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Owning capital is a skill

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Hygro, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. innonimatu

    innonimatu Deity

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    What is the difficulty with that? It's the difference between what you are able to use alone, and what you need other people in order to be able to use.

    I don't think that is workable distinction. Private property may be a small worthless (trade value...) rock that has some special meaning to you, an that you will defend with force if necessary. I don't think you should have to negotiate the private possession of that rock with everyone else you met. And I don't think anyone else would begrudge you the exclusive use of it.
    Obvious other cases are the use of a home. Having several homes though would create an issue because you'd not be able to use them all continuously - that you'd be forced to negotiate. And in fact we do negotiate property now. We just do it within a framework where some are believed powerful and others are believed (and believe themselves) near powerless.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2017
  2. Old Hippy

    Old Hippy Deity

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    The central theme to Australian politics debates, the ownership of a rock and why indigenous people have so much trouble getting access to good housing
     
  3. timtofly

    timtofly One Day

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    The whole issue is the need for economy in the first place. If there was no economy no one would fight over worthless property. Everything about material is that it does not last, and keeps needing production. Who pays for the production?

    Not slavery, although not every human has been convinced of that. The work ethic separated those who did not or could not, or frankly were not allowed to do their own to produce. Until humans accept that every one is equal, economy is the scapegoat equalization entity.
     
  4. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    That's not how it was explained to me. Private property is always said to be the 'means of production,' but clearly the things used to sustain the workforce cannot be meaningfully distinguished from things that make it more productive, so I just don't see the point of abolishing private property, not in any literal sense. The question is how to constitute or shape certain kinds of property rights, not whether private property should exist or not. My opinion is that the scope of private property in many cases should be more limited than it is now. I think we agree for example that there is no point in banking for private profit, particularly obvious in the case of what are being called 'systemically important financial institutions' now in the US.
    There are a whole lot of economic sectors where the ethical basis for private profit is non-existent and the practical consequences in terms of incentives (garbage corporate governance) leads to terrible outcomes, enriching the few at the expense of the many.
     
  5. innonimatu

    innonimatu Deity

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    I'm not, and don't intend to be, some kind of scholar reinterpreting other people's work. So I won't know what the "marxist" position about property is. I know what it seems to me it is. Making the "means of production" public only make sense in terms of eliminating the appropriation of the "surplus value" from the work of other people. Therefore this only makes sense in those cases where other people are working on, using, those means of production. What one uses for his own work is not logically included in this. Nor is wealth per se, those things that do not lead to further accumulation of wealth just by owning them. That was also the criteria that those stable socialist or communist inspired countries that existed (and I can include several social-democratic countries in Europe in the past within this example, though in a more limited way) ended up applying. Private property up to a certain size or outside certain categories was not expropriated. To so so would be, as you have observed, impossible. And unjustifiable. The ideological differences between the social-democracts, socialists, communists, cooperative movements, etc, were to a large degree about establishing what should be public and what should be private. How to handle this problem of ethically managing the distribution of the newly-created wealth, control of the means of production being the means through which this is regulated in society.

    Unproductive property (imagine, why should someone live in a palace, and someone else live in a small apartment...) is a different issue, one of equality and whether is should be imposed or not, and to what degree. Most governments were not particularly concerned with this, assuming that after the means of production were socialized there would be a slow but effective convergence to a similar standard of living for all. And all fas as I know, still retained different wages for different kinds of work, etc.

    We also have the issue of Finance, the manipulation of property. It seems as important as the means of production in letting some people accumulate ever-increasing wealth. But this is a product of allowing private ownership of the means of production (stocks and bonds...). And also ages-old predatory moneylending (to consumers). This is a hugely interesting phenomenon because solving this problem should be technically easy, non-disruptive: just nationalize all financial institutions. It should be easy for a politician to sell a "stick it up to the bankers" agenda in any of the big countries (voters in the small ones are to cowed to risk it). But you have seen no government do it in the past 30 years. Why? I have my own theory and it has to do with the structure of the US society post-ww2... an accident of history (could have gone differently) that slowly shaped the world to bring us to the point we are in today, with an over-sized, fictitious "finance industry". Private pensions, that was the foundation on which bankers built public consent for their ever increasingly predatory behavior.
     
  6. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    So, don't assume I am talking about you personally. Boomer have a spread of success. But whenever you set up a debt/payment system, then there's a one-time benefit generated.

    If I am going to provide an ongoing service for you, then if you pre-pay or post-pay, it makes a one time difference. If we set up a pre-pay plan, then I can actually spend my profit on the job earlier. And you forgo the earned interest on that money. If we set up a post-pay plan, then you get to earn the interest on the money and I cannot spend my profit on the job until the job is complete.

    We live in a world where the 'assumed' arrangement is that the hirer owes the worker money instead of the worker owing service. But it's not always like that. And so there can be a one-off benefit depending on how the initial arrangement was set up.

    With Social Security, the tax was collected and then immediately respent into the economy by the government in the form of services and lower (other) taxes, since the SS tax was greater than the payments going to seniors. And so your customers (etc) had more money. People were able to hustle for those dollars and collect them and then still get 'owed' their future SS payments by future generations. There was a one-time advantage.

    For post-Baby Boomers, the SS money being collected from them is then being given to the Boomer for them to spend. Now, we can go onto hustle for the money the Boomers have, but the books are having to balance. We can't have the government borrow against the trust fund. It's already been done, and it was spent on the Boomers.
     
  7. Whomp

    Whomp Keep Calm and Carry On Retired Moderator

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    El Mach--the IRR's get consistently worse generation after generation. That's not boomer specific. That's simply no one willing to sacrifice. 1986 (of course when I started working) was the last time payroll deductions increased.

    Assuming no changes, a person in my cohort (two family earners and high earnings) born in 1920 (silent generation) has 3.41% IRR, my cohort 1964 (tail end boomer) is 1.35% and those born between 1973 to 2004 are 1.22% to 1.25%. This means benefits drop to 75% in 2034 and 73% in 2086 and reduced annually from there. Those IRR's go up quite a bit for medium or lower earners but obviously not great IRR for many.

    https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/NOTES/ran5/an2012-5.html
     
  8. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    Whomp, I'm not talking about IIR, though. I'm talking about the creation of debt and who that debt is then spent on. Only a portion of the tax was spent on retirees. The rest was spent on themselves. And you can only do that once, if it's an ongoing wealth transfer/debt obligation
     
  9. Whomp

    Whomp Keep Calm and Carry On Retired Moderator

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    Huh? I'm not following since the trust fund is a creditor to the US Treasury just as the Japanese or any other investor is. As they exhaust their $2 trillion'ish treasury holdings the trust fund will eventually become pay as you go.
     
  10. BvBPL

    BvBPL Pour Decision Maker

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    How is it that no one is talking about the topic that Hygro raised? I’m surprised people didn’t find it interesting enough to discuss.
     
  11. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    I tried to talk to you about it but you started talking about home ec instead of teaching employees how to run their own businesses :dunno:

    Worth quoting Louis Blanc here:

    "Nonsense! You confound that which socialists never confound and attribute to them your own ignorance. In every social system, capital is properly regarded as absolutely indispensable to industry and agriculture. And when it passes from serving isolated individuals to serving groups of associated individuals its utility, far from being lost, is multiplied. Rather than dissipating when so concentrated, it grows. The suppression of capitalism is not the suppression of capital."

    This may be true. I've read a bit about the turning over of US retirement assets to Wall Street.
    It's something of a mixed bag. While you're right that what it appears to have done thus far is manufacture public consent for the bankers' thievery, the optimist in me says it's possible that this sort of broad-based ownership of stuff might translate into a sort of democratic shareholder activism that could potentially help to address some of these problems. The issue there, at least in the US context (I'm less knowledgeable about how things are elsewhere) is that the structure of most institutional investors means that people have very little or zero control over their retirement investments. That will need to change before any kind of activism is plausible (for example, divesting from fossil fuel companies, Israel, or the criminal banking institutions). This goes back to what I said on page 1 about ownership culture, though. It's an open question, in my view, whether it's even possible to do this kind of thing because most people might just never be interested in participating in or making these kinds of decisions. Of course, not so long ago it was inconceivable that ordinary people might participate in political decisions and that gives me some hope. Things will probably have to get worse before they get better.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2017
  12. BvBPL

    BvBPL Pour Decision Maker

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    The budgetary skills that are taught in Home Ec are essential to running a business.
     
  13. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    Seriously, are you trolling or something?
     
  14. Farm Boy

    Farm Boy You gave me my own tail?

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    Home Ec is super valuable. But it's also not sexy and doesn't get people into degree programs, so schools won't teach to it. It falls in with music, PE, and art as things that get chopped when you can get away with chopping.
     
  15. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Retired Moderator Supporter

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    If you want people to learn how to save and invest and benefit from the time value of money, you have to make sure they have both the money to invest and information on how to do so. The expansion of 401k plans versus pensions has helped for many. But, for a lot of those in the bottom half of the income scale, their 401k is just a savings account that they borrow from. Folks are told to put money into the plans and then they are abandoned to figure out the what's and why's on their own.
     
  16. Narz

    Narz keeping it real

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    This is the falacy that technological progress = human satisfaction. Just because we have iPhones, Uber & Amazon Prime doesn't mean our quality of life is better than John Rockefeller.

    Rockefeller has WAY more capital, capital ultimately is control over people. Ceri & Alexa are no replacement for human servants.
     
  17. BvBPL

    BvBPL Pour Decision Maker

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    I'd rather have a dishwasher than a scullery maid. If Upstairs, Downstairs is any indication, they are always getting into mischief.
     
  18. Whomp

    Whomp Keep Calm and Carry On Retired Moderator

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    He could own more homes but I can get there too and in much less time. I'm also pretty sure when I got there his chef had no clue how to make vindaloo chicken (while listening to Zeppelin) which I can get done by a world class chef right now.
     
  19. Narz

    Narz keeping it real

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    You can't **** your dishwasher.

    I'm sure your life is grand Whomp but I'd rather have his. Science proves that 100 channels don't make people happier than 10.

    I do love my Indian food and music on demand but it's just a balm for the emptiness of our disconnected modern world (kind of like cfc).
     
  20. Farm Boy

    Farm Boy You gave me my own tail?

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    Challenge accepted.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2017
    schlaufuchs likes this.

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