry high) thereby providing these firms with a steady supply of cheap, disposable labour? Not a peep about that. He then goes on to advocate abolishing the welfare state without mentioning a single word about abolishing to corporate handouts and artifical barriers to entry the state has erected and acts like the condition the workers are in is completely A-OK, dispite the fact that they are horrible as a result of government intervention.
  23. In this particular article Svanberg acts like everything the fast food industry is doing is a legitamite function of the free market. It isn't. More often than not I see orthodox objectivists defending the recipients of state largess, especially if they are business owners.
  24. Link to the full article The Ayn Rand Institute continues it's divorce from reality with its latest blog entry “The fast-food industry is not a burden” by Carl Svanberg. Apparently taking a que from fellow ARI associate Harry Binswanger, this author drops the context of the mixed economy and attempts to defend the fast food industry on free market grounds.
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