10.23.2005

 

Paul Krugman on the concentration of wealth

I find this article fascinating because Paul is talking about the exact sort of concentration of wealth that is discussed in Robotic Freedom:

Delphi bankruptcy signals further erosion of middle class

Here is Paul's thesis:His closing line is, "America's working middle class has been eroding for a generation, and it may be about to wash away completely. Something must be done." Robots will only accelerate the process. Soon, there won't be any auto workers at all.

See Robotic Freedom for one possible solution.

Comments:
Oh, c'mon Marshall. You've already got a blog for "wealth concentration". Why don't you review the new Furby's instead? or how about the new Japanese movie, "Hirokio"? Keep it real.
 
Concentration of wealth is just hoarding of resources. Like some children that hoard toys and will not share. This causes scarcity of resources.

With automation producing all goods and services in the near future, why shouldn’t goods and services be free? Like the air produced by tree! Without money and prices, fully automated factories could REALLY put a new Corvette in every garage and beautiful house around every Corvette! The stipend payment idea is the first step in this direction!
 
Resource hoarding is a temporary effect of a lack of competition in the market. It is seldom permanent, especially on a global scale. This is even true of finite resources such as oil. Scarcity and price sensitivity are the main reasons why hybrid technology and other forms of energy generation (including so-called "clean" coal for electricity) are evolving at this time.

It's not happening because the President says so, or whatever faceless corporate suit says... it's because the market demands it.

Corporate protection from government regulation, as well as government protection for consumers against corporate collusion are equally important to ensuring fair trade and fair prices.
 
FREE MARKETS = FREE PEOPLE
 
FREE CORPORATIONS = POOR PEOPLE
 
POOR PEOPLE = POTENTIAL RICH PEOPLE (if they have access to knowledge and free markets!)
 
"Concentration of wealth is just hoarding of resources. Like some children that hoard toys and will not share. This causes scarcity of resources."

You have no idea what you're talking about.

The main reasons for income disparity are:
1) Increased wealth
2) Increased immigration from poor nations.


Country A is a land of half millionaires. Income inequality is 0. Country A does well, and becomes a nation of full millionaires. Also, immigrants from country B enter A starting at effectively zero income. 25% of the population are now these new immigrants.

Average income is .75*$1M + .25*$0 = 750K, less than the actual gain.

Income inequality looks huge.


If you look at the recent immigration numbers, this is exactly what is happening. This isn't an argument against immigration necessarily, more against measures of income disparity, rather than absolute wealth.

After all, the wealth re-distribution mindset is a very dangerous one. It makes everyone suffer under low growth equally.
 
One way or another, however, equilibrium will prevail. We live in a free society (believe it or not). If people get smart and begin to vote into office politicians that will give more healthbase, etc. to the people, then it will happen. If the people decide they would prefer to watch television above voting, then it's their own damn fault.

A part of living in a free society is voting. It is really one step below a requirement of living in such a society. If people continue to not vote, politicians will continue to see corporate donors as more important than their own electorate.

This is a very simple equation: if you don't vote, you get screwed. I don't blame politicians for the current problems in our society, I blame (non) voters that prefer the soft glow of a television screen to voting.
 
I think as people become homeowners and parents they begin to see how they can impact governance with their involvement.
 
Hoarding wealth means the hoarded wealth is not being put to its best use. People who hoard wealth tend to lose out to the people who put their wealth to better use.

The fear of people who hoard wealth has an actual diagnosis in the DSMVII, Hoardyphobia with paranoid tendencies. It falls into the category of schizoid disorders.

Have you ever looked at Paul Krugman's shifty eyes? His odd half grin when he tilts his head and peers upward jerkily? Very fascinating.
 
"A part of living in a free society is voting. It is really one step below a requirement of living in such a society. If people continue to not vote, politicians will continue to see corporate donors as more important than their own electorate."

Let me get this straight.

A part of living in a free society is voting for politicians to force other people to give you goods and services, like health care?

Actually, a bigger part of living in a free society is having an unobtrusive government. The problem with "positive rights", such as a minimum wage, universal health care, etc., is that they require others to provide for them. These are very different than "negative rights" where the only requirement is that people abstain from oppression.

Look at the bill of rights. The only positive right is trial by jury.



On a side note, this blog is becoming a waste of time. Go to the Speculist, Futurepundit, or even my own I.K.bot for, at the very least, literate economic commentary wrt robotics.
 
A part of living in a free society is voting for politicians to force other people to give you goods and services, like health care?

Absolutely, Ivan. Absolutely.

The problem with "positive rights", such as a minimum wage, universal health care, etc., is that they require others to provide for them.

It's called taxes. In small groups, they are called dues.

Libertarians love to cite the tragedy of the commons. I recommend that you reread it, and see what the author's thoughts on coercion are.

There is no abstract "freedom." We are like trains, moving on track. There are finite switching points, where we can decide which way to go. We can create switching points, and we can remove switching points. Both operations work to increasing "freedom" if you're happy with the change, and "external control" if you're not happy with the change.

Property systems are one particular system of creating and limiting switching nodes. A useful one, of course. But it can go crazy, and there's no intrinsic perfect value in the system itself.
 
I was reading over http://marshallbrain.com/robotic-freedom.htm and it's quite similar to the solution I arrived at about a year ago.

I proposed my idea to other capitalists, and objectivists, and amazingly there were not many who opposed it.

My general idea was to give each citizen $10,000 annually regardless of whether they are employed or not. Non-citizens won't get that, but it will be even greater motivation for immigration, so many Americans would stop working low-wage jobs, but would be replaced by immigrants. The Americans who leave their low-paying jobs would either choose to subsist on $10,000 per year or seek more education and training for superior jobs.

I do think the automation of the service industry is inevitable and coming soon, perhaps sooner than you estimate (2015). Outsourcing is already creating a fairly massive impact on our economy (mostly to the people who are suffering partial or complete loss of income, not so much to the "national numbers") and I estimate that the impact of robotic automation in the service industries will be having a far greater impact on real people than current outsourcing by year 2010 in the United States.

Since our system is corporatist in its current design taxation should be only on corporations.

Unfortunately, these ideas of ours, while they are very good solutions, are not going to happen.

These ideas are quite new, and have major opposition from corporations who (literally) control the American peoples' thinking to a huge degree. I recommend moving to a different country rather than trying to change this one in time, unless you're well to do. For millions of Americans, the years 2010-2020 will be like the years 1930-1940 and there is no likelihood that systematic changes will occur quickly enough to prevent that.
 
These ideas are not new.

They are communist.

You just need to follow the money. Who pays for the $3T stipend? That amount is far greater than the current revenue the US government collects. No sane corporation would stay based in the US if it were taxed at twice the current rate.

Once some companies start leaving, the burden is higher on the rest, in a vicous cycle. It's a race to the bottom.

Everyone on a doll, and 100% ownership of corporations by the government.

Communism.


My alternative: individual responsibility, aided by automated education. That would certainly be one of the first services to leverage robotics/AI, right? If everyone knew they had to provide for themselves, and that low-skill labor was becoming a thing of the past, then everyone would make sure they could give something of intellectual and creative value to society.

It's a race to the top.
 
These ideas are not new.

McCarthyism.

Face it, Ivan; You're in with the wrong crowd.

"Individual responsibility" is just another phrase for authorized slavery and indentured servitude.

People have never believed in it, and never will. And whenever the wealthy try to enforce it, their heads always end up on pikes. Because people just don't believe in what you believe in.

It doesn't matter how you justify cruelty and great inequalities: Communism or Capitalism. It always ends up the same way.

You're arguing from first principles, Ivan: Property = Right. First principles should give you pause, and cause you to consider.
 
Libertarians suffer from a delusion about the nature of individual "productivity." When it comes to material wealth, energy from fossil fuels does the real work in modern economies, while we just enjoy the ride. If the wealthiest man in the world got in the way of Katrina in New Orleans, without the fuel to escape he would have had to seek shelter in the Superdome.
 
>>Libertarians suffer from a delusion about the nature of individual "productivity." When it comes to material wealth, energy from fossil fuels does the real work in modern economies, while we just enjoy the ride. If the wealthiest man in the world got in the way of Katrina in New Orleans, without the fuel to escape he would have had to seek shelter in the Superdome.<<

Why did people not leave in the face of near certainty of destruction from the coming hurricane? Every person had a reason, no doubt, but other than local government being utterly unprepared and criminally negligent, those who did not leave made a calculated risk and lost, unfortunately. There was plenty of blame to go 'round. If we lived under a Libertarian-run system of government, would the results have been different? I bet it would have. First of all, people choosing to live in continually storm-battered regions of the country would not be rewarded for staying every time their homes were damaged or destroyed. They would soon discover that they would be uninsurable and they would receive no government sponsored "freebies" for irresponsible choices... I could go on for days refuting your point of view, sir.
 
Wow. Hard to believe there are so many confused people.

"POOR PEOPLE = POTENTIAL RICH PEOPLE (if they have access to knowledge and free markets!) "
Should be stated as... POOR PEOPLE = POTENTIAL RICH PEOPLE (if they have access to knowledge and easy access startup money). I know a lot of people in this "free market" who have tons of knowledge and can't get an idea off the ground.

"A part of living in a free society is voting for politicians to force other people to give you goods and services, like health care?"
Well, those other "people" (mostly rich corporations) have politicians enact laws and regulations that keep you oppressed. They run your life, dictatate your choices and decide almost every aspect of your life. So, yes, you should vote for politicians that will work in YOUR best interests, because you can be certain that the rich will do the same.

"The problem with "positive rights", such as a minimum wage, universal health care, etc., is that they require others to provide for them. "
Doesn't sound like a problem to me. Those laws require the rich to share a little of their ill gotten (or at least easily obtained) wealth with everyone else. Think of it this way. The fellow you work for pays you, let's say $10/hour for your time that may be worth $50/hr. The landlord (his brother in law) charges you an amount that would require yo to make $30/hr in wages. How the heck does that happen? We need more positive rights.

"My alternative: individual responsibility, aided by automated education. That would certainly be one of the first services to leverage robotics/AI, right? If everyone knew they had to provide for themselves, and that low-skill labor was becoming a thing of the past, then everyone would make sure they could give something of intellectual and creative value to society."
Wow! Must be nice to be rich. Take a trip down to the HR department of your local university and you will find a plethora of highly educated people who can't get work. Take a trip down to your local film co-op and you'll find a lot of creative people who can't get work, but have degrees and are ready to go off and shoot their movies. Hard to do with no money (it doesn't take millions by the way). I just named 2 groups of educated people who want to work, but can't get any.

We need a
1) Guaranteed Minimum Wage (tied to inflation)
2) Rent Controls
3) Government control of all utilities (and certain industries).

One of the SMARTEST statements on the page...
"Individual responsibility" is just another phrase for authorized slavery and indentured servitude.
Here Here!
 
>>I know a lot of people in this "free market" who have tons of knowledge and can't get an idea off the ground.<<

- Response: You COULD have them visit Marshall's "How To Make A Million Dollars" blog, for starters... Next, have them research their intended market, and finally, if they are just plain unrealistic about their opportunities, they should re-evaluate and start small. There are so many unserved markets out there, it's criminal.

>>have politicians enact laws and regulations that keep you oppressed. They run your life, dictatate your choices and decide almost every aspect of your life. So, yes, you should vote for politicians that will work in YOUR best interests, because you can be certain that the rich will do the same.<<

- Response: Yes, in general, you should vote. However, in your case, I think your vote would probably cancel out mine. Look into Libertarianism if you want to learn what life in our American system of economic reality is all about.

>>Those laws require the rich to share a little of their ill gotten (or at least easily obtained) wealth with everyone else. Think of it this way. The fellow you work for pays you, let's say $10/hour for your time that may be worth $50/hr. The landlord (his brother in law) charges you an amount that would require yo to make $30/hr in wages. How the heck does that happen? We need more positive rights.<<

- Response: Uhhh... WHAT? If you are paid $10/hr., how does that equate to your time being worth $50/hr.? You are paid what the market can afford to pay you. If there are fifty people willing to do the exact same thing, all at lower wages, you are not in a good situation. Sounds like you need to adjust your expectations, or get a new line of work. Example: I used to clean toilets and vacuum floors when I went to school, to pay for rent, food, education, etc. I made about $8/hr. at that time. Anyone could do that work, and so I didn't make a lot of money. I decided that was no life for me, and I applied myself, taking little jobs when I could, increasing my knowledge and opportunity every time I did. Today, I am able to charge $150/hr. (or $1,000/day rate) for advertising and design services I provide. What are you or your friends doing to increase their worth to others? Take a look around and see what the market (customers) are looking for. Once you can successfully do that, you will never be poor again.

>>Wow! Must be nice to be rich. Take a trip down to the HR department of your local university and you will find a plethora of highly educated people who can't get work. Take a trip down to your local film co-op and you'll find a lot of creative people who can't get work, but have degrees and are ready to go off and shoot their movies. Hard to do with no money (it doesn't take millions by the way). I just named 2 groups of educated people who want to work, but can't get any.<<

- Response: There are too many "creative" filmmakers in the market. There are not enough smart, hard-working, or lucky ones. Entertainment is a very risky business. If you are willing to live with the considerable risks (and risk living on next to nothing for years, possibly) you might make something of yourself. The greater liklihood is: Most people (no matter how talented) will never make it in the entertainment business unless they have the highly unlikely combination of good looks, common sense, good connections, and very good timing (a.k.a.: luck). You'd be better off going to Las Vegas and playing the slots if you are looking for high risk/quick bucks.

>>We need a
1) Guaranteed Minimum Wage (tied to inflation)
2) Rent Controls
3) Government control of all utilities (and certain industries).<<

- Response: (1) We need to eliminate the minimum wage, not guarantee it. The minimum wage actually HARMS people by setting an artificial level for new wage earners. People need to be able to fit into the economy at ALL wage and skill levels. If the minimum wage were eliminated, you would find that the price of literally EVERYTHING would drop in response, and employment would skyrocket. (2) Rent Control likewise artificially limits what the market will bear for housing. It needs to be outlawed, and competition needs to be increased at all levels of American society. By the way, I also think that competition needs to increase in our choice of politicians. (3) I think you're just being funny now. When was the last time the government did anything right? I want them OUT of all of these sectors, not controlling everything. Free markets = Free people.

Just as a final comment... You are a student voicing an opinion which has been washed over you (virtually since birth) by teachers, who are mostly unaware of how the free market works. If they were, they would not go into teaching. Teachers don't make money. They go into it for the love of the students. It's an unfortunate by-product of our government controlled educational system. They encourage students to see the benefit of the theft (aka: sharing the wealth) of your fellow human beings with political force (one of many down sides of our current system). Once you have become a gainfully employed adult, your point of view will no doubt change, as your daily search for bread will turn into a search for other, less fundamental things... and you will wonder why all of those darn kids are whining about how tough it is to find work on Mars, since all of the AI's took over.

Good luck, future leader.
 
WHY I'M A LIBERTARIAN
by Mack Tanner

When people ask me why I'm a libertarian, I don't bother giving them logical arguments about how freedom brings out the best in human beings, nor do I quote statistics demonstrating that a free society is always more wealthy and peaceful than any non-free society. I know all the utilitarian arguments which explain why we would all be better off with a government that did nothing but protect us from violent criminals and foreign countries who would like to invade and steal our wealth, but I also know that most people who love government are so frightened of freedom that they won't listen to such logical arguments. My reasons for being a libertarian are based in my own nature and what I want for myself.

The naked fact of human nature is that most of the time, we don't decide what we really want through a logical process using moral or utilitarian arguments. The more we want something, the less logical we are about the reasons why we want it. People do what they want to do for a lot of reasons that are determined by instinct, training, culture, environment, and heredity. The smarter of our species may sometimes use a rational process in deciding how to act in order to get what they want, but they don't start with a moral principle or a question of social utility in determining what it is they really want.

If we engage in a rational process beyond answering the question of "what do I want and how do I get it?", it is almost always a process of self justification. We first define what it is we want, then we look for the philosophical arguments that will justify our wanting what we want. The young person who wants sex, but who has been taught that sex outside of marriage is morally wrong, thinks up a justification that will allow him to drop his previous beliefs and take what a willing partner if offering. Most often, the rationalization comes after the deed is done. Usually, we only bother indulging in such a rational process when we are challenged by others and we don't want to admit the basic selfishness that drives us. Then we think up the moral arguments for why our course of action is the right thing to do. Once we decide what we want, all the moral or utilitarian arguments in the world won't change our mind, except possibly an argument based on a threat of force.

Anyone who doubts the truth of this basic thesis of human behavior is advised to spend as much time as I have with convicted criminals, crooked politicians, hypocritical preachers, high-handed bureaucrats, drunks, tyrants, bums, conniving con artists, venal businessmen, and prostitutes. I have never met a human being who couldn't come up with what sounds like a perfectly logical justification for their behavior, no matter much how much misery that behavior caused either themselves or others.

I'm a libertarian because II don't want anyone else telling me what to do. I don't care whether it's a teacher, a priest, a friend, a cop, a bureaucrat, or even a golf pro offering advice on how I can improve my swing. I especially don't want anyone telling me what to do, and then threatening me with force if I don't do it. I've been like that ever since I was a small child.

I did learn at an early age that I sometimes had to do what other people told me to do or face serious personal consequences, but I still didn't like it. I have always resented deeply and unforgivingly being forced to do something I didn't want to do because I was going to be physically or emotionally punished if I didn't do it.

I am not some kind of antisocial misfit who is incapable of enjoying the society of other people. I've always enjoyed cooperating with others in order to achieve something we all wanted to achieve, and I've always been more than willing to do just about anything that wasn't painful or self destructive, if someone offered me a good enough bargain to do it. I've done thousands of things in my life I didn't want to do because someone paid me a lot of money to do them. But it has to be a voluntary cooperation. I get to make the final decision about whether or not I do what you want me to do. That's what a voluntary trade is all about--trading something I don't value as much as what I will get in trade.

I was into middle-age before I ever heard anything about libertarianism as a political philosophy. From that first moment in which I understood what libertarian philosophy proposed, I've considered myself a libertarian. I didn't jump on the philosophy like a cougar on an elk calf because I bought the moral arguments, nor because I concluded that such a philosophy would build a better world. I liked the philosophy for one reason only--it provided me the perfect justification for the way I have secretly felt since I was a small child. I have always wanted to make my own decisions about everything, and I wanted to make those decisions based on what I thought was good for me, not what someone else thought was good for God or for human kind.

I'm what I would call a natural libertarian. The desire to be free of all unwanted interference from all other humans, especially forced interference, is as much a part of my nature as the desire to eat regular meals, quench my thirst, and make love to the woman of my choice every chance I get.

I'm not looking for people whom I can convince that they should share my desires for freedom. I'm looking for people who want freedom just as bad as I want it for their own selfish reasons, and who are willing to work together with me to keep the freedom we have and to take back the freedom we have lost.
 
Anonymous said...
"have them research their intended market, and finally, if they are just plain unrealistic about their opportunities, they should re-evaluate and start small."
Well, believe it or not, most of the people I am speaking of aren't daft. They have researched their markets extensively. I haven't found any of them to be at all unrealistic. Further, IF the opportunity is unrealistic, then it would be better not to start at all than to go down a path that won't work. I think everyone expects to start small.

" Look into Libertarianism if you want to learn what life in our American system of economic reality is all about."
Already have. Libertarianism is a corrupt philosophy that believes in leaving people to rot, when an alternative exists. Sorry, not my cup of tea.

"Uhhh... WHAT? If you are paid $10/hr., how does that equate to your time being worth $50/hr.?"
Only YOU can determine what your time is worth. One problem our society has it most people don't know their value. Sad, but true. If you feel that your irreplacable time is only worth a paltry Al Hamilton ($10), then be my guest. I'm a Franklin man, myself.

"Sounds like you need to adjust your expectations"
You're right! We should ALL adjust our expectations UPWARDS.

"I used to clean toilets and vacuum floors when I went to school, to pay for rent, food, education, etc."
Yes, me too. Takes a lot of toilets to fill that rich man's pocket, doesn't it?

"Today, I am able to charge $150/hr. (or $1,000/day rate) for advertising and design services I provide."
I used to do the same kind of work. Around here, these young bucks have been driving prices to the ground. Most of the business is gone.

"There are too many "creative" filmmakers in the market. There are not enough smart, hard-working, or lucky ones."
Now you've stepped into my parlour. The nature of filmmaking is hard work. I don't know what you may be thinking about, but the job is complicated and demanding and most people are willing to put in the long (12-18 hour) days and hectic schedules that are mandatory. Smart? Well, a lot of people in the business are smart. A lot of talented writers, cinematographers and others work in the business. They study their craft and are dedicated. Always working on building their skill set. You can never be too creative. Then again, I would suppose creativity is a naughty word for Libertarians, as they beleive in utility above all else. Now, on the topic of being lucky, you may have a point.

"The greater liklihood is: Most people (no matter how talented) will never make it in the entertainment business unless they have the highly unlikely combination of good looks, common sense, good connections, and very good timing (a.k.a.: luck). You'd be better off going to Las Vegas and playing the slots if you are looking for high risk/quick bucks."
This is such a misconception, I don't know if I should keep making the correction. Making it. Making it. Hmm. If you mean Having a Jillion dollars in the bank like Tom Cruise, or Stephen Spielberg, then yes, you are better off going to Vegas. If you mean having enough money to buy a nice house and keep the bills paid, you are totally wrong. I have personally seen people miss opportunities to make $50k to $100k for want of some equipment and maybe a few thousand dollars. I'm not going into details, but let's just say this... There is more money than the big Hollywood money. A commercial can go for a few grand to $150k. If you produced a dozen small ones, kept your budget tight, do you think you could manage on $50k a year?

"We need to eliminate the minimum wage, not guarantee it"
You are right. That was a typo on my part. We need to do away with the minimum wage and institute a Guaranteed Minimum Income (that would be available to ALL) tied to the cost of living. Thanks for pointing out the typo.

"The minimum wage actually HARMS people by setting an artificial level for new wage earners." and "If the minimum wage were eliminated, you would find that the price of literally EVERYTHING would drop in response, and employment would skyrocket."
Minimum Wage laws were enacted because the Rich were paying people less than they could live on. They would set poor against poor for tiny, thankless jobs(they still do, but it was worse). Before the minimum wage laws, people were still earning too little money. Prices weren't kept in check because the Rich who control all industry and housing had no reason to keep themselves under control. Even WITH minimum wage laws, for some reason, rich owners have the audacity to raise prices and lower wages. Sounds to me like someone is putting a new addition onto the mansion.

" Rent Control likewise artificially limits what the market will bear for housing. It needs to be outlawed, and competition needs to be increased at all levels of American society."
We need Rent Control badly in this country. There really is no competition in housing. The greedy landlords pay attention to what each other charges and adjust prices accordingly. John's 1 bedroom will be within a $5-10 range of Joe's, just down the street. They are so rich, they don't even mind having huge vacancy rates. Yes, I have seen apartment communities half full with no price decrease.

" I think you're just being funny now. When was the last time the government did anything right? I want them OUT of all of these sectors, not controlling everything."
While you are correct that government is not the most competent lot, at least they can be monitored and ousted, should the need arise. It is true that the rich may depose one of its own from time to time, they usually allow their brethren to step on the masses with impunity. If government ran many sectors, they realise their time would be nigh if prices ran rampant. Would the Rich be so brazen as to, say, raise rent or lower wages, if they could be voted out next year? I would rather have incompetent but benign government, than competent and malicious Rich Robber Barons any day.

"You are a student voicing an opinion which has been washed over you (virtually since birth) by teachers, who are mostly unaware of how the free market works."
Actually, I hold a Ph.D. I have had some very good teachers, thank you, and they are quite aware of how the corrupt "free" market works (or doesn't as is most often the case). I'm not just regurgitating words I have heard others say. I'm speaking from experience.

" They encourage students to see the benefit of the theft (aka: sharing the wealth) of your fellow human beings with political force (one of many down sides of our current system)."
So I would suppose paying some guy $10 hour to slave away for you, then turning around and charging him $30/hr to live in your apartment block, that your "free" market mates are all charging the same prices, is not theft. Those fellow human beings must really care about us.

"Once you have become a gainfully employed adult, your point of view will no doubt change,"
I am an adult, have been gainfully employed, have travelled the world, worked hard, got an extensive education, even owned a business for awhile (it did well, but lost in in a divorce). My view changed when I saw how much wealth is out there that is being hoarded by a few. My view changed when I saw the rich lining their pockets and then complaining about having to pay a couple of pennies to help someone less blessed than they are. My view changed when I saw companies adding robots to do the work of men, but not raising the wages of those who remained, nor compensating the displaced. My view changed, and so will yours when the Rich that you believe in so strongly turn on you.
 
>>>Well, believe it or not, most of the people I am speaking of aren't daft. They have researched their markets extensively. I haven't found any of them to be at all unrealistic. Further, IF the opportunity is unrealistic, then it would be better not to start at all than to go down a path that won't work. I think everyone expects to start small.<<<

Sorry to hear that, but considering that even you have stated that you are a PhD, and the people you are talking about are not "daft", then they are apparently not filling the current markets needs. I DON'T have a PhD, I'm not blindingly smart, yet somehow, I'm actually doing OK.

>>>Already have. Libertarianism is a corrupt philosophy that believes in leaving people to rot, when an alternative exists. Sorry, not my cup of tea.<<<

I take issue with your interpretation... Now, I don't know if you are an American, but here in America we believe in freedom of choice, although in many respects we actually have very limited choices. One of those limits come from parties that you might support that LIMIT my ability to fund or not fund, the people, causes, organizations that I believe in, simply because 35% of my money is taken BY FORCE through our Internal Revenue Service. (tyranny of the masses). Libertarianism believes in completely the opposite. So, I guess you could say that YOUR alternatives are actually MORE repressive.

>>>Only YOU can determine what your time is worth. One problem our society has it most people don't know their value. Sad, but true. If you feel that your irreplacable time is only worth a paltry Al Hamilton ($10), then be my guest. I'm a Franklin man, myself.<<<

This is true, but if no one is willing to pay for your time, it's worth what someone else will pay. You seem to have conflicting philosophical points of view... you seem to love your money, but I don't know if you'd be willing to spend your own and leave mine alone. I think you'd rather force everyone to pay what YOU believe is right or fair. That is pure bull.

>>>Now you've stepped into my parlour. The nature of filmmaking is hard work. I don't know what you may be thinking about, but the job is complicated and demanding and most people are willing to put in the long (12-18 hour) days and hectic schedules that are mandatory. Smart? Well, a lot of people in the business are smart. A lot of talented writers, cinematographers and others work in the business. They study their craft and are dedicated. Always working on building their skill set. You can never be too creative. Then again, I would suppose creativity is a naughty word for Libertarians, as they beleive in utility above all else. Now, on the topic of being lucky, you may have a point.<<<

Utter gibberish. Creativity is a valuable asset. But there are a LOT of poor creative people. Why? Because creative people typically do not understand how their work fits into a supply and demand economy. Thus, they are taken advantage of by others who do understand. My first bit of advice to a creative person is: educate yourself about business. A business person may never be "creative" as you see it, but a creative person who knows business is a force to be reckoned with. My statement about luck, as it relates to an extremely competitive market, such as entertainment, stands.

>>>You'd be better off going to Las Vegas and playing the slots if you are looking for high risk/quick bucks."
This is such a misconception, I don't know if I should keep making the correction. Making it. Making it. Hmm. If you mean Having a Jillion dollars in the bank like Tom Cruise, or Stephen Spielberg, then yes, you are better off going to Vegas. If you mean having enough money to buy a nice house and keep the bills paid, you are totally wrong. I have personally seen people miss opportunities to make $50k to $100k for want of some equipment and maybe a few thousand dollars. I'm not going into details, but let's just say this... There is more money than the big Hollywood money. A commercial can go for a few grand to $150k. If you produced a dozen small ones, kept your budget tight, do you think you could manage on $50k a year?<<<

You keep contradicting yourself. First you make it sound like everyone is barely scraping by and eating toaster crumbs, then you offer several examples of how to do well in the business. Which is it gonna be, pal? Great risk equals great reward. Some make it, many won't. You can't have it both ways. I can't stand the double-talk of a dyed in the wool socialist.

The rest of your statements show such a lack of understanding of economic reality I cannot waste time addressing each one.

I wish you good luck, but it really sounds like you have a negative outlook on life. Perhaps a change of scenery would do you good.

Seacrest out!
 
Sounds like his view changed when he got divorced. Maybe he needs to get bizzay. ;)
 
Are you the kind of person that believes life owes you, or someone else who is "down on their luck"?

Do you often feel superior to other people, because you know you are "right" and everyone else is wrong?

Do you feel that society's ills could be cured if enough money were collected and focused on the problem?

Do you think some people make way too much money, while other people make way too little?

Do you feel guilty when you go out to eat at a restaurant and you see a homeless person?

If you answered yes to 1 or more of these questions, then you are probably not a Libertarian.
 
As far as I know, we've had Democrat and Republican presidencies, with plenty of corruption and screw-ups on both sides. How about giving Libertarians a chance to prove their theories right or wrong?
 
"You seem to have conflicting philosophical points of view... you seem to love your money,"
No, it is not a conflict at all. I never said making good money was bad. My belief is that the Rich industrialists, landlords and Robber Barons, who own everything, need to make sure people can actually afford the things they (the people) need. I have no interest in evicting the Rich from their mansions. Just make sure the people who actually BUILT that mansion (with their time, sweat, and blood) have enough to make their dreams come true.

"You keep contradicting yourself. First you make it sound like everyone is barely scraping by and eating toaster crumbs, then you offer several examples of how to do well in the business. Which is it gonna be, pal? Great risk equals great reward. Some make it, many won't. You can't have it both ways. I can't stand the double-talk of a dyed in the wool socialist."
I almost didn't bother to address this statement, as it shows you aren't really thinking about what you are saying. Just because I can show you how to make the money, doesn't mean that the OPPORTUNITY isn't being blocked by the Rich. So, that in no way says I am wanting it both ways. IF the Rich would take down the Barricades that stand in peoples way, THEN almost EVERYONE will make it. There is MORE than enough money to go around if the Rich would stop hoarding it. I can't stand the lack of empathy of a dyed in the wool conservative.

"The rest of your statements show such a lack of understanding of economic reality I cannot waste time addressing each one."
The typical response of a conservative when faced with logical arguments. It isn't easy to answer those types of criticisms as they clearly expose the flaws of Libertarian Philosophy. My statements show an extremely solid understanding of reality. I gave concrete examples of situations that actual people can find in the world. It is easy to be a Libertarian when you are standing on the safety of the shore. Come on out into the ocean where the shark is nibbling at your feet. You would sound like a madman arguing your point of view.

"but it really sounds like you have a negative outlook on life."
I actually have an extremely positive view on life. I believe the world is abundant, but that wealth is being hoarded by a few. I just want to liberate that excess so that we might all demonstrate our creative spirit. Our world would be truly great then.

"Sounds like his view changed when he got divorced. Maybe he needs to get bizzay. ;)"
No, I have always held these views to one degree or another. As far as "Bizzayness", haha that has been taken care of. :-)

"As far as I know, we've had Democrat and Republican presidencies, with plenty of corruption and screw-ups on both sides. How about giving Libertarians a chance to prove their theories right or wrong? "
Libertarians only want to force more people into poverty. Let's vote Socialist Party next time around. They have some of the most brilliant minds running their organisation.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this conversation. It is good to see that we can disagree without it getting nasty (quite rare when one is arguing a left point of view vs an extreme right wing one).
Take Care.
 
Oh, brother...

>>>I can't stand the lack of empathy of a dyed in the wool conservative.<<<

I guess you don't understand that Libertarians run the gamut from liberal to conservative. It is the economic philosophy of free markets and open competition, plus protection for individual rights that are the hallmarks of Libertarianism. I would much rather have you be as free as I am to make choices, NOT LESS. Thank you.
 
>>>Libertarians only want to force more people into poverty. Let's vote Socialist Party next time around. They have some of the most brilliant minds running their organisation.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this conversation. It is good to see that we can disagree without it getting nasty (quite rare when one is arguing a left point of view vs an extreme right wing one).
Take Care.<<<

Hmmm. Let's see... how many millionaire Socialists do I know?... Oh, NONE!

I would not be the last to admit that Libertarianism is imperfect, but compared to the offerings of the Republicans and Democrats it is a model of perfection.

Socialism, Communism, etc., are all pipe dreams, because they try to force people to behave in ways that are contrary to real human behavior (look up "enlightened self-interest" for the underlying philosophy of Libertarianism). Socialism, and the like do not allow freedom of choice...

What if I told you that your hard-earned savings were now the property of the federal government, and you would be given a monthly check (the same as for all Americans), no matter your skill level. Also, you would be assigned a job that the government determines you are fit for, and if you disagree you will be sent to prison?

Think about it.

Why, even China offers more freedom/opportunity that what you have described!

Finally, despite your impressions or me (or perhaps what you think my opinion represents) I fully respect you having the courage to express yourself. I disagree, but I do respect you engaging in this discussion. Also, hats off to Marshall for encouraging healthy debate in an open forum... Odd that we haven't been discussing robots.

Thanks, again.
 
For anyone wanting to know more, here is an impartial look into Libertarianism:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian

Happy reading.
 
Just in case you didn't know... here are some well-known libertarians...

MOVIE STARS
_____________
Clint Eastwood
Kurt Russell
Drew Carey
Tom Selleck
Denis Leary
Russell Means
Woody Harrelson
Penn & Teller
John Laroquette
Tommy Chong
Aaron Russo
Dixie Carter

MUSICIANS
-------------
Dwight Yoakum
Neil Peart (Rush)
Mojo Nixon
Melanie
Jimmie Vaughan

MEDIA
---------------

John Stossel
Hugh Downs
Jay Severin

HUMORISTS
---------------
Dave Barry
P.J. O'Rourke

AUTHORS
---------------
Ayn Rand
Robert Heinlein
Charles Murray
L. Neil Smith

RADIO TALK SHOW HOSTS
-------------------------
Neal Boortz
Larry Elder (he's become more Republican recently)
Gene Burns
Gary Nolan
David Brudnoy
Steve (Steve and D.C. Show)

ACADEMIA
--------------
Milton Freidman
William F. Buckley
Walter Williams
Thomas Sowell
James Glassman

POLITICIANS
-----------------
US Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX)
Gov. Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Gov. Gary Johnson (R-NM)
 
Where did you go Marshall?
Let’s get back to creating and implementing Robotic nation.
Forget about eliminating GOD from the face of the earth.
It’s too big of a job.!
I just turned 70 and I would like to see some of the benefits of this-
Wonderful future before I die.
 
Happy Birthday, Geezer. But Marshall is kinda AWOL recently. Guess he's busy promoting one of his many other blogs. Don't die on us!
 
Who eliminated God? Did someone give you a memory wipe?
 
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