Enough "Common Sense" -- how about "Common Decency" ?

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Class

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May 7, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/7/99
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Mike Harris and his gang made a lot of very difficult and useful changes,
trimming some fat, breaking some big union power, standardising education,
and doing some major reorganising for long-term efficiency.

But like most extreme groups (right-wing in this case), they're going too
far. Too much benefit and privilege for the already advantaged. Too much
at the expense of the poor and middle class majority.

Mike's vision is that of the libertarian American right, with a government
there to promote and protect the individual's right to satisfy his/her greed
at the expense of everyone else. To the winners go the spoils, and the rest
can rot. A mean, nasty Darwinian society. Not my kind of nation, and not
that of the majority of Canadians, I hope and think.

From the right wing we hear "no more taxes" and "taxation is theft". Great
slogans from the rich "victims" who pay a lot of tax, unless they live in
tax havens like the Caymen Islands. Now we hear it from almost everybody --
a testament to the effectiveness of the media that the rich control. Well,
an extra $100 is a lot more valuable to a family making $20,000 per year
than to one making $200,000 per year. But the drive of the Progressive
Conservatives is for less and less progressiveness in the tax rate. Merge
Reform with Progressive Conservative and you get Regressive Conservative, a
better name.

The right-wing naturally changes the rules to their own favour. A big one
is the wage and price control policy, cleverly called a "low inflation
policy". (Yes, it's a federal not provincial responsibility, but it's the
right wing in control.) The wage control effect keeps earned incomes
stagnant at best. Watch the central banks: when wages start rising too
fast, they increase interest rates to increase unemployment. Profits and
stock prices, however, can rise without limit. Hurrah.

Where the price control effect harms profits, mergers and acquisitions are
used to reduce competition in the product and service marketplace and
restore profits. Such corporate concentration also reduces competition for
workers in the employment marketplace, and helps keep wages stagnant.

People are doing the work that used to be done by 1-1/2 or 2 people before,
for the same real wages. Sure, we have to be efficient and competitive.
But notice that all that extra work for no extra pay is what boosted profits
and stock prices to phenomenal levels. So much for the "trickle down
effect". More like a "gush up" effect. It's not fair that the majority
(workers) should sacrifice so much, while the minority (shareholders) gain
so much. That's the right wing agenda in action. Do you wonder why there
are so many new billionaires in North America and around the world, and
still so much poverty, and a stagnant or declining middle class? Paul
Martin, millionaire owner of a foreign-registered shipping fleet, wrung his
hands over that paradox. Some of these people might still actually believe
that this globalised market paradise will eventually make everyone well off.

Another big rule change that almost made it this time was the MAI, Mutual
Agreement Investment. An irreversible conversion of a so-called democratic
system to one of corporate control. Its coverage in the
corporate-controlled media was virtually non-existent until it was almost
too late. They probably won't fail next time.

In a decent, effective, democratic society, media ownership would not be
concentrated in the hands of a few, rich, selfish, greedy people. The
media's role in informing society is too important, and its ability to
influence and fool society is too great. Media ownership should be at the
very least be dispersed among many different (rich, selfish, greedy) people.
I think there are similar rules about ownership of bank stocks: 10 or 20% to
any one entity. At best, there should be wide public ownership to allow for
a much wider variety of bias. It's absurd that one group can own most
newspapers, TV and radio in a given area (or country). Look at the Irvings
in New Brunswick as an extreme example. Without a wide variety of opinions
in the media, we fall into the mindset of the media
owners -without- -being- -able- -to- -see- -it-. Who attacks the CBC, as
corporate as it already is? Conrad Black for one. Who is trying to sell
TVO to business? Mike.

We don't easily read or hear about many of these issues in the current
media. Can we change the wage and price control (low inflation) policy by
democratic means? Just enough to let a fair share of that huge amount of
new shareholder wealth trickle down to the workers. Apparently not. Can we
vote to limit mergers and acquisitions to maintain a high level of
competition in the marketplace? Apparently not. Can we vote on the MAI?
Even the widely reviled Brian Muldoon (BM the PM) had the courage and
decency to run an election on NAFTA. Apparently we are too irrelevant now,
however, to even be properly told about the MAI, much less asked to vote on
it. Thanks to the Council of Canadians for helping to save us this time.

There is a lot of scary, undemocratic activity by the right wing. I was
fooled for a long time by the propaganda. Reading about the Bilderburgers,
Skull and Crossbones Society, and other quiet but pervasive right-wing
groups gradually opened my eyes. See, e.g., the CTRL mail list at
http://www.parascope.com/other/lists/ctrl.htm . Although there is a lot of
volume, and much to delete unread, there is priceless information often
enough. There are probably better sources, but it's a good start.

bad...@cow-net.com

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May 8, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/8/99
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In <7gvso7$5o2$1...@news.interlog.com>, on 05/07/99
at 07:21 PM, "Class" <NoSp...@nospam.iname.com> said:

Good post, excellant analogy btw.

>The right-wing naturally changes the rules to their own favour. A big
>one is the wage and price control policy, cleverly called a "low
>inflation policy". (Yes, it's a federal not provincial responsibility,
>but it's the right wing in control.) The wage control effect keeps
>earned incomes stagnant at best. Watch the central banks: when wages
>start rising too fast, they increase interest rates to increase
>unemployment. Profits and stock prices, however, can rise without limit.
>Hurrah.

--
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Barry Adams
Vancouver Island,B.C.,Canada
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emerico

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May 8, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/8/99
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you are a perfect observer! this guys make me remember our eastern
europaen post-communist dictators. just look mike harris when he speaking
he so ignorent that this feeling come out to his face. like he saying:
'who cares, they are just a bunch of shit" - i hope this bunch of 'shit' can
hit him and his party just as hard as happened at the federal level when
mulrouney was try to do the same with us.

Chris J Delanoy

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May 8, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/8/99
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"Class" <NoSp...@nospam.iname.com> wrote:

> Mike's vision is that of the libertarian American right,

I wish. Frankly, his pre-election budget was somewhat of a betrayal of
this vision.

> with a government there to promote and protect the individual's right

This is the ideal, yes, but unfortunately is not what is being entirely
pursued by Mike Harris.

> To the winners go the spoils,

No, to the producers go the spoils. _Their_ spoils - not someone else's.

> From the right wing we hear "no more taxes" and "taxation is theft".

If I put a gun to your head and demanded "Your money or your life", would
you think that I was providing you a voluntary choice? Certainly not! And
taxes are no different.

Surely some taxation is necessary to provide for the essential functions
of government: police, military, courts, and public works. As P.J. O'Rourke
coined, however, the question to ask yourself in all matters of government
spending is "Would I kill my kindly, gray-haired mother for this?" Because
that's precisely what the coercive force of taxation represents.

> Great slogans from the rich "victims" who pay a lot of tax, unless they
> live in tax havens like the Caymen Islands.

If Canada didn't have an oppressive tax regime, there would be no such
thing as a "tax haven".

> The right-wing naturally changes the rules to their own favour. A big one
> is the wage and price control policy, cleverly called a "low inflation
> policy". (Yes, it's a federal not provincial responsibility, but it's the
> right wing in control.) The wage control effect keeps earned incomes
> stagnant at best. Watch the central banks: when wages start rising too
> fast, they increase interest rates to increase unemployment. Profits and
> stock prices, however, can rise without limit. Hurrah.

If you want ideal monetary control without the arbitrary decisions of a
central government bank, then we should be moving toward the abandonment
of the central policy-making body. We all know, after all, that it was
the ineptness of the American government's Federal Reserve Board that
induced the crisis that became the Great Depression. Before the establishment
of the central government authority, recessionary pressures throughout the
nineteenth century had always been effectively checked on a private level.

> Where the price control effect harms profits,

In a free market, prices are determined by cost, not profit.

> mergers and acquisitions are used to reduce competition

Mergers and acquisitions do not necessarily "reduce competition".
Competition is not a function of some arbitrary number of businesses
existing.

> Paul Martin, millionaire owner of a foreign-registered shipping fleet,

Paul Martin's wealth is secured at the government tit. He is a millionaire
of pull, not a millionaire of ability. Chronyism like this is a hallmark
of socialistic or facistic economies - not of a free markets.

> In a decent, effective, democratic society, media ownership would not be
> concentrated in the hands of a few, rich, selfish, greedy people.

This is false (and irrelevent even if true).

> Media ownership should be at the very least be dispersed among many
> different (rich, selfish, greedy) people.

Who decides how many and who they should be? And by what standard?

> At best, there should be wide public ownership to allow for a much wider
> variety of bias.

There is. ("public" meaning, of course, individual citizens)

> Can we change the wage and price control (low inflation) policy by
> democratic means?

Inflation does not increase wages. It lowers them.

> Just enough to let a fair share of that huge amount of new shareholder
> wealth trickle down to the workers.

40% of American citizens are now stockholders - up from less than 20% only
ten years ago. The numbers in Canada probably aren't lagging very far
behind.

> Can we vote to limit mergers and acquisitions

If you are a stockholder of either of the companies in question, then
certainly.

> to maintain a high level of competition in the marketplace?

Your equation of "number of businesses" to "level of competition" is
completely false.

> Even the widely reviled Brian Muldoon (BM the PM) had the courage and
> decency to run an election on NAFTA.

And won. Don't ever forget that: the people of Canada sided with economic
freedom - not with your narrow view that would see us all enslaved to the
will of an omnipotent state.

Chris J Delanoy

--
http://www.ualberta.ca/~cdelanoy/
Supporting a principled Alternative, not a United one.

-----------== Posted via Deja News, The Discussion Network ==----------
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Barry Bruyea

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May 8, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/8/99
to
On Sat, 08 May 1999 14:27:14 GMT, Chris J Delanoy
<cdel...@ualberta.ca> wrote:

> "Class" <NoSp...@nospam.iname.com> wrote:
>
>> Mike's vision is that of the libertarian American right,
>

>I wish. Frankly, his pre-election budget was somewhat of a betrayal of
>this vision.
>

>> with a government there to promote and protect the individual's right
>

>This is the ideal, yes, but unfortunately is not what is being entirely
>pursued by Mike Harris.
>

>> To the winners go the spoils,
>

>No, to the producers go the spoils. _Their_ spoils - not someone else's.
>

>> From the right wing we hear "no more taxes" and "taxation is theft".
>

>If I put a gun to your head and demanded "Your money or your life", would
>you think that I was providing you a voluntary choice? Certainly not! And
>taxes are no different.
>
>Surely some taxation is necessary to provide for the essential functions
>of government: police, military, courts, and public works. As P.J. O'Rourke
>coined, however, the question to ask yourself in all matters of government
>spending is "Would I kill my kindly, gray-haired mother for this?" Because
>that's precisely what the coercive force of taxation represents.
>

>> Great slogans from the rich "victims" who pay a lot of tax, unless they
>> live in tax havens like the Caymen Islands.
>

>If Canada didn't have an oppressive tax regime, there would be no such
>thing as a "tax haven".
>

>> The right-wing naturally changes the rules to their own favour. A big one
>> is the wage and price control policy, cleverly called a "low inflation
>> policy". (Yes, it's a federal not provincial responsibility, but it's the
>> right wing in control.) The wage control effect keeps earned incomes
>> stagnant at best. Watch the central banks: when wages start rising too
>> fast, they increase interest rates to increase unemployment. Profits and
>> stock prices, however, can rise without limit. Hurrah.
>

>If you want ideal monetary control without the arbitrary decisions of a
>central government bank, then we should be moving toward the abandonment
>of the central policy-making body. We all know, after all, that it was
>the ineptness of the American government's Federal Reserve Board that
>induced the crisis that became the Great Depression. Before the establishment
>of the central government authority, recessionary pressures throughout the
>nineteenth century had always been effectively checked on a private level.
>

>> Where the price control effect harms profits,
>

>In a free market, prices are determined by cost, not profit.

Correction: yes, initial price is determined by cost: actual price is
determined by demand; which is why large companies sometimes lose
money, because of low demand they are unable to charge enough to
recover cost.

>
>> mergers and acquisitions are used to reduce competition
>

>Mergers and acquisitions do not necessarily "reduce competition".
>Competition is not a function of some arbitrary number of businesses
>existing.
>

>> Paul Martin, millionaire owner of a foreign-registered shipping fleet,
>

>Paul Martin's wealth is secured at the government tit. He is a millionaire
>of pull, not a millionaire of ability. Chronyism like this is a hallmark
>of socialistic or facistic economies - not of a free markets.
>

>> In a decent, effective, democratic society, media ownership would not be
>> concentrated in the hands of a few, rich, selfish, greedy people.
>

>This is false (and irrelevent even if true).
>

>> Media ownership should be at the very least be dispersed among many
>> different (rich, selfish, greedy) people.
>

>Who decides how many and who they should be? And by what standard?
>

>> At best, there should be wide public ownership to allow for a much wider
>> variety of bias.
>

>There is. ("public" meaning, of course, individual citizens)
>

>> Can we change the wage and price control (low inflation) policy by
>> democratic means?
>

>Inflation does not increase wages. It lowers them.
>

>> Just enough to let a fair share of that huge amount of new shareholder
>> wealth trickle down to the workers.
>

>40% of American citizens are now stockholders - up from less than 20% only
>ten years ago. The numbers in Canada probably aren't lagging very far
>behind.
>

>> Can we vote to limit mergers and acquisitions
>

>If you are a stockholder of either of the companies in question, then
>certainly.
>

>> to maintain a high level of competition in the marketplace?
>

>Your equation of "number of businesses" to "level of competition" is
>completely false.
>

>> Even the widely reviled Brian Muldoon (BM the PM) had the courage and
>> decency to run an election on NAFTA.
>

Robert Leslie Radford

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May 8, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/8/99
to
All Harris has done so far is to change the balance of power between the
teachers' union and their employer, institute course standards, and
propose mandatory testing of teachers. This is a long way from providing
privilege for the advantaged at the expense of the poor and middle class.

He has even kept the public school system monopoly in the face of
demands for charter schools. Radical, he is not and hardly libertarian.

Class

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May 8, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/8/99
to
Chris J Delanoy wrote in message <7h1hk0$gkk$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>...

> "Class" <NoSp...@nospam.iname.com> wrote:
>> Mike's vision is that of the libertarian American right,

>I wish. Frankly, his pre-election budget was somewhat of a betrayal of
>this vision.


Yes, he's temporarily selling out his libertarian principles to get
re-elected by otherwise largely liberal democratic voters. Then it's back
to the insidious Americanisation of Ontario. Greed, concentration of
wealth, deterioration of the environment.

>> Can we change the wage and price control (low inflation) policy by
>> democratic means?
>

>Inflation does not increase wages. It lowers them.


Not necesssarily so. It depends whether nominal wage increases are greater
or less than inflation. The current wage and price controls have been
spectacularly effective in keeping real wage increases lower than inflation.
As soon as wages rise faster, the central banks raise interest rates, lower
business activity, and increase unemployment. This keeps workers in line.

At times through the 1970s, -real- interest rates were generally lower than
they are now. Wage increases were sometimes -higher- than inflation. These
effects benefited workers and debtors at the expense of shareholders and
lenders. Once inflation psychology was broken starting with 19% interest
rates in 1979/1980, workers have generally been too cowed to demand more.
Continual threats and implementation of downsizing, reorganization,
outsourcing, merging, and acquiring all contribute to worker powerlessness.


***
The point remains: the majority of people, the voters, the workers, can't
touch the wage and price control (low inflation) policy. It is being kept
off the democratic agenda here and worldwide. The rich own the media and
control the government. The rich benefit from wage and price controls. The
rich get richer, the poor get poorer.
***

>> Just enough to let a fair share of that huge amount of new shareholder
>> wealth trickle down to the workers.
>

>40% of American citizens are now stockholders - up from less than 20% only
>ten years ago. The numbers in Canada probably aren't lagging very far
>behind.


What is it exactly? Something like the top 5% (the wealthy) own 60%+ of the
capital? The bottom 40% (the poor) own 5%. You get the idea. And
it -continually- -gets- -more- -concentrated-. Redistributing the wealth,
and changing the rules to allow greater equity through the market are now
beyond the reach of democracy.

>> Can we vote to limit mergers and acquisitions
>

>If you are a stockholder of either of the companies in question, then
>certainly.


Before: One person -- One vote
Now: One share -- One vote

We used to have politicians and beaurocrats who limited M&As to maintain
competition for the benefit of the common people. This largely and quietly
disappeared with the right-wing revolution. Now the wealthy control M&A,
and guess what -- they are in favour. To their benefit, not the benefit of
the majority. Whither democracy? Time was when the selfish majority of
workers could vote for a bigger share of the pie for themselves. Victory
for the right wing propaganda machine.

>> Even the widely reviled Brian Muldoon (BM the PM) had the courage and
>> decency to run an election on NAFTA.
>

>And won. Don't ever forget that: the people of Canada sided with economic
>freedom - not with your narrow view that would see us all enslaved to the
>will of an omnipotent state.


I was and remain in favour of the FTA/NAFTA. Free trade generally increases
weath for both traders. The problem is that the wealthy shareholders are
getting all the new wealth, while the workers aren't.


bad...@cow-net.com

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May 8, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/8/99
to
In <7h1vmq$2bd$1...@news.interlog.com>, on 05/08/99
at 02:24 PM, "Class" <NoSp...@nospam.iname.com> said:

>The point remains: the majority of people, the voters, the workers,

>can't touch the wage and price control (low inflation) policy. It is


>being kept off the democratic agenda here and worldwide. The rich own
>the media and control the government. The rich benefit from wage and
>price controls. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer.

Very well said!

bad...@cow-net.com

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May 8, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/8/99
to
In <7h1hk0$gkk$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>, on 05/08/99
at 02:27 PM, Chris J Delanoy <cdel...@ualberta.ca> said:

>Surely some taxation is necessary to provide for the essential functions
>of government: police, military, courts, and public works. As P.J.
>O'Rourke coined, however, the question to ask yourself in all matters of
>government spending is "Would I kill my kindly, gray-haired mother for
>this?" Because that's precisely what the coercive force of taxation
>represents.

Taxation is now akin to matricide? Man you guys are getting nuttier.

Honest John

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May 8, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/8/99
to
On Sat, 08 May 1999 00:50:10 -0700, bad...@cow-net.com wrote:

>In <7gvso7$5o2$1...@news.interlog.com>, on 05/07/99
> at 07:21 PM, "Class" <NoSp...@nospam.iname.com> said:
>
>Good post, excellant analogy btw.
>

>>The right-wing naturally changes the rules to their own favour. A big
>>one is the wage and price control policy,

Didn't Pierre Trudeau run an election based on the idea that he would
not introduce "wage and price controls" only to do just that once he
was elected. Just like Chretien and the famous election promise to get
rid of the GST and take us out of NAFTA!


Len McL

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May 8, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/8/99
to

Honest John wrote in message <3734b47a...@news.eagle.ca>...

>On Sat, 08 May 1999 00:50:10 -0700, bad...@cow-net.com wrote:
>
>>In <7gvso7$5o2$1...@news.interlog.com>, on 05/07/99
>> at 07:21 PM, "Class" <NoSp...@nospam.iname.com> said:
>>
>>Good post, excellant analogy btw.
>>
>>>The right-wing naturally changes the rules to their own favour. A big
>>>one is the wage and price control policy,
>
>Didn't Pierre Trudeau run an election based on the idea that he would
>not introduce "wage and price controls" only to do just that once he
>was elected. Just like Chretien and the famous election promise to get
>rid of the GST and take us out of NAFTA!


I've just tuned in again so I'm not exactly sure what brought on the above.
However,it sounds a little like someone was trying to rewrite a bit of
history. P.E.T. sure did lie about W&P controls just as surely as Chretien
lied to get elected.
In my lifetime the Liberals have lied every time to get back into power.
The record is there if anyone is interested. The scary part is that
"liberal" voters will support, unconditionally, Liberal politicians who lie
to get elected. These hard core liberal voters will vote "liberal" (NDP
incl.) every election no matter what. Another part of the electorate,
who are not politically challenged, are the main reason there is ever a
change in government. Their swing vote is really the only reason we have
elections and can still pretend we have a democracy.
If voters were smart enough to immediately turf out any politician who
lied to get elected we could count on some honesty at election time but for
the Liberals this has never been a problem because of the sheep-like
attitude of "lieberal" voters.
In the Ont election we see the liberals in action. First you see them
trying to disrupt the election process. When confronted their leaders cry
about their rights to free speech, something like the crook being concerned
about his rights when he is caught violating somebody's else's rights.
Liberals secretly don't believe in the democratic process.
The double standard shown by "liberal" supporters in their position on
cut-backs is blatant. It's Chretien who has made the big cuts in funding
but the "people" love him and hate Harris?? As the result of these cuts,
all the provinces have seen drastic cuts to their health care systems and
that includes all parties. But who comes under fire---- a conservative,
Mike Harris, a man who didn't lie to get elected. Do you see or have you
ever seen "conservatives" out there trying to block the election process?
Chretien would know how to handle these demos...tear gas them.
An elder statesman once said that "true" democracies would fail because of
the "liberals"( or something like that) and we have seen that in countries
all around the world as democracies come and go.
As for Harris supposedly borrowing money to give tax cuts, it seems that
Ronald Reagan did the same thing
and now the American economy is breaking records.
A true liberal hates the words "common sense" ;-)

Chris J Delanoy

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May 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/9/99
to
"Class" <NoSp...@nospam.iname.com> wrote:

> >I wish. Frankly, his pre-election budget was somewhat of a betrayal of
> >this vision.

> Yes, he's temporarily selling out his libertarian principles to get
> re-elected by otherwise largely liberal democratic voters. Then it's back
> to the insidious Americanisation of Ontario.

Define "Americanisation". And then detail the objective standard by which
the process you so define is "insidious".

> ***


> The point remains: the majority of people, the voters, the workers, can't
> touch the wage and price control (low inflation) policy. It is being kept
> off the democratic agenda here and worldwide. The rich own the media and
> control the government. The rich benefit from wage and price controls. The
> rich get richer, the poor get poorer.

> ***

Who, precisely, are "the rich"?

Who, precisely, are "the workers"?

Define your terms.

> >40% of American citizens are now stockholders - up from less than 20% only
> >ten years ago. The numbers in Canada probably aren't lagging very far
> >behind.

> What is it exactly?

I don't know. 30% maybe? Again - it would certainly be lower than the
US level due to our lower overall standard of living caused by our lower
degree of economic freedom.

> Redistributing the wealth, and changing the rules to allow greater equity
> through the market are now beyond the reach of democracy.

Precisely who should the wealth be distributed from? And what, in that
event, is their incentive to keep creating that wealth? And by what right
do you lay claim to the products of somebody else's work and intelligence?

Again, "Class", you need to be more specific here. Don't talk about
"wealth distribution" generically - give us specific numbers. Precisely
how much unearned wealth do you desire?

> >If you are a stockholder of either of the companies in question, then
> >certainly.

> Before: One person -- One vote
> Now: One share -- One vote

If you disagree with the direction that a company and it's owners take,
then don't use that company. Drive them out of business.

That aside, precisely when was "before"? And precisely how was it
different from "now"?

> We used to have politicians and beaurocrats who limited M&As to maintain
> competition for the benefit of the common people.

Define "the common people", and explain precisely why you believe they
benefit from being slaves to your ideal state.

For the rest of your "logic": competition is not something that can be
decreed by politicians and bureaucrats. And it is not a function of the
number of businesses that happen to occupy a given sector. It is a natural
consequence of a free market economy and is naturally governed by the price
system. Government interference and regulation necessarily _decreases_
competition by erecting barriers to voluntary exchange and innovation on
a free market.

> This largely and quietly disappeared with the right-wing revolution.
> Now the wealthy control M&A, and guess what -- they are in favour.
> To their benefit, not the benefit of the majority.

Who, precisely, are "the wealthy"?

Who, precisely, are "the majority" who would be better off if no wealth
existed at all?

Define your terms.

> Time was when the selfish majority of workers could vote for a bigger
> share of the pie for themselves.

A free market economy is not a finite "pie". I know this is a difficult
concept to grasp for somebody whose ideal place is one where an economic
system causes 35 million+ people to starve in a nation with more arable
land than any other on Earth, but I'll be patient.

> >And won. Don't ever forget that: the people of Canada sided with economic
> >freedom - not with your narrow view that would see us all enslaved to the
> >will of an omnipotent state.

> I was and remain in favour of the FTA/NAFTA. Free trade generally increases
> weath for both traders.

A stunning (and correct) admission from a socialist who would prefer to
reduce humanity to the status of mindless animals enslaved to an omnipotent
state. I'll give you a modicrum of credit, therefore.

Chris J Delanoy

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May 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/9/99
to
bad...@cow-net.com wrote:

> >Surely some taxation is necessary to provide for the essential functions
> >of government: police, military, courts, and public works. As P.J.
> >O'Rourke coined, however, the question to ask yourself in all matters of
> >government spending is "Would I kill my kindly, gray-haired mother for
> >this?" Because that's precisely what the coercive force of taxation
> >represents.

> Taxation is now akin to matricide?

Taxation is a derivative of coercive force. Like the petty thug who offers
you a 'choice' of "your money or your life", taxation is given "voluntarily"
only at the point of a gun.

The useless statists like yourself who desire nothing more than to spend
somebody else's wealth asuage your guilt by assigning taxation only to the
the disembodied "public". That's where your kindly, gray-haired mother
comes in: because it is _individual people_ - and not some faceless mass
of humanity - who are coerced to pay for your statist designs. _They_
are the ones you are enslaving so that you can feel good about what a
wonderful humanitarian you are.

bad...@cow-net.com

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May 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/9/99
to
In <7h2ub4$iln$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>, on 05/09/99
at 03:10 AM, Chris J Delanoy <cdel...@ualberta.ca> said:

>Who, precisely, are "the rich"?

>Who, precisely, are "the workers"?

>Define your terms.

Why bother you would reject the definitions in any case. Then you would
post the bogus study that purports to show unbelievable income mobility to
support you case that it doesn't matter anyways.

>> >40% of American citizens are now stockholders - up from less than 20% only
>> >ten years ago. The numbers in Canada probably aren't lagging very far
>> >behind.

>> What is it exactly?

>I don't know. 30% maybe? Again - it would certainly be lower than the
>US level due to our lower overall standard of living caused by our lower
>degree of economic freedom.

More red herrings. All of the research shows that the majority of assets
including stocks bonds, mutual funds ect are owned by the richest 20 per
cent and the overwhelming majority of that by the richest 1 per cent.

>> Redistributing the wealth, and changing the rules to allow greater equity
>> through the market are now beyond the reach of democracy.

>Precisely who should the wealth be distributed from? And what, in that
>event, is their incentive to keep creating that wealth? And by what
>right do you lay claim to the products of somebody else's work and
>intelligence?

Pretty funny stuff. Considering that the rich are so eager to embrace
monetary and fiscal policies that use punitive levels of unemployment to
create price stability. This is the same group that recommends welfare
cuts, no minimum wages, and if possible "right to work" legislation.

>Again, "Class", you need to be more specific here. Don't talk about
>"wealth distribution" generically - give us specific numbers. Precisely
>how much unearned wealth do you desire?

Another giant red herring. According to you guys, the only real
determinant is the market, and its just too bad that the market makes you
poor and us rich! What a scam.

>> Before: One person -- One vote
>> Now: One share -- One vote

>If you disagree with the direction that a company and it's owners take,
>then don't use that company. Drive them out of business.

Lets start with Monsanto! Now exactly how would we go about driving them
out of business? Now heres a company that has persuaded the US govenment
to threaten sanctions against countries that bring in labeling laws for
geneticly modified agricultural products. Scientists working for the Cdn
government maintain that Monsanto attempted to bribe them to support BGH.
And on and on it goes.

So tell me Chris, even if people are aware of these practices, how could
even begin to drive them out of business.

>That aside, precisely when was "before"? And precisely how was it
>different from "now"?

Before of course was between 1948 and 1971. And if you don't know how it
was different you should perhaps do a little research.

>> We used to have politicians and beaurocrats who limited M&As to maintain
>> competition for the benefit of the common people.

>Define "the common people", and explain precisely why you believe they
>benefit from being slaves to your ideal state.

What garbage Chris! Is this how you manage to avoid all arguments?

>For the rest of your "logic": competition is not something that can be
>decreed by politicians and bureaucrats. And it is not a function of the
>number of businesses that happen to occupy a given sector. It is a
>natural consequence of a free market economy and is naturally governed by
>the price system. Government interference and regulation necessarily
>_decreases_ competition by erecting barriers to voluntary exchange and
>innovation on a free market.

Ah here we go. The "natural" consequence of the "free market system". As
if economics were somehow a natural system, subject to natural laws. Its
just an unfortunate fact of natural economic systems that the poor will
always be with us. Although full of good will and all other human
qualities, we're just poor supplicants before the forces of "the free
market system". We're far to frail to alter the functioning of such
terrifying natural forces. Mind you we can tinker with the basic stuff of
the universe, and we sure as hell can destroy the planet with our bombs,
but economics .... beware, meddle with that and the Gods will become
angry. We even have an especially anoited priesthood that will be glad to
tell you exactly why economics is the "dismal" science.

>> This largely and quietly disappeared with the right-wing revolution.
>> Now the wealthy control M&A, and guess what -- they are in favour.
>> To their benefit, not the benefit of the majority.

>Who, precisely, are "the wealthy"?

Oh I don't know Chris. I thought Fortune magazine published a definitive
list every year?

>Who, precisely, are "the majority" who would be better off if no wealth
>existed at all?

Look it up in the dictionary.

>Define your terms.

>> Time was when the selfish majority of workers could vote for a bigger
>> share of the pie for themselves.

>A free market economy is not a finite "pie". I know this is a difficult
>concept to grasp for somebody whose ideal place is one where an economic
>system causes 35 million+ people to starve in a nation with more arable
>land than any other on Earth, but I'll be patient.

Ah back to the infinite pie again. Still if the pie is growing by say 4
per cent per year, and 20 per cent of the population are increasing their
share of the pie by 10 per cent per year (being very conservative here),
what do you think it means for the rest of the pie share holders?

>> >And won. Don't ever forget that: the people of Canada sided with economic
>> >freedom - not with your narrow view that would see us all enslaved to the
>> >will of an omnipotent state.

>> I was and remain in favour of the FTA/NAFTA. Free trade generally increases
>> weath for both traders.

>A stunning (and correct) admission from a socialist who would prefer to
>reduce humanity to the status of mindless animals enslaved to an
>omnipotent state. I'll give you a modicrum of credit, therefore.

Thats funny coming from someone who would have humanity reduced to mere
slaves of the impersonal forces of the "market". Has an eerie resemblence
to fundamentalist religious thought doesn't it? Its actually the
proponents of the market view of humanity that live in a fictional
clockwork universe.

bad...@cow-net.com

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May 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/9/99
to
In <7h2upl$j0d$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>, on 05/09/99
at 03:18 AM, Chris J Delanoy <cdel...@ualberta.ca> said:

> bad...@cow-net.com wrote:

>> >Surely some taxation is necessary to provide for the essential functions
>> >of government: police, military, courts, and public works. As P.J.
>> >O'Rourke coined, however, the question to ask yourself in all matters of
>> >government spending is "Would I kill my kindly, gray-haired mother for
>> >this?" Because that's precisely what the coercive force of taxation
>> >represents.

>> Taxation is now akin to matricide?

>Taxation is a derivative of coercive force. Like the petty thug who
>offers you a 'choice' of "your money or your life", taxation is given
>"voluntarily" only at the point of a gun.

Ah you guys are weird. Taxation is how we pay for our governments,
period.

>The useless statists like yourself who desire nothing more than to spend
>somebody else's wealth asuage your guilt by assigning taxation only to
>the the disembodied "public". That's where your kindly, gray-haired
>mother comes in: because it is _individual people_ - and not some
>faceless mass of humanity - who are coerced to pay for your statist
>designs. _They_ are the ones you are enslaving so that you can feel good
>about what a wonderful humanitarian you are.

Its interesting how you manage to hide behind your rhetoric Chris.
Heavily influenced by Ayn Rand were we? The noble individual fettered by
the forces of the evil collective and especially by the unctious agents of
the evil parisitic state!

Man I love this stuff.

I guess the 35 million children under 5 who die every year from
preventable or treatable diseases, due to lack of effective economic
demand are somehow less worthy than my kindly gray-haired mother?
Afterall its not taxation, but the impersonal operation of economic
"forces" that sealed their fate.

If taxation would prevent even 10 per cent of those deaths Chris, would
you think it was a lesser evil? If "socialist" regulation of capital
flows and interest rates would prevent 10 per cent of those deaths, would
you think they were a lesser evil?

Chris J Delanoy

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May 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/9/99
to
bad...@cow-net.com wrote:

> >Who, precisely, are "the rich"?
> >Who, precisely, are "the workers"?
> >Define your terms.

> Why bother you would reject the definitions in any case.

You don't have any definitions. And insofar as you do, they are very
surely preposterous: namely, you would consider a small business owner
struggling to break into a new market to be "the rich", but assembly line
workers making $70k+ would be "the workers" who are being oppressed.

> >I don't know. 30% maybe? Again - it would certainly be lower than the
> >US level due to our lower overall standard of living caused by our lower
> >degree of economic freedom.

> More red herrings. All of the research shows that the majority of assets
> including stocks bonds, mutual funds ect are owned by the richest 20 per
> cent and the overwhelming majority of that by the richest 1 per cent.

And why is there anything wrong with that? Precisely define the standard
by which you judge it to be so.

> >Again, "Class", you need to be more specific here. Don't talk about
> >"wealth distribution" generically - give us specific numbers. Precisely
> >how much unearned wealth do you desire?

> Another giant red herring.

Give us a number, Barry. Precisely what level of "redistributed" income
do you find desirable?

> >If you disagree with the direction that a company and it's owners take,
> >then don't use that company. Drive them out of business.

> Lets start with Monsanto! Now exactly how would we go about driving them
> out of business? Now heres a company that has persuaded the US govenment
> to threaten sanctions against countries that bring in labeling laws for
> geneticly modified agricultural products.

You just proved my point! Here we have _the government_ interfering with
the market on behalf of a specific company. This is a tacit admission by
that company that they _could not survive_ without the protection of the
government; that they _could not compete_ on a free market! Stopping this
sort of chronyism by the government is _precisely_ why a free market
economy is desirable!

> Scientists working for the Cdn government maintain that Monsanto attempted
> to bribe them to support BGH. And on and on it goes.

On a free market, there would be no Canadian government scientists to bribe,
and Monsanto's shoddy chronyism would be punished, not rewarded as it is in
our mixed economy! You've proven why a free market economy is the best,
Barry - because as long as people like you insist that the government have
the ultimate authority in choosing the winners and losers on the mixed
market, they will continue to select uncompetitive parasites that can
survive by no means other than bribery and corruption of the controlling
government!

> So tell me Chris, even if people are aware of these practices, how could
> even begin to drive them out of business.

You're quite right, Barry. As long as we have the government "protecting"
us and using it's powers to drive new innovators out of the market (with the
complete blessing of parasites like Monsanto, of course), we can do nothing.

> >That aside, precisely when was "before"? And precisely how was it
> >different from "now"?

> Before of course was between 1948 and 1971.

The bills from 1948 - 1971 are still being called in today. That's another
method you statists use to asuage the guilt of stealing productive wealth
at gunpoint - you put the gun to the head of unborn generations.

> Ah here we go. The "natural" consequence of the "free market system". As
> if economics were somehow a natural system, subject to natural laws.

No, economics can have a very perverse effect on natural laws, actually.
Like how a nations (like Soviet Russia and sub-Saharan Africa) with more
than enough arable land to feed their populations undergo mass starvation
while nations like Hong Kong that don't have a square inch of agricultural
land can feed their population in abundance. Like how oil producing nations
like Canada and the United States were crippled by an "energy crisis" in the
1970s that lead to mass rationing and near-riotous lineups, while nations
like Japan that don't produce a single drop of oil weren't hurt at all.

> Its just an unfortunate fact of natural economic systems that the poor
> will always be with us.

"the poor" is a dynamic term, Barry. The bottom 10% (or 20% or whatever
arbitrary, meaningless dividing line you choose) is always "poor", even
though their quality of life would be vastly better than any average citizen
fifty or even just thirty years ago.

> We're far to frail to alter the functioning of such terrifying natural
> forces.

If you don't like "natural" consequence, then substitute "inevitable".

> >Who, precisely, are "the wealthy"?

> Oh I don't know Chris. I thought Fortune magazine published a definitive
> list every year?

And they're the only ones? -This- is your definition?

> >A stunning (and correct) admission from a socialist who would prefer to
> >reduce humanity to the status of mindless animals enslaved to an
> >omnipotent state. I'll give you a modicrum of credit, therefore.

> Thats funny coming from someone who would have humanity reduced to mere
> slaves of the impersonal forces of the "market".

A free market is characterized by voluntary trade - something that occurs
only the benefit of both parties. I agree entirely with you that this
process is perverted and distorted under the bureaucracy and regulation
of our mixed economy. Your solution is to drop the charade and just go
for complete slavery and statism.

Chris J Delanoy

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May 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/9/99
to
bad...@cow-net.com wrote:

> >The useless statists like yourself who desire nothing more than to spend
> >somebody else's wealth asuage your guilt by assigning taxation only to
> >the the disembodied "public". That's where your kindly, gray-haired
> >mother comes in: because it is _individual people_ - and not some
> >faceless mass of humanity - who are coerced to pay for your statist
> >designs. _They_ are the ones you are enslaving so that you can feel good
> >about what a wonderful humanitarian you are.

> Its interesting how you manage to hide behind your rhetoric Chris.

This coming from somebody who can't even define the slogans he bases his
entire argument on.

> I guess the 35 million children under 5 who die every year from
> preventable or treatable diseases, due to lack of effective economic
> demand are somehow less worthy than my kindly gray-haired mother?

You tell me. Would you shoot your kindly, gray-haired mother for that?

> Afterall its not taxation, but the impersonal operation of economic
> "forces" that sealed their fate.

No nation that has had a near-market and even a mixed economy has
undergone mass starvation. It is a characteristic _exclusive_ of
socialistic or anarchistic states.

> If taxation would prevent even 10 per cent of those deaths Chris, would
> you think it was a lesser evil?

Taxation of Canadians would not prevent even 10 per cent of those
deaths, Barry. But it would drive more Canadians out of productive
jobs and into dependence on the state. Which in turn would require
more taxation. Which in turn... ad infinitum.

Pierre Bastien

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May 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/9/99
to
>number of businesses that happen to occupy a given sector. It is a natural
>consequence of a free market economy and is naturally governed by the price
>system. Government interference and regulation necessarily _decreases_
>competition by erecting barriers to voluntary exchange and innovation on
>a free market.

You might get some insight on how competition works in the real world ,
compared to a U. of Chicago classroom, in checking the following text:

http://iisd.ca/pcdf/corprule/betrayal.htm

Hope you don't find these concepts too difficult to grasp ;-)

Pierre

"Arguments against new ideas generally pass through three distinct stages,
from 'It's not true', to 'Well, it may be true, but it's not important', to
'It's true and it'important, but it's not new-we knew it all along.'
UNPOPULAR WISDOM, reported by John D.Barrow in 'The artful universe'

Pierre Bastien

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May 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/9/99
to
Sorry for the double post, just had another thought. :-(

-----Original Message-----
From: Chris J Delanoy <cdel...@ualberta.ca>

>A free market economy is not a finite "pie". I know this is a difficult
>concept to grasp for somebody whose ideal place is one where an economic
>system causes 35 million+ people to starve in a nation with more arable
>land than any other on Earth, but I'll be patient.


Interesting remark from someone living in Alberta. Ever wonder how Alberta
economy will manage when oil starts to run out (20-25% of government
revenues are hydrocarbons royalties if I remember correctly) in 20-25 years?
Maybe earlier, with all those gas guzzling RVs and pick-ups that keep
multiplying.

The Athabasca sands maybe, seriously?

(I'm running for my asbestos suit .. )


Pierre

"Arguments against new ideas generally pass through three distinct stages,
from 'It's not true', to 'Well, it may be true, but it's not important', to

'It's true and it's important, but it's not new-we knew it all along.'

Pierre Bastien

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May 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/9/99
to

Chris J Delanoy wrote in message <7h4a26$eqp$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>...

> bad...@cow-net.com wrote:
>> More red herrings. All of the research shows that the majority of assets
>> including stocks bonds, mutual funds ect are owned by the richest 20 per
>> cent and the overwhelming majority of that by the richest 1 per cent.
>
>And why is there anything wrong with that? Precisely define the standard
>by which you judge it to be so.

Ever heard of a feodal society? If yes, assume you are not on top.
Now, do you find it acceptable?

Pierre


Chris J Delanoy

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May 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/9/99
to
"Pierre Bastien" <pbastie...@spots.ab.ca> wrote:

> >And why is there anything wrong with that? Precisely define the standard
> >by which you judge it to be so.

> Ever heard of a feodal society? If yes, assume you are not on top.


> Now, do you find it acceptable?

The free market is the enemy of feudalism - just as it is of all other forms
of statism.

Chris J Delanoy

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May 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/9/99
to
"Pierre Bastien" <pbastie...@spots.ab.ca> wrote:

> >A free market economy is not a finite "pie". I know this is a difficult
> >concept to grasp for somebody whose ideal place is one where an economic
> >system causes 35 million+ people to starve in a nation with more arable
> >land than any other on Earth, but I'll be patient.

> Interesting remark from someone living in Alberta. Ever wonder how Alberta
> economy will manage when oil starts to run out (20-25% of government
> revenues are hydrocarbons royalties if I remember correctly) in 20-25 years?

With respect to government revenues, I would prefer that they weren't being
taken in at all _now_. Alberta's government is as intrusive and statist as
any other in Canada.

And no, I don't wonder "how we'll manage", because the funny thing about
innovation in a free market is that _nobody can predict what form it will
take_. The availability of natural resources has no bearing whatsoever on
the prosperity of an economy. If a postage-stamp-sized nation like Hong
Kong can be as prosperous and have as high a standard a living as it does
without ever exploiting a single natural resource, I have no worries about
the possibilities for Alberta or any other place under the free market.

Where I would worry is if the present trend of increasing government
interference continues. Getting the government out of the business of
"protecting" the economy is the single most important step in truly
protecting it.

Chris J Delanoy

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May 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/9/99
to
"Pierre Bastien" <pbastie...@spots.ab.ca> wrote:

> Hope you don't find these concepts too difficult to grasp ;-)

They aren't difficult, because they are painfully typical of the faulty
context used to defend statism: namely, it sets up and establishes
capitalism as something that _it is not_, and then proceeds to attack
that false characterization. It attempts to classify the struggle as
being between government controls that "benefit the poor" and government
controls that "benefit the rich", when in fact _both_ of these scenarios
are the enemies of a free market economy which is characterized by _no
government constraints_ on the economy.

The argument is not controls that benefit "the right" versus controls
that benefit "the poor". The argument is between capitalism and statism -
and _both_ of the above are statist. You are in fact attacking statism
but pretending that it is capitalism.

The author's summary is typical of this intellectual fraud:

> When the necessary conditions are met the market is a powerful and
> efficient mechanisms for allocating resources.

He's right. And the "necessary conditions" set by Adam Smith and the
defenders of capitalism is _the absense of government interference_.

> What we now have is not a market economy.

He right again. We live in mixed economies heavily regulated by the
government.

> If the corporate libertarians were to bear serious allegiance to market
> principles and human rights, they would be calling for policies aimed at
> achieving the conditions in which markets function

The "policies" under which conditions of a free market are achieved are
_no policies_!

> in a democratic fashion in the public interest.

Define both terms.

> They would be calling for measures to end subsidies and preferential
> treatment for large corporations,

Every defender of the free market _does_ call for an end to government
subsidies and preferential treatment of selected industries and companies
by governments. Nobody who advocates these things is a defender of the
free market, and you are intellectually fraudulent to try to attack the
free market on the basis of their _statist_ objectives.

> to break up corporate monopolies, encourage the distribution of property
> ownership, internalize social and environmental costs, root capital in
> place, secure the rights of workers to the just fruits of their labor, and
> limit opportunities to obtain extravagant individual incomes far greater
> than their productive contribution.

All of these things are consequences of capitalism - namely, an economic
system characterized by the _lack_ of government control and by the absence
of the gang warfare among competing varieties of statists that it promotes.
That's what you're doing here, Pierre. Both you and those who support
welfare policies for parasitic corporations or individuals are just different
types of statist thugs - free markets and individual rights are the enemies
of _both_ varieties.

The above indictments are not failures of capitalism, Pierre. They are all
failures of statism. Every "corporate monopoly" - insofar as such a thing
exists - is the result of government "protection" or regulation which
prevents genuine competition from occuring. The solution is _not_ to attempt
to replace one gang with another or one control with another, but to
_abolish them_ entirely.

bad...@cow-net.com

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May 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/9/99
to
In <7h4a26$eqp$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>, on 05/09/99
at 03:36 PM, Chris J Delanoy <cdel...@ualberta.ca> said:

> bad...@cow-net.com wrote:

>> >Who, precisely, are "the rich"?
>> >Who, precisely, are "the workers"?
>> >Define your terms.

>> Why bother you would reject the definitions in any case.

>You don't have any definitions. And insofar as you do, they are very
>surely preposterous: namely, you would consider a small business owner
>struggling to break into a new market to be "the rich", but assembly line
>workers making $70k+ would be "the workers" who are being oppressed.

Actually there are working definition, but they are all as you point out
relative. Lets be serious Chris, when we talk about the rich, we're not
talking about a few million in assets.


>> >I don't know. 30% maybe? Again - it would certainly be lower than the
>> >US level due to our lower overall standard of living caused by our lower
>> >degree of economic freedom.

>> More red herrings. All of the research shows that the majority of assets
>> including stocks bonds, mutual funds ect are owned by the richest 20 per
>> cent and the overwhelming majority of that by the richest 1 per cent.

>And why is there anything wrong with that? Precisely define the standard
>by which you judge it to be so.

First you attempt to muddy the waters by asking for a definition of the
rich. Then you defend the reality. Why do you bother Chris. Just come
out and admit that a rich "class" exists and the extent of thier incomes
and assets.

From my POV there is nothing wrong with having a "rich" class. I think
income is a good motivator. I do oppose the rich having greater influence
over political, economic or monetary policy.

>> >Again, "Class", you need to be more specific here. Don't talk about
>> >"wealth distribution" generically - give us specific numbers. Precisely
>> >how much unearned wealth do you desire?

>> Another giant red herring.

>Give us a number, Barry. Precisely what level of "redistributed" income
>do you find desirable?

As I've said before Chris, I favour economic and monetary policies that
create full employment. I favour democratic governments. I favour
whatever level of income distribution the people choose to attempt to
implement.

>> >If you disagree with the direction that a company and it's owners take,
>> >then don't use that company. Drive them out of business.

>> Lets start with Monsanto! Now exactly how would we go about driving them
>> out of business? Now heres a company that has persuaded the US govenment
>> to threaten sanctions against countries that bring in labeling laws for
>> geneticly modified agricultural products.

>You just proved my point! Here we have _the government_ interfering with
>the market on behalf of a specific company. This is a tacit admission by
>that company that they _could not survive_ without the protection of the
>government; that they _could not compete_ on a free market! Stopping
>this sort of chronyism by the government is _precisely_ why a free market
>economy is desirable!

This doesn't prove your point! This proves how unrestricted neoliberal
economic systems end up ursurping the powers of government. You support
all measures that weaken governments then claim that governments are bad,
because governments become controlled by powerful economic agents.
<sheesh>

You're so blinded by libertarian ideology that you can't see that the
results of your preferred policies are exactly the opposite of what you
purport to believe in.

>> Scientists working for the Cdn government maintain that Monsanto attempted
>> to bribe them to support BGH. And on and on it goes.

>On a free market, there would be no Canadian government scientists to
>bribe, and Monsanto's shoddy chronyism would be punished, not rewarded as
>it is in our mixed economy! You've proven why a free market economy is
>the best, Barry - because as long as people like you insist that the
>government have the ultimate authority in choosing the winners and losers
>on the mixed market, they will continue to select uncompetitive parasites
>that can survive by no means other than bribery and corruption of the
>controlling government!

There would be no scientists paid to represent the disinterested interests
of the people you mean. There would only be scientists to represent the
interests of the powerful. You're so in love with the theory of the "free
market" that you are unable to comprehend the simple truth that the
"freeer" the market becomes, the more tyranical the interests of private
enterprise become. And of course the we "the people" don't even gain
better economies in exchange for our freedom!

>> So tell me Chris, even if people are aware of these practices, how could
>> even begin to drive them out of business.

>You're quite right, Barry. As long as we have the government
>"protecting" us and using it's powers to drive new innovators out of the
>market (with the complete blessing of parasites like Monsanto, of
>course), we can do nothing.

Monsanto doesn't drive them out of business, it buys them.

But come on you're the one that said we acting as free consumers could
drive "bad" companies out of business. Now you're saying that due to the
unholy alliance of government with business it isn't possible. Seems like
a dilemma to me. Without the power of government we can't control large
enterprises, but large enterprises end up controlling governments.

I know, I know, according to you the solution is to minimize governments.
Problem is the as governments have grown smaller, they've been
increasingly taken over by the neoliberal big business agenda. Hmm seems
to run contrary to your theory. Why am I not surprised?

>> >That aside, precisely when was "before"? And precisely how was it
>> >different from "now"?

>> Before of course was between 1948 and 1971.

>The bills from 1948 - 1971 are still being called in today. That's
>another method you statists use to asuage the guilt of stealing
>productive wealth at gunpoint - you put the gun to the head of unborn
>generations.

There are no bills from that period. The bills have all amounted since
capital freed itself from interest rate control. Its been a pretty nice
time for "capital" though. The people will pay a nice tidy safe carrying
charge in perpeturity. For the people though, its been rather worse. Our
taxes are higher yet our services at the Federal Level have shrunk by one
third. We have many more unemployed, and poorer institutions with which
to deal with them. Our incomes have been nearly frozen for 20 years,
except for the poor who have seen their incomes drop and of course the
"rich" who have been cleaning up.

It is your system that has put a gun to the head of the present and future
generations. And you've pulled the trigger time and time again.

>> Ah here we go. The "natural" consequence of the "free market system". As
>> if economics were somehow a natural system, subject to natural laws.

>No, economics can have a very perverse effect on natural laws, actually.
>Like how a nations (like Soviet Russia and sub-Saharan Africa) with more
>than enough arable land to feed their populations undergo mass starvation
>while nations like Hong Kong that don't have a square inch of
>agricultural land can feed their population in abundance. Like how oil
>producing nations like Canada and the United States were crippled by an
>"energy crisis" in the 1970s that lead to mass rationing and near-riotous
>lineups, while nations like Japan that don't produce a single drop of oil
>weren't hurt at all.

Ah yes change the subject, always a good tactic Chris.

>> Its just an unfortunate fact of natural economic systems that the poor
>> will always be with us.

>"the poor" is a dynamic term, Barry. The bottom 10% (or 20% or whatever
>arbitrary, meaningless dividing line you choose) is always "poor", even
>though their quality of life would be vastly better than any average
>citizen fifty or even just thirty years ago.

You're funny Chris. Take a good look at the effects of your policies on
income distribution. The reality is that the poor are worse off than they
were 20 years ago, nearly everywhere. The truth is there are more of them
now than 20 years ago, nearly everywhere. The other truth is that there
are many more (numericaly speaking) rich than there were 20 years ago, and
they are much much richer.

>> We're far to frail to alter the functioning of such terrifying natural
>> forces.

>If you don't like "natural" consequence, then substitute "inevitable".

Well of course you could substitue one for the other Chris. The meaning
is very similar. We can build the bomb, go to moon, genetically alter
nature, but we dare not, and cannot alter the economic system. We just
have to put up with its unpleasent aspects, because, well because its
"inevitiable".

>> >Who, precisely, are "the wealthy"?

>> Oh I don't know Chris. I thought Fortune magazine published a definitive
>> list every year?

>And they're the only ones? -This- is your definition?

Not lets see if we can find someway to get this discussion off into little
technical corners eh Chris?

>> >A stunning (and correct) admission from a socialist who would prefer to
>> >reduce humanity to the status of mindless animals enslaved to an
>> >omnipotent state. I'll give you a modicrum of credit, therefore.

>> Thats funny coming from someone who would have humanity reduced to mere
>> slaves of the impersonal forces of the "market".

>A free market is characterized by voluntary trade - something that occurs
>only the benefit of both parties. I agree entirely with you that this
>process is perverted and distorted under the bureaucracy and regulation
>of our mixed economy. Your solution is to drop the charade and just go
>for complete slavery and statism.


Whats funny is that you appear to believe this nonsense. Its like a
childrens story Chris. The real world effects are all around us. There
is NO evidence that shows your system, does even as good a job of
promoting economic growth. We have 30 years of results and they're all
negative, unless you're rich, then of course the system works very well
indeed.

Thats the definition of an ideologue Chris. When reality contradicts
theory, deny reality.

bad...@cow-net.com

unread,
May 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/9/99
to
In <7h4afn$f3n$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>, on 05/09/99
at 03:43 PM, Chris J Delanoy <cdel...@ualberta.ca> said:


>> Its interesting how you manage to hide behind your rhetoric Chris.

>This coming from somebody who can't even define the slogans he bases his
>entire argument on.

Geez, I feel like I'm back in University. Define your terms, the standard
response when there you have no other.

>> I guess the 35 million children under 5 who die every year from
>> preventable or treatable diseases, due to lack of effective economic
>> demand are somehow less worthy than my kindly gray-haired mother?

>You tell me. Would you shoot your kindly, gray-haired mother for that?

I don't recall many people being shot for failing to pay taxes in Canada
Chris. Perhaps you could fill me in.

>> Afterall its not taxation, but the impersonal operation of economic
>> "forces" that sealed their fate.

>No nation that has had a near-market and even a mixed economy has
>undergone mass starvation. It is a characteristic _exclusive_ of
>socialistic or anarchistic states.

Who's talking about anything but forms of capitalism Chris? Standard for
you guys though, a little inflation means hyper inflation, a little
control means command economies.

>> If taxation would prevent even 10 per cent of those deaths Chris, would
>> you think it was a lesser evil?

>Taxation of Canadians would not prevent even 10 per cent of those deaths,
>Barry. But it would drive more Canadians out of productive jobs and into
>dependence on the state. Which in turn would require more taxation.
>Which in turn... ad infinitum.

You'll discuss taxation, but you won't discuss control of capital.

Barry Bruyea

unread,
May 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/9/99
to


In the latter half of the 20th Century, wealth has begun to
'redistribute' itself. If you looked at a list of the richest people
in America in 1950, many, if not most of the names on the list would
have been on the list in 1920. That no longer holds true. In most
cases, 'old money' has been dissapated completely. There are few
Mellons, Rockefellers, Duponts et al on the list today. A few months
ago I read the results of a study that indicated that 80% of
millionairs in the U.S. are first generation and not benefiting from
inherited wealth. There are also 6 times as many millionairs today
per capita in the U.S. than there was just 30 years ago. And as to
the speculation that 1% of the people control 'most' of the wealth, I
hardly think that's realistic when one ponders the impact of 50% of
the American population now participate in the economy in the form of
stockholdings either directly, in mutual funds and private pension
programs; the latter two having the most power on Wall Street. Fifty
years ago, it would have been a dozen or so families weilding that
power.

Barry Bruyea

Steven C. Britton

unread,
May 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/9/99
to
Barry Adams wrote:

>Actually there are working definition, but they are all as you point out
>relative. Lets be serious Chris, when we talk about the rich, we're not
>talking about a few million in assets.


Then what ARE we talking about, Barry?

The term "rich" is completely ludicrous, because it lacks any solid
definition. Someone with three cars, a large house, and a $5,000,000
mortgage could be defined as "rich" in one breath, but when you factor in
his/her loan payments and tax bill, that definition fizzles pretty damn
quickly.

By the same token, someone who is cash-poor, living in low-rent housing, but
earning just enough to survive, feed, clothe and shelter his/her family
could consider themselves "rich" because they're satisfied with their life.

The lunatic left likes to pigeonhole people; a rich person is defined as
"someone with more than me."

It's the politics of jealousy; covetry.

Last time I checked, coveting is against one of the commandments.

>First you attempt to muddy the waters by asking for a definition of the
>rich. Then you defend the reality. Why do you bother Chris. Just come
>out and admit that a rich "class" exists and the extent of thier incomes
>and assets.


The rich "class" does NOT exist, just like the poor "class" does not exist.

>From my POV there is nothing wrong with having a "rich" class. I think
>income is a good motivator. I do oppose the rich having greater influence
>over political, economic or monetary policy.


"They" don't, Barry.

>As I've said before Chris, I favour economic and monetary policies that
>create full employment.

Will NEVER happen.

>I favour democratic governments.

Will never completely happen.

>I favour whatever level of income distribution the people choose to attempt
to
>implement.

Ever heard of CREATING wealth rather than redistributing it (stealing it
from those who work hard to obtain it and giving it to those who don't)?
----------------------------------------------------
DEFEAT ORGANIZED LABOUR:
RE-ELECT MIKE HARRIS!

Steven C. Britton
Calgary

www.cadvision.com/sbritton

"Trust the computer industry to shorten Year 2000 to Y2K.
It was this kind of thinking that caused the problem in the first place."

-- Tony Poldrugovac


Chris J Delanoy

unread,
May 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/9/99
to
bad...@cow-net.com wrote:

> > This coming from somebody who can't even define the slogans he
> > bases his entire argument on.

> Geez, I feel like I'm back in University.

Really? Is the pot really that heavy in the air here?

> Define your terms, the standard response when there you have
> no other.

I'd just like to know what you mean (and whether you know what
you mean), that's all. You talk about "fair distribution of
wealth" but then refuse to say precisely where the dividing line
exists between "fair" and "unfair". Surely the line has to exist
somewhere.

> > You tell me. Would you shoot your kindly, gray-haired mother
> > for that?

> I don't recall many people being shot for failing to pay taxes
> in Canada Chris. Perhaps you could fill me in.

If you don't pay your taxes, you'll be fined. If you don't pay
the fine, you'll be jailed. If you try to escape from jail, you'll
be shot.

> > Taxation of Canadians would not prevent even 10 per cent of those
> > deaths, Barry. But it would drive more Canadians out of
> > productive jobs and into dependence on the state. Which in turn
> > would require more taxation. Which in turn... ad infinitum.

> You'll discuss taxation, but you won't discuss control of capital.

"control of capital"? Go ask the farmers who are shackled and
thrown in prison without bail for --selling their wheat-- what the
benefits of "collective control" are!

Chris J Delanoy

--
http://www.ualberta.ca/~cdelanoy/
Supporting a principled Alternative, not a United one.


--== Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/ ==--
---Share what you know. Learn what you don't.---

Chris J Delanoy

unread,
May 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/9/99
to
bad...@cow-net.com wrote:

> > And why is there anything wrong with that? Precisely define the
> > standard by which you judge it to be so.

> First you attempt to muddy the waters by asking for a definition of
> the rich. Then you defend the reality. Why do you bother Chris.
> Just come out and admit that a rich "class" exists and the extent
> of thier incomes and assets.

I don't deny that there are rich people that have earned enormous
incomes and assets. In fact I congratulate it.

The point of contention is on your view that there is some amorphous,
undefined (but nonetheless very evil) blob called "the rich" who are
out to oppress another amorphous, undefined blob called "the workers".

The fact that you're incapable or unwilling to define what either
of these blobs are demonstrates just how hollow you believe your
own bizarre view to be.

> > Give us a number, Barry. Precisely what level of "redistributed"
> > income do you find desirable?

> As I've said before Chris, I favour economic and monetary policies
> that create full employment.

Which policies are those, precisely?

> I favour democratic governments.

But not one that recognizes individual rights.

> I favour whatever level of income distribution the people choose
> to attempt to implement.

A convenient cop-out. All right, pretend I'm the bureaucrat in
charge of your great Ministry Of Benevolent Distribution, and I
come to consult you, Barry Adams, revered citizen of utmost standing
with the state, on precisely what level this would be. What level
do _you_ choose? And _from whom_ will it be taken?

> > You just proved my point! Here we have _the government_
> > interfering with the market on behalf of a specific company.
> > This is a tacit admission by that company that they _could not
> > survive_ without the protection of the government; that they
> > _could not compete_ on a free market! Stopping this sort of
> > chronyism by the government is _precisely_ why a free market
> > economy is desirable!

> This doesn't prove your point! This proves how unrestricted
> neoliberal economic systems end up ursurping the powers of
> government.

But we don't live in an unrestricted economic system! We live in
a mixed economy where - by your express wishes - the government has
the final authority in deciding precisely who deserves how much of
what is produced. This chronyism is a consequence of the statism
you so love, Barry. Capitalism and free markets _are it's enemy_.

> You support all measures that weaken governments then claim that
> governments are bad, because governments become controlled by
> powerful economic agents. <sheesh>

If the government did not have the powers that you insist that they
have, then there would be nothing to usurp or control.

> You're so blinded by libertarian ideology that you can't see that
> the results of your preferred policies are exactly the opposite of
> what you purport to believe in.

Corporate welfare is the consequence of statism, Barry. It's what
happens when you decide that government discretion, rather than
innovation and ability free of government interference, should govern
the distribution of wealth. That's why companies which are unable
to compete on a free market spend their resources instead on bribing
and influence peddling the government to erect barriers to legitimate
competition.

> > On a free market, there would be no Canadian government scientists
> > to bribe, and Monsanto's shoddy chronyism would be punished, not
> > rewarded as it is in our mixed economy! You've proven why a free
> > market economy is the best, Barry - because as long as people like
> > you insist that the government have the ultimate authority in
> > choosing the winners and losers on the mixed market, they will
> > continue to select uncompetitive parasites that can survive by no
> > means other than bribery and corruption of the controlling
> > government!

> There would be no scientists paid to represent the disinterested
> interests of the people you mean.

There is no such thing as "the disinterested interests of the people".
There are only parasitic individuals who fancy themselves "the voice
of the people". Saying it's so does not make it so, Barry.

> You're so in love with the theory of the "free market" that you are
> unable to comprehend the simple truth that the "freeer" the market
> becomes, the more tyranical the interests of private enterprise
> become.

This is completely fraudulent. Your belief that businessmen would
gleefully hurt or poison people at the first available chance is
_sick_, Barry. But it does much to confirm your belief that human
beings are mindless animals who need to be enslaved by the state
"for their own good".

> Monsanto doesn't drive them out of business, it buys them.

Egads!

> But come on you're the one that said we acting as free consumers
> could drive "bad" companies out of business. Now you're saying that
> due to the unholy alliance of government with business it isn't
> possible.

It's not an unholy alliance of government with business. It's an
alliance of government with parasites who know that they would not
be able to compete in a free market.

> I know, I know, according to you the solution is to minimize
> governments. Problem is the as governments have grown smaller,
> they've been increasingly taken over by the neoliberal big business
> agenda.

Again, if the government did not have the power to expropriate your
money at gunpoint to "redistribute" it by any arbitrary standard -
a power you fiercely endorse and defend - then there would be zero
possibility of then "redistributing" it in a manner that you don't
like.

> > No, economics can have a very perverse effect on natural laws,
> > actually. Like how a nations (like Soviet Russia and sub-Saharan
> > Africa) with more than enough arable land to feed their populations
> > undergo mass starvation while nations like Hong Kong that don't
> > have a square inch of agricultural land can feed their population
> > in abundance. Like how oil producing nations like Canada and the
> > United States were crippled by an "energy crisis" in the 1970s that
> > lead to mass rationing and near-riotous lineups, while nations
> > like Japan that don't produce a single drop of oil weren't hurt at
> > all.

> Ah yes change the subject, always a good tactic Chris.

It's not changing the subject - it's demonstrating the profound effect
that economic freedom really has. The "energy crisis" in the US and
Canada - countries with abundant oil reserves of their own besides -
was caused by the very price controls enacted to "protect" the
consumers. In Japan - a nation which relies 100% on oil imports -
there was no shortage and no crisis, because prices were set on the
free market.

The same goes for agriculture. Statism and central control led to
the starvation of more than 35 million people in a nation with more
arable land than any other on Earth. It's not the oft-cited "uneven
distribution of resources" that is responsible for starvation and
suffering throughout the world - it's the uneven distribution of
capitalism.

> > "the poor" is a dynamic term, Barry. The bottom 10% (or 20% or
> > whatever arbitrary, meaningless dividing line you choose) is
> > always "poor", even though their quality of life would be vastly
> > better than any average >citizen fifty or even just thirty years
> > ago.

> You're funny Chris. Take a good look at the effects of your
> policies on income distribution.

"my policies"? There hasn't been a capitalist government elected in
the history of Canada! -Nobody- is implementing my policies, because
my policies are _no_ policies.

> The reality is that the poor are worse off than they were 20 years
> ago, nearly everywhere.

Today's standard of life is vastly superior to what it was thirty
years ago. In Britain, the poorest citizens often didn't have indoor
plumbing or a telephone as late as the 1970s - there is no comparison
between the quality of life now or then.

> The truth is there are more of them now than 20 years ago, nearly
> everywhere.

This is not the truth. It's completely false.

> The other truth is that there are many more (numericaly speaking)
> rich than there were 20 years ago,

Good!

> and they are much much richer.

Good!

> We can build the bomb, go to moon, genetically alter nature, but we
> dare not, and cannot alter the economic system. We just have to put
> up with its unpleasent aspects, because, well because its
> "inevitiable".

I know of no "unpleasant aspects" of a free market economy. The
evidence we have from the period of greatest economic freedom in
history in the 19th century paints an incredible portrait of the
power of capitalism and the free price system governed by voluntary
exchange has in improving the quality of life of all humanity.

> > And they're the only ones? -This- is your definition?

> Not lets see if we can find someway to get this discussion off into
> little technical corners eh Chris?

Well if that's the definition to which you subscribe, then your
contention that "there are more rich than ever before" could
not possible be true - because there are always precisely 500 rich
people, by your definition.

> There is NO evidence that shows your system, does even as good a
> job of promoting economic growth.

The 19th century - the only time in human history where we came close -
is a shining example of incredible growth, prosperity and progress.

> We have 30 years of results and they're all negative,

We have not lived in a market economy for nearly a century, nevermind
the last 30 years.

> Thats the definition of an ideologue Chris. When reality contradicts
> theory, deny reality.

The one who is denying reality would be the one who thinks the answer
to preventing rival gangs from buying influence and power from the
government is to give that government more influence and power to
sell.

Chris J Delanoy

--
http://www.ualberta.ca/~cdelanoy/
Supporting a principled Alternative, not a United one.

Pierre Bastien

unread,
May 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/9/99
to

Chris J Delanoy wrote in message <7h4lpl$n0f$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>...

>With respect to government revenues, I would prefer that they weren't being
>taken in at all _now_. Alberta's government is as intrusive and statist as
>any other in Canada.
>
>And no, I don't wonder "how we'll manage", because the funny thing about
>innovation in a free market is that _nobody can predict what form it will
>take_. The availability of natural resources has no bearing whatsoever on
>the prosperity of an economy.

Interesting statement, some usual indicators of an economy's prosperity is
the sales of cars and housing start-up. Ever tried digging fundations with
a shovel, or work on a farm with horses? The economy might be prosperous
(preposterous?), but people will find it difficult to go to work, might not
have comfortable housing and might even go hungry.

I wish I had your confidence in technical progress. That's quite a gamble,
to bet the future of billions, of your children (if you have any) on the
hope that something will always turn up to save the day. Being an engineer
myself, I'd say it's a foolish way of thinking. Innovations have turned up
in the past, that doen't make it a law that it'll always be so. But since
capitalists only care about the next quarter return ...

If a postage-stamp-sized nation like Hong
>Kong can be as prosperous and have as high a standard a living as it does
>without ever exploiting a single natural resource, I have no worries about
>the possibilities for Alberta or any other place under the free market.
>


Look like a big difference in our view points is that you think an economy
dominated by corporations, oligopolistic markets (5-10 big world players in
each industry, oil, cars, planes, food, electronics, banking,etc., which is
what we have now) is a free, efficient market, with perfect competition: I
don't and never will. If you read Korten's text, you obviously didn't
understand it.

The constant joint ventures, mergers, disinformation of the public,
manipulation of markets and governments, demonstrate that they (the
corporations) are always out to decrease uncertainty and real competition,
to promote their growth and returns on investments at the expense of the
rest of society. The stockholders and financiers, with the help of their
hired hands (the private and governmental technocrats, managers) block any
public policy that they don't like and will keep profits going their way.
They even become so big that they cannot be allowed to go bankcrupt
(Chrysler, Lockheed, Wall Street stockbrokers, etc.). Not much of a free,
competitive and efficient market, I would say, more like a feodal society.

It's in the nature of capitalism that the winner will gobble the losers,
becoming gradually bigger, till we get into oligopolistic or monopolistic
situations. The individual, by himself, doesn't have a prayer to change
things that he doesn't like in such a system. Are you against democracy
too?

>Where I would worry is if the present trend of increasing government
>interference continues. Getting the government out of the business of
>"protecting" the economy is the single most important step in truly
>protecting it.

Governments are almost the only organizations big enough that can stand up
to transnational corporations (TNCs), protect the public good from their
excesses and force some real competition to develop (ever heard of
anti-trust laws?). Unfortunatelly, most of the time, governments work for
them (do some research on "corporate welfare"), and people of your opinion
are working hard to emasculate them further.

There is no and never has been, in the history of the world, a society with
perfect free markets like the one you wish for. It's a mythic beast, a
propaganda tool to further the Corporate agenda. So even its benefices are
entirely theoretical (I hope you don't believe the US has a free market).
Removing the little amount of control that governments can exercise will
only make things worst, farther away from the real free markets you want.

Unless you want to dismantle governments AND corporations, are you an
anarchist?

Pierre

" ... Masters, too, sometimes enter into particular combinations to sink the
wages of labour ..." - Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations

"The government of an exclusive company of merchants is, perhaps, the worst
of all governments for any country whatsoever." -Adam Smith, from The Wealth
of Nations


Pierre Bastien

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May 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/9/99
to

Pierre Bastien wrote in message <7h58hb$4k6$1...@iceman.tac.net>...

Look like I got confused and I tried to answer 2 of your postings at the
same time and missed a lot from one.

Sorry for the confusion.

Pierre

Pierre Bastien

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May 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/9/99
to

Chris J Delanoy wrote in message <7h4obl$om1$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>...

> "Pierre Bastien" <pbastie...@spots.ab.ca> wrote:
>
>The above indictments are not failures of capitalism, Pierre. They are all
>failures of statism. Every "corporate monopoly" - insofar as such a thing
>exists - is the result of government "protection" or regulation which
>prevents genuine competition from occuring. The solution is _not_ to
attempt
>to replace one gang with another or one control with another, but to
>_abolish them_ entirely.
>


Sorry, look like I tried to answer or confused 2 of your posts at the same
time, below this one and missed the above comment.

I just don't see how you propose to abolish both governments and
corporations, and why governments first. And replace them with what?
That's a pretty big revolution you're proposing. Better start your
political party now ;-)

Governments have been around for at least 10 000 years, it's fair to say
that they fulfill some useful functions. Corporations too have their use,
there are some tasks (building a city, a dam, a bridge, building and running
a manufacturing plant) where you need to organize thousands of people. Till
now, this have been done by corporations either public (ancient Egypt, Rome,
communist countries) or privately owned. And once your have corporations ,
with the resources they control, they will follow the corporative logic that
we know (to grow and control their society: the USSR system was a just big
corporation). To say that the free market will take care of things is not
practical. My faith in the market creed is not that strong.

You still need to propose an alternative way for people to organize
themselves and live in society, to replace everything with the logic of free
markets sound very nebulous to me.

And I don't want to return to the state of war of all against all, before
the invention of society, that Hobbes describes in his "Leviathan". :-)

Governments, corporations, money, those are only tools, ways to organize a
group of people to work together and allocate resources for the greatest
good. Problems occur when some player thinks that increasing his own power
is all important or confuses money (a symbol of goods and resources) with
real wealth (when we get into the problem of speculation, "making money with
money" considered as a productive activity, an oxymoron in my opinion).

Regards,

Pierre

"I hope we shall take warning from the example of England and crush in its
birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to
challenge our Government to trial and bid defiance to the laws of our
country." - Thomas Jefferson


Pierre Bastien

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May 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/9/99
to

Chris J Delanoy wrote in message <7h57d2$2jf$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>...

> bad...@cow-net.com wrote:
>
>I know of no "unpleasant aspects" of a free market economy. The
>evidence we have from the period of greatest economic freedom in
>history in the 19th century paints an incredible portrait of the
>power of capitalism and the free price system governed by voluntary
>exchange has in improving the quality of life of all humanity.
>
>The 19th century - the only time in human history where we came close -
>is a shining example of incredible growth, prosperity and progress.
>


Have to go but cannot let this go by unanswered:

Ever read Dickens, "Les miserables", Malthus?

I also doubt that the British were in India to spread capitalism. They
actually shut down the local textile industry, it was too good (in quality
and price) and was "stealing" markets from England factories. The 19th
century version of British Capitalism and free trade, I gather. ;-)


Pierre

"Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do
the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone." - John
Maynard Keynes


john monteith

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May 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/9/99
to

"Steven C. Britton" wrote:

>
>
> The term "rich" is completely ludicrous, because it lacks any solid
> definition. Someone with three cars, a large house, and a $5,000,000
> mortgage could be defined as "rich" in one breath, but when you factor in
> his/her loan payments and tax bill, that definition fizzles pretty damn
> quickly.

wealth factors in an accumulation of income and assets. banks determine
lending on the ability of the borrower to pay it back, in other words wealth.
I think we can agree that a person with a 5 million home has more wealth
than someone living from check to check unless you are in denial.
if you want to discuss the happiness t between the 2 that would be a
philosophical or perhaps a spiritual discussion.
.
the simple fact is beyond the argument about the definitions of rich and poor
and such other irrelevancy. The spending power of society is widening
and the percentage of those whose spending power is diminishing is growing.
these facts aren't argued by most neoclassicals, and libertarians
don`t seem to care they simply feel that over
time that those whose spending power is diminished well eventually reap the
benefits of this rather limited financial boom.
that hasn't played out yet and it appears it
won't.
we have seen the effects of this
thinking prior to the depression but somehow decided to try it again
but give it a slightly different spin. lets control inflation with price
stability
let employment suffer to curb inflation. Trumpet statistics that
simply don`t factor underemployment and diminished expectations.
and let money traders have at it ( talk about a non-productive sector).
even putting aside the moral implications of such a policy it is
eventual economic suicide. To believe the market is the answer
to all problems and is self sustaining is probably the
the best way to bring about the tyranny you so fear.
If you believe government intervention is the cause of
all problems than you should argue for a society
where government plays no part. democracy
as a cumbersome and inefficient curtailment of freedom.
On the other hand some view all sectors of society
as members of a bigger picture. one where individuals
and organizations play by the rules set forth in a democratic
frame work. In this context corporations as well of individuals
and government must exist according to the norms and values
set forth by the society.

John M
.

>
>


Chris J Delanoy

unread,
May 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/10/99
to
"Pierre Bastien" <pbastie...@spots.ab.ca> wrote:

> Interesting statement, some usual indicators of an economy's
> prosperity is the sales of cars and housing start-up. Ever tried
> digging fundations with a shovel, or work on a farm with horses?

We will never have to do that again, so I don't see the relevance
to a discussion on economic systems.

> I wish I had your confidence in technical progress. That's quite
> a gamble, to bet the future of billions, of your children (if you
> have any) on the hope that something will always turn up to save
> the day.

There's nothing to be "saved" from. But that aside, yes, capitalism
is the only system that recognizes the unlimited potential of
human innovation and intelligence. It rewards and promotes these
virtues - quite unlike statism which attacks and paralyzes them.

> Being an engineer myself, I'd say it's a foolish way of thinking.
> Innovations have turned up in the past, that doen't make it a law
> that it'll always be so. But since capitalists only care about
> the next quarter return ...

Hardly. Capitalism more than any other system has an eye toward
long-term growth and prosperity. It has that luxury because, quite
unlike statist economies of the 20th century, millions of its
citizens are starving to death in an immediate timeframe.

> > If a postage-stamp-sized nation like Hong Kong can be as
> > prosperous and have as high a standard a living as it does
> > without ever exploiting a single natural resource, I have no
> > worries about the possibilities for Alberta or any other place
> > under the free market.

> Look like a big difference in our view points is that you think an
> economy dominated by corporations, oligopolistic markets (5-10 big
> world players in each industry, oil, cars, planes, food, electronics,
> banking,etc., which is what we have now) is a free, efficient market,
> with perfect competition:

History demonstrates that you are completely wrong. Take planes,
for example. The US federal government turned down more than
_3000_ applications for new airlines during the term of government
regulation of the industry. After deregulation, the number of
airline companies in the United States grew by 60% in _less than
a year_.

Food? You're probably referring to ADM - a company which has been
fattened on the largesse of _government_ contracts, and which is
generally recognized as one of the most poorly managed and operated
in the United States. As presently run, _it would not survive in
a free market_. It is precisely the "protection" of the government
that is responsible for it's mammoth status.

Banking? In Canada, banking is controlled by the federal government.
By law, only five chartered banks may exist (six in Quebec). There
have been _repeated_ attempts to break into this market, but it is
_government regulation_ which prevents it.

Electronics? On this one I think you're just plain nuts. There
is no better example in the world today on an industry that exhibits
such incredible growth and diversity. Thousands of companies have
sprouted up in the span of the past twenty years and before.

The list goes on and on. If you were to objectively examine the
situation, Pierre, you would see that every alleged abuse of
capitalism you can cite is a _direct_ result of government protection
or regulation. Such protection and regulation are representative
of _statism_, not capitalism.

> I don't and never will. If you read Korten's text, you obviously
> didn't understand it.

I did read the text, and I gave a detailed response to it's thrust.
Since you've ignored it, I will repeat: the representation of
capitalism that Korten (and you) set up and subsequently attack is
_not_ a true representation of capitalism. He (and you) think - quite
wrongly - that we are engaged in a contest to see which statist
gang controls the government. But the entire premise of capitalism
is that _no_ statist gang controls the government.

Parasitic corporations (a good Canadian example would be Bombardier)
are a consequence of _statist_ economic policy, and would be entirely
unprotected in a free market economy.

> They even become so big that they cannot be allowed to go bankcrupt
> (Chrysler, Lockheed, Wall Street stockbrokers, etc.). Not much of a
> free, competitive and efficient market,

You're right: we _don't_ live in a free, competitive and efficient
market. The massive government intrusion in the market "for our own
good" is _precisely_ what is responsible for the indictments you
cite. Everything you're saying _builds the case_ of capitalism
against statism!

> Governments are almost the only organizations big enough that can
> stand up to transnational corporations (TNCs), protect the public
> good from their excesses and force some real competition to develop
> (ever heard of anti-trust laws?).

The anti-trust laws are the biggest attack on competitive markets
in the history of mankind, and represent the precise moment when
statism replaced capitalism as the dominant economic force in the
United States. This statism is precisely what is responsible for
the evils that you (rightly) condemn throughout this thread.

> Unfortunatelly, most of the time, governments work for them (do
> some research on "corporate welfare"),

Corporate welfare is _statism_! It represents the government
exercising the power to arbitrarily "redistribute" wealth that
you are so insistent that they have. It is completely incompatiable
with capitalism - and no supporter of the free market thinks _any_
company or any corporation should ever receive a cent in grants or
benefits extorted at gunpoint! Free markets are the _enemy_ of
corporate welfare.

> There is no and never has been, in the history of the world, a
> society with perfect free markets like the one you wish for.

No, but there are a number of "close enough" cases that allow us
to clearly compare them to the failing statist and mixed models.
Most notably this would be the United States in the nineteenth
century, Japan during the Meiji Restoration, and Hong Kong after
WWII.

> It's a mythic beast,

If capitalism does not presently exist (and it doesn't), then how
could you possibly use contemporary examples as "evidence" of its
failure? Surely your assessment of capitalism as a "mythic beast"
would mean that present failures are in fact failures of statism.
Indeed, _every_ example you have cited is so.

Chris J Delanoy

unread,
May 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/10/99
to
"Pierre Bastien" <pbastie...@spots.ab.ca> wrote:

> I just don't see how you propose to abolish both governments and
> corporations, and why governments first.

I didn't say either of the above. I said that government regulation
should be abolished.

> Governments have been around for at least 10 000 years, it's fair
> to say that they fulfill some useful functions.

Absolutely. Since you're apparently such a fan of Adam Smith,
you would know that he (properly) states that government must
be strictly limited to four functions: the protection of
individuals against the initiation of force by other individuals
(ie - police and criminal law), the protection of the nation
against the initiation of force by another nation (ie - the military),
the voluntary adjudication of disputes between individuals (ie -
civil courts), and the erection of public works.

> Corporations too have their use, there are some tasks (building a
> city, a dam, a bridge, building and running a manufacturing plant)
> where you need to organize thousands of people. Till now, this have
> been done by corporations either public (ancient Egypt, Rome,
> communist countries) or privately owned.

Citing the enslavement of individuals by the government that
characterized the "corporations" of ancient Egypt, Rome, and
communist countries is hardly an indictment of capitalism.

> And once your have corporations, with the resources they control,


> they will follow the corporative logic that we know (to grow and
> control their society: the USSR system was a just big corporation).
> To say that the free market will take care of things is not
> practical. My faith in the market creed is not that strong.

The moral and economic superiority of the free market over all
other systems is not based on faith: it is based on the fact that
it is the _only_ system that recognizes and rewards rationality,
intelligence and innovation. Every other system represents the
enslavement of some people to the cause of others.

> You still need to propose an alternative way for people to organize
> themselves and live in society, to replace everything with the logic
> of free markets sound very nebulous to me.

The price system is what organizes people in a free market economy.
The most stunningly simple yet powerful example of this would be the
the case of "I, Pencil" cited frequently by Milton Freidman (and
which I'll attach at the end of this post). It vividly represents
the power of the market in organizing the voluntary cooperation of
millions of people.

Chris J Delanoy

-----

"Cooperation Through Voluntary Exchange"

(From _Free To Choose_ by Rose and Milton Freidman)

A delightful story called "I, Pencil: My Family Tree as Told to
Leonard E. Read" dramatized vividly how voluntary exchange enables
millions of people to cooperate with one another. Mr. Read, in
the voice of the "Lead Pencil - the ordinary wooden pencil familiar
to all boys and girls and adults who can read and write," starts
his story with the fantastic statement that "not a single person
knows how to make me." Then he proceeds to tell about all the
things that go into the making of a pencil. First, the wood comes
from a tree, "a cedar of straight grain that grows in Northern
California and Oregon." To cut down the tree and cart the logs
to the railroad siding requires "saws and trucks and rope and ...
countless other gear." Many persons and numberless skills are
involved in their fabrication: in "the mining of ore, the making
of steel and its refinement into saws, axes, motors; the growing
of hemp and bringing it through all the stages to heavy and strong
rope; the logging camps with their beds and mess halls ... untold
thousands of persons had a hand in every cup of coffee the loggers
drink!"

And so Mr. Read goes on to the bringing of the logs to the mill,
the millwork involved in converting the logs to slats, and the
transportation of the slats from California to Wilkes-Barre, where
that particular pencil that tells the story was manufactured.
And so far we have only the outside wood of the pencil. The
"lead" center is not really lead at all. It starts as graphite
mined in Ceylon. After many complicated processes it ends up as
the lead in the center of the pencil.

The bit of metal - the ferrule - near the top of the pencil is
brass. "Think of all the persons," he says "who mine zinc and
copper and those who have skills to make shiny sheet brass from
these products of nature."

What we call the eraser is known in the trade as "the plug." It
is thought to be rubber. But Mr. Read tells us the rubber is only
for binding purposes. The erasing is actually done by "Factice,"
a rubberlike product made by reacting rape seed oil from
the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) with sulfur chloride.

After all of this, says the pencil, "Does anyone wish to challenge
my earlier assertion that no single person on the face of the earth
knows how to make me?"

None of the thousands of persons involved in producing the pencil
performed his task because he wanted to a pencil. Some among them
never saw a pencil and would not know what it is for. Each saw
his work as a way to get the goods and services he wanted - goods
and services we produced in order to get the pencil we wanted.
Every time we go to the store and buy a pencil, we are exchanging
a little bit of our services for the infinitesimal amount of
services that each of the thousands contributed toward producing
the pencil.

It is even more astounding that the pencil was ever produced. No
one sitting in a central office gave orders to these thousands of
people. No military police enforced the orders that were not given.
There people live in many lands, speak different languages, practice
different religions, may even hate one another - yet none of these
differences prevented them from cooperating to produce a pencil.
How did it happen? Adam Smith gave us the answer two hundred years
ago.

-----

Chris J Delanoy

unread,
May 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/10/99
to
"Pierre Bastien" <pbastie...@spots.ab.ca> wrote:

> >I know of no "unpleasant aspects" of a free market economy. The
> >evidence we have from the period of greatest economic freedom in
> >history in the 19th century paints an incredible portrait of the
> >power of capitalism and the free price system governed by voluntary
> >exchange has in improving the quality of life of all humanity.

> >The 19th century - the only time in human history where we came


> >close - is a shining example of incredible growth, prosperity and
> >progress.

> Ever read Dickens, "Les miserables", Malthus?

Dickens' condemnations of the industrial revolution in Britain
were based on an idyllic (and grossly false) view of life before
the industrial revolution. Even today, statists like to paint a
nice little picture of children playing in the streets and mothers
making artistic handicrafts in the comfort of their well-appointed
cottages before the big belching factories came along. This view is
such a grotesque distortion that it need barely be considered. From
your well-appointed perch of the late 20th century, certainly
conditions in industrial Britain seem dismal and miserable - but that
doesn't change the fact that they were vast improvements over what
preceeded them.

> I also doubt that the British were in India to spread capitalism.

They weren't.

> They actually shut down the local textile industry, it was too good
> (in quality and price) and was "stealing" markets from England
> factories.

More government interference. Britain's direct control of India was
certainly a problem. On the other hand, though, we could look to
post-WWII Hong Kong - a tiny, cramped nation without a single natural
resource that prospered beyond almost any other standard precisely
because their British governors _ignored and disregarded_ them.

> The 19th century version of British Capitalism and free trade, I
> gather. ;-)

Quite. And if you were to read objective histories of the period,
you would see the many conclusive studies of the fact that many of
the Dickensian "evils" were in fact caused by the initial Factory
Acts. But that aside, working in the factories (which were certainly
dismal and dirty through the lens of our 20th century perspective)
was an infinitely more beneficial life than the periods of monarchistic
oppression, bubonic plague, etc., which preceeded it.

> "Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men
> will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of
> everyone." - John Maynard Keynes

I know it's just a tagline, but this is again a false representation
of capitalism. The moral justification for capitalism is _not_ that
it does "the greatest good" (even though we know that that _is_ an
unintended consequence). The moral and economic justification of
capitalism is that it is the only system consistent with man's
rationality and intelligence.

As our pal Adam Smith so correctly said:

"It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or
the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to
their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity
but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own
necessities but of their advantages. Nobody but a beggar chuses
to depend chiefly upon the benevolence of his fellow citizens."

bad...@cow-net.com

unread,
May 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/10/99
to
In <37360...@news.cadvision.com>, on 05/09/99
at 04:11 PM, "Steven C. Britton" <sbri...@cadvision.com> said:

Sure Steve, keep on stirring. If you muddy the waters perhaps the point
will get lost.

>Barry Adams wrote:

>>Actually there are working definition, but they are all as you point out
>>relative. Lets be serious Chris, when we talk about the rich, we're not
>>talking about a few million in assets.

>Then what ARE we talking about, Barry?

Oh I don't know Chris, the mega rich I suppose. With that do?

>The term "rich" is completely ludicrous, because it lacks any solid
>definition. Someone with three cars, a large house, and a $5,000,000
>mortgage could be defined as "rich" in one breath, but when you factor in
>his/her loan payments and tax bill, that definition fizzles pretty damn
>quickly.

Really Chris. All of this twisting and turning. Do you deny the results
of income and asset studies? Do you deny that the holders and managers of
large assets tend to have more power than a numerically equal number of
janitors or factory workers?

>By the same token, someone who is cash-poor, living in low-rent housing,
>but earning just enough to survive, feed, clothe and shelter his/her
>family could consider themselves "rich" because they're satisfied with
>their life.

Metaphysics now! Way to go Chris. Hide the reality of the system you
promote with bromides.

>The lunatic left likes to pigeonhole people; a rich person is defined as
>"someone with more than me."

Perhaps, though I'm unclear on who you are referring to. IIRC you think
anyone left of Harris or Klein are members of the lunitic left.

>It's the politics of jealousy; covetry.

Actually its the politics of disinterest. Its the politics of people that
realize that our current system is a failure in economic, social and moral
terms.

>Last time I checked, coveting is against one of the commandments.

Really. I though neoclassical economics was big on greed and selfishness?
But of course you're referring to the Bible. I though Christ threw the
money lenders out of the temple? Sure seems like a plan to me. Don't
forget even Adam Smith warned us against the advice of the "masters".


>The rich "class" does NOT exist, just like the poor "class" does not
>exist.

Chris it would help the discussion if you attempted to lay off the humour.


>>From my POV there is nothing wrong with having a "rich" class. I think
>>income is a good motivator. I do oppose the rich having greater influence
>>over political, economic or monetary policy.

>"They" don't, Barry.

Really Chris? Who exactly determines political, economic and monetary
policy then Chris? I know the laws of economics came into being just
after the big bang.

>>As I've said before Chris, I favour economic and monetary policies that
>>create full employment.

>Will NEVER happen.

Never is a very long time, but I agree its not very likely unless we can
somehow free our governments of the overpowering influence of capital.

>>I favour whatever level of income distribution the people choose to attempt
>to
>>implement.

>Ever heard of CREATING wealth rather than redistributing it (stealing it


>from those who work hard to obtain it and giving it to those who don't)?

Your system has a much harder time with wealth creation than my system
does Steven. And even when you system creates wealth, it fails to
distribute it. Pretty good system for the rich though. They get most of
whatever growth occurrs and they keep the uppity common people from
thinking they have any right to influence their societies.

bad...@cow-net.com

unread,
May 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/10/99
to
In <3735e89b...@news1.sympatico.ca>, on 05/09/99
at 08:07 PM, siber...@sympatico.ca (Barry Bruyea) said:

>>As I've said before Chris, I favour economic and monetary policies that
>>create full employment. I favour democratic governments. I favour
>>whatever level of income distribution the people choose to attempt to
>>implement.

>In the latter half of the 20th Century, wealth has begun to
>'redistribute' itself. If you looked at a list of the richest people in
>America in 1950, many, if not most of the names on the list would have
>been on the list in 1920. That no longer holds true. In most cases, 'old
>money' has been dissapated completely. There are few Mellons,
>Rockefellers, Duponts et al on the list today. A few months ago I read
>the results of a study that indicated that 80% of millionairs in the U.S.
>are first generation and not benefiting from inherited wealth. There are
>also 6 times as many millionairs today per capita in the U.S. than there
>was just 30 years ago. And as to the speculation that 1% of the people
>control 'most' of the wealth, I hardly think that's realistic when one
>ponders the impact of 50% of the American population now participate in
>the economy in the form of stockholdings either directly, in mutual funds
>and private pension programs; the latter two having the most power on
>Wall Street. Fifty years ago, it would have been a dozen or so families
>weilding that power.

Barry you should season what you think with a little information. Please
take the time to examine income and asset distribution and pay attention
to trends over the last 20 years or so.

bad...@cow-net.com

unread,
May 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/10/99
to
In <7h554m$1ck$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>, on 05/09/99
at 11:18 PM, Chris J Delanoy <cdel...@ualberta.ca> said:

>> Define your terms, the standard response when there you have
>> no other.

>I'd just like to know what you mean (and whether you know what you mean),
>that's all. You talk about "fair distribution of wealth" but then refuse
>to say precisely where the dividing line exists between "fair" and
>"unfair". Surely the line has to exist somewhere.

You live in such a complete idiological cage that you are completly unable
to hear what anyone who doesn't agree with you is saying. In order to
disguise this you quibble about terms. As if fair and unfair had any
significance in this discussion. I talk about a full employment, low
interest rate, high growth rate economy, that existed and you quibble
about whats rich mean, whats fair mean?

>> > You tell me. Would you shoot your kindly, gray-haired mother
>> > for that?

>> I don't recall many people being shot for failing to pay taxes
>> in Canada Chris. Perhaps you could fill me in.

>If you don't pay your taxes, you'll be fined. If you don't pay the fine,
>you'll be jailed. If you try to escape from jail, you'll be shot.

Waiting for the list of all those poor beleaguered taxpayers shot by
prison guards Chris. Of course with a little work I suppose I could come
up with a list of people who died of exposures on our streets this winter.


>> > Taxation of Canadians would not prevent even 10 per cent of those
>> > deaths, Barry. But it would drive more Canadians out of
>> > productive jobs and into dependence on the state. Which in turn
>> > would require more taxation. Which in turn... ad infinitum.

>> You'll discuss taxation, but you won't discuss control of capital.

>"control of capital"? Go ask the farmers who are shackled and thrown in
>prison without bail for --selling their wheat-- what the benefits of
>"collective control" are!

And off we go again eh Chris. Anything to get away from the reality that
the system you believe in is less effective than the system it replaced.

bad...@cow-net.com

unread,
May 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/10/99
to
In <7h57d2$2jf$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>, on 05/09/99
at 11:57 PM, Chris J Delanoy <cdel...@ualberta.ca> said:

>> First you attempt to muddy the waters by asking for a definition of
>> the rich. Then you defend the reality. Why do you bother Chris.
>> Just come out and admit that a rich "class" exists and the extent
>> of thier incomes and assets.

>I don't deny that there are rich people that have earned enormous incomes
>and assets. In fact I congratulate it.

Ah thank you at last.

>The point of contention is on your view that there is some amorphous,
>undefined (but nonetheless very evil) blob called "the rich" who are out
>to oppress another amorphous, undefined blob called "the workers".

Did I say they set out to oppress Chris? The result of the economic
system they logically choose out of self interest does in fact oppress the
great majority of us, but its not a conspiracy.

>The fact that you're incapable or unwilling to define what either of
>these blobs are demonstrates just how hollow you believe your own bizarre
>view to be.

Ah Chris. Back to quibbleing. Come on Chris don't get stuck in the
details. Defend your system. Prove the advantages of your system.

>> > Give us a number, Barry. Precisely what level of "redistributed"
>> > income do you find desirable?

>> As I've said before Chris, I favour economic and monetary policies
>> that create full employment.

>Which policies are those, precisely?

International control of capital flows. International agreements to
thwart capital flight. International agreements to keep interest rates at
around 1 per cent. In fact a return to Bretton Woods. A return to
Keynsianism.

>> I favour democratic governments.

>But not one that recognizes individual rights.

A libertarian in Reform clothing how quaint.

>> I favour whatever level of income distribution the people choose
>> to attempt to implement.

>A convenient cop-out. All right, pretend I'm the bureaucrat in charge of
>your great Ministry Of Benevolent Distribution, and I come to consult
>you, Barry Adams, revered citizen of utmost standing with the state, on
>precisely what level this would be. What level do _you_ choose? And
>_from whom_ will it be taken?

Not a cop out at all. If you care to examine the diversity of government
policies and platforms of political parties in the advanced industrial
states during Keynsianism, you'll see a remarkably diverse landscape.
That is what I support.

>> > You just proved my point! Here we have _the government_
>> > interfering with the market on behalf of a specific company.
>> > This is a tacit admission by that company that they _could not
>> > survive_ without the protection of the government; that they
>> > _could not compete_ on a free market! Stopping this sort of
>> > chronyism by the government is _precisely_ why a free market
>> > economy is desirable!

>> This doesn't prove your point! This proves how unrestricted
>> neoliberal economic systems end up ursurping the powers of
>> government.

>But we don't live in an unrestricted economic system! We live in a mixed
>economy where - by your express wishes - the government has the final
>authority in deciding precisely who deserves how much of what is
>produced. This chronyism is a consequence of the statism you so love,
>Barry. Capitalism and free markets _are it's enemy_.

Less mixed every year. And if you get your way government would become
very very small. But then of course you're a Libertarian, what else
should I expect. You guys are as bad as the communist. You think there
is some "utopian" set of principles. Talk about ideology!

>> You're so blinded by libertarian ideology that you can't see that
>> the results of your preferred policies are exactly the opposite of
>> what you purport to believe in.

>Corporate welfare is the consequence of statism, Barry. It's what
>happens when you decide that government discretion, rather than
>innovation and ability free of government interference, should govern the
>distribution of wealth. That's why companies which are unable to compete
>on a free market spend their resources instead on bribing and influence
>peddling the government to erect barriers to legitimate competition.

Really Chris. Then please explain why smaller governments and liberalized
free markets have created more Cronyism not less? Please explain why our
economies have performed so pathetically.

>> There would be no scientists paid to represent the disinterested
>> interests of the people you mean.

>There is no such thing as "the disinterested interests of the people".
>There are only parasitic individuals who fancy themselves "the voice of
>the people". Saying it's so does not make it so, Barry.

Only a Libertarian could hold such views. Come on Chris come clean admit
your allegiance to the goofs with vision.

>> You're so in love with the theory of the "free market" that you are
>> unable to comprehend the simple truth that the "freeer" the market
>> becomes, the more tyranical the interests of private enterprise
>> become.

>This is completely fraudulent. Your belief that businessmen would
>gleefully hurt or poison people at the first available chance is _sick_,
>Barry. But it does much to confirm your belief that human beings are
>mindless animals who need to be enslaved by the state "for their own
>good".

Who said that Chris? I certainly didn't say that. Tyranical has nothing
to do with poisoning, Chris. Although I'm convinced that Monsanto does
poison us, I'm sure that the majority of Monsanto employee's including
their scientific staff believe in what they are doing. Of course they're
biased.

>> Monsanto doesn't drive them out of business, it buys them.

>Egads!

Monsanto didn't develope "terminator" technology, it bought it. This is
what big companies do. They buy up little companies with great
technology. They attempt to get bigger and bigger.

>> But come on you're the one that said we acting as free consumers
>> could drive "bad" companies out of business. Now you're saying that
>> due to the unholy alliance of government with business it isn't
>> possible.

>It's not an unholy alliance of government with business. It's an
>alliance of government with parasites who know that they would not be
>able to compete in a free market.

Whatever Chris. You're the one that says we can punish them through the
market. How do we go about doing it Chris? By the way a few examples of
large multi nationals being brought down by consumer action would
certainly enhance your credibility.

>> I know, I know, according to you the solution is to minimize
>> governments. Problem is the as governments have grown smaller,
>> they've been increasingly taken over by the neoliberal big business
>> agenda.

>Again, if the government did not have the power to expropriate your money
>at gunpoint to "redistribute" it by any arbitrary standard -
>a power you fiercely endorse and defend - then there would be zero
>possibility of then "redistributing" it in a manner that you don't like.

Right out of the Libertarian Handbook. Do you guys have an equivalent of
the "little red book"?

>> Ah yes change the subject, always a good tactic Chris.

>It's not changing the subject - it's demonstrating the profound effect
>that economic freedom really has. The "energy crisis" in the US and
>Canada - countries with abundant oil reserves of their own besides -
>was caused by the very price controls enacted to "protect" the consumers.
>In Japan - a nation which relies 100% on oil imports -
>there was no shortage and no crisis, because prices were set on the free
>market.

You mean the profound effect of halving economic growth do you Chris? You
mean the profound effect of 1.2 trillion dollars being gambled every day
on currency markets? Guess we should as the peoples of Asia, or Mexico,
or Brazil or Russia about how profound they found the effects of "economic
freedom". For some reason I think they'd say they'd prefer a little less
of that freedom and a lot more of the old economy.

>The same goes for agriculture. Statism and central control led to the
>starvation of more than 35 million people in a nation with more arable
>land than any other on Earth. It's not the oft-cited "uneven
>distribution of resources" that is responsible for starvation and
>suffering throughout the world - it's the uneven distribution of
>capitalism.

Command economies certainly have a very poor record. But I though you
Libs called W. European and N. American governments statist? These
"statist" nations seem to have a very good agricultural record.

>> > "the poor" is a dynamic term, Barry. The bottom 10% (or 20% or
>> > whatever arbitrary, meaningless dividing line you choose) is
>> > always "poor", even though their quality of life would be vastly
>> > better than any average >citizen fifty or even just thirty years
>> > ago.

>> You're funny Chris. Take a good look at the effects of your
>> policies on income distribution.

>"my policies"? There hasn't been a capitalist government elected in the
>history of Canada! -Nobody- is implementing my policies, because my
>policies are _no_ policies.

A true fanatic! And guess what Chris there never will be!

>> The reality is that the poor are worse off than they were 20 years
>> ago, nearly everywhere.

>Today's standard of life is vastly superior to what it was thirty years
>ago. In Britain, the poorest citizens often didn't have indoor plumbing
>or a telephone as late as the 1970s - there is no comparison between the
>quality of life now or then.

I lived and traveled extensively in Britain 30 years ago Chris. The poor
were way better off. They could find work. They had hope. They had
rising incomes, advanced social systems. They had security.

>> The truth is there are more of them now than 20 years ago, nearly
>> everywhere.

>This is not the truth. It's completely false.

Gee how profound. Now you're going to post that bullshit study thats been
totally discredited. Come on Chris, read the studies, don't make it up to
bolster your belief system.

>> The other truth is that there are many more (numericaly speaking)
>> rich than there were 20 years ago,

>Good!

Why is that good Chris? In a low growth economy, more rich people means
many many more poor people.

>> and they are much much richer.

>Good!

Why? Capitalism requires pools of capital, but it doesn't require those
pools to be owned by individuals Chris.

>> We can build the bomb, go to moon, genetically alter nature, but we
>> dare not, and cannot alter the economic system. We just have to put
>> up with its unpleasent aspects, because, well because its
>> "inevitiable".

>I know of no "unpleasant aspects" of a free market economy. The evidence
>we have from the period of greatest economic freedom in history in the
>19th century paints an incredible portrait of the power of capitalism and
>the free price system governed by voluntary exchange has in improving the
>quality of life of all humanity.

History through the lens of ideology Chris. Really such a statement would
be beyond belief, except that its right out of the little libertarian
guide to correct thinking.

>> There is NO evidence that shows your system, does even as good a
>> job of promoting economic growth.

>The 19th century - the only time in human history where we came close -
>is a shining example of incredible growth, prosperity and progress.

The golden age of classical economics. Paradise on earth for the owners,
hell on earth for the children in the factories and mines. Long running
deflation, with the ratcheting down of wages over most of the century,
briefly interrupted by wars. Such a golden age.

Of couse if you could afford "the Grand Tour", travel POSH or ride the
Orient Express, it was pretty bloody good.

>> We have 30 years of results and they're all negative,

>We have not lived in a market economy for nearly a century, nevermind the
>last 30 years.

Thank god. Though I fear that we are returning to one.

>> Thats the definition of an ideologue Chris. When reality contradicts
>> theory, deny reality.

>The one who is denying reality would be the one who thinks the answer to
>preventing rival gangs from buying influence and power from the
>government is to give that government more influence and power to sell.

--

Steven C. Britton

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May 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/10/99
to
Pierre Bastien wrote in message:

>
>I wish I had your confidence in technical progress. That's quite a gamble,
>to bet the future of billions, of your children (if you have any) on the
>hope that something will always turn up to save the day. Being an engineer

>myself, I'd say it's a foolish way of thinking. Innovations have turned up
>in the past, that doen't make it a law that it'll always be so. But since
>capitalists only care about the next quarter return ...


Don't be ridiculous. The point is that people can, and do, adapt. They
_have_ to; and they _will_.

Steven C. Britton

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May 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/10/99
to
john monteith wrote:
>
>wealth factors in an accumulation of income and assets. banks determine
>lending on the ability of the borrower to pay it back, in other words
wealth.
>I think we can agree that a person with a 5 million home has more wealth
>than someone living from check to check unless you are in denial.
>if you want to discuss the happiness t between the 2 that would be a
>philosophical or perhaps a spiritual discussion.


But you're wrong: The guy in the $5 million home and three cars is living
paycheque to paycheque simply because his debt load is collossal. The bank
owns his home (until he pays off the mortgage), and the bank owns his cars
(until he pays off the car loans).

He's working like a dog at work to make ends meet, because his tax load is
so high that his expenditures for the necessities above the fixed expenses
leave nothing else.

And you say he's "rich"?

Steven C. Britton

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May 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/10/99
to
Barry Adams wrote:

>>>Actually there are working definition, but they are all as you point out
>>>relative. Lets be serious Chris, when we talk about the rich, we're not
>>>talking about a few million in assets.
>
>

>>Then what ARE we talking about, Barry?
>
>Oh I don't know Chris, the mega rich I suppose. With that do?


[Chris?]

Who are the "mega" rich, Barry?

>Really Chris.

[Chris?]

>All of this twisting and turning. Do you deny the results of income and
asset studies?
>Do you deny that the holders and managers of large assets tend to have more
power than a
>numerically equal number of janitors or factory workers?


How do you define "power"? A holder of a large asset has power over the
large asset, because it belongs to him. But the asset itself means squat.
I may own a large house -- so what?

>>By the same token, someone who is cash-poor, living in low-rent housing,
>>but earning just enough to survive, feed, clothe and shelter his/her
>>family could consider themselves "rich" because they're satisfied with
>>their life.
>
>Metaphysics now! Way to go Chris.

[Chris?]

>Hide the reality of the system you promote with bromides.


It's true. Happy people consider themselves rich.

>>The lunatic left likes to pigeonhole people; a rich person is defined as
>>"someone with more than me."
>
>Perhaps, though I'm unclear on who you are referring to. IIRC you think
>anyone left of Harris or Klein are members of the lunitic left.


They are.

>>It's the politics of jealousy; covetry.
>
>Actually its the politics of disinterest. Its the politics of people that
>realize that our current system is a failure in economic, social and moral
>terms.


It wants to take what others have rightfully earned and hand it to an
individual who did nothing to earn it.

"Bill Gates has billions. He has too much. We need to take it away from
him."

>>Last time I checked, coveting is against one of the commandments.
>
>Really. I though neoclassical economics was big on greed and selfishness?
>But of course you're referring to the Bible. I though Christ threw the
>money lenders out of the temple? Sure seems like a plan to me. Don't
>forget even Adam Smith warned us against the advice of the "masters".


So, Christ threw the money lenders out of the temple. What's your point?

Coveting what another has is evil.

>>The rich "class" does NOT exist, just like the poor "class" does not
>>exist.
>
>Chris it would help the discussion if you attempted to lay off the humour.


[Chris?]

The "classes" do not exist. They're a creative invention by the looney left
to try to build power. "You have less than what Bill down your street has.
Because of that, he's oppressing you. RISE UP AND TAKE IT FROM HIM!"

>>"They" don't, Barry.
>
>Really Chris?

[Chris?]

>Who exactly determines political, economic and monetary policy then Chris?

The society, through their elected government. People then hold their
government accountable; and the population at-large has far more electoral
power than a few "Big Business"es

>I know the laws of economics came into being just after the big bang.

>


>>>As I've said before Chris, I favour economic and monetary policies that
>>>create full employment.
>

>>Will NEVER happen.
>
>Never is a very long time, but I agree its not very likely unless we can
>somehow free our governments of the overpowering influence of capital.


Full employment is an idealistic impossibility. There will always be an
unemployment rate in a free and democratic society.

It's a reality.

>>Ever heard of CREATING wealth rather than redistributing it (stealing it
>>from those who work hard to obtain it and giving it to those who don't)?
>
>Your system has a much harder time with wealth creation than my system
>does Steven. And even when you system creates wealth, it fails to
>distribute it.

It doesn't need to. Your Robin Hood fantasies would be laughable, if they
weren't so scary.

>Pretty good system for the rich though. They get most of
>whatever growth occurrs and they keep the uppity common people from
>thinking they have any right to influence their societies.


So instead, you favour government oppression of EVERYBODY to ensure that
NOBODY succeeds.

----------------------------------------------------

John Ross

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May 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/10/99