The Nature of Money
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27-10-2011, 11:22 AM
RE: The Nature of Money
(27-10-2011 09:24 AM)Zatamon Wrote:  
(27-10-2011 09:12 AM)mdak06 Wrote:  Don't blame the money.
No, I blame people who don't read ALL my arguments in ALL my posts and don't take some time to think about them -- as a consequence, they have no idea what I was talking about! Big GrinBig GrinBig Grin
Then tell me if this is more correct ...

What I see from your post is a view of money - and a view goods & services - from a "collectivist viewpoint." It's as if there is the idea that there is "the sum of goods/services/money in society" and we collectively must figure out how to distribute it best.

Is that reasonably accurate?

As I see it, society doesn't build a car, or raise cows on a farm, or shine someone's shoes, or perform surgery, or create a computer. Individuals do - sometimes working together (as a corporation, or a business, or a chairity, or whatever), but the work is done by individuals, not by society.

There is no right of society to collectively decide how to distribute the wealth that one individual or a group of individuals has produced.

What I saw in your post was that you were attacking money, as if money was an unnecessary creation by humans that complicated life. On the contrary, money has helped raise the standard of living of many people throughout history (including the poor, who have far more now than the poor did 100 years ago).

Money can be one way to "regulate distribution," as can bartering or other methods of exchange. And by "regulate," I don't mean that there is some superior human (or group of humans) that decides how things work. I mean that money helps a society self-regulate its distribution of goods. Someone seizing control of that distribution method is the problem.
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27-10-2011, 11:48 AM
 
RE: The Nature of Money
(27-10-2011 11:22 AM)mdak06 Wrote:  What I see from your post is a view of money - and a view goods & services - from a "collectivist viewpoint." It's as if there is the idea that there is "the sum of goods/services/money in society" and we collectively must figure out how to distribute it best.

Ayn Rand is dancing in her grave with glee!

Fortunately, most of us outgrew her by our early-twenties (except for the tea-baggers).

I am sorry to be so flippant, but I get so tired of refuting the same simplistic philosophy over and over and over.... Rolleyes

Try to think about the non-existence of the level playing fields, of fraud, of inherited wealth and power, of who made you (and all of us) from day one, of what you owe to whom and why (including the language you were taught to think with and the accumulated knowledge of human history), of the price we all have to pay for keeping money around, of the psychological effect money has on the human mind (motivated by money as opposed to producing quality) and a million other things.

And, most of all, stop spouting Ayn Rand or tea-party dogma.

If you have original thoughts of your own, by all means, share it.

I may not be back for more of this, I am surprised I said this much.

TOO MUCH WORK!!!!!!! Sad

PS. Maybe somebody else would like to explain reality to you, as a pro-bono educational project?
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27-10-2011, 02:44 PM
RE: The Nature of Money
(27-10-2011 09:12 AM)mdak06 Wrote:  Without money (or some other medium of exchange), it seems to me that you are advocating one of two things:

(1) People must all be persuaded to "be nice" and share things with each other as appropriate; or
(2) people must have physical force, or the threat of physical force, imposed upon them so that they are "nice" to each other and share things.

Neither of these two options is realistically compatible with human nature.

Both of those options are perfectly compatible with human nature.
#1 worked fine for the first =/- 30,000 years;
#2 has been working quite badly for the last +/- 6,000, since the advent of nation states, armed enforcement agencies - and currency.

Quote:Money evolved because people wanted to use a medium of exchange instead of using goats, food, etc. to trade every time they wanted or needed another product or service. They created money so that the value of goods and services could be more easily compared with a common medium of exchange, as opposed to directly exchanging three goats for service from a blacksmith (or whatever).

Which is it - evolution or creation? If creation, which "they" did the creating, and how many other "they's" had to go along, with no choice in the matter? And to which of those "them" did money bring greater benefit? I have a feeling that, if you look closely, you're more likely to find a ruler behind this scheme than a producer.

Quote: Blaming money for the problems that are caused by the people who exert physical force in order to control the supply of money doesn't make sense. Money is just the medium of exchange. Control of the money by physical force (via the power of government) is the problem.

How many citizens are physically harmed or threatened - say, in an average fiscal year - for opposing the government's control of money supply?
What about control through physical force via private enterprise? Like highwaymen, burglars and extortionists? (Yes, i know rich people could hire guards... but how far could they trust mercenaries?) without a government, laws, police and guillotines in the background?

Quote:It's kind of like blaming a Toyota because some idiot driver ran over someone else and killed them. It's not the car's fault, it's the driver's fault.

As i heard it, there was also this little problem with a stuck gas pedal....

Quote:If money was not controlled by the government, people would be free to use whatever they wanted for money (whether it be dollars, yen, cigarettes, gold, a private currency, whatever), or not use money at all and simply barter. It would be their choice. If they wanted to voluntarily practice a form of communism/socialism within their community (with all folks voluntarily participating), they could do that too.

So, no governments? Constant small-scale warfare over land and territory? No law, no roads, no hospitals, no schools? That'll solve the overpopulation problem. Cool.
Or a government that carries out all its current functions, except the printing and regulating of currency?
The second option sounds very much like Zatamon's proposal.

If you pray to anything, you're prey to anything.
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27-10-2011, 02:51 PM
 
RE: The Nature of Money
(27-10-2011 02:44 PM)Peterkin Wrote:  So, no governments? Constant small-scale warfare over land and territory? No law, no roads, no hospitals, no schools? That'll solve the overpopulation problem. Cool.
Or a government that carries out all its current functions, except the printing and regulating of currency?
The second option sounds very much like Zatamon's proposal.

Thank you Peterkin, for saving me the effort. I am an old man, I don't have the energy I used to have in earlier times (like the fifties and sixties)! Big Grin

Thinking a bit more about the money-culture, I can't help thinking of the story of the young doctor, whose wife (a nurse) had put him through medical school by working 2 shifts for years. After he got his MD, he said: "I don't owe anything to that loser, had she had any brains, she would have made me put her through medical school instead), so he divorces her and marries a trophy-wife".

Perfectly in line with Ayn Rand Philosophy. Right out of "The Virtue of Selfishness".

Buyer beware!

Big Grin

Why do you think money doesn't exist in 24th Century Star Trek Federation?

Simple.

People with brains KNOW how stupid money-based societies are when technology can produce enough for every conceivable human need (I mean real need! Big Grin).
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27-10-2011, 05:01 PM
RE: The Nature of Money
(27-10-2011 11:48 AM)Zatamon Wrote:  <snip>
Fortunately, most of us outgrew her by our early-twenties (except for the tea-baggers).
For the record, I am not a tea-partier. By the way, in case you didn't know, teabagging is slang sexual term. Thanks for improving the level of discourse here.

Quote:I am sorry to be so flippant, but I get so tired of refuting the same simplistic philosophy over and over and over.... Rolleyes
And I get tired of hearing that people should use physical force and/or the threat of physical force as a standard means of interacting with each other, as opposed to only in emergency situations.

Ayn Rand was far from perfect. She was right about some things, and horribly wrong about others.

Quote:Try to think about the non-existence of the level playing fields
How do you suggest we level them?

Quote:of fraud,
If I didn't make it clear before - I support the government prohibiting fraud, and prosecuting those who defraud others.

Quote:of inherited wealth and power,
Re: wealth - are you suggesting that parents should not be able to give things to their children? Or simply not will them to their children?

Re: power - if you're saying that the political systems of this world are messed up, I agree with you. But giving politicians more power to try to fix things is horrible idea. They're a large part of the problem. The corporations, the labor unions, the bankers, etc. all manipulate them for their own purposes, and the result is a giant mess.

Quote:of who made you (and all of us) from day one,
Our parents?

Quote:of what you owe to whom and why (including the language you were taught to think with and the accumulated knowledge of human history),
We all benefit from those who came before us. What does that have to do with whether or not we use money?

Quote:of the price we all have to pay for keeping money around,
Again, I think your problem is more with the people who are in power who control the money, not with the fact that a medium of exchange exists and that we call it "money."

Quote:of the psychological effect money has on the human mind (motivated by money as opposed to producing quality)
That is a problem. It's not one that abolishing money will solve. Prosecuting fraud is a good start.

Quote:and a million other things.

And, most of all, stop spouting Ayn Rand or tea-party dogma.
If you have original thoughts of your own, by all means, share it.

I may not be back for more of this, I am surprised I said this much.

TOO MUCH WORK!!!!!!! Sad

PS. Maybe somebody else would like to explain reality to you, as a pro-bono educational project?
Maybe if you explained why coercion should be a standard mode of interaction with people, we could start from there.

(27-10-2011 02:44 PM)Peterkin Wrote:  
(27-10-2011 09:12 AM)mdak06 Wrote:  Without money (or some other medium of exchange), it seems to me that you are advocating one of two things:

(1) People must all be persuaded to "be nice" and share things with each other as appropriate; or
(2) people must have physical force, or the threat of physical force, imposed upon them so that they are "nice" to each other and share things.

Neither of these two options is realistically compatible with human nature.

Both of those options are perfectly compatible with human nature.
#1 worked fine for the first =/- 30,000 years;
#2 has been working quite badly for the last +/- 6,000, since the advent of nation states, armed enforcement agencies - and currency.
#1 is not realistic over a wide scale. In smaller communities, perhaps. In families, that's how it works. I don't see it working on a national and/or global scale.

I mostly agree on #2 ... it's the standard mode of "governance" today. Currency itself is not the problem; a small group having dominating legal control of it is.

Quote:
Quote:Money evolved because people wanted to use a medium of exchange instead of using goats, food, etc. to trade every time they wanted or needed another product or service. They created money so that the value of goods and services could be more easily compared with a common medium of exchange, as opposed to directly exchanging three goats for service from a blacksmith (or whatever).

Which is it - evolution or creation? If creation, which "they" did the creating, and how many other "they's" had to go along, with no choice in the matter? And to which of those "them" did money bring greater benefit? I have a feeling that, if you look closely, you're more likely to find a ruler behind this scheme than a producer.
Money was created as a medium of exchange. Money has evolved into many things over time. Cigarettes as a "currency" in prison is essentially an evolution of money. Gold, silver, and other items have been used historically as money.

In a free society, people would be free whether or not to accept something as payment for a good or service. Sometimes they have to "play by the rules" like anyone else. If they want to buy a product, they have to pay for that product in whatever form of currency the seller will accept.

Most of the history of man has not been that of a free society, although there have been spheres of society where freedom has existed.

Quote:
Quote:Blaming money for the problems that are caused by the people who exert physical force in order to control the supply of money doesn't make sense. Money is just the medium of exchange. Control of the money by physical force (via the power of government) is the problem.
How many citizens are physically harmed or threatened - say, in an average fiscal year - for opposing the government's control of money supply?
What about control through physical force via private enterprise? Like highwaymen, burglars and extortionists? (Yes, i know rich people could hire guards... but how far could they trust mercenaries?) without a government, laws, police and guillotines in the background?
I think that most people don't even try to oppose the government's control of the money supply. Those that do get punished. Bernard von NotHaus, who created the "Liberty Dollar," was convicted of counterfeiting, even though his currency that he created didn't look anything like U.S. dollars.

What makes you think I support highwaymen, burglars and extortionists? Those are all persons who use aggression against other persons. I don't support that, I support the government stopping it and I also support private individuals using force to defend themselves.

I never said I supported getting rid of government, because I don't.

Quote:
Quote:It's kind of like blaming a Toyota because some idiot driver ran over someone else and killed them. It's not the car's fault, it's the driver's fault.
As i heard it, there was also this little problem with a stuck gas pedal....
Maybe a Ford then? Fiat? Honda? DeLorean? Confused

Quote:
Quote:If money was not controlled by the government, people would be free to use whatever they wanted for money (whether it be dollars, yen, cigarettes, gold, a private currency, whatever), or not use money at all and simply barter. It would be their choice. If they wanted to voluntarily practice a form of communism/socialism within their community (with all folks voluntarily participating), they could do that too.

So, no governments? Constant small-scale warfare over land and territory? No law, no roads, no hospitals, no schools? That'll solve the overpopulation problem. Cool.
I didn't say no government, and I don't advocate no government. I said that money shouldn't be controlled by government (i.e. the Federal Reserve, IMF, World Bank, etc.). That's not the same thing as "no governments."

Quote:Or a government that carries out all its current functions, except the printing and regulating of currency?
The second option sounds very much like Zatamon's proposal.

This is copied from the original post:

Quote:Take the economic output of the planet in a one-year period. Concentrate only on food, housing, clothing, furniture, means of transportation, communication, health-care and education. These are the essential products that we need for healthy survival. So much is produced during one year. Most of it is distributed. It gets into individual hands; it is owned and consumed by individual people. That is what matters.
Is this something that is done by a goverment? Something done by a private organization? Something voluntary or involuntary? How does it work?

If it's voluntary, it's fine, although it sounds like a pipe dream. If it is involuntary, than it's advocating coercion against people to acquire their property and redistribute it.

If people stop using money, that's one thing. If the use of money is prohibited, that's an entirely different thing.

If Zatamon's proposal is simply that people stop using money (or stop using the governments' monies) I have no problem with that. It's the idea that money should be prohibited - which is the jist of what I read - that I have a problem with.

Several of the problems mentioned in the first post were aggravated (in some cases created) by government control of money. I don't think that money in and of itself is the problem.

I hope I explained my positions a bit better in this post.

Peterkin, thanks for your intelligent response; I appreciate it.

Zatamon, you said "Please Comment!" to people in your first post. I commented, and you responded like a jackass. If you have anything intelligent to say, I'll listen, but I don't appreciate your responses to my comments. If you only want to listen to people who agree with you, talk to a mirror.

- Chip
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27-10-2011, 05:09 PM
 
RE: The Nature of Money
I never said anything about "prohibited".

I never said anything about "coercion".

I never said anything about "use of force" either.

Please read ALL my arguments on ALL my posts on this thread.

If you do it carefully, with full attention, then you have a good chance of seeing what I actually meant.
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27-10-2011, 06:27 PM
RE: The Nature of Money
Quote:mdak06
#1 is not realistic over a wide scale. In smaller communities, perhaps. In families, that's how it works. I don't see it working on a national and/or global scale.

Realistic... I never know what that means, exactly. Most often, it means that alternatives to the current system are difficult to think about. Whenever there is a revolution, economic or regime breakdown, people manage to conduct their lives - in spite of upheaval and danger. I imagine they could manage better in a peaceful transition. Reality is often challenging, rarely goes according to plan, and most of the unplanned events are "unrealistic".

Quote:I mostly agree on #2 ... it's the standard mode of "governance" today. Currency itself is not the problem; a small group having dominating legal control of it is.

And you have the idea that this would not always happen, with any medium of exchange? Personally, i would prefer that small group be a team of trained administrators responsible to an elected government than a cabal of megarich psychopaths.

Quote:And I get tired of hearing that people should use physical force and/or the threat of physical force as a standard means of interacting with each other, as opposed to only in emergency situations.

I'm pretty sure you didn't hear that on this thread, nor any of its precursors.
Do you honestly believe that any monetary system somehow prevents violence in human interaction? Turned on a tv set this century?

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29-10-2011, 06:00 AM
 
RE: The Nature of Money
(27-10-2011 11:22 AM)mdak06 Wrote:  As I see it, society doesn't build a car, or raise cows on a farm, or shine someone's shoes, or perform surgery, or create a computer. Individuals do - sometimes working together (as a corporation, or a business, or a chairity, or whatever), but the work is done by individuals, not by society.

There is no right of society to collectively decide how to distribute the wealth that one individual or a group of individuals has produced.

I posted a response to this on the "Objectivist" thread but it really belongs here, so I copied it over.

"Ayn Rand's ideas about money were so silly: based on the assumptions that it is individuals, or groups of individuals, who produce our necessities and luxuries, all by themselves, without any contribution from past and present.

She totally disregarded humanity’s organic character, how it is a living, interacting, symbiotic entity, with the parts all dependent on the whole and vice versa. She had this image of the noble predator in the jungle on its independent prowl, pouncing on the prey using nothing but its skill at the hunt.

Society isn’t like that.

Individuals are born into a human community: family, neighborhood, country, race, gender, cultural influences, educational influences, have an enormous amount of knowledge and methods handed down to them, provided with some level of health care, some level of police protection, an infrastructure that includes transportation and communication. They take full advantage of all this, while they are on their way to become “self-made-men”.

Once they have their breaks (often by sheer luck, often by a lot of help from their “inferiors”), then they can disown any debt to both individuals and society and demand everything they can squeeze out of the ‘market’.

The quote above is straight out of Francisco’s big speech about money in “Atlas Shrugged”. Almost cut-and-paste, using the same typical Randite expressions.

Money, as a medium that can be hoarded and accumulated, by whatever means, is the vehicle by which this decoupling between contribution and reward can be achieved. Plus the long list I made about the enormous waste of resources that goes into maintaining a monetary system.

A sane species would produce for their real needs, distribute these products according to what is needed by whom and where and live in balance and harmony.

An insane species like ours is throwing the baby out with the bath water by spending up to 90% of their resources to create, shuffle and fight over money in order to maintain the parasitic affluence of its elite.
"
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25-03-2013, 06:01 PM
RE: The Nature of Money
Once I read a UN report that calculated the % of resources and man-hours spent on non-productive activities. It was estimating up to 90%.

This non-productive work fell in three categories:

Money-related activities/resources:
planning, printing, distributing, destroying, banking, guarding,
handling, speculating, trading, exchanging, collecting, reporting,
insuring, taxing, investigating, prosecuting, etc., etc., etc.

Fighting over distribution:
Wars, revolutions, armies, armament industries, police, crowd control,
courts, lawyers, monetary/financial/tax legislation, oversight,
lobbyists, secuirity industry/personnel, bailouts/grants/subsidies,
prisons, prison guards and industry, etc., etc., etc.

Profit-related activities:
producing in slave-economies and shipping long distance to rich
economies, fossil fuel industries and related cleanup activities,
man-made global warming and environmental cost, ill-health, hazardous
waste disposal, hanging on to obsolete technologies, killing off
innovation, etc., etc., etc.

All this waste is due to our inability to do simple arithmetic.

We waste 90% of our resources in order to control our consumption with the monetary system, without which we could spend these resources multiplying our production capacity ten-fold, producing plenty for all conceivable needs (except for the pathological kind). Without this waste no control (and money) would be required. The expression: "Penny-wise and pound-foolish" comes to mind.

As an added benefit: people would have to work a lot fewer hours, live in a lot less stressful environment, would live longer and healthier, would find it easier to cooperate, crime would plummet and threat of extinction disappear. Extreme poverty like lack of adequate food, housing, medical help and education would belong to a stupid and barbaric past (which is our present now).

Planning for basic necessities (and related infrastructure) would require intelligence, technical/scientific/demographic knowledge and competence,
organizational abilities and long-term thinking.

Luxuries, beyond the basic needs could be produced on a completely free parallel market-economy, just as I outlined it in the "Proposal for a New Social Contract" thread.
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25-03-2013, 06:27 PM
RE: The Nature of Money
So what is your argument? That money has forced people to cheat one another? That without it, people will stop cheating one another?

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. - Chinese Proverb
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