1. Post #41
    WhatTheKlent's Avatar
    December 2008
    802 Posts
    the market is responsible for bringing the computer into the average person's home
    It's also responsible for sweat-shops, starvation, water shortages, wars and countless other problems.

    Slavery was responsible for many good things but that doesn't make it acceptable.

  2. Post #42
    It's also responsible for sweat-shops, starvation, water shortages, wars and countless other problems
    and you think governments are innocent of those things?

  3. Post #43
    Gold Member
    Turnips5's Avatar
    January 2007
    6,968 Posts
    and you think governments are innocent of those things?
    when did he ever say that?

  4. Post #44
    WhatTheKlent's Avatar
    December 2008
    802 Posts
    and you think governments are innocent of those things?
    No, but neither is the recent concept of a 'free market' responsible for all advances made since it's introduction.
    It contributes hugely to many problems, which clearly outweigh the unprovable benefits.

  5. Post #45
    Gold Member
    LF9000's Avatar
    November 2005
    1,159 Posts
    It's also responsible for sweat-shops, starvation, water shortages, wars and countless other problems.

    Slavery was responsible for many good things but that doesn't make it acceptable.

    I'm having a hard time following you here.
    The "Market" (from your wording you treat it as a singular entity which it is not), cannot declare war on other nations. The closest thing to war the "market" can inflict is in the form of private military contractors, which are contracted by the government. Remember its congress and the executive that gets us into wars, and manages to stay in a state of unsustainable war while piling on debt year after year. Not some so called singular entity known to you as the "market".


    Blaming water shortages and famine on the "market" instead of nature. I don't see how this makes sense.


    Sweat-shops, although they indeed have deplorable conditions, are far better than alternatives. Sweat-shops are the intermediate step between an agricultural civilization and a fully developed, industrialized civilization like the US. If you legislate it such that all companies must provide adequate working conditions and health-care and all the shebang a first world worker is accompanied to, you would drive up the price of labor so much that many companies will choose to relocate. This in turn creates unemployment, forcing many laborers to revert back to a more agricultural lifestyle, or worse, turn to more illicit activities such as child prostitution, prostitution, human trafficking, drug dealing, etc.

  6. Post #46
    No, but neither is the recent concept of a 'free market' responsible for all advances made since it's introduction.
    It contributes hugely to many problems, which clearly outweigh the unprovable benefits.
    the hell are you talking about

  7. Post #47
    WhatTheKlent's Avatar
    December 2008
    802 Posts
    I'm having a hard time following you here.
    The "Market" (from your wording you treat it as a singular entity which it is not), cannot declare war on other nations. The closest thing to war the "market" can inflict is in the form of private military contractors, which are contracted by the government. Remember its congress and the executive that gets us into wars, and manages to stay in a state of unsustainable war while piling on debt year after year. Not some so called singular entity known to you as the "market".
    I'm fully aware the market is not a singular entity, my point is that people seem to believe 'the market' to be some sort of wise god, to which everyone (Including governments) must delegate their decisions.

    The actions of ANY country in the world today are based on economic objectives (often the intrests of certain parties), It's clear that governments of today take a back-seat when it comes to decision-making compared the the 'invisble hand' of the free market.

    Blaming water shortages and famine on the "market" instead of nature. I don't see how this makes sense.
    There is adequate arable land in the world to feed every person on the planet, that would be unprofitable thus we have huge numbers of cattle to satisfy the demands of consumers who can afford to pay extra. A considerable quantity of the worlds grains are fed to this excess of livestock and contributes directly to starvation.
    That's without getting into the fact that wealthy countries eat in excess of what is needed, to the point where it causes health problems in itself.

    Water isn't a difficult to obtain commodity, once the piping and water treatment facilities are in place it's cost is quite low.
    There are plenty of unnecessary buildings being built around the world, if that effort was used to build water treatment facilities and pipe networks water could easily be made available for most, if not all of the world's population.
    But once again this is less profitable than building leisure facilities for those who can pay more.

    Sweat-shops, although they indeed have deplorable conditions, are far better than alternatives. Sweat-shops are the intermediate step between an agricultural civilization and a fully developed, industrialized civilization like the US. If you legislate it such that all companies must provide adequate working conditions and health-care and all the shebang a first world worker is accompanied to, you would drive up the price of labor so much that many companies will choose to relocate. This in turn creates unemployment, forcing many laborers to revert back to a more agricultural lifestyle, or worse, turn to more illicit activities such as child prostitution, prostitution, human trafficking, drug dealing, etc.
    That is just outrageously untenable position,
    In what way is work in a sweat-shop 'far better' than agriculture?

    I've yet to see bars put on farmer's windows to prevent suicides.

    the hell are you talking about
    The reasons generally put forth in support of a free-market (Efficient, No monopolies, profit motive).

  8. Post #48
    The reasons generally put forth in support of a free-market (Efficient, No monopolies, profit motive).
    those aren't unprovable

  9. Post #49
    WhatTheKlent's Avatar
    December 2008
    802 Posts
    those aren't unprovable
    -Well there are other ways to motivate people than profit, I think you'd agree that someone who enjoys their job is more likely perform better(as do most modern theories of motivation.)
    No amount of money will cause people to put in all their effort if they don't enjoy what they do.
    -The system at the moment has it's share of monopolies, price-fixing and predatory MNC's.
    A true free market with no government interference would lead to price-fixing and market domination on a much greater scale.
    While the system of regulation tries to minimise these problems, it by no means eliminates them
    -Free markets may be more efficient, the problem is the definition of efficiency.
    If you can feed two people enough to survive or feed one person more than he needs which system is more efficient? It's clear that feeding two people is far more productive than feeding one too much.
    Free markets define efficiency in terms of the abstract concept of money, rather than maximum utility for given inputs.
    If everyone's allowed to make up definitions based on self-serving premises, then clearly burning everything is the most 'lavender' way of doing things.

    Free-market economies aren't some sort of ideal, they have serious problems and are arguably not economic at all.
    For all their benefits they are still far from a reasonable method of utilizing available resources.

  10. Post #50
    I wasn't saying they were true, I was just responding to the claim that it's not possible to measure them.

  11. Post #51
    WhatTheKlent's Avatar
    December 2008
    802 Posts
    I wasn't saying they were true, I was just responding to the claim that it's not possible to measure them.
    It can be measured, but there are too many other variables involved that any attempt at establishing causation is arguable.

  12. Post #52
    Gold Member
    POLOPOZOZO's Avatar
    May 2006
    14,660 Posts
    Maybe the Dems don't want to do it because the United States just got out of a recession, and because taxes hinder economic growth?
    Didn't the 50's have really high tax rates? You know, that decade with huge growth?

  13. Post #53
    Gold Member
    Jaehead's Avatar
    December 2005
    3,965 Posts
    Didn't the 50's have really high tax rates? You know, that decade with huge growth?
    Not exactly sure what happened in the 50s but perhaps there were higher rates because the government wanted to control that growth

    Raise in taxes = less disposable income. It's pretty much impossible for real GDP to grow when people have less money to spend.

  14. Post #54
    Gold Member
    PvtCupcakes's Avatar
    May 2008
    10,900 Posts
    Not exactly sure what happened in the 50s but perhaps there were higher rates because the government wanted to control that growth

    Raise in taxes = less disposable income. It's pretty much impossible for real GDP to grow when people have less money to spend.
    That only applies to the middle and lower class
    It doesn't apply to the wealthy which is who was paying the really high tax rates in the 50s.

    Edited:

    That would be true if interest rates didn't exist
    What about interest rates?

    "Yeah interest rates don't matter because pancakes".
    That's your reply.

    Edited:

    Yeah, no need to worry about the debt, it's not like other nations will follow the example of Russia and China and stop utilizing the dollar as a reserve currency in trade because of our abuse of the printing presses.
    The US economy can handle debt greater than 100% of GDP.
    Cutting spending only makes the economy worse which makes the debt worse, so that's obviously not the answer.

  15. Post #55
    What about interest rates?

    "Yeah interest rates don't matter because pancakes".
    That's your reply.
    what

    you're the one saying interest rates don't matter here

  16. Post #56
    Gold Member

    May 2005
    2,268 Posts
    It's also responsible for sweat-shops, starvation, water shortages, wars and countless other problems.
    Sweat shops provide alternatives for people in third world countries from having to resort to prostitution and begging on the street. They choose sweat shops because they are the best possible alternative.

    What is the evidence for capitalism being responsible for starvation? If anything it reduces starvation because the profit motive drives producers to want to produce more food at a lower cost and to pass these savings on to consumers. On the other hand we can find examples of millions of people dying from starvation in the USSR and China with their planned economies.

    What about interest rates?

    "Yeah interest rates don't matter because pancakes".
    That's your reply.
    We seem to be having a miscommunication here so I'll just rephrase it, piled up debt is bad because it's not free money, you have to pay interest on it.

  17. Post #57
    Gold Member
    PvtCupcakes's Avatar
    May 2008
    10,900 Posts
    Sweat shops provide alternatives for people in third world countries from having to resort to prostitution and begging on the street. They choose sweat shops because they are the best possible alternative.

    What is the evidence for capitalism being responsible for starvation? If anything it reduces starvation because the profit motive drives producers to want to produce more food at a lower cost and to pass these savings on to consumers. On the other hand we can find examples of millions of people dying from starvation in the USSR and China with their planned economies.



    We seem to be having a miscommunication here so I'll just rephrase it, piled up debt is bad because it's not free money, you have to pay interest on it.
    You don't pay interest on money you loan to yourself by printing it.
    Contrary to popular belief China doesn't own that much of our debt.

  18. Post #58
    Gold Member
    Jaehead's Avatar
    December 2005
    3,965 Posts
    You don't pay interest on money you loan to yourself by printing it.
    can you provide a source on that

    because as far as I'm aware the US government funds its deficits by selling treasury bonds?

  19. Post #59
    Ordigenius's Avatar
    January 2011
    1,169 Posts
    I'm fully aware the market is not a singular entity, my point is that people seem to believe 'the market' to be some sort of wise god, to which everyone (Including governments) must delegate their decisions.

    The actions of ANY country in the world today are based on economic objectives (often the intrests of certain parties), It's clear that governments of today take a back-seat when it comes to decision-making compared the the 'invisble hand' of the free market.



    There is adequate arable land in the world to feed every person on the planet, that would be unprofitable thus we have huge numbers of cattle to satisfy the demands of consumers who can afford to pay extra. A considerable quantity of the worlds grains are fed to this excess of livestock and contributes directly to starvation.
    That's without getting into the fact that wealthy countries eat in excess of what is needed, to the point where it causes health problems in itself.

    Water isn't a difficult to obtain commodity, once the piping and water treatment facilities are in place it's cost is quite low.
    There are plenty of unnecessary buildings being built around the world, if that effort was used to build water treatment facilities and pipe networks water could easily be made available for most, if not all of the world's population.
    But once again this is less profitable than building leisure facilities for those who can pay more.



    That is just outrageously untenable position,
    In what way is work in a sweat-shop 'far better' than agriculture?

    I've yet to see bars put on farmer's windows to prevent suicides.

    You know, cattle isn't just only for meat. There aree a lot of useful things made from cattle.



    because things made in sweatshops are far more valuable than veggies?

  20. Post #60
    "We should allow child labor overseas ...the sweatshop is what is saving the 9 year old worker"
    Pepin's Avatar
    April 2007
    6,864 Posts
    did you seriously just put economics on the same level as mathematics

    I'm sorry, but if any field needs to be verified by empirical research, it's economics. I means seriously, how in the fuck can you say this with a straight face:

    What's the point in even doing a study then? It's only going to end up strengthening your belief in Austrian economics regardless of the outcome, so why not cut out the middleman?

    http://lesswrong.com/lw/ar/awful_austrians/
    It's a little difficult to reply to this when there are only claims to respond to. I'm certain you have evidence, but I need to be made aware of it, as I can't argue against claims, as claims aren't arguments. It may end up that I agree with your premises but disagree that it follows, or maybe I agree with everything.

    Can you explain the need for empirical research to validate many basic micro and macro economic concepts? It might be a good place to start on the laws on diminishing returns.

    Edited:

    I'm fully aware the market is not a singular entity, my point is that people seem to believe 'the market' to be some sort of wise god, to which everyone (Including governments) must delegate their decisions.

    The actions of ANY country in the world today are based on economic objectives (often the intrests of certain parties), It's clear that governments of today take a back-seat when it comes to decision-making compared the the 'invisble hand' of the free market.
    Can you explain why a government is not prone to the same issues of market failure? I get the impression that you are claiming that government is a valid alternative to market issues, and I'm curious as to why the government would be a entity to make decisions. It's important to realize that any government and any market is just made up of people, so the main difference is those of incentives.

  21. Post #61
    Gold Member
    PvtCupcakes's Avatar
    May 2008
    10,900 Posts
    can you provide a source on that

    because as far as I'm aware the US government funds its deficits by selling treasury bonds?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_market_operations

    Treasury bonds are bought and sold by the Federal Reserve as one of their tools to control the supply of money.
    They can decrease supply by selling bonds. Money used to buy the bonds is essentially removed from circulation. The interest rates on bonds are used to entice people to buy or sell depending on if they want to increase money supply or decrease. Low interest rates gets people to sell them, thereby increasing the supply of money when the Fed gives them cash for the bond.

    Edited:

    To pay for these assets, bank reserves in the form of new base money (for example newly printed cash) are transferred to the seller's bank and the seller's account is credited. Thus, the total amount of base money in the economy is increased. Conversely, if the central bank sells these assets in the open market, the amount of base money held by the buyer's bank is decreased, effectively destroying base money.

  22. Post #62
    Gold Member
    sgman91's Avatar
    July 2006
    3,284 Posts
    The government still pays interest on debt to it's own people... the interest is the entire reason people buy the bonds. If they just print the extra money for interest you get super inflation.

  23. Post #63
    Gold Member
    Jaehead's Avatar
    December 2005
    3,965 Posts
    -pretty much what sg said above-

  24. Post #64
    Gold Member
    PvtCupcakes's Avatar
    May 2008
    10,900 Posts
    Um yeah they print the money to pay the interest on them.
    It said right in the thing I quoted that money is printed to buy Treasury bonds from people which includes the interest payment. You don't get the interest until you sell the bond. The cost doesn't matter because the function is to put money into the economy.

    And on top of that the Federal Reserve makes several billion dollars in profit every year (50-100 billion) and they give 90% of it to the Treasury, which they aren't required to do.

  25. Post #65
    WhatTheKlent's Avatar
    December 2008
    802 Posts
    You know, cattle isn't just only for meat. There aree a lot of useful things made from cattle.

    because things made in sweatshops are far more valuable than veggies?
    Not useful enough to warrant committing huge percentages of the planet's grain production, it's a choice between enough food for everyone or an abundance of meat and leather products.

    I was talking about the workers in factories, their quality of life is disgraceful and to claim it's far better than agricultural employment is absurd.
    You seem to be talking about the products they produce, which hardly justifies what is essentially slavery.

    Can you explain why a government is not prone to the same issues of market failure? I get the impression that you are claiming that government is a valid alternative to market issues, and I'm curious as to why the government would be a entity to make decisions. It's important to realize that any government and any market is just made up of people, so the main difference is those of incentives.
    If there is no market, there can be no market failure.
    Crop failures and other shortages are inevitable in any system but a more egalitarian method would ensure as many people as possible get what they need.

    The market is made of many people pursuing their own personal interests, which leads to abuses of power that are evident throughout the world, not to mention complete disinterest in helping those who can't pay their way.
    A government is by no means immune to abuses of power, but at least officials can be held directly accountable for their actions.

    Both the free-market and governments are collections of people but governments are more structured and are expected to represent the interests of their citizens.
    Governments have to consider the effects of their decisions on society at large before committing to them, whereas actors in a free-market only need to be concerned with profit.

    And on top of that the Federal Reserve makes several billion dollars in profit every year (50-100 billion) and they give 90% of it to the Treasury, which they aren't required to do.
    How nice of them...

  26. Post #66
    Gold Member

    May 2005
    2,268 Posts
    It's not "essentially slavery".

    If they have a choice between working in prostitution, begging on the streets, or working in a sweat shop, they are going to work at a sweat shop. They choose it because it is the best possible alternative. No one is being abducted and forced into "slave labor", there is heavy competition to get into these jobs.

    And on top of that the Federal Reserve makes several billion dollars in profit every year (50-100 billion) and they give 90% of it to the Treasury, which they aren't required to do.
    How on earth could you ever not make a profit when you can print trillions of dollars out at no cost and lend it out at interest. If they lend out 2 trillion printed dollars at a 2% interest rate that is 40 billion in "profit".

    Not to mention what are they doing with the money that don't go back to the Treasury?

  27. Post #67
    Gold Member
    LF9000's Avatar
    November 2005
    1,159 Posts
    Not useful enough to warrant committing huge percentages of the planet's grain production, it's a choice between enough food for everyone or an abundance of meat and leather products.

    I was talking about the workers in factories, their quality of life is disgraceful and to claim it's far better than agricultural employment is absurd.
    You seem to be talking about the products they produce, which hardly justifies what is essentially slavery.


    Unless I'm missing something here, all workers choose to work. Maybe its just me, but I haven't heard of evil greedy corporations kidnapping people in the night and holding a gun to their heads; forcing them to work.
    Workers work because they choose to seek employment, was satisfied by the pay/job quality offered by the employer, and choose to show up and work.
    If they really thought their jobs were shit and that agricultural work was easy as pie (toiling in the sweltering sun all day isn't much better than sweatshop labor), then why in the world would they work for those "evil evil greedy corporations"

  28. Post #68
    It's a little difficult to reply to this when there are only claims to respond to. I'm certain you have evidence, but I need to be made aware of it, as I can't argue against claims, as claims aren't arguments. It may end up that I agree with your premises but disagree that it follows, or maybe I agree with everything.

    Can you explain the need for empirical research to validate many basic micro and macro economic concepts? It might be a good place to start on the laws on diminishing returns.
    You need empirical data for everything, economics is no exception.

    I don't believe in a priori truths, but even if I did, it still doesn't necessarily follow that any given mathematical formalisation of an economic concept applies to the real world. If I have any formal system X, and it turns out that p is a theorem in X, then p is true if and only if there is an isomorphism found between X and some aspect of the real world. The empirical research is needed to establish the isomorphism between X and the real world.

    Edited:

    In the most trivial sense, you need empirical data to establish that humans can be modelled as economic agents, for example. If you were a non-human observer, it wouldn't be immediately obvious that this was the case.

    A concrete example: there is substantial evidence that humans do not always act in the rational manner that most(?) economic theories predict. The Allais Paradox is a good example.

  29. Post #69
    Haunted by a dark and stupid past
    Key_in_skillee's Avatar
    December 2009
    3,244 Posts
    Unless I'm missing something here, all workers choose to work. Maybe its just me, but I haven't heard of evil greedy corporations kidnapping people in the night and holding a gun to their heads; forcing them to work.
    Workers work because they choose to seek employment, was satisfied by the pay/job quality offered by the employer, and choose to show up and work.
    If they really thought their jobs were shit and that agricultural work was easy as pie (toiling in the sweltering sun all day isn't much better than sweatshop labor), then why in the world would they work for those "evil evil greedy corporations"
    Because, in a lot of countries (China for example) if you don't work then you can't afford food and you DIE. So they might as well be holding a gun to your head because you HAVE to work in order to stay alive. It's that simple. Society holds a gun to your head by requiring you to have a steady stream of money in order to stay alive. It's not entirely like that in most developed countries (we have SS, unemployment, charities, etc.) but it sure as hell will be if economic conservatives succeed in cutting all of the government provided services.

  30. Post #70
    Because, in a lot of countries (China for example) if you don't work then you can't afford food and you DIE. So they might as well be holding a gun to your head because you HAVE to work in order to stay alive. It's that simple. Society holds a gun to your head by requiring you to have a steady stream of money in order to stay alive. It's not entirely like that in most developed countries (we have SS, unemployment, charities, etc.) but it sure as hell will be if economic conservatives succeed in cutting all of the government provided services.
    if you stop breathing you die as well, oh no oxygen is holding a gun to my head

  31. Post #71
    Ordigenius's Avatar
    January 2011
    1,169 Posts
    Not useful enough to warrant committing huge percentages of the planet's grain production, it's a choice between enough food for everyone or an abundance of meat and leather products.

    I was talking about the workers in factories, their quality of life is disgraceful and to claim it's far better than agricultural employment is absurd.
    You seem to be talking about the products they produce, which hardly justifies what is essentially slavery.

    way more than just leather, bro. http://lists.envirolink.org/pipermai...05/015167.html

    Edited:

    yeah social conservativism is shit

  32. Post #72
    Awesome Member
    Dennab
    January 2006
    40,352 Posts
    ugh
    i see a thread about economic conservatism, and what i get is people arguing about economic liberalism.

    for me the problem with capitalism is the same problem Marx had with capitalism, it's too costly and exploits one group of people for the sake of another group of people. essentially feudalism without divine right.

    Edited:

    i believe in a free market because (as a libertarian) i am against the use of force which government infererence would imply
    exactly which free market could possibly function without government infererence?
    even the most free of markets during the colonial days was made possible only due to the aggressive policies of governments in that era.

  33. Post #73
    Gold Member
    LF9000's Avatar
    November 2005
    1,159 Posts
    ugh
    i see a thread about economic conservatism, and what i get is people arguing about economic liberalism.

    for me the problem with capitalism is the same problem Marx had with capitalism, it's too costly and exploits one group of people for the sake of another group of people. essentially feudalism without divine right.

    Edited:



    exactly which free market could possibly function without government infererence?
    even the most free of markets during the colonial days was made possible only due to the aggressive policies of governments in that era.
    I am not very well versed in early American history, but from what you're saying you suggest that government intervention (aggressive policies), created free markets.

    By the definition of free market, that is not a very free market.


    But I am interested in the actual policies though, if you could name some that would be very interesting

  34. Post #74
    Awesome Member
    Dennab
    January 2006
    40,352 Posts
    free market just means the prices of goods are controlled by supply and demand and not by government intervention

    the definition doesn't say anything about how the goods or capital is acquired. slavery ultimately operated in a free-market. colonial governments making that possible doesn't change a thing.

  35. Post #75
    "We should allow child labor overseas ...the sweatshop is what is saving the 9 year old worker"
    Pepin's Avatar
    April 2007
    6,864 Posts
    You need empirical data for everything, economics is no exception.

    I don't believe in a priori truths, but even if I did, it still doesn't necessarily follow that any given mathematical formalisation of an economic concept applies to the real world. If I have any formal system X, and it turns out that p is a theorem in X, then p is true if and only if there is an isomorphism found between X and some aspect of the real world. The empirical research is needed to establish the isomorphism between X and the real world.
    It seems that you are more agreeing with me than disagreeing with me. Empirical research is of course needed for any theory that attempts to predict accuracy. Many economic predictions attempt to make prediction based on variables and numbers, and these predictions most definitively require testing.

    It is also important not to get sucked into the Platonic thought that concepts are not derived from reality. I would put forward that any axiomatic statement is a statement derived from all particular instances in reality and that the statement is the proof itself.

    For instance, the core axiom in Austrian economics is that humans act. This is considered to be axiomatic as making the claim that humans act, is acting. Logically, the claim cannot be refuted or even responded to without someone acting.

    A concrete example: there is substantial evidence that humans do not always act in the rational manner that most(?) economic theories predict. The Allais Paradox is a good example.
    It seems like you are making a claim for Austrian economics with this one. Austrian economics is one of the few disciplines that doesn't assume and actually argues against the idea that the average person uses calculus to make economic decisions.

    But I am slightly confused by the claim you are making. Why would humans have to always act rationally for economic theories to be valid? Would a biological science need the same prediction ability as a physical science to be considered valid? If so, why?

  36. Post #76
    WhatTheKlent's Avatar
    December 2008
    802 Posts
    It's not "essentially slavery".

    If they have a choice between working in prostitution, begging on the streets, or working in a sweat shop, they are going to work at a sweat shop. They choose it because it is the best possible alternative. No one is being abducted and forced into "slave labor", there is heavy competition to get into these jobs.
    Their 'choices' are all despicable, it's the inexplicable economic system we currently have that forces people to make such choices to live.
    If I have you in a cage and tell you to either make me clothes or starve to death, you will do whatever you can to stay alive, that doesn't make the situation acceptable by even the lowest standards of human dignity.

    Unless I'm missing something here, all workers choose to work. Maybe its just me, but I haven't heard of evil greedy corporations kidnapping people in the night and holding a gun to their heads; forcing them to work.
    Workers work because they choose to seek employment, was satisfied by the pay/job quality offered by the employer, and choose to show up and work.
    If they really thought their jobs were shit and that agricultural work was easy as pie (toiling in the sweltering sun all day isn't much better than sweatshop labor), then why in the world would they work for those "evil evil greedy corporations"
    I agree that they choose to work there due to a lack of alternatives, sweat-shops are merely a symptom of a flawed system of resource management that leaves people desperate to the point where they will do anything they need to survive.
    Are the workers satisfied with the pay and job quality?
    Because a huge number of workers who have protested against the poor pay and conditions are murdered, leaving others reluctant to speak up, were these workers just 'greedy' for wanting basic rights and minimal wage increases to afford adequate food?

    A huge part of the problem with agricultural work is land ownership and guess what?
    People who try to initiate policies of land reform also routinely go 'missing'.

    If sweat-shop workers and tenant farmers are so satisfied with their lot in life why is it necessary to kill people who try to organise to get better pay and conditions?
    Surely if the workers are so happy there's no reason to make an example to prevent them asking for more.

    if you stop breathing you die as well, oh no oxygen is holding a gun to my head
    If I put you in an airless room and asked you whether or not you wanted make shoes in exchange for oxygen would that be reasonable?

  37. Post #77
    For instance, the core axiom in Austrian economics is that humans act. This is considered to be axiomatic as making the claim that humans act, is acting. Logically, the claim cannot be refuted or even responded to without someone acting.
    I'd be extremely careful when using anthropic reasoning. It's an unsolved problem in philosophy.

    Other than that I seem to be in agreement with you. I'll not post more because my knowledge of economics is limited.

  38. Post #78
    Gold Member

    May 2005
    2,268 Posts
    Their 'choices' are all despicable, it's the inexplicable economic system we currently have that forces people to make such choices to live.
    If I have you in a cage and tell you to either make me clothes or starve to death, you will do whatever you can to stay alive, that doesn't make the situation acceptable by even the lowest standards of human dignity.
    My point is that these people are already in shit conditions before our companies arrive there. Our companies arrive and set up these sweatshops, giving them a better alternative to the shit conditions they were already living in. If the companies never arrived there they would have been worse off because they would be working for much lower wages, and in worse conditions as in the examples I described above.

    I also don't get your example, no one is forcing these workers to do anything. They simply provide a better alternative to what these workers would normally be doing to survive. There is no force, no extortion going on here. Same thing with your example about the airless room. Unlike your examples, there is actually no force being exercised on these people. They're offered a better alternative to the normal way of life in their country, and they take it, that's all there is to it. No force involved.

    How is capitalism to blame for anything? Why shouldn't people have to provide resources for themselves to survive? i.e receiving money by selling their labor. It's either that, or someone else has to provide the resources for them, they don't appear out of thin air. Capitalism has always worked because the profit motive drives businesses to cut inefficiency and waste and make improvements in technology so that they can produce more with less resources. It's far from inexplicable, and you aren't ever going to find a better or more efficient economic system.

  39. Post #79
    How is capitalism to blame for anything? Why shouldn't people have to provide resources for themselves to survive? i.e receiving money by selling their labor. It's either that, or someone else has to provide the resources for them, they don't appear out of thin air. Capitalism has always worked because the profit motive drives businesses to cut inefficiency and waste and make improvements in technology so that they can produce more with less resources. It's far from inexplicable, and you aren't ever going to find a better or more efficient economic system.
    i can think of a few

  40. Post #80
    WhatTheKlent's Avatar
    December 2008
    802 Posts
    My point is that these people are already in shit conditions before our companies arrive there. Our companies arrive and set up these sweatshops, giving them a better alternative to the shit conditions they were already living in. If the companies never arrived there they would have been worse off because they would be working for much lower wages, and in worse conditions as in the examples I described above.
    They are living in shit conditions due to a flawed system that is more concerned abstract numbers and concept than human needs, which should logically be the focus of any method of resource management.
    You seem to believe I blame the companies for this, their exploitative actions are merely incidental and are predictable given the system in which they operate.

    I also don't get your example, no one is forcing these workers to do anything. They simply provide a better alternative to what these workers would normally be doing to survive. There is no force, no extortion going on here. Same thing with your example about the airless room. Unlike your examples, there is actually no force being exercised on these people. They're offered a better alternative to the normal way of life in their country, and they take it, that's all there is to it. No force involved.
    No one is forcing them to do anything but they are taking advantage of their situation to obtain cheap, unskilled labour for personal gain.
    There is no force involved because there is no need for force.
    Working in a sweatshop is certainly preferable to starvation but neither should happen in a world of abundant resources such as we live in.

    How is capitalism to blame for anything? Why shouldn't people have to provide resources for themselves to survive? i.e receiving money by selling their labor. It's either that, or someone else has to provide the resources for them, they don't appear out of thin air. Capitalism has always worked because the profit motive drives businesses to cut inefficiency and waste and make improvements in technology so that they can produce more with less resources. It's far from inexplicable, and you aren't ever going to find a better or more efficient economic system.
    Capitalism, as it currently stands, is directly responsible for this. If we operated on an economy that held human life and dignity above profit and 'efficiency' such regrettable situations would not occur.
    I agree that people should provide something in return for what they need, the problem lies in the fact that more powerful individuals and organisations can dictate rewards for labour, they have enough control that they can give people a pittance and reap the rewards of their productivity.

    Capitalism hasn't been around for very long, has it always worked?
    Economic systems are put in place to provide goods and services in an efficient manner, when you see people starving while others are dying from obesity there's clearly a problem with that system. Allowing such utter mismanagement of the earth's resources (Not to mention overuse of those resources) is inexplicable unless you can offer a reasonable explanation for why this is the case.
    Improved efficiency depends on your definition of the word, surely rearing cattle for slaughter is inefficient when you could take the grain fed to cows and simply give it to people.

    To merely assume there is no other possible system, now or in the future, that is better than capitalism is nonsensical and naive.