Thursday, February 23, 2012

Cartoon of the Day


That reminds me of this classic....

94 Comments:

At 2/23/2012 2:35 PM, Blogger Paul said...

It's both funny and sad because it's true. Obama has turbocharged the Democrat project of turning this country into a nation of freeloaders.

 
At 2/23/2012 2:37 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Hmmm, interesting cartoon timing...

Eric Singer writing of the Congressional Effect Fund writing in the Ivestors Business Daily has the following: If Economy's Improving, Why Is Dependency Growing?

A loosely translated popular joke from that era described the Seven Wonders of Communism:

1. Everyone had a job.

2. In spite of the fact that everyone had a job, no one worked.

3. In spite of the fact that no one worked, the production plan was always 100% completed.

4. In spite of the fact that the production plan was 100% successful, the stores shelves were always empty.

5. In spite of the fact that the store shelves were always empty, everyone had everything.

6. In spite of the fact that everybody had everything, everyone stole.

7. In spite of the fact that everyone stole, there was enough for everyone.

 
At 2/23/2012 2:41 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

j-

eric is an old personal friend of mine. known him forever.

he write some good stuff.

he did a very interesting study about how the market outperforms when congress is not in session and has based his fund on it.

i'll see if i can dig it up.

 
At 2/23/2012 3:21 PM, Blogger juandos said...

morganovich says: "he did a very interesting study about how the market outperforms when congress is not in session and has based his fund on it"...

I would love to see that...

I remember hearing about a fraily decent market uptick when there was the so called
government shutdown during the slick willie administration but it obviously didn't get much play in the mainstream media...

 
At 2/23/2012 3:33 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

http://www.ceffx.com/investment-philosophy

this is an overview.

will see if i can get the original data.

his fund really gets nailed by ZIRP, as it sits in short term treasuries when congress is in session.

where they one yielded 5%, they now yield nothing.

he's looking at doing a product that uses gold or a commodities basket instead.

 
At 2/23/2012 3:59 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Thanks for the link morganovich, quite interesting actually...

"he's looking at doing a product that uses gold or a commodities basket instead"...

Considering the spot price of gold, he could do worse...:-)

 
At 2/23/2012 5:48 PM, Blogger Jon said...

I wonder if anybody around here actually knows what socialism is.

 
At 2/23/2012 6:01 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"I wonder if anybody around here actually knows what socialism is."

We know we've moved much closer to it since Obama took office. An Aliskyite's pace is slow and stealthy.

 
At 2/23/2012 6:04 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Oh, that's perfect, professor.

Jon,

Yes. I know what socialism is. Why?

 
At 2/23/2012 6:45 PM, Blogger Jon said...

Let me just spare any other potential readers the need to exercise their Google skills and explain that Socialism is about who controls the means of production. Who controls the tools and factories? On capitalism investors that don't necessarily do the work own the tools and factories. On socialism the workers do. The workers collectively decide the direction of the company. The workers retain profits and distribute them as they see fit rather than dispersing them to the capitalist. If you get most of your information from right wing sources you probably don't know that.

So on Socialism why should we expect a person offering charity to first steal that money from a person that doesn't want to offer charity?

 
At 2/23/2012 8:47 PM, Blogger Aiken_Bob said...

Jon,
By your definition a individual working for himself with no employees is a socialist. I knew there was something rubbed me the wrong way with consultants!

 
At 2/23/2012 9:55 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Both Obma and Bush were economic illiterates and did a great deal of harm to taxpayers. Sadly, I see no difference between Obama, Newt, Mitt, or Rick so either of them will be just as bad as what you have today. What the country needs is for the governed to take back their consent and let the GOP and Democratic Party follow the Whigs and Federalists.

 
At 2/23/2012 9:59 PM, Blogger Paul said...

" What the country needs is for the governed to take back their consent and let the GOP and Democratic Party follow the Whigs and Federalists."

Who do you think elects these nimrods in the first place?

 
At 2/23/2012 10:00 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"Let me just spare any other potential readers the need to exercise their Google skills..."

Love how Jon consistently displays his conviction that the Great Unwashed need people like Jon to direct their lives.

 
At 2/23/2012 10:02 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"The workers retain profits and distribute them as they see fit rather than dispersing them to the capitalist. "

Hey Jon, how's that working out for you? You have demonstrated how this is done, right?

 
At 2/24/2012 1:57 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Hey Jon, how's that working out for you? You have demonstrated how this is done, right?"

Jon, in case that's to subtle for you, he means "please provide some examples of socialism working well.

The former Soviet Union and East Germany come to mind right away, and for a work in progress, there's Venezuela. I'm sure there are lots more you can think of, as it seems to be an obsession with you, and I'm sure you don't come to these comment sections unprepared.

In addition, please don't cite your own nonsense blog for references.

By the way, do you know what capitalism is? So as to spare myself the need to exercise my google skills, I'll suggest that you check it out yourself so I don't have to waste any more time with you.

 
At 2/24/2012 2:23 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Jon: "Who controls the tools and factories? On capitalism investors that don't necessarily do the work own the tools and factories. On socialism the workers do."

Wait! How do the workers come to own the tools and factories? Do they steal them from the capitalists, do they build them from material just lying around unowned and unused, or do they invest capital to build a factory and buy tools.

If the third way, were do they get this capital? Surely a worker's meager wage doesn't allow for saving enough to build a factory.

Uh-oh. If the workers invest capital, are they not capitalists?

"The workers collectively decide the direction of the company."

Wow. They are all in harmonious agreement? What about differences of opinion? Does the majority win out over the minority?

Just how does this work, Jon, Are you sure there aren't some basic economic realities missing from your picture of blue collar paradise?

You are a pathetic clown, Jon. Get a clue.

 
At 2/24/2012 7:25 AM, Blogger Jon said...

I see nobody wants to address the issue, which is the cartoon presented here. Instead we get 6 or 7 objections to socialism.

What does socialism have to do with taking charity from the unwilling to give to the poor?

When you know what socialism is you know why Mark opposes it. On capitalism people make money from owning, not working. Obviously some capitalists work too and make money that way, but the pure capitalist as a capitalist is making money by virtue of an ownership claim, not by work. Socialism says the workers would get the money, not a non-working owner.

When you understand what socialism is you come to realize that the capitalist is really unnecessary. He doesn't contribute to production. A pure capitalist would be like the daughter of the Wal-Mart fortune. Others do the work. She gets the money. People with that kind of an arrangement obviously don't want to see that end. And they need the workers. But here's the kicker. The workers don't need them. Wal-Mart doesn't need Alice Walton. If she died and willed her stock to her cat nothing would change. Socialism recognizes that fact. And that's obviously very scary for capitalists that want to continue to reap the bulk of the earnings and do none of the work.

So of course it becomes necessary to demonize socialism. Pretend the USSR was socialist, as if the workers controlled industry in the USSR, or China was socialist. Socialism means taking from the unwilling while not giving anything yourself. Socialism is stealing from the producers. Of course the only producers are the workers. The only ones stealing from the producers are the capitalists.

Any assertion of worker control is a threat to rich people that make money by doing nothing, so when it happens usually we just send the military. Cuba, Vietnam, Nicaragua, Iran. These are nothing but threats to the lazy rich, so it becomes necessary to scare everyone into thinking they are a threat to everybody and destroy them. Because the money has to continue to flow to the non-working. We know why Mark would obscure this by offering irrational objections to socialism and misrepresenting it. He works for the people that make all the money doing nothing so he must serve their interest. He probably knows what socialism is. But he doesn't want you to know what it is because if you do you might start to question why Alice Walton gets the bulk of the revenue and does none of the work.

 
At 2/24/2012 8:11 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

What does socialism have to do with taking charity from the unwilling to give to the poor?

Socialism is about taking from the unwilling.

When you know what socialism is you know why Mark opposes it.

Socialism is immoral. It is ineffective. I imagine that is why Mark opposes it.

On capitalism people make money from owning, not working.

That is not true. People get money by working in the first place. Some spend all they earn and have to keep exchanging their labour for more money. Others save and earn from investing their savings. Any income earned by those investments is attributable to savings that were generated by working.

Obviously some capitalists work too and make money that way, but the pure capitalist as a capitalist is making money by virtue of an ownership claim, not by work.

How do you suppose one gets to be an owner in the first place? I can't speak for others but I know that I had to work my ass off to accumulate savings. Given the fact that without capital we would all have a North Korean type of existence I find no rational reason why anyone would prefer socialism in the first place. You are obviously either very young, very ignorant, or just very stupid to be making these arguments.

Socialism says the workers would get the money, not a non-working owner.

Your ignorance is showing here. I suggest that you look up the socialist calculation debate and figure out what it is all about. We do not even have to point out the incentive problem (if everyone is equal who takes out the garbage, or why work hard if everyone gets the same rewards) to show that socialism does not and cannot work. Even if we assumed that socialism will create the NEW SOCIALIST MAN and assume that the best and brightest will do the planning in your socialist system they HAVE to fail because they cannot plan without the signals that are sent by a free market.

The system that you are advocating cannot even work in theory.

 
At 2/24/2012 8:23 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

When you understand what socialism is you come to realize that the capitalist is really unnecessary.

LOL...Ever been to Cuba. North Korea? Or East Germany before unification? How did socialism work out in those places?

As I wrote above, your ignorance is astounding. You don't even know that socialism cannot even work in theory. And if you guys cannot make it work there how are you going to replicate the success of Mao, Stalin, and Castro here?

He doesn't contribute to production. A pure capitalist would be like the daughter of the Wal-Mart fortune. Others do the work. She gets the money.

How do people work in Wal-Mart if Sam Walton does not change the retail business and grow his company by offering consumers what they want? Ever been to a retailer in a socialist system? Please explain why you prefer that retailer to Wal-Mart. Is it the selection, the service, or the prices?

People with that kind of an arrangement obviously don't want to see that end. And they need the workers. But here's the kicker. The workers don't need them.

Really? Who would build the stores and create the distribution system that makes Wal-Mart what it is?

Wal-Mart doesn't need Alice Walton. If she died and willed her stock to her cat nothing would change.

Aren't you missing something? There would be no Wal-Mart without the Walton family in the first place. Where is the Cuban or North Korean Wal-Mart?

Socialism recognizes that fact. And that's obviously very scary for capitalists that want to continue to reap the bulk of the earnings and do none of the work.

Now you have moved from ignorance to stupidity. As I wrote above, without incentives and capital there are no jobs for the workers.

 
At 2/24/2012 8:58 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

So of course it becomes necessary to demonize socialism. Pretend the USSR was socialist, as if the workers controlled industry in the USSR, or China was socialist. Socialism means taking from the unwilling while not giving anything yourself. Socialism is stealing from the producers. Of course the only producers are the workers. The only ones stealing from the producers are the capitalists.

As I wrote above, you can't even make your system work in theory. That is why it needs an elite to control what goes on and why you get Mao, Stalin, Castro, and Chavez. As a typical Marxist you live in a dream world.

Any assertion of worker control is a threat to rich people that make money by doing nothing, so when it happens usually we just send the military.

Your ignorance is showing. People are already free to create coops and compete with private companies. But coops are not very successful and will never be more than a marginal part in a market economy.

Cuba, Vietnam, Nicaragua, Iran.

Iran? Iran is not a socialist country. For that matter neither is Vietnam or Nicaragua. And even Cuba has figured out that socialism does not work well and is moving away from it even as you suggest that people should emulate its system.

As I wrote above, you are very ignorant of reality. I suggest that you take a little vacation to Cuba or Venezuela and figure out how things are.

These are nothing but threats to the lazy rich, so it becomes necessary to scare everyone into thinking they are a threat to everybody and destroy them.

Lazy rich? I don't know about you but the rich people that I know are typically much harder working than your average person because that is why they became rich in the first place. Take a look at the list of the top 100 richest people and tell me how many of them became rich because of laziness?

Because the money has to continue to flow to the non-working. We know why Mark would obscure this by offering irrational objections to socialism and misrepresenting it.

I do not believe that Mark is the one who is irrational. It is clear that no matter what his faults may be he has the experience, knowledge, and logic that you clearly lack. Once you grow up and gain some of that knowledge and experience you will figure out why he is a lot closer to the truth than you are.

He works for the people that make all the money doing nothing so he must serve their interest.

Actually, he works for the government. Mark is mainly an academic.

He probably knows what socialism is. But he doesn't want you to know what it is because if you do you might start to question why Alice Walton gets the bulk of the revenue and does none of the work.

As I said your preferred system cannot even work in theory. For a guy who is so passionate about the subject you seem to be not very knowledgeable of it.

 
At 2/24/2012 9:35 AM, Blogger Jon said...

Socialism is about taking from the unwilling.

If assertions counted as arguments you'd win them all.

Socialism is immoral. It is ineffective. I imagine that is why Mark opposes it.

That's another assertion.

That is not true. People get money by working in the first place.

Not necessarily. Alice Walton may not have worked a day in her life. It is just not true that on capitalism people must work to get money.

How do you suppose one gets to be an owner in the first place?

That's a great question. A question capitalists don't like to face. You work your ass off you say. OK, so maybe you own a house. You worked and gained the title to a piece of property. Where did the prior owner get it? He did the same. OK, but where did he get it. The prior owner. But that can't go on to infinity. Eventually you have to get back to a point at which somebody just took it. They put up stakes and said "This is mine." By what right? It was nobody's land and it was everyone's land. Why is it now yours, and why is it that someone has to pay you for it? And how did this person accomplish this? In the end in our country it was basically genocide and theft.

The system that you are advocating cannot even work in theory.

Let's not get 10 fires going at once. This quote I offer here is a response to my claim that on socialism the worker gets the money but on capitalism the owner does. You say that's wrong? It isn't true on capitalism that someone like Alice Walton is paid merely due to the fact that she has the titles and everybody thinks that entitles her to the profits? We have to agree on basic term definitions in order to have a discussion.

You don't even know that socialism cannot even work in theory.

You're right that I don't know that. Again if all you bring to the table is assertions without addressing my arguments, then I guess we won't have any progress. I offered reasons why the Soviet Union was not socialist. If you are just going to ignore that and assert the opposite rather than address my reasons, then maybe we're done here.

How do people work in Wal-Mart if Sam Walton does not change the retail business and grow his company by offering consumers what they want?

I guess I would have no idea, nor would I have any idea what this has to do with the discussion. Did someone dispute that people wouldn't be working at Wal-Mart if Sam Walton hadn't started Wal-Mart?

Really? Who would build the stores and create the distribution system that makes Wal-Mart what it is?

Who builds Wal-Mart stores today? Do you see Alice Walton out there with a shovel?

 
At 2/24/2012 9:36 AM, Blogger Jon said...

Aren't you missing something? There would be no Wal-Mart without the Walton family in the first place.

Why are you arguing what is not in dispute?

Now you have moved from ignorance to stupidity. As I wrote above, without incentives and capital there are no jobs for the workers.

Why would there be no incentives on socialism? BTW there are socialist comanies in the US. I work with a company called Gore Technologies. Astonishingly profitable. Owned by the workers, not investors. They have tools and make things, like Gore-Tex coats and Glide dental floss.

Iran is not a socialist country. For that matter neither is Vietnam or Nicaragua.

Iran attempted to bring their resources under the control of the people, recognizing in 1953 that BP investors were actually irrelevant to production. The profits were all going to the investors while the Iranian people lived in poverty. So they tried to assert control over their own resources and BP worked with the CIA to initiate a coup.

Cuba has been astonishingly successful given the 50 years of terrorism they have endured from the world's leading super power. We just past the 50 year anniversary of the embargo. We know why the war was started. US planners literally feared the success of Cuba and thought it could be a model of successful defiance, which would of course leave the wealthy capitalists high and dry. So the continuing war makes perfect sense even with the Soviet Union gone. They are still just as much of a threat as they ever were.

Chomsky elaborates with relevant quotations from US officials:

In July 1961 the CIA warned that "the extensive influence of 'Castroism' is not a function of Cuban power. . . . Castro's shadow looms large because social and economic conditions throughout Latin America invite opposition to ruling authority and encourage agitation for radical change," for which Castro's Cuba provided a model. Earlier, Arthur Schlesinger had transmitted to the incoming President Kennedy his Latin American Mission report, which warned of the susceptibility of Latin Americans to "the Castro idea of taking matters into one's own hands." The report did identify a Kremlin connection: the Soviet Union "hovers in the wings, flourishing large development loans and presenting itself as the model for achieving modernization in a single generation." The dangers of the "Castro idea" are particularly grave, Schlesinger later elaborated, when "the distribution of land and other forms of national wealth greatly favors the propertied classes" and "the poor and underprivileged, stimulated by the example of the Cuban revolution, are now demanding opportunities for a decent living." Kennedy feared that Russian aid might make Cuba a "showcase" for development, giving the Soviets the upper hand throughout Latin America.

In early 1964, the State Department Policy Planning Council expanded on these concerns: "The primary danger we face in Castro is . . . in the impact the very existence of his regime has upon the leftist movement in many Latin American countries. . . . The simple fact is that Castro represents a successful defiance of the US, a negation of our whole hemispheric policy of almost a century and a half." To put it simply, Thomas Paterson writes, "Cuba, as symbol and reality, challenged U.S. hegemony in Latin America." International terrorism and economic warfare to bring about regime change are justified not by what Cuba does, but by its "very existence," its "successful defiance" of the proper master of the hemisphere. Defiance may justify even more violent actions, as in Serbia, as quietly conceded after the fact; or Iraq, as also recognized when pretexts had collapsed.

 
At 2/24/2012 9:44 AM, Blogger Paul said...

"What does socialism have to do with taking charity from the unwilling to give to the poor?"

Umm, this:

"Socialism says the workers would get the money, not a non-working owner."

 
At 2/24/2012 9:59 AM, Blogger Paul said...

Jon,

None of your Chomsky nonsense demonstrates anyone feared Castro's stupid, tyrannical model would work, only that it might inflame more of Latin America into joining the mayhem.

"The primary danger we face in Castro is . . . in the impact the very existence of his regime has upon the leftist movement in many Latin American countries. . .

Yes, like the ELN in Colombia. They were inspired by, and aided by Castro and his goons. They're a hated band of terrorists. They've spent the past 40 years murdering and kidnapping innocent Colombians. Exactly the type of movement the 60's cold warriors feared Castro would inspire.

 
At 2/24/2012 10:22 AM, Blogger Jon said...

Letting the people that did the work keep the money they earned is not charity. It has nothing to do with giving money to a hungry person.

What's closer to charity is giving the money the workers earned to Alice Walton. Charity for her is backed by overwhelming force.

 
At 2/24/2012 10:39 AM, Blogger Paul said...

"It has nothing to do with giving money to a hungry person."

It has everything to do with "spreading the wealth around," as you've demonstrated here in your examples. Hence the cartoon you should be celebrating as social justice.

"In the end in our country it was basically genocide and theft."

Where does Gore Industries make their products? I guess you're a bunch of thieves and murderers.

 
At 2/24/2012 10:49 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

Not necessarily. Alice Walton may not have worked a day in her life. It is just not true that on capitalism people must work to get money.

This is an outright lie that is very easy to check.

Here is what Wiki has to say about her:

Walton graduated from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, with a B.A. in economics and finance. She began her career in finance as an equity analyst and money manager for First Commerce Corporation and later served as vice chairperson and head of all investment-related activities at the Arvest Bank Group. In 1988, Walton founded Llama Company, an investment bank engaged in corporate finance, public and structured finance, real estate finance and sales and trading. She served as President, Chairperson and CEO. For a time, she was a broker for E.F. Hutton.

She was the first chairperson and driving force behind the Northwest Arkansas Council. This community development organization played a major role in securing the development of the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport. In the late 1990s Walton closed Llama Company and moved to a 3,200 acre ranch in Millsap, Texas, named the Rocking W Ranch.[4] An avid horse-lover, Walton currently lives in a modest one story 4,432 square foot stucco house on the horse ranch. She is known for having an eye for determining which 2 month-olds will grow to be champion cutters.[5]

Walton arranged for and provided the initial seed capital to finance the construction of the airport. Her involvement was instrumental in the creation of the airport, and in recognition of her contribution to the airport project and her support of transportation improvements throughout the region, the Airport Authority Board of Directors named the airport terminal the Alice L. Walton Terminal Building. In 2001, Walton was inducted into the Arkansas Aviation Hall of Fame.

She was the twentieth largest individual contributor to 527 committees in the U.S. presidential election, 2004, donating US$2.6 million to the conservative Progress for America group.[2] During the 2004 election cycle, Progress for America ran advertisements supporting the Iraq war and praising George W. Bush for preventing "another 9/11".

In his 1992 autobiography "Made in America", Sam Walton remarked that Alice was "the most like me - a maverick - but even more volatile than I am."


And let us point out that any money she inherited was actually earned by Sam Walton. Having earned it through his hard work he has every right to do with it as he pleases.

Now that your argument that money appears out of nowhere and just falls into the hands of those who never 'worked for it' has been refuted let us go on to some of the other drivel that you posted.

 
At 2/24/2012 10:58 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

"How do you suppose one gets to be an owner in the first place?"

That's a great question. A question capitalists don't like to face.


No, it is the question that socialists do not like to face. People who earn money have no problem answering that question. But let us go on.

You work your ass off you say. OK, so maybe you own a house. You worked and gained the title to a piece of property. Where did the prior owner get it? He did the same. OK, but where did he get it. The prior owner. But that can't go on to infinity. Eventually you have to get back to a point at which somebody just took it.

Not true. At some point some one comes to find unowned land and homesteads it. That is a simple way to own property. In the case of the land on which my own house was built, it was purchased from the natives in this area several hundred years ago. No force was used.

I think that you need to do some reading.

They put up stakes and said "This is mine." By what right? It was nobody's land and it was everyone's land. Why is it now yours, and why is it that someone has to pay you for it? And how did this person accomplish this? In the end in our country it was basically genocide and theft.

If it was nobody's land all you need to do to claim it is to homestead it. It is as simple as that. And let me note that socialism does not deal with this problem very well. It uses force to take property from those who would not give it up willingly.

"The system that you are advocating cannot even work in theory."

Let's not get 10 fires going at once. This quote I offer here is a response to my claim that on socialism the worker gets the money but on capitalism the owner does. You say that's wrong? It isn't true on capitalism that someone like Alice Walton is paid merely due to the fact that she has the titles and everybody thinks that entitles her to the profits? We have to agree on basic term definitions in order to have a discussion.


No. I say that she has the money because her family worked hard to turn a tiny business into one of the largest and best corporations in the world. By the way, that corporation has done more for poor people than any socialist experiment ever.

And no, unless you can deal with the problem that your system can't even work in theory you cannot justify your advocacy for it. The reason why the USSR, Mao's China, or Castro's Cuba do not fit your idea of socialism is because your idea is not possible in a modern human society. These regimes always resort to violence and murder because human nature rejects the idea of New Socialist Man.

Got it. If you can't even create a workable system in theory you can't argue for it.

 
At 2/24/2012 11:25 AM, Blogger Jon said...

I did not assert that Alice Walton never worked. What I'm saying is that as a capitalist her present earnings are not necessarily a product of work she did or is doing or will ever do. The only "work" Alice Walton need do is embrace the decision not to sell her stock. Do you deny that she CAN "earn" money in this way on capitalism?

Set the question of whether this is just and right aside for a second. Assume I would agree that this is the way it should be because of her father's hard work. As a capitalist she doesn't need to do anything to earn millions and billions of dollars, right? That is just basic definitions.

I'm not asking about whether it's POSSIBLE for someone to initially acquire land. Sure, you can shoot natives, enslave foreigners, steal. You can do all sorts of things to get it. What I'm asking about is how it's legitimate.

When the initial person "homesteads" the land he's taking what was once common property and just saying that now only he can use it, and anybody that walks through it or uses it in a way he doesn't approve, now he can by force remove them or extract penalties. So it used to be that a Native American could walk through, maybe eat from the apple tree. Now somebody put up stakes and the Native American is now barred. That person sells it to you and you say "I worked my ass off. I earned it." How is that just? Why was the common allocated to a single person in the first place? Isn't that theft right there?

 
At 2/24/2012 11:25 AM, Blogger Jon said...

Oh, I know Alice Walton has money because her family worked hard. Also the workers worked hard. Also today's workers work very hard and are paid very little. In fact to pad Alice Walton's fortune Wal-Mart tries to prevent people from working full time. They educate them on how to use welfare, use Medicaide, and in other ways get you and me to supplement their lifestyle so that Alice Walton gets a larger check.

And yeah, it doesn't work great in Vietnam because when you try it you can expect a most savage bombing campaign. Cuba really sucks I suppose. Maybe all the terrorism directed at them (bombing civilian airliners, spraying their agricultural products with chemical agents, spreading Dengue fever, spreading swine flue, machine gunning them) has nothing to do with it. It never works. Except that US planners are so scared it will work they have to unleash massive terrorism to prevent Cuba from being a successful model others will follow. If it never works why does our government impose so much violence? Let them collapse under their own weight.

Actions speak louder. They know it will work, which is why they fight it so aggressively. If they don't the capitalist no longer collects checks.

The workers at Wal-Mart don't need Alice Walton. Do they? Answer the question. I'm not talking about her father. I'm talking about her. They work and send her money, but they don't need her. She needs them. If they stop working she doesn't get money, but if she stops working nothing changes because she doesn't work anyway. Right now Alice Walton gets work for doing nothing. She and the other capitalists like it that way. So if Cuba or Vietnam tells them they aren't sending the money because they don't do anything the US just sends the military. And then after they've been bombed to the stone age you say "See, socialism doesn't work." Capitalism doesn't work under a savage bombing campaign either.

 
At 2/24/2012 11:30 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

"You don't even know that socialism cannot even work in theory."

You're right that I don't know that. Again if all you bring to the table is assertions without addressing my arguments, then I guess we won't have any progress. I offered reasons why the Soviet Union was not socialist. If you are just going to ignore that and assert the opposite rather than address my reasons, then maybe we're done here.


Your ignorance is showing. I am arguing that you get monstrosities like the USSR because your idea of socialist society cannot even work in theory. Even socialist society is concerned with the production of goods and services. Planning in a market economy is easy but planning in a socialist society is impossible.

Why? Because in a market society prices are set at the margin by millions of market transactions by parties looking after their own interests. Producers who cannot meet consumer demand are out of business and those that are most capable of meeting needs make huge amounts of money. Sam Walton did not get rich because he worked harder than Joe the grocery store owner or the managers at A&P. He got rich because he made better decisions than Joe the grocery store owner and the managers at A&P.

In a socialist economy there are no market prices to tell us how producers should allocate scarce resources. If you had any knowledge of the issue you would know that this argument was settled in the 1920s when one classical economist took the assertions of the New Socialist Man seriously and showed that it wasn't enough to make socialism viable.

I guess I would have no idea, nor would I have any idea what this has to do with the discussion. Did someone dispute that people wouldn't be working at Wal-Mart if Sam Walton hadn't started Wal-Mart?

Actually, you did. You wrote, "Others do the work. She gets the money." I merely point out that without the capital that her family provided others would not be doing the work that she profits from.

Who builds Wal-Mart stores today? Do you see Alice Walton out there with a shovel?

You seem to have a problem understand what capital is and why it is needed to create wealth in society. No wonder you are so confused.

 
At 2/24/2012 11:50 AM, Blogger Paul said...

"Why was the common allocated to a single person in the first place? Isn't that theft right there?"

Does Gore Industries lock their doors at night and just let anyone who wants squat inside the compound? Do you? Thief! Murderer!

"Except that US planners are so scared it will work they have to unleash massive terrorism to prevent Cuba from being a successful model others will follow."

What joke. Most of your examples of US "terrorism" against Cuba are made up bullshit. And the idea that the US was so "scared" of Castro's awesome model is laughable. Castro's murderous revolution was opposed after-the-fact because of his theft of US assets, because he had his bloody executioner Che Guevara machine-gun innocents, and because he was a Marxist thug in alliance with the Soviet Union.

 
At 2/24/2012 11:53 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

Why are you arguing what is not in dispute?

Because you don't understand. A modern economy needs capital formation and effective allocation of resources. Workers don't work unless there is capital that they can use.

Why would there be no incentives on socialism? BTW there are socialist comanies in the US. I work with a company called Gore Technologies. Astonishingly profitable. Owned by the workers, not investors. They have tools and make things, like Gore-Tex coats and Glide dental floss.

How ironic. Robert Gore made a fortune from his patent on Gore-Tex. He collected royalties and became rich from having others create the great products that use the material that he patented. According to your argument he does not deserve to profit from his discovery because he did not work to create those products.

Let me note that Mr Gore was not the inventor of the fabric. The discovery was actually made by a New Zealand inventor who made the fabric without patenting it. For a guy who is so worried about the theft of property that may have happened hundreds of years ago you don't seem to be all that concerned about a theft that took place a few decades ago.

That aside, is Gore Technologies really a 'socialist' company run on socialist principles? After all, is everyone paid the same wage? If they are, who gets to clean the toilets? And is the toilet cleaner really paid more than the CEO if his need is greater?

Let me note that your 'socialist' company does not have to worry about price discovery in a market economy because in the absence of a socialist system there is no socialist calculation problem. The company will rise or fall simply by its ability to plan better than its competitors by using the price signals that come from the market economy. Those signals would not exist in a socialist economy and in such an economy there are no discoveries like Gore-Tex to be used in all kinds of innovative and useful ways that market competition comes up with.

 
At 2/24/2012 12:43 PM, Blogger Jon said...

In a socialist economy there are no market prices to tell us how producers should allocate scarce resources.

Gore Technologies works perfectly fine in a market and also sets prices based on supply and demand. You are confusing socialism with central planning.

Jon-I guess I would have no idea, nor would I have any idea what this has to do with the discussion. Did someone dispute that people wouldn't be working at Wal-Mart if Sam Walton hadn't started Wal-Mart?

VangeIV-Actually, you did. You wrote, "Others do the work. She gets the money."


Those are two different statements. People wouldn't be working at Wal-Mart if Sam Walton hadn't started the company. Today Alice Walton does no work yet gets large chunks of the revenue.

Paul writes:

Does Gore Industries lock their doors at night and just let anyone who wants squat inside the compound? Do you? Thief! Murderer!

I don't know why you think this is relevant to the discussion. Gore Technologies is a WORKER OWNED business. Meaning yes, it adheres to the institution of private property. Who said it didn't? But if VangeIV wants to talk about how private property was acquired initially I think that's a fine discussion.

What joke. Most of your examples of US "terrorism" against Cuba are made up bullshit.

That's just plain sad, but not surprising. Cuba happens to be the country that has been subject to the longest sustained terrorist campaign in modern history. But you've never heard of it.

That aside, is Gore Technologies really a 'socialist' company run on socialist principles? After all, is everyone paid the same wage?

Socialism does not require that everyone is paid the same wage. It's these basic misunderstandings that are so typical of right wing critics of socialism. These promt them to draw cartoons and think it makes sense to think it applies to socialism. It prompts them to say "See, history shows socialism doesn't work, look at the USSR." When you don't know what socialism is of course you are going to say ignorant things like that.

 
At 2/24/2012 12:54 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"I don't know why you think this is relevant to the discussion. Gore Technologies is a WORKER OWNED business. Meaning yes, it adheres to the institution of private property."

Then it's based on theft and rape of the Indians, or something. Or whatever nonsense you think is the ultimate gotcha argument. How about your home? Lock your doors? Then you're complicit in the genocide. Oh, the crimes against humanity!


"Who said it didn't? But if VangeIV wants to talk about how private property was acquired initially I think that's a fine discussion."

Uh, you brought it up. Which honorable native Americans were ripped off by Gore Industries? have you tried to make amends?

"That's just plain sad, but not surprising. Cuba happens to be the country that has been subject to the longest sustained terrorist campaign in modern history. But you've never heard of it."

What's sad is you believe whatever anti-American garbage parasites like Chomsky and Zinn throw at you. And you're pathetic with your constant "you've never even heard of x" condescension. Most of us have heard all about the made-up history you bought into hook-line-and-sinker.

 
At 2/24/2012 1:47 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Iran attempted to bring their resources under the control of the people, recognizing in 1953 that BP investors were actually irrelevant to production. The profits were all going to the investors while the Iranian people lived in poverty. So they tried to assert control over their own resources and BP worked with the CIA to initiate a coup.

You are going off on a tangent. As someone who is interested in free markets and liberty I will not defend CIA coups or the actions of MI6 and the UK government. The important thing is to look at the economy. And on that front, Iran is not a socialist economy in the way that you would define it. While it has a very large in inefficient state controlled system there is a much more efficient private sector and a stock exchange.

Cuba has been astonishingly successful given the 50 years of terrorism they have endured from the world's leading super power. We just past the 50 year anniversary of the embargo. We know why the war was started. US planners literally feared the success of Cuba and thought it could be a model of successful defiance, which would of course leave the wealthy capitalists high and dry. So the continuing war makes perfect sense even with the Soviet Union gone. They are still just as much of a threat as they ever were.

Cuba a success? A few years ago you could have rented a beautiful and educated young lady for $20 a night. Does that happen in countries that are a success? People were so poor that they would risk their lives by getting on rafts and leaking boats and try to escape to Florida. Because Cuban socialism failed the regime has resorted to torture, arbitrary imprisonment, and executions to try and keep the population in fear.

Chomsky elaborates with relevant quotations from US officials:...

Yes, American meddling was a problem. But it was not responsible for the Cuban poverty and despair. That was all caused by your 'socialist system' that tried to imagine human beings as insects who were part of a hive ready to sacrifice everything for dear leader. Well, that way failed just as we all knew that it would.

 
At 2/24/2012 1:51 PM, Blogger Jon said...

VangeIV asked how one gets to be an owner in the first place. I thought that was a great question and I answered it. I didn't bring it up.

I own stuff too. I buy stock and save for my retirement. You do have to continue to function within the system you are stuck with. Kind of like a diner in the south. You can object to "whites only" rules, but you might live by them anyway while you work to change them. Someone stole the land I live on and sold it to someone, who sold it to someone, who finally sold it to me. OK, it's not right. Let's admit it's not right and then talk about remedies.

Mark Twain said being a patriot means loving your country all of the time and your government when it deserves it. I object to what our government has done sometimes. That's a pro-America view.

And by the way, I think the only place in the world with a parallel to the "anti-American" phrase is "anti-Soviet." If you go up to an Italian and say "You are anti-Italian" he won't even know what that means. But it made sense in the Soviet Union. It makes sense only in extremely authoritarian places and is adopted only by the most extreme authoritarians.

 
At 2/24/2012 2:04 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Letting the people that did the work keep the money they earned is not charity. It has nothing to do with giving money to a hungry person.

I totally agree. Everyone should keep what they earned.

What's closer to charity is giving the money the workers earned to Alice Walton.

Giving the money to Alice Walton? You are confused. Alice Walton's company earns the money when shoppers choose her stores over those of her competitors. She pays the suppliers and people who work for her, pays taxes, pays financing and other costs and gets a dividend just like any shareholder of the stock. She gets taxed on that dividend again. No worker ever 'gives' Alice Walton any money.

Charity for her is backed by overwhelming force.

What charity? She gets dividends that come out of profits earned by her company. She is ultimately paid by the customers of Wal-Mart but those customers are not interested in charity or engaging in charity. They give her money in exchange for goods that her stores sell cheaper than Target and her other competitors. The customers benefit and because they do so does Alice. And that is what provides those jobs that earn the workers the money from Wal-Mart.

You are clearly ignorant about economics. You seem to live in one of those illusory worlds that only immature academics with little experience in the real world can imagine. That may be fine for awhile but it is not possible for you to escape the consequences of the real world forever.

 
At 2/24/2012 2:14 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"You seem to live in one of those illusory worlds that only immature academics with little experience in the real world can imagine."

kinda like our current President.

 
At 2/24/2012 2:17 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Jon,

"OK, it's not right. Let's admit it's not right and then talk about remedies."

Oh. I thought you said Gore Industries was the epitome of socialism. Now you're saying it's a byproduct of genocide like everything else you touch. What have you and your fellow marauders done to remedy your crimes against humanity? Post on a blog? Wow. Exactly like the Granma boat landing.

 
At 2/24/2012 2:19 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"If you go up to an Italian and say "You are anti-Italian" he won't even know what that means."

Whether this is true or not, who cares? I don't live in Italy. I live in America where legions of anti-American creeps like you are working feverishly to destroy the system that provides their cushy lifestyle.

 
At 2/24/2012 2:26 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Jon,

"On capitalism people make money from owning, not working."

You could have stopped there. You clearly have absolutely no understanding or respect for the work that people typically do to build wealth...and you're trying to give others a lesson. wow.

"Eventually you have to get back to a point at which somebody just took it."

uuuuhhh....no matter which system, origination could be tracked back in the same way. wow again.

"socialism the worker gets the money but on capitalism the owner does"

How do you explain the millions of people (myself included) who used to be a worker and are now owners? I started with less than nothing at 20 and was an owner before I was 30. Can you give me an example of movement like that in socialism? Do you actually believe that lack of potential has no effect on the morale of the worker?

There are a couple of major things that you have no grip on.
1. Owners/investors work much harder than you know which doesn't even make you a quality worker.

2. Your 'socialist' company could only exist in a largely capitalist environment. Are you telling me that your company has never taken a private loan? Well, you can tell me, but I won't believe it.

"Letting the people that did the work keep the money they earned is not charity."

Unless you think it's too much money and then it must be taken by the government.

The proof is in the numbers. I have only one guess as to how somebody could see the incredible opportunity around them and still pine for an imaginary utopia...that person would be unhappy in any system.

 
At 2/24/2012 3:22 PM, Blogger Ken said...

On socialism the workers do.

Ha!! Ignorance abounds everywhere I guess.

 
At 2/24/2012 3:23 PM, Blogger Mike said...

"If you go up to an Italian and say "You are anti-Italian" he won't even know what that means."

Oh, dude...I didn't see this one. You know as much about Italians as you do socialism and capitalism! You should go sometime.

 
At 2/24/2012 3:35 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

I did not assert that Alice Walton never worked. What I'm saying is that as a capitalist her present earnings are not necessarily a product of work she did or is doing or will ever do. The only "work" Alice Walton need do is embrace the decision not to sell her stock. Do you deny that she CAN "earn" money in this way on capitalism?

I deny that the capital formation that gives Wal-Mart workers their jobs came without working. For a guy who was willing to trace back property titles for hundreds of years you are clearly ignoring where the capital came from. That means that you are either ignorant or disingenuous.

Set the question of whether this is just and right aside for a second. Assume I would agree that this is the way it should be because of her father's hard work. As a capitalist she doesn't need to do anything to earn millions and billions of dollars, right? That is just basic definitions.

If you inherit enough you can live off the inheritance. But to argue that the capital does not deserve a return is plain stupid.

I'm not asking about whether it's POSSIBLE for someone to initially acquire land. Sure, you can shoot natives, enslave foreigners, steal. You can do all sorts of things to get it. What I'm asking about is how it's legitimate.

I am not saying anything about shooting anyone. Wild land is now owned by anyone. You acquire it by homesteading. When you work that land and mix your labour with it the land is legitimately yours. And the title to that land can be passed on legitimately.

When the initial person "homesteads" the land he's taking what was once common property and just saying that now only he can use it, and anybody that walks through it or uses it in a way he doesn't approve, now he can by force remove them or extract penalties.

There is no such thing as common property in this discussion. If a tribe is living on a particular plot of land and using it it belongs to the tribe regardless of how it deals with ownership issues.

But once the land is not worked and not occupied it is available for whoever comes in to homestead it regardless of whose ancestor once walked on that land or who fought a battle on it.

So it used to be that a Native American could walk through, maybe eat from the apple tree. Now somebody put up stakes and the Native American is now barred. That person sells it to you and you say "I worked my ass off. I earned it." How is that just? Why was the common allocated to a single person in the first place? Isn't that theft right there?

Because the apple on the apple tree was not planted by anyone. Anyone can pick fruit or hunt on wild lands but as soon as someone stakes it, puts a fence around it and improves that land nobody is permitted to trespass on what just became private property. Common law principles have dealt with this issue adequately for centuries. I wish that you would actually learn before you put forth a position that is not defensible.

 
At 2/24/2012 3:40 PM, Blogger Ken said...

I see nobody wants to address the issue, which is the cartoon presented here. Instead we get 6 or 7 objections to socialism.

Except in Ron H's comment right above yours, he lays out exactly why socialism is presented in the cartoon the way it is. Because, rightly, the "workers" (which ultimately means government bureaucrats, as this is the only method for the wealth transfer) steal tools from capitalists.

What does socialism have to do with taking charity from the unwilling to give to the poor?

Because you seem to think of workers as poor, needing charity, so take from capitalists to give to workers.

On capitalism people make money from owning, not working.

Ha! You think workers don't own something? Ever heard of this thing called "human capital"? This refers to skills workers have. Capitalists invest in this labor to get a return. And the idea that investing isn't work only shows you don't know how business or economies work.

When you understand what socialism is you come to realize that the capitalist is really unnecessary.

Yep, that's why socialism has failed every time, right? After all, who needs someone who is willing to take a risk innovating and developing, when all we have to do is apply for a job?

The workers don't need them.

The "workers" didn't develop the innovations of supply chain management. The capitalists of Wal-Mart did. The "workers" didn't innovate and develop interchangable parts and assembly lines to cars. The capitalist Henry Ford did. The "workers" didn't innovate and develop the iPod, iPhone, iMac, or iPad. The capitalist Steve Jobs did.

If she died and willed her stock to her cat nothing would change.

Voting at stock holders meetings have no affect on a business? Since when?

Pretend the USSR was socialist, as if the workers controlled industry in the USSR

They did and quickly ceded that power to bureaucrats in order to facilitate the wealth transfer you speak so highly of. The soviets that developed throughout revolutionary Russia (during their Civil War), the "workers" took after the kulaks and ruined their economy.

Your idiocy reminds me of this very pertinant quote:

Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded- here and there, now and then- are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as "bad luck." — Robert A. Heinlein

 
At 2/24/2012 3:58 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Vange,

Are you really having a conversation about natives and property rights with this guy?

Stossel did a great report about native Americans and property ownership. The one thing that was extremely "coincidental"? All the tribes who practice communal ownership of land are in absolute poverty, the one or two tribes who have individual property rights are doing quite well.

Weird, right?

 
At 2/24/2012 4:03 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Oh, I know Alice Walton has money because her family worked hard. Also the workers worked hard. Also today's workers work very hard and are paid very little.

Actually, that is not true. Wal-Mart pays so much that there are hundreds of job applications for each job. If it paid too little it would have a harder time attracting qualified workers. And you also miss the point that we have been making. Alice does not get her money from the workers. She gets the money to pay the workers from the customers. If she has enough left over after she pays for everything the profit is used to build more stores or to make improvements. Some of it is used to pay out dividends. Alice gets paid by collecting dividends just as any other shareholders. There is nothing that prevents you from making as much as she does. All you have to do is to buy the same number of shares.

In fact to pad Alice Walton's fortune Wal-Mart tries to prevent people from working full time.

The regulations make it very expensive to have full time workers even when you want to hire them full time. The problem is not Wal-Mart but the regulators who deny the workers the opportunity to earn more.

They educate them on how to use welfare, use Medicaide, and in other ways get you and me to supplement their lifestyle so that Alice Walton gets a larger check.

First, Alice does not call the shots the customers do. They do not like to pay high prices so in a competitive industry Alice has to keep ALL of her costs lower, including the cost of labour. Second, there is nothing wrong with educating your workers to apply for all of the aid that the government hands out. If you don't like the government handing out aid than vote for someone who would eliminate it.

And yeah, it doesn't work great in Vietnam because when you try it you can expect a most savage bombing campaign.

Please cut the Chomsky crap. I agree that the US never should have been involved in Vietnam. But the failure of the Vietnamese economy had nothing to do with the US. The economy was destroyed by the fools who took over and found that there was no such thing as the New Socialist Man. The reeducation camps, murders, and torture could not change the reality and the economy failed to provide enough goods and services for a decent life. That changed when the government realised that in order to save itself it had to follow China and move towards a market-oriented economy.

Cuba really sucks I suppose. Maybe all the terrorism directed at them (bombing civilian airliners, spraying their agricultural products with chemical agents, spreading Dengue fever, spreading swine flue, machine gunning them) has nothing to do with it....

Cuba does not need external attacks because the people and the economy are being hurt by their own failed government. Actually, I am not as negative on the Cuban government as many others because I believe that it has figured out that socialism cannot work and is trying to change. The problem is that it is still stuck because it does not know how to proceed without losing all of its power.

If it never works why does our government impose so much violence? Let them collapse under their own weight.

Because the US government tends to hate the free market and leans towards National Socialism. That doesn't work either and both Socialism and National Socialism are not workable.

The workers at Wal-Mart don't need Alice Walton. Do they? Answer the question.

Sure they do. Without Alice's capital they would have nowhere to work. Are you so ignorant that you can't see the obvious?

 
At 2/24/2012 4:10 PM, Blogger Jon said...

There's a bit too much invective and straw man here to address completely, but just a couple of comments:

When you work that land and mix your labour with it the land is legitimately yours.

I dumped a can of tomato juice into the ocean, so I own the ocean now.

The "workers" didn't develop the innovations of supply chain management. The capitalists of Wal-Mart did.

I am distinguishing between a capitalist (a person that earns money by virtue of ownership titles) and a worker (a person that earns money by directly contributing to production with his labor).

A person can earn money in both ways simultaneously. So for instance suppose Henry Ford owned some GE stock and was paid dividends. That's income that comes about by virtue of his status as a capitalist. That's different from Henry Ford implementing an assembly line. That's not capitalistic work. On socialism Henry Ford is to be compensated because he's contributing to productive enterprise by working. Inventing and laboring is working. Holding stock and sitting at home earning money is earning money strictly through capitalism. On socialism that person is not compensated. They don't do anything.

Nobody here is claiming that inventors, entrepreneurs, and the hard working aren't justly compensated more highly than others that work less. That's not what socialism means. The fact that people here argue against me as if this is what socialism means is just further evidence that you don't understand socialism, which is not surprising.

 
At 2/24/2012 4:12 PM, Blogger Jon said...

Sure they do. Without Alice's capital they would have nowhere to work. Are you so ignorant that you can't see the obvious?

What if Alice died and willed all her stock to her cat. Would that in any way slow things down?

 
At 2/24/2012 4:24 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Gore Technologies works perfectly fine in a market and also sets prices based on supply and demand. You are confusing socialism with central planning.

First, you ignore the fact that Gore Technologies can only function because of actual original theft. Robert Gore collected royalties on a product that he did not originally invent. As I pointed out above, the discovery was manufactured and sold in the marketplace by a New Zealand inventor two years before Gore took out a patent on it.

Second, you cannot have Socialism without central planning because coops cannot compete very well with private companies.

Third, unless you are writing about another outfit, W. L. Gore & Associates is not a 'socialist' company. It is privately held and most of the profits go to the holders of the shares. The fact that workers are called 'associates' and that you have a flat structure does not make the company 'socialist'.

Those are two different statements. People wouldn't be working at Wal-Mart if Sam Walton hadn't started the company. Today Alice Walton does no work yet gets large chunks of the revenue.

Get a dictionary and look up the word 'capital'. Then try and figure out how workers can have jobs unless Alice provides the capital.

I don't know why you think this is relevant to the discussion. Gore Technologies is a WORKER OWNED business. Meaning yes, it adheres to the institution of private property. Who said it didn't? But if VangeIV wants to talk about how private property was acquired initially I think that's a fine discussion.

First, where is the web site? Second, Gore did not invent Gore-Tex. A New Zealander invented it two years before. Gore only made money because he got a patent that the other fool did not think was necessary. It seems to me that if you want to talk about the morality of acquiring property you would use a better example than Gore.

Socialism does not require that everyone is paid the same wage.

That is right. It says that you get what you need. Does the janitor with the big family get more than the CEO?

It's these basic misunderstandings that are so typical of right wing critics of socialism. These promt them to draw cartoons and think it makes sense to think it applies to socialism. It prompts them to say "See, history shows socialism doesn't work, look at the USSR." When you don't know what socialism is of course you are going to say ignorant things like that.

LOL...You have no idea what socialism is. You have not actually provided us with any link to any place that defines what your socialism looks like. You have no clue about what a market economy is and why a socialist economy is incapable of producing effectively. How do you force people to work instead of invest in capital? Who exactly would decide how many buildings get built, how many trucks are needed, what software should track inventory movement, what the compensation structure would look like, etc., etc., etc? All of these things matter in the real world even if they can safely be ignored in your fantasy.

 
At 2/24/2012 4:32 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

VangeIV asked how one gets to be an owner in the first place. I thought that was a great question and I answered it. I didn't bring it up.

You answered nothing. You tried to deflect attention by going off on a tangent about original ownership. Most of the US East Coast was purchased from the natives. That eliminates your original ownership argument. I ask how is it that Sam Walton or anyone else gets to be an owner of a building in the first place? The answer is that they save money or use the savings of others to build that building. You somehow claim that when that happens the people who built the building are not entitled to make money from it because they are not working. You ignore the fact that the money for the building came from savings that were earned by working.

See your problem? You are an economic illiterate who knows less than your average twelve-year-old. You need to read a little and get some real world experience.

I own stuff too. I buy stock and save for my retirement. You do have to continue to function within the system you are stuck with.

That makes you a hypocrite who abandons principles for convenience. So what makes you qualified to judge the morality of others?

 
At 2/24/2012 5:11 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

jon-

your ignorance of how an economy functions is pretty breathtaking and your inability to think logically even more so.

"I dumped a can of tomato juice into the ocean, so I own the ocean now."

this is one of the most senseless things i have ever heard.

the point is that it is NOT your ocean. why would you pour your resources into it? it's just a loss for you.

further, your grasp on socialsm is a mess.

the cartoon is spot on.

the whole point of socialism is taking from those that produce and giving it to others. that's generally done by a third guy.

you can babble all you want about from each according to his ability and to each according to his needs, but it has never worked in the real world.

further, your ideas about stock just show your ignorance of business and capital formation.

the stock represents ownership of the capital and the business. sure, the certificates may not matter, but the assets they represent ownership of do.

the waltons own over 50% of walmart.

if they took back all the capital that represents, it would demolish the company.

i have no idea where you get your bizarre notions of business and ownership, but it's certainly not from the real world.

a clearer example would be looking to start a new business. let's look at, say, a farm.

the capitalist you deem so useless comes up with the land, the seeds, the equipment, the buildings etc.

some workers use them.

without land, the workers are useless as farmers.

without equipment, they are ineffective and unproductive.

one worker with a tractor and a combine can do the work of dozens, maybe hundreds of workers with hand tools.

he gets to be FAR more productive, but that's ALL because of the capitalist.

a 5% share of that productivity is worth far more that 100% of what he could do by hand, even if he had land.

further, the capitalist takes all the risk.

if the farm goes bust, the worker still got paid. he got wages and can just walk away.

the capitalist loses loads of money.

working is far less risky than venturing capital. the workers at pets.com got paid, those who funded it got creamed.

risks require proportionate reward, else why take them?

you really need a basic education.

the nonsense you are spewing is just astoundingly wrong, devoid of logic, and misses the realities of commerce and business entirely.

try starting a business sometime. it'll be a real eye opener for you.

 
At 2/24/2012 5:56 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Jon,

"Nobody here is claiming that inventors, entrepreneurs, and the hard working aren't justly compensated more highly than others that work less."

Yes, you are. You're just too stupid to realize it.

 
At 2/24/2012 7:55 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Jon

V: "Get a dictionary and look up the word 'capital'. Then try and figure out how workers can have jobs unless Alice provides the capital. "

And, it doesn't matter who owns The capital. The fact that it exists is what matters. It could belong to Sam, Alice, the workers, me , you, or Alice's cat. It's all the same.

The capital was Sam's while he lived, he earned it because people willingly gave him money for things they wanted more than the money. He saved some of his earnings, and used it to expand his business into what Walmart is today. It was his legitimate property, and what he did with it was entirely up to him. He decided he wanted Alice to have it. He could have given it to Alice's cat. It's not anyone else's concern, especially not yours.

No, the workers didn't give it to him, and they didn't have any claim to it. Workers choose to be paid right away for their labor, rather than wait for their share of the business proceeds, like the business owner does. If they wanted to be owners themselves, they could wait for the returns on their labor, and be capitalists also, but instead they agree to take a discounted amount of the business proceeds for the benefit of getting it right away. The capitalist is rewarded for his longer time preference, with that dirty stuff called profit.

You are embarrassing yourself by bringing up that red herring about Alice over and over. You are repeatedly showing your ignorance to everyone who reads this comment section.

If you had a better understanding of basic economics, this wouldn't be so hard for you.

 
At 2/24/2012 7:58 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"What if Alice died and willed all her stock to her cat. Would that in any way slow things down?"

No, Alice is irrelevant. The capital is what matters. It would serve the same purpose if the cat owned it.

 
At 2/24/2012 8:02 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Third, unless you are writing about another outfit, W. L. Gore & Associates is not a 'socialist' company. It is privately held and most of the profits go to the holders of the shares. The fact that workers are called 'associates' and that you have a flat structure does not make the company 'socialist'. "

And, a shareholder can leave their share to their heir, even if the heir's name is Alice, and has never worked a day in her life.

 
At 2/24/2012 9:46 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Are you really having a conversation about natives and property rights with this guy?

Sadly, yes. There are many ignorant people out there who are quite capable of understanding. He may turn out to be one of them and after he is willing to admit his ignorance and inexperience our friend may actually try to learn a little. Hopefully, the arguments given and the references will be a good start.

Stossel did a great report about native Americans and property ownership. The one thing that was extremely "coincidental"? All the tribes who practice communal ownership of land are in absolute poverty, the one or two tribes who have individual property rights are doing quite well.

Weird, right?


To some of our utopian friends that might seem weird. To those that understand the real world it is expected.

That said I had a chuckle when I looked at Walter Block's review of Ostrom's, Governing the Commons. Block shows that even people who should know better refuse to see reality for what it is when it conflicts with their faith.

 
At 2/24/2012 10:18 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

I dumped a can of tomato juice into the ocean, so I own the ocean now.

No. But you can homestead a part of the ocean. All you need to do is to put a fence around your claim and work it. That is how homesteading works. And if you abandon a place that you have homesteaded you can lose it to others who choose to use it. That is why you have squatters' rights.

Why are you so ignorant of such simple legal and political concepts? One would think that a person as passionate as you seem to be would actually learn something about the subject that he posted so much on.

Nobody here is claiming that inventors, entrepreneurs, and the hard working aren't justly compensated more highly than others that work less. That's not what socialism means. The fact that people here argue against me as if this is what socialism means is just further evidence that you don't understand socialism, which is not surprising.

People argue with you because you have no clue what it is that you are talking about and have yet to really explain what your version of socialism really means. Stop with the superficial and provide us with a link to a place where the socialism you believe in is dealt with in depth. Is there one book, paper, or essay that we can look at? If not why should anyone take your comments very seriously. After all, you have shown yourself to be very ignorant of arguments that are material to this discussion and have not exactly been very logical in your positions.

 
At 2/24/2012 10:21 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

What if Alice died and willed all her stock to her cat. Would that in any way slow things down?

Possibly. It depends on how much impact Alice has on the board. She knows the business as well as anyone and is perfectly aware of the principles that made it what it now is. But as I said, nothing prevents you from earning as much as Alice. All you have to do is to save what you earn and allocate as much of your savings as is required to buy the same number of shares.

 
At 2/25/2012 10:16 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

You are embarrassing yourself by bringing up that red herring about Alice over and over. You are repeatedly showing your ignorance to everyone who reads this comment section.

If you had a better understanding of basic economics, this wouldn't be so hard for you.


Actually, I think that it is the other way around. You clearly have no idea what socialism is about and have yet to do as I requested and point to a single place where your version of socialism is well defined. You are clueless about concepts like homesteading, capital formation, and other basic concepts.

You imagine that capital just appears and if Sam Walton did not created someone else would come up and do the same even if he were not allowed to earn a return from capital.

As morganivich points out, "you can babble all you want about from each according to his ability and to each according to his needs, but it has never worked in the real world." And as I have pointed out before he is right when you claim that you are very ignorant of capital formation. To have capital you need a process of capital formation. Because what you advocate would put up barriers to the process of capital formation your version of society would be starved of capital.

I note that in addition to 'conveniently' forgetting to provide us with a link to a source that explains what you mean by socialism even as you claim that others don't really understand it, you have conveniently forgotten to provide us with a link to the company that you work at. If it is W. L. Gore & Associates then your claims about theft become very problematic as do your claims of Gore & Associates being a socialist company.

Are you ignorant, confused, or just stupid? We won't know until you provide us with the links that have been requested. If you do not, we will have to add the word dishonest and argue for 'all of the above'.

 
At 2/25/2012 11:24 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

Jon,

I am from a Socialist country where we were taught about the glories of Socialism and how Socialism works from birth. Moreover, as an immigrant from a Socialist country to a more or less Capitalist country, I took a special interest in the two systems because life and incentives were so different and I had feet in both camps by accident of birth.

What is apparent from reading your posts is that you don't know what EITHER "Capitalism" or "Socialism" is.

And, of course, anyone who tries to correct your enormous errors must be either a helpless victim of brainwashing by the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy or an evil Brainwasher from the Union of Vast Right Wing Conspiracy Brainwahsers.

The only thing one can logically do is allow you to marinate in your own ignorance.

 
At 2/25/2012 12:38 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Ron H: "You are embarrassing yourself by bringing up that red herring about Alice over and over. You are repeatedly showing your ignorance to everyone who reads this comment section.

If you had a better understanding of basic economics, this wouldn't be so hard for you.
"

VangelV: "Actually, I think that it is the other way around. You clearly have no idea what socialism is about and have yet to do as I requested and point to a single place where your version of socialism is well defined. You are clueless about concepts like homesteading, capital formation, and other basic concepts. "

You appear to be responding to Jon, but you are quoting me. Am I confused or what? :)

 
At 2/25/2012 2:01 PM, Blogger Jon said...

The ad hominem and straw man are coming with a pretty intense frequency in this thread. Seems I've touched a nerve.

To understand what Socialism is and why it was not located in the USSR you can start by looking at this article from Chomsky written in 1986. Chomsky is a prominent socialist and anarchist and as such he was despised in the Soviet Union where his books were banned. It happens that he's been barred from entering and speaking in countries only twice. Once was more recently when he tried to enter the West Bank and was prevented by Israeli security. The only prior time was an effort he made to speak in Czechoslovakia under Soviet control. Pointing out that the USSR in fact was not socialist was something that didn't sit well with Soviet leadership.

 
At 2/25/2012 3:10 PM, Blogger Philip said...

"Gore Technologies works perfectly fine in a market and also sets prices based on supply and demand. You are confusing socialism with central planning."

If gore technologies is trule worker owned, and socialist, then its workers decide how many employees to hire and how much to produce.

In this regime, my econ 101 tells me that gore technologies strives to maximize the average product of labor, to thereby maximize the profit of individual workers.

This means that the quantity of goretex supplied by gore technologies is less than the quantity where supply and demand curves intersect.

That means that changes in the allocation of resources can occur which benefit both the supplier and consumer.

In other words, because gore technologies is socialist, society as a whole is less better off because gore technologies chooses to not move to the pareto efficient point.

Whereas in a capitalist system, the owner of the means of production is interested in the marginal product = marginal cost, getting towards pareto efficient. Society is better off.

It's been a while, I hope I'm not misleading.

 
At 2/25/2012 4:18 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"The ad hominem and straw man are coming with a pretty intense frequency in this thread. Seems I've touched a nerve."

Yes, you certainly have. You will find that many on this thread have a very low tolerance for willful and persistent ignorance.

 
At 2/25/2012 4:33 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"To understand what Socialism is and why it was not located in the USSR you can start by looking at this article from Chomsky written in 1986."

Ahh! Very interesting. It's much clearer now, you aren't really arguing ideology, your whole complaint is with definitions.

 
At 2/25/2012 4:46 PM, Blogger Don Culo said...

It's a shame we can't harness all the "Hot Air" of the serial commentors on this blog, it's an endless supply.

 
At 2/25/2012 4:53 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Yes, you certainly have. You will find that many on this thread have a very low tolerance for willful and persistent ignorance"...

You know ron h if someone had the demented desire to wallow in unalloyed ignorance one could always visit the blog site Prove Me Wrong which is hosted by the brainiac jon...

It is a congomeration of every cliched socialist paroxysm that a barking moonbat could desire...

Truly an amazing site...

 
At 2/25/2012 4:55 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"It's a shame we can't harness all the "Hot Air" of the serial commentors on this blog, it's an endless supply"...

Well if you talk to your intellectual twin pseudo benny you'll get your fill and then some don culo...

 
At 2/25/2012 7:09 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

juandos: "It is a congomeration of every cliched socialist paroxysm that a barking moonbat could desire...

Truly an amazing site...
"

Yes, I have seen it, and your assessment is spot on.

When Jon provides a reference, it's usually to his own useless site.

 
At 2/25/2012 8:51 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

You appear to be responding to Jon, but you are quoting me. Am I confused or what? :)

Sorry. He has accused us of not understanding economics before. I thought that I had responded to his words.

 
At 2/25/2012 8:58 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

To understand what Socialism is and why it was not located in the USSR...

We didn't ask you to provide a link to an explanation of what socialism isn't. We asked you for a link that explains what your, or Chomsky's, version of socialism is. Since you have failed to provide such a link we can assume that you are just a confused, immature, and ignorant kid (or academic) without any real world experience.

Yes, I have seen it, and your assessment is spot on.

When Jon provides a reference, it's usually to his own useless site.


But that is the problem. The brainless Jon has yet to provide a reference to what he means by Socialism. He seems to be able to whine and attack by using his combination of ignorance, deception, and bad logic but cannot actually defend anything that he really believes in.

 
At 2/25/2012 11:16 PM, Blogger Jon said...

The Chomsky link explains at root what socialism is and as a side bonus you get a presentation of why the USSR was not socialist. Remember this is written before the fall and also remember that Chomsky, a prominent socialist, had his books banned and he was barred from the Soviet Union. That makes perfect sense since the Soviet Union was so hostile to real socialism. Here's the key quote on what socialism is:

"The terminology of political and social discourse is vague and imprecise, and constantly debased by the contributions of ideologists of one or another stripe. Still, these terms have at least some residue of meaning. Since its origins, socialism has meant the liberation of working people from exploitation. As the Marxist theoretician Anton Pannekoek observed, "this goal is not reached and cannot be reached by a new directing and governing class substituting itself for the bourgeoisie," but can only be "realized by the workers themselves being master over production." Mastery over production by the producers is the essence of socialism, and means to achieve this end have regularly been devised in periods of revolutionary struggle, against the bitter opposition of the traditional ruling classes and the 'revolutionary intellectuals' guided by the common principles of Leninism and Western managerialism, as adapted to changing circumstances. But the essential element of the socialist ideal remains: to convert the means of production into the property of freely associated producers and thus the social property of people who have liberated themselves from exploitation by their master, as a fundamental step towards a broader realm of human freedom."

I cite my blog not because my own opinions are proof of a point but because my blog is a place where I compile sources that justify my claims. I don't offer proof on my own authority. Your problem with my blog (if I reference you to it) is with the sources I cite, not with me, and the sources I cite are credible.

 
At 2/26/2012 1:51 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Here's the key quote on what socialism is:

"The terminology of political and social discourse is vague and imprecise, and constantly debased by the contributions of ideologists of one or another stripe. Still, these terms have at least some residue of meaning. ..."


This is it? He says absolutely nothing definitive or meaningful. 'Some residue of meaning???' That is about as useless a position as any. It means nothing.

"Since its origins, socialism has meant the liberation of working people from exploitation."

What does this mean? When you sell your labour on a free market for the market rate you are not 'exploited' because you got the best terms that you could get. Who gets what constitutes 'exploitation?'

As the Marxist theoretician Anton Pannekoek observed, "this goal is not reached and cannot be reached by a new directing and governing class substituting itself for the bourgeoisie," but can only be "realized by the workers themselves being master over production."

But workers are free to do that in any market society. They can accumulate capital and set up companies that try to serve consumers. Have you forgotten that you claim to work for one such company.

Mastery over production by the producers is the essence of socialism, and means to achieve this end have regularly been devised in periods of revolutionary struggle, against the bitter opposition of the traditional ruling classes and the 'revolutionary intellectuals' guided by the common principles of Leninism and Western managerialism, as adapted to changing circumstances.

Really? When did revolutions managed that? And what prevents workers from getting together and setting up worker run factories in a market economy?

But the essential element of the socialist ideal remains: to convert the means of production into the property of freely associated producers and thus the social property of people who have liberated themselves from exploitation by their master, as a fundamental step towards a broader realm of human freedom.

This is more nonsense. You can do this in any market society if that is what you wished. You certainly would not be allowed to compete with the State in a socialist society.

So what you have is a beginning that starts with a claim of 'residue of meaning' and end with a big nothing. You are right. That is a good example of what your type of socialism is all about; word games and illusions.

 
At 2/26/2012 1:54 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

I cite my blog not because my own opinions are proof of a point but because my blog is a place where I compile sources that justify my claims. I don't offer proof on my own authority. Your problem with my blog (if I reference you to it) is with the sources I cite, not with me, and the sources I cite are credible.

Actually, I find your blog illogical, factually deceptive and ideologically driven. You still have no clear idea what you really mean by a socialist society, are totally unaware of the refutation of strong form socialism in the calculation debate and that the weak form of socialism is perfectly permitted in a market economy.

 
At 2/26/2012 3:43 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

"The ad hominem and straw man are coming with a pretty intense frequency in this thread. Seems I've touched a nerve."

um, no.

you are the one building the straw men and making absurd, unfounded and unsupported claims.

calling someone with no grasp on basic business and economics economically illiterate is not ad hominem, it's accuracy.

that fact that you find accuracy to be ad hominem would seem to indicate that perhaps it is your own nerves being struck.

you certainly have not provided any substantive responses nor done anything to demonstrate that you understand how business works.

seriously, go start a business. it'll be a real eye opener for you. once you have done so, there is no way you will still hold your views about "useless capitalists".

you speak from dogmatic ignorance.

 
At 2/26/2012 3:50 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

juandos-

what you miss in jon's site is that proving him wrong (in his own eyes) is impossible because doing to requires an ability on his part to assimilate data and think in a logical fashion.

given that it's clear that he is capable of neither, it's a bit like trying to shovel out a hole from the ocean.

 
At 2/27/2012 9:12 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

Chomsky was banned in the USSR?

Well, that makes him THE authority on Socialism and probably everything else that tumbles from his lips must be the unalloyed truth. His books must be on par with the Bible and the Koran and anyone who does not have blind faith in the wizard is a heretic.

Jon needn't start a business, Morganovich. All he needs to do get Socialism rolling in a country and see how long it adheres to Chomsky's ideals. Practice doesn't feel compelled to adhere to theory.

But, of course he's completely wrapped up in definitions to the exclusion of everything else. Jon relies exclusively on Chomsky as a source and Chomsky is a linguist.

 
At 2/27/2012 11:26 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

Vange,

To better understand Socialism, it would be helpful to shed 30 or 40 IQ points, redefine words and embrace misery.

"Exploitation" is when you aren't getting what you misunderstand to be your due. "Slave of the state" = "freedom". "voluntarily selling your labour" = "slavery or exploitation". Think I'm kidding? Read Marx's definition of freedom.

You've already sniffed out the tripe, but I'll take a pass at the same bits of it.

"this goal is not reached and cannot be reached by a new directing and governing class substituting itself for the bourgeoisie,"

Except, one can always rely on such a class emerging and taking power by force. Oopsy. Modern Socialists' lack of recognition of this fact after so many Socialist experiments implies what to us about their mental faculties?

but can only be "realized by the workers themselves being master over production."

This is nonsense for a lot of reasons, but such worker owned factories were, in fact, tried in Yugoslavia and bombed. Incentives matter.

 
At 2/27/2012 11:26 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

Mastery over production by the producers is the essence of socialism, and means to achieve this end have regularly been devised in periods of revolutionary struggle, against the bitter opposition of the traditional ruling classes and the 'revolutionary intellectuals' guided by the common principles of Leninism and Western managerialism, as adapted to changing circumstances.

Uh-huh. Except mastery over production by labour seems to happen only after the capital has been invested and the thing produced invented, the workers hired and the risk taken by someone else. This Jon and his Lord and Saviour, Chomsky, call "doing nothing". In other words, in this context "mastery over production" for Socialists is synonymous with "expropriation" and "doing nothing" is synonymous with "innovation" and "risk taking". It all makes sense when you boil it down to socialist nonsense. If that sentence doesn't make sense to you, your brain must still be functioning normally and understanding Socialism as Socialists understand it will be forever out of reach for you.

In socialism, labour must either rob the entrepreneur of what he has already built or it must band together and perform the "nothing" formerly done by the evil capitalist - create a product people want to buy and and take the risk of investment in a new company, where, in this case, all of the proletariat are not only investors but also employees and, after the effort, investment and risk, they'll own no more of the enterprise than anyone else. Socialists like Gnome Chumpsky are pretty certain there will be a long line of people eager to sign up for that all risk no reward opportunity. And if these hordes don't materialize on their own, it'll be time to remake man. Of course, remaking man is bloody work.

The implications for capital formation (and therefore innovation and wealth creation) and human suffering are obvious. But, these are not concerns for crusty linguists wiling away their time in ivory towers.

The underlying assumption here is obviously that labour creates all the value and the people providing the capital and ideas account for none of the value. So, labour creates all of the value, but gets paid only a portion of the value it creates, the rest is taken by the capitalist who contributed nothing. Hello, Marx. Voila, "exploitation". See, Vange, if you make rookie mistakes with regard to "value" and mangle logic, you can get to exploitation pretty quickly.

But the essential element of the socialist ideal remains: to convert the means of production into the property of freely associated producers and thus the social property of people who have liberated themselves from exploitation by their master, as a fundamental step towards a broader realm of human freedom.

Vange, let me help you understand this by restating in plain English.

"The essential element of Socialist ideal remains: To mangle incentives so that nobody will do anything and to mangle words beyon all meaning in order to create the impression that Socialism is more than pointless, soul-sucking puss flowing from feeble minds"

Capitalism (a term created by Socialists to denigrate free association, voluntary exchange and ownership by people who were not one of them) allows for free association between producers and consumers of all goods - including labour.

The only way to impose Socialism is through force - in fact, the first struggle of Socialism is expropriation, according the the Book of Gnome Chomsky. Thus, it is completely incompatible with both human freedom and free association in both theory and practice. And that's before we drag Stalin, Pol Pot and Lenin into it.

 
At 2/27/2012 12:42 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Methinks: "If that sentence doesn't make sense to you, your brain must still be functioning normally and understanding Socialism as Socialists understand it will be forever out of reach for you. "

Oh! Thank God.

And, thank YOU for clearing that up. I was afraid it was just me.

 
At 2/27/2012 2:01 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Ron H, I think you're still too smart to really "get" socialism. But, here's a final test.

I was going to write about Gnome Chumpsky's Faux embrace of Socialism when I found this excellent article online that did the work for me.

"One of the most persistent themes in Noam Chomsky’s work has been class warfare. He has frequently lashed out against the “massive use of tax havens to shift the burden to the general population and away from the rich” and criticized the concentration of wealth in “trusts” by the wealthiest 1 percent. The American tax code is rigged with “complicated devices for ensuring that the poor—like 80 percent of the population—pay off the rich.”

But trusts can’t be all bad. After all, Chomsky, with a net worth north of $2,000,000, decided to create one for himself. A few years back he went to Boston’s venerable white-shoe law firm, Palmer and Dodge, and, with the help of a tax attorney specializing in “income-tax planning,” set up an irrevocable trust to protect his assets from Uncle Sam. He named his tax attorney (every socialist radical needs one!) and a daughter as trustees. To the Diane Chomsky Irrevocable Trust (named for another daughter) he has assigned the copyright of several of his books, including multiple international editions.

Chomsky favors the estate tax and massive income redistribution—just not the redistribution of his income. No reason to let radical politics get in the way of sound estate planning."

 
At 2/27/2012 2:05 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 2/27/2012 2:59 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Protectionism is a bad thing—especially when it relates to other people. But when it comes to Chomsky’s own published work, this advocate of open intellectual property suddenly becomes very selfish. It would not be advisable to download the audio from one of his speeches without paying the fee, warns his record company, Alternative Tentacles. (Did Andrei Sakharov have a licensing agreement with a record company?) And when it comes to his articles, you’d better keep your hands off. Go to the official Noam Chomsky website (www.chomsky.info) and the warning is clear: “Material on this site is copyrighted by Noam Chomsky and/or Noam Chomsky and his collaborators. No material on this site may be reprinted or posted on other web sites without written permission.” However, the website does give you the opportunity to “sublicense” the material if you are interested.

Radicals used to think of their ideas as weapons; Chomsky sees them as a licensing opportunity.

Chomsky has even gone the extra mile to protect the copyright to some of his material by transferring ownership to his children. Profits from those works will thus be taxed at his children’s lower rate. He also extends the length of time that the family is able to hold onto the copyright and protect his intellectual assets."

The whole thing is excellent and available here:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1710123/posts

Gnome Chomsky is great. He's a real Capitalist's Socialist. A reminder that some pigs are more equal than others and that religion is the opiate of the masses. Particularly the Socialist religion of the father, son and the holy hypocrisy.

 
At 2/27/2012 5:17 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Methinks: "Chomsky favors the estate tax and massive income redistribution—just not the redistribution of his income. No reason to let radical politics get in the way of sound estate planning."

Ah, thanks. So, he's a hipo-, hypa-... he's a charlatan!

"“Material on this site is copyrighted by Noam Chomsky and/or Noam Chomsky and his collaborators. No material on this site may be reprinted or posted on other web sites without written permission.”"

Oh wow! I wonder if Jon realizes how much he owes in license fees. He seems to quote Chumpsky pretty freely.

Thanks for the great article, Methinks. I would love to hear what Jon might have to say about it.

Jon?

Jon?

 
At 2/27/2012 7:06 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Except, one can always rely on such a class emerging and taking power by force. Oopsy. Modern Socialists' lack of recognition of this fact after so many Socialist experiments implies what to us about their mental faculties?

This is the one thing that I never understood about Socialists. They fail to understand that plain human nature gets in their way. They always whine how Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, or some other thug did not follow their version of true Socialism but somehow never stop and consider than in human society where leaders have human failings all Socialist experiments lead to tyranny.

This is nonsense for a lot of reasons, but such worker owned factories were, in fact, tried in Yugoslavia and bombed. Incentives matter.

They do. I watched it first hand as a kid. My father actually ran a very successful painting crew in Yugoslavia. It was very efficient and had a great reputation as being the best. After a while they got tired of carrying the entire company and wound up using their efficiency to buy themselves more free time. They would bid for some job in the summer near a nice resort and wind up finishing up three of four weeks early. The people handing out the contract would tell them the best 'bid' and told them that it had to be beat. This was done because once they took a job there would never be any worry for the people needing the work complete. Because they made it easy for the planners part of their compensation would be free accommodations, food, and a few other goodies for the duration of the contract. The guys would work their arses off and wind up with an extra month of free time in a nice area with their families at no cost to themselves.

Had they been able to keep all of the rewards they would have taken on more jobs and received more money. The company would have grown larger and been much wealthier. The overall standard of living would have been higher. Instead, the system collapsed. Productivity was low. The customer was never important. And corruption was very high. The economy collapsed in most areas and has yet to really recover.

 
At 2/27/2012 9:05 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Yah, Ron H, it seems that Socialism is either only good in theory or for other people because the revolutionaries have a really hard time embracing it with anything other than their split tongues.

Vange,

Actually some thug called V. I. Lenin did install true communism in Russia. Everything not only stopped working immediately but the entire economy completely disintegrated into atoms - as did law and order. Very quickly (ten days? two weeks?), Lenin realized it didn't work and switched to holding on to power instead.

Everywhere where unnatural institutions are imposed and property is expropriated, all hell breaks loose and revolutionaries are forced to resort to this type of brutal, top down control. There are always purists in the party who resist it, but they're usually killed.

I find parlor Socialists like Jon to be less amusing with time. Of course Russia didn't have "true" Socialism because like true unicorns, it only exists in the overactive imagination of rubes and the Ivory Tower intellectuals seeking to exploit their stupidity. I mean, how is an entire country supposed to adhere to "true" Socialism when ONE GUY (Gnome Chumpsky) can't even remain faithful to a single tenet of his own voluntarily adopted Socialist religion?

Thanks for the anecdote! A good one.

 
At 2/27/2012 9:14 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Actually some thug called V. I. Lenin did install true communism in Russia. Everything not only stopped working immediately but the entire economy completely disintegrated into atoms - as did law and order. Very quickly (ten days? two weeks?), Lenin realized it didn't work and switched to holding on to power instead.

I agree with you. But our friend does not consider Lenin's actions to have created a true socialist system. He still dreams that such a system is possible and is still looking for someone to implement it.

 
At 2/27/2012 9:18 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

I find parlor Socialists like Jon to be less amusing with time. Of course Russia didn't have "true" Socialism because like true unicorns, it only exists in the overactive imagination of rubes and the Ivory Tower intellectuals seeking to exploit their stupidity. I mean, how is an entire country supposed to adhere to "true" Socialism when ONE GUY (Gnome Chumpsky) can't even remain faithful to a single tenet of his own voluntarily adopted Socialist religion?

I usually find the parlour Socialists to be deluded and immature fools who have little understanding of history, logic, or human nature. Our friend claims to be some kind of expert yet he was totally unaware of the calculation problem that makes socialism impossible even in theory. The thing that bothers me is that Chomsky is smart enough to know better.

 
At 2/28/2012 7:38 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

Of course Chumpsky knows better, Vange.

I've never seen anyone capitalize on Socialism quite so well.

He didn't come up with Socialism, added nothing to Socialism, has no original ideas on the subject and yet!....he's become a millionaire because he can sell regurgitated nonsense to rubes.

Chumpsky is the only one who's got it figured out, as far as I can tell.

 
At 2/28/2012 8:30 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

Chumpsky is the only one who's got it figured out, as far as I can tell.

You may be right. But that makes his followers chumpskys, not him. He simply goes to where the money is.

 
At 2/28/2012 9:23 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

Yeah, you're right, Vange.

 

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