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We're living through the new industrious revolution?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by innonimatu, Mar 13, 2019.

  1. innonimatu

    innonimatu Warlord

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    Had my attention drawn to an old paper on the history of the Industrial Revolution, The Industrial Revolution and the Industrious Revolution, by Jan de Vries.. The author suggests some interesting parallels. I'll quote:

    He then describes a process of moving away from this situation, towards more "family time". But about a century later things changed again:

    The idea is usually that social transformations are irreversible, which is a variation on the old myth of progress. But history does repeat itself with variations, especially the history of society, of human problems and preferences.

    It seems to me that we reached (again?) a peak commercialization of life, with the attendant personal disorganization of people's lives, manifest through the evidence of falling birth rates as more people just don't feel able to have families and care for children. It is too expensive, they don't have the time, etc. Is not the so-called "sharing economy", that deceitful name for the unregulated capitalism exploiting falsely "self-employed" labour, a new form of the household industry of the beginning of the industrial revolution?

    The social reaction against the dislocation caused by the earlier industrial revolution took various forms: religion, labour unionism, socialism, conservatism, etc. And ultimately did change it substantially.

    Are we replaying the industrial revolution, socially? If so, are we now starting to replay also the reaction, the move away from commercialization of everything because not everything that makes for a quality life can be be bought or sold? What reaction then? The 19th century one was a conservative one mostly...

    I guess that the reaction now may have started back in the late 1970s, with the popularization of the "new age" stuff about "self-improvement" among those with the resources to play those games. But it was a tiny minority, mostly it seemed to affect upper-middle classes. Now the feeling of social malaise seems widespread, enough that it has an impact on power politics and law. And the consequences won't be mere individual escapism new-age style.
     
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  2. Hrothbern

    Hrothbern Warlord

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    yes
    I think also that the yet to utilise economic potential, the free potential, from techs declined over the period 1960-2020. Making it harder and harder to grow the normal economy in an easy way, less demand for capital investments in the normal economy, pushing harder and harder for squeezing economical growth out of labor.
    Transforming to a Green Sustainable economy could initiate a new big batch of techs that can be industrialised, generating growth. How much AI could do in terms of growth IDK. It will cause its own revolution regarding labor.

    That industrious revolution, I call it proto-industrialisation, is placed for 1600-1800.
    De Vries:
    In the Low Lands this "industrious Revolution" was more or less finished in 1600 and started in 1350. Quite another time scale than De Vries who looks probably more to the UK and UK offsprings.
    In the Low Lands in 1600 the economy stagnated. In my opinion from that combination of most techs utilised to almost saturation followed up by wealth accumulation and rent & dividend seeking by owners at the expense of the normal economy.
    Even the rate of urbanisation in the Low Lands goes down in the late 17th and the 18th century before the Napoleontic period.
    Reversible indeed.

    Here an estimate of the GDP per Capita development from 1300 to 1800 for some European "countries".
    You can see from the graph below that the industrious revolution started in the UK around 1600.
    And also that it needed the steam machine and coal/iron of the "industrial revolution" of the first half of the 19th century, to catch up with a mature "industrious" economy
    You can see as well that the trade with the East by the famous VOC (founded in 1602) did not add to the GDP per Capita of the Dutch Republic. The ad hoc joint enterprises and individual traders common before the VOC were effective enough. The VOC was basically founded to overcome rivalry between merchants from the various towns and Provinces of the Dutch Republic to be better (military) united against competing other countries. The VOC at the start growing strongly in assets and size (with hardly dividends paid) was after 50 years just a dividend payer and wealth concentrator and accumulator, and did not add anything anymore to the burghers of the Low Lands.
    Note: the income equality in 1600, after that normal industrious growth, was pretty good. If you look into the registers of the shares bought at the VOC start. The richest merchant bought for 85,000 Guilders shares (just over 1% of the total) and handmaids bought shares for around 50-100 Guilders. That's "only" a factor thousand in wealth between an ordinary handmaid and the richest merchant at that time. That richest merchant BTW introduced in 1609, 7 years after the founding of the VOC, "naked short selling". In 1610 strict regulations were introduced by the Dutch Republic on the stock market that made such abuse impossible.

    Oh
    Very roughly: You have to roughly double a $(1990) to get current $.
    Meaning that the Industrious economy at around saturation for $2,500 per Capita in $(1990) is from inflation now around $5,000 per Capita.
    That's higher than for example India, Indonesia, Vietnam. China is now at 9,000 $ per Capita.


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    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
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  3. Lohrenswald

    Lohrenswald stupid idiot

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    If what's posited is true, I'm not really seeing any reaction

    people are still all about buying rubbish an divorcing

    sorry if that was a crude reading
     
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  4. Hygro

    Hygro soundcloud.com/hygro/

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    Capitalism is a helluva drug.
     
  5. Hamid.H

    Hamid.H Chieftain

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    "gdp," gotta keep the wage slaves busy.

    hh
     
  6. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Entangled Retired Moderator Supporter

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    People like having all kinds of stuff.
     
  7. innonimatu

    innonimatu Warlord

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    Neither am I, and this comparison was made back in 1990 I think. But originally it took nearly a century for the process to reverse. @Hrothbern yes I think the dates in the paper refereed to England's situation.
     
  8. AmazonQueen

    AmazonQueen Warlord

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    Are there 2 revolutions going on at once?
    The automation revolution which capitalism has fully embraced. Started off with robots in factories (how many people does a modern car factory need compared to the 1960s), moved on to white collar workers (secretaries, bank clerks, pay roll clerks etc, what can they do that a computer program can't do quicker and better?), now its moving in on some professionals (accountants will be the first to fall).
    The green revolution. I'm not sure how far this has really gone. Not very far? Some entrepeneurs have done well out of being ahead of governments but in general I get a sense of governments being dragged along some way behind both public opinion and scientific evidence.
     
  9. Hrothbern

    Hrothbern Warlord

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    I think there are a lot of processes happening in parallel in different phases of R of D (R&D) of applying to emerging and maturing, in different knowledge and application/economy areas.
    Working in a company in an emerging tech phase has and needs a totally other social and management culture (incl power of employees and team) than a company in its fully matured tech phase (not nice for employees)
    Reversing processes are in the matured phase.
    When too many matured processes are dominant in a society the whole society gets in that matured phase incl "degeneration" behaviour towars peasant nobility mechanisms.

    And what a great tool a flipover is.... so much easier to describe what I mean with such a simple tool (I loved to have two beamers and several flipovers for big presentations :))

    For example:
    a lot of the green revolution already happened in food production, but the phase where it is in greatly varying per country and within countries. And the biochemical production with enzymes (in organisms or chemical like industry) still in the R phase.
    In general indicating that one big revolution will be the nano & molecular revolution. Behaving like a wave through all kinds of other "revolutions".
    Physical nano application potential is mindblowing. Enzyme-like nano layers (the biochemical revolution of nano) another mindblowing potential.

    Real choices there in how far our economy culture combined with human consumer culture is going to embrace sustainability, and where increased productivity is applied.
    A washing machine of Miele lasted easily 20 years back in the 80ies. And ofc the Miele turnover is twice as high with an average lifetime of 10 years.
    Modern washing machines are designed to desintegrate after a relatively short lifetime and not designed for repairing. => the embodied energy, the embodied carbon footprint is wasted. As long as they were made more energy saving per wash, it still paid back to buy a new one. But Miele, not stupid, is ofc not making a too big leap in that improvement, because when that potential is utilised, the pressure comes back on the life time.
    A car or TV manufacturer, by competition driven to increase productivity with at least 1% per year, will see its turnover decrease with 1% per year unless (from for example a growing population) its market increases. The normal way out for a manufacturer is to add more features and get consumers addicted to those features => enabling the manufacturer to sustain its turnover, with products at the same price, competing with features.
    But somewhere that saturates.
    Paperclips are saturated.
    => the higher productivity leads to more products for the same consumer budget.
    => consumers accumulate more and more material posessions... wasting natural resources.

    So far the growth economy is driven by competition driven productivity increases resulting in that mechanism of growth, at company and government level.
    Green & sustainable is able to convert that productivity increase in the features green & sustainable but will at the same time blow up the system of growth we had for centuries.
    The Club of Rome report (although at that moment not covering everything correctly) is in its consequences a cultural and societal shock of the highest magnitude when implemented.
    I remember all to well the fruitless discussions I had with trade union based Social Democratic politicians around 1980 on the long term implications of the Club of Rome report. What I challenged them with was heretic. It is one of the reasons imo that Green-Left emerged in our country (from various 60ies splinters) and the traditional Social Democrats lost ground. Too fossilised. Unable to embrace the "emancipation culture" the Social Democrats/Socialist had in the 20ies-30ies of the 20th century. No guts left to do "it" again. The Social Democrats wanted for their base the car, TV, beer crate, twice a year a holiday and everybody striving to own his own house. The fleshpots of Egypt. Care taker risk aversed, not differing that much from the rentners collecting dividends from what they owned.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
  10. Hamid.H

    Hamid.H Chieftain

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    were living in an era where resources are abundant and easily accessible. theres no absolutely excuse for having a class such as "the working poor." work 2-3 jobs, +40 hours a week and still not making enough money to provide more than the basic necessities of life.

    victims of capitalism.

    hh
     
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  11. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Entangled Retired Moderator Supporter

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    "Victims of capitalism" is too easy an answer. You find the same working poor everywhere under all kinds of systems. We have abundance and it is badly distributed. Our failure to provide more to those who have less can be attributed to a variety of forces:
    • Greed and selfishness
    • Ambition
    • Desire for power
    • Health and mental health as barriers to participation in accumulation of wealth
    • Celebration of wealth
    • Opportunities to accumulate without consequences
    • Bell curves of ambition, intelligence, willingness to work
    • Oh... and lack of infrastructure in some places
    Capitalism, in its many forms, allows more of theses factors to come into play than some of the other structures. As a boss or business owner I have choices and how I make those choices is influenced by many things; capitalism gives me both more choices and more influences. If nothing else, capitalism allows one to fight against the evils of capitalism by creating better businesses that do distribute wealth more evenly.
     
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  12. innonimatu

    innonimatu Warlord

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    I really must disagree with this. The kind of system matters a lot, for the type of poor it produces, the number of poor, and the type of solutions it finds for the problem of addressing the needs of those who nevertheless end up with fewer resources.

    To give you an idea of the effects of the system, in my country (one that fully embraced capitalism since it joined the EU) the current "socialist" government has just proposed as a "solution" to the lack of affordable housing that landlords sell "a right to a contract without term" to those interested, which allegedly will be cheaper than people buying houses outright. So they will instead but the right to keep renting the house and not be evicted at the end of the contract, for say 1/5 of the full price of the house. This is presented as market solution": "hey, here's another option (for you to be exploited in a different way by those with the capital)".

    In a sane world the government would either forcefully regulate housing (by far the most profitable business in the country, and originator of debt bubbles) or build public housing, or both. But no, it must find some "market" solution because that is the spirit of the time... :rolleyes:

    Capitalist logic is insidious and perfidious. It is perfidious because to defend the interests of capital is always, inescapably, to defend the interests of a minority to acquire, retain and multiply privilege (which tends to concentrate on a gradually smaller minority) at the expense of the majority. That is the very nature of capitalism, the idea that capital begets more capital without labour, only through "investment" (ownership stake on some profitable thing). It has an inherent logic of concentration of wealth.
    It is also perfidious because this capitalism accumulation is nor really processed through the market mechanisms, which tend to produce very small profits (competition and all that) but through the creation of rules that allow opportunities for extremely profitable deals. Most of the so-called "housing markets" are the product of numerous rules that actually protect the ownership of rent seekers, that encourage rent-seeking, instead of addressing the need for available housing.

    And it is insidious because it corrupts politics, it corrupts the people who make the rules, the academics who advise and theorize and produce consent for those rules, in order to expand the number of very profitable deals available.

    Human societies react against this and reduce it out of self-preservation, which I guess may be what happened in the mid-19th century, and later again after WW2, in many countries. Or they fail to react and eventually the whole edifice simply crumbles and the rules that enacted capitalism upon people crumble with it. But in the meanwhile whole generations of people have their lives crushed by this system.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
  13. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Entangled Retired Moderator Supporter

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    And why won't your government do that? It is made of people who are either looking out for themselves or the general populace or a combination of both. You have people in charge who look for solutions to solve somebody's problems. Somebody in power made this choice. The US has had public housing for decades; it has not always worked out as expected. Most of those Projects have been or are being torn down because they were terrible places to live. During the soviet era in Russia there was also lots of public housing; how did that work out?

    Capitalism is an answer to people's self interest. It is powerful because of that. It also works against those who are less suited to such a dog eat dog environment. Capitalism allows us to satisfy our desires, but it is neutral. People allow it to get out of hand and then allow the wealth it creates to dominate political processes. Money corrupts politics. Laws allow it to do. People make laws.

    Capitalism needs to be reigned in and controlled. That is the job of people.

    What does your desired economic/political model look like? Your replacement? It is pretty easy to go negative against the system that has created greater wealth for most of the world at the expense of concentrating it into the hands of a few and providing new ways to corrupt our lives. Show me your solution to its ills.

    Bolded text: Do you have any examples of what you mean?
     
  14. innonimatu

    innonimatu Warlord

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    Because they have too many corrupt people within their ranks, and the more honest ones even whet they are in leadership positions dare "divide the party" or face the backlash from the owners of the media for this particular issue. They did it on health care and it is being one big fight to roll back just a little of the privatization that went on over the past 20 years.
    Public housing may not have worked as well as is now expected, but it was better than the alternatives at the time, and it is better that what is not being done now. Usually those who try to blacken it are comparing quality of living standards now with housing that was built decades ago and suffered the effects of necessarily cheap construction, time and neglect. But fail to consider that the people who moved into those public housing projects at the time were coming from worse housing or no housing at all!
    In my country public housing worked very well , both under the former fascist/corporatist government (when the only issue was that didn't do enough of it) and under the later democratic governments. The problem is that they were mostly stopped in the 1990s.

    No, capitalism is a small group of people's self interest prevailing over the vast majority, and doing so by capturing political power and using it against that majority. Capitalism is the realm of big business and high profits, of guaranteed rents and monopolies. Capitalism and a market economy are entirely separate things. The labour of others allows me to satisfy my desires, just as mine allows them to satisfy theirs. Paying rents to people who do nothing but owning stuff hinders me and everyone else (but those), directs part of the product of the actual labour to the satisfaction of social parasites.

    But worse than that, far worse because they are few and cannot consume that much, is how they shape society so as to keep their parasitic position. Artificial scarcity and price speculation. Political corruption. The manipulation and creation of desires, the suppression of others. This is not neutral at all: the process requires a tremendous amount of social engineering and waste. It is all justified with the excuse that profit is the magic that makes markets work. That is a lie.

    Consider a market economy without profits. I mean, you can declare profits but they will be taxed 100%. And don't even think of sending them to a subsidiary outside the country, capital controls are on cross-border transactions are another feature of this alternative, you had better be trading something real or get your ass kicked in court later.
    This is actually a minimalist approach that in no way undermines the market economy of real goods and services we have, and is but one possible example of alternative. You can set up a commercial company just doing buying and selling, and will make earnings of course, which should cover operating expenses, investments needs etc. Accounting remains the same, management remains similar in most practical issues, just the pressure for as high as possible earnings is reduced. As a founder you will also occupy a job of high responsibility and draw a relatively high wage from it. The appeal of social position and income remain as an incentive to be "enterprising".Likewise with any industry. Exactly what would fail in the market economy under that scenario? You couldn't have a stock exchange? Buhahaha, what a loss, just go to a casino.
    How would you do credit? The same way as now, except all the banks would be "state owned", as in the state keeps all profits (unlike now) and covers all losses (like now), recognizing that they are using the privilege of money creation. Would that meant having some state-owned bank worker decide on credit applications? It's already done as many banks are state-owned around the world, we know it works as well (or as bad) as with privately owned banks. How would companies obtain credit outside the banks (as they do now with bonds)? They wouldn't under this scenario. Just go do a bank and pitch your business case there. There should be plenty of banks available because there would be no need to have just a few "too big to fail" in each country (or in the whole world). They can even specialize in different areas. I believe that people should be free to set up a bank, subject to straightforward regulation limiting its size of assets, as they are to set up any other business. The current rules are anything but "free".

    In any case (not just on the example above) I would do away with all imaginary property. I would like to do away with rents on real property leased, and their have been many ideas about how to do that. But it is the one issue I'll admit I believe to be thorny, whatever the solution private property or its equivalent cannot be abolished, anarchists on that issue misguided millions... Probably each country will end up with its own rules for historical motives, and property ownership will always produce some unearned rents for some people.

    As for political model, representative democracy can work fine, so long as countries are not excessively big. When they are governments can present themselves as dealing with very complex issue the public must not think too much about. Certainly not question the basic rules of the economy for example. If they did though about questioning those rules we'd see more experiences with changing them.
    The post-ww2 reactions were rather obvious. The mid-19th century ones I hadn't thought of before but this paper does make some good arguments about it.

    Trying to think of american examples... how are the portions of NYC with regulated rents doing, compared to other cities without? It may not be doing much for the city as a whole, but that is because public effort there has been mostly discontinued for decades.
     
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  15. Hygro

    Hygro soundcloud.com/hygro/

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    Innonimatu,

    how do you define the difference between just compensation and profit?

    Help me by making it relevant to my interests: as a music maker, say I have an album and a concert tour. Say the album costs me $10,000 in direct employment of session musicians, studio time, instruments, the music video, etc. Real low budget. Now say I did a good job, nailed it. The album gets streamed by Non-Profit-Spotify, I got 0.5cents a play, 10,000,000 plays, $50,000. And say I tour, low cost as a DJ because the album is electronic. I'm getting let's say $4,000 per gig after travel expenses, I do 70 gigs that year, or $280,000.

    What gets taxed and why?
     
  16. innonimatu

    innonimatu Warlord

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    You woudln't be getting anything from streaming, no imaginary property rights would exist, intangibles are free to be copied at will.

    You'd be free to produce music on order for someone who needed and wanted to pay for it, say a company wanting a new music for an event, or the not-for-profit-spotify commissioning new music just to have it first and take the credit with its clients for having it created.
    I guess that a more "on-demand" market could emerge. But it's also obvious that artistry and the means to do artistry "professionally" should be provided also as a social good (subsidized), not only trough the market in this scenario. Those costs of production for you could be reduced. Plenty of things already are, including much art.

    Touring is labour. You are not profiting, you are being paid for your labour, expenses subtracted. You won't be able to claim sole right to play that music but as the creator you should have people wanting you to play it, and so still earning quite a lot.

    If you set up a more complex company, multiple people, there will be the issue of how much you get and how much the other people get. But that issue is nothing new. You either agree on a division and work together, or go your separate ways and can even play the same music in separate venues.

    And of course what we are doing remains an exercise in speculation on how an alternative system can work. I'm sure other solutions are possible even within this rough framework.
     
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  17. Hygro

    Hygro soundcloud.com/hygro/

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    Not making money from streaming sounds pretty bad. Also, people don't pay for streaming because piracy is illegal but because the service is dope. And since the service charges money to be awesome, it pays the artist for the privilege of making that money. Though with no restrictions on reproduction I would imagine better, more open, more convenient music sharing services would appear. But someone's gotta pay for storing these songs. I got probably 300 gigs of music "saved" on Spotify, kinda nice I don't have to have a phone with a 500 gig hard drive.

    Getting government subsidies to be an artist sounds great.

    And all tour money being counted as fair labor also sounds great, so no change there.

    Weighting each category and quality of direction equally, sounds like a wash.
     
  18. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Entangled Retired Moderator Supporter

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    partial answer. I'm off to bed. More tomorrow.

    So you mean companies would be like utilities and be price regulated to not be profitable? Or just tax 100% of any corporate profits? It's pretty easy to run a company and not make a profit especially if there are only limited owners. I ran one of those and worked in others. Everything gets expensed. Wages go up for the top people; suppliers are overpaid and if you integrate the company vertically, you get to pay yourself twice. Trump runs such a corporation now. the only way to control that kind of behavior is to regulate prices and approve expenditures like with utilities.

    What is your goal with your approach to companies and taxes and anti capitalism? What would the end picture look like if you had your way?
     
  19. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Entangled Retired Moderator Supporter

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    Public housing projects, like many government projects start out Ok and quickly fall into a mess because funding dies, people don't care, people are corrupt, cities and states lack funds, they are not linked to the other issues that create poverty, etc etc. They tend to be piecemeal and not comprehensive.

    Is there any governmental system that doesn't concentrate power at the top among the few, the connected, the rich and the powerful? How they do so varies from place to place and time to time, but they all do it. Capitalism uses money, China uses the Party, Russia uses corruption, monarchies use royalty and marriage, churches use faith, etc. For all of them the message is clear: join the system if you want to do well and prosper.

    Markets have been around since Sumer. Profits can be defined many ways, it is not just money, and profits have been a part of markets from the beginning. Risk and profits are tied closely to all markets. Regulation of utilities is a way to reduce risk and control profits. That is why utility stocks are considered safer investments. They have less downside and constrained upside. People are inventive and work hard to meet whatever they perceive their personal and family needs are. When regulation gets too heavy handed, they develop black markets to get around them. In a black market profits thrive.


    Certainly things can work better on a smaller scale than in big nations. But as history shows, we have a tendency to grow and merge for efficiency and control. A bunch of squabbling, uncooperative small nations will not improve the world. For larger nation states the stakes are higher and they have motivations to cooperate because the risks of failure are greater. It is just much harder to manage a nation of 300,000,000 than one of 10,000,000. With 1.2 billion it is even more difficult. Breaking a nation like China (or the US) into smaller nations is not a solution. Some will be very rich, some very poor. Some will fail. people will migrate and consolidation will begin.

    Please I'd like to see your examples form the past as well as your vision of just how your ideal world would look. What are your goals with the destruction of capitalism? Thanks.
     
  20. Lohrenswald

    Lohrenswald stupid idiot

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    you could make a law for a maximum wage
    private housing projects magically don't?

    had some issues with with other stuff you said but my peabrain can't make a good counterarguement
     

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