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Forum Post: Alternatives to Capitalism -- Which is best?

Posted 1 year ago on Aug. 9, 2012, 7:53 a.m. EST by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

My recent explorations into the elimination of money has led me to a few systems that advocate labor vouchers (what I was calling time credits, or "tics", in another post of mine). These appear to be well-established and thought-out systems that could eventually replace our existing corrupt and destructive system. I would be very interested in hearing which, if any, of these systems you would consider most effective. For Direct Democracy advocates, you will be pleased to know that it is also included in some of these.

Mutualism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutualism_(economic_theory)

Collectivist Anarchism

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

Participism

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

Inclusive Democracy

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

189 Comments

189 Comments


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[-] 3 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Honestly? If someone were to ask me the best approach to take in forwarding a new system or system changes. I would suggest to place the individual concepts in a proposal/petition/whatever and forget about names of different Social Systems. Push concepts of operation.

Voting

Public Involvement

Horizontal power structure

etc

etc

etc

These things to be incorporated into an operating system - one we have now or a new replacement for what we have now. If the new system is democratic - perhaps call it the new democratic system - or the new democratic system of the republic or the democratic system of the republic.

If people truly have inset barriers/predjudice/bias to terms/concepts/words like anarchy, socialism, collectivist etc etc etc. Well then leave those words out of the discussion and just list the methods of operation.

IMO

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (5783) from St Louis, MO 1 year ago

That makes sense. Take the best of the old world concepts and adjust them for the 21st century. It would be a new system.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Well yeah I guess - I just think the labels are in the way - if we can take the good and just present it clean - then more people will actually consider them.

I still believe that misinformation needs to be refuted/corrected through education - but that should not stand in the way of making positive changes while we educate.

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (5783) from St Louis, MO 1 year ago

I absolutely agree about labels. The problem is it's almost impossible to get rid of them. No matter what, somebody's gonna slap a label on it. It's almost human nature, it's way we keep things organized.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Well lets hope we can get better at making good labels and toss out the bad.

[-] 0 points by gnomunny (5783) from St Louis, MO 1 year ago

Yeah, you wouldn't want to use one that already has baggage, that's for sure. In fact, generally speaking, you wouldn't want to leave it in the hands of other people, either, regardless of how you feel about labels personally. It would allow a potential opponent in giving it a negative-sounding name. That could potentially taint it forever. A deviously powerful tool, if you think about it.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Yep - says a lot about being to brief to take the time and make sure all of the information is passed on. Kind of like speed reading you can scan and have a sense of what is going on but to really understand what was written you need to take the time to actually read it.

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (5783) from St Louis, MO 1 year ago

Yep. I know this is kind of a segue, but I just read a few nights ago that it takes eight to ten seconds for the brain to process new information.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

And it is good to take a break before reaching saturation - take a nap and let the brain process.

[-] 3 points by MsStacy (1035) 1 year ago

I don't see any reorganization of society under anything remotely anarchistic as being possible for generations. I won't address it's feasibility, just the likelihood of it's acceptance. We talk a great deal about the 99%, but they are not a unified group, just an economic classification. Many are politically conservative and are unlikely to ever change.

What can actually be done now for people? It's a pleasant intellectual exercise to talk about eliminating money or direct democracy. The reality is, talk doesn't change anything. We need a voice backed up with political action to get real change.

(Mutualism wasn't there when i hit the link.)

[-] 1 points by funkytown (-374) 1 year ago

Isn't anarchy a rather conservative endeavor? Also... the intellectual lives vicariously through words; these words may serve to influence but they are not prime movers; only pressing economic threat can serve here, and that is the reason "evils" are here emphasized.

Four and five centuries ago, a group of highly educated, liberal minded individuals turned from years of classical and scientific study to biblical exegesis as a source of intellectual inspiration and great challenge... what they experienced, in "every sense of the word," was "enlightenment." Today, as we layer our history upon this past, they are described as "conservative"; all is relative.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

Thanks for your input. Agree all talk and no action is mostly a theoretical exercise. But I also am concerned that action without a well-thought-out plan to replace the status quo is an invitation to disaster resulting in something possibly worse than current status quo. That is why I am focusing on alternatives to Capitalism and trying to determine if they would be better or worse than what we have now (although there are so many destructive aspects when it comes to capitalism that it is hard to imagine alternatives as worse, but certainly possible).

There is a problem with copy/paste a URL that ends in parenthesis. It pastes the ) as a regular character and not a URL character. I don't know how to overcome this glitch (do you?). Just select the "Did you mean..." link to be taken to the intended URL.

[-] 1 points by MsStacy (1035) 1 year ago

I agree, a total collapse of today's society would lead to chaos and the likely rise of a ruling body that has the force of arms and organization to capitalize on the situation.

Personally I've always felt it is still possible to change our system from within. It may be a minority opinion here, but I see it as offering the opportunity to develop theories and organize, while at the same time developing a political base.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

When you click the link in the post ( above ) it will take you to a wiki page that says:

Did you mean: Mutualism (economic theory)

If you click on the highlighted "Mutualism (economic theory)" it will take you to the correct wiki page. Try bookmarking that page when you get there and then copy the book mark from your pull-down menu and paste it in your post. {:-])

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

Thanks DK. I tried it. It didn't work. Maybe I'm still doing something wrong. idk.

[-] 2 points by kaiserw (211) 1 year ago

Holy hell! Everyone. Seriously... Money has been in use for over 5,000 YEARS over hundreds of governments. Your choices are:

Centrally planned - Somebody in absolute control of prices ( a version of what we have now)

OR:

A democratic and, dare I say, organic (like how a flock of birds moves in unison in nature), use of prices where prices drive production - read "I pencil" below:

http://www.econlib.org/library/Essays/rdPncl1.html

[-] 2 points by brightonsage (4494) 1 year ago

Regulated private enterprise. It can work with a variety of political systems. Better with some than others. What you are looking for is actually an alternative to neoliberalism. Google it.

[-] 0 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

No, what I'm looking for is a system that can operate without money. Something completely foreign to our collective consciousness. It is completely radical. It is not a reworking of something that is already broken, because broken = broken. How many patches on an bicycle tube can you attach before you have to throw it out and get a new tube? Same principle.

I am done with money (conceptually speaking).

[-] 2 points by brightonsage (4494) 1 year ago

Well then, what you are looking for is alternative to neoliberalism that doesn't use money.

That is completely foreign to our collective, and my individual, consciousness, if you include in your definituion of money, units tangible, or intangible, to convey value.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

In a system that I am seeking, value is conveyed, and rewarded, through labor and labor alone. Thus, "value" cannot be arbitrarily assigned or created artificially through such a system as we have today. It would be impossible. You would thus eliminate all parasitic elements that you find under our current capitalistic system. Such a proposal is much closer to the way Nature operates. ALL of the animals must labor for their food and survival. But capitalists do not labor. They exploit resources, both human and natural, and offer very little, if anything, in return. They are the ultimate leech created through an artificial system of their own clever devising.

I am seeking a system that operates much closer to the way Nature operates, because anything artificial results in conflict with Nature. And Nature will ultimately prevail in the end. We are witnessing that beginning to occur on a global scale with these very noticable global weather pattern changes. So my advocating an entirely different system not based on artificial money is motivated by global survival first, and a more fair and equitable system for all of humanity second.

[-] 2 points by brightonsage (4494) 1 year ago

I'm sorry, I have lived too long in the real world and I have lived most of the roles, worked with so very many of the people, that I just can't buy into your piece of fiction. I have recreated many fictions and started or transformed organizations to make the fictions real. I have made a number of innovations and inventions in the process, so I know first hand about many of the things you are considering in the abstract. Direct labor exchange is far too inefficient for a society beyond the stone age. I even spent years on a farm with very primitive tools where "trading work" was very much a part of the process.

This just doesn't comport with the sum of my experiences. Good luck, though.

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

Thank you for wishing me good luck (I and any others who would share such a vision will certainly need it).

The "real world" as you call it is not a static thing. It has changed more (in some respects) in the last 100 years than any other time in world history. The "real world" is nothing more and nothing less than what people collectively choose to make it. Sometimes they improve it, and sometimes they impede its progress. It is a battle of collective wills. It is an ancient struggle. and it will continue. People might be forced, at some point, to become more involved in making radical changes as it becomes more and more apparent to everyone that we are increasing the rate at which we are collectively destroying ourselves. The causes of this destruction were once hidden or unknown. Now they are more readily apparent. As more and more people are directly impacted there will be an outcry for something actually effective to be done. Even stupid politicians will be forced to face and deal with the facts. Anything else would be collective suicide for all. It is just an incredible shame that human political systems are so primitive that humanity must be pushed right to the brink of extinction before something is actually attempted.

For all of our so-called "intelligence", homo sapiens appears to be pretty stupid to me.

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 1 year ago

I mean it. You are obviously well intentioned/

The real world as I call it has been changing. I tell young people that half of what we know, we lave learned since my father was born (1896). I would point out that I am not dead, yet. So, my experience is not as out of date as you imply. The real world is real regardless of peoples' representations of it. It is the misrepresentations of reality that people concoct and propagate that holds people back from making progress. They are static or regressive fictions that people foist off on others as truth, for nefarious purposes. People are attempting changes all of the time and others are consciously or unconsciously rejecting them, as well. It is, I agree, the perceived risk of catastrophic loss rather than incremental gain that moves people.

I often say, "We aren't very far out of the cave."

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

"We aren't very far out of the cave"

Indeed...very indeed. But it is quite disconcerting (to me at least) that we can cleverly create high-technology in a wide array of scientific arenas and yet persist in antiquated political and economic systems that are light-years behind what is needed in our incredibly sophisticated and complex society. Some attempt of some kind must be made to bring these important but severely lacking elements of society up to speed in order to cope effectively with a world that has far out-stripped their ancient traditional function. We must at least attempt to do this or, imho, we are all doomed.

Btw, I am no "spring chicken". I am 57. Probably not as old as you if your father was around in 1896, but I have "been around the block" too, in case you were thinking that I was a young idealist (I am simply an old fart who never lost his idealism).

[-] 1 points by brightonsage (4494) 1 year ago

Kindred souls. 72, Dad was 44 when I was born. I agree with everything you said and would add, "philosophically" because that is one of the prisms that distorts the view of the political and economic realities.

[-] 1 points by Kavatz (464) from Edmonton, AB 1 year ago

The best systems are undiscovered. I bet no one has considered removing geographic borders politically. I don't know shit about economics, so why should I influence that "department". I should stick to influencing the departments I'm familiar with. Why does one brainless unit need to influence/govern the whole spectrum of things? That's why I've been working on Departmental Governance.

It would be paired well with Responsible Capitalism, which is the best name I currently have for that system. It's pretty socialist.

My point is, nothing from the past is ideal for the future. It's like having a horse pull your car to work.

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

So this nebulous future you're talking about is just suppossed to somehow "get there" on it's own with no planning or direction? That might be conceivable if there were some type of natural mechanism at work (like biological evolutionary forces for example), but mankind seems committed to artificial systems like economics, government, politics, etc. and those systems require planning and control in order to operate, unless you are talking about complete anarchy, which some people on this forum do advocate.

What is Responsible Capitalism, besides an oxymoron?

[-] 2 points by Kavatz (464) from Edmonton, AB 1 year ago

There's too much to it to post here and an oxymoron intentionally. It's great to be well educated but I bet the best solutions are in the minds of laymen and will never be found or accepted by "specialists" in their confines.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

Agreed that "in the beginner's mind there are many options; in the expert's mind there are few." There are a lot of "laymen" as you put it who have been contributing ideas for many, many months now to this forum. I don't know how long you have been here, but I for one would be curious to hear from you as to what ideas you think might have merit that have been discussed here, and why.

[-] 1 points by Kavatz (464) from Edmonton, AB 1 year ago

Haven't been posting long. Probably shouldn't have tossed in my 0.02 there, that was probably annoying. Glad to see you are aware though.

[-] 1 points by stevebol (1269) from Milwaukee, WI 1 year ago

I like 50% socialism + 50% capitalism. Thta's the Roseanarchy doctrine. Simple and it cuts through the BS.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

What part of the mix would you keep and what part would you ditch? Are you talking about true Socialism or a heavy welfare state like some of the European countries? A little clarification would be helpful please.

[-] 1 points by stevebol (1269) from Milwaukee, WI 1 year ago

Not sure what 'true' socialism is but in the US it implies social safety nets like Medicare, SS. I'd lean more towards what Europe has. We definitely need single payer in the US but many people insist this is not socialism. I guess I'd have more of a welfare state.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

Yes, that is the welfare state. Thanks for that clarification. It works well in certain European countries like Sweden, etc. It requires higher taxes (which the rich in this country would loathe as demonstrated by their anti-tax jihad), but provides a social safety net for all as you indicated.

True Socialism as oppossed to Capitalism is fundamentally different in its emphasis on a more fair and equitable distribution of wealth as oppossed to the ability of Capitalists to concentrate the nations wealth over time in their own hands (like we are seeing now). One of the best side-by-side comparisons I have come across on the Internet is contained in this link.

[-] 1 points by quantumystic (1710) from Memphis, TN 1 year ago

eco-anarcho-syndicalism.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

What a mouthful that is.

Can you clear a few things up with us, and explain that to us?

[-] 1 points by stone2012 (5) 1 year ago

Eliminating FIAT Banks and restoring the printing of money to the Government is in the interests of the 99.9%.

The private corporations that own the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank (as in practically every country) lend money to governments and make GIGANTIC profits doing so. Wars generate tremendous debt and these private bankers often lend equally to both sides.

Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Franklin, Jackson, Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Roosevelt stood up against private bankers.

“If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks…will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered…. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.” ~ Thomas Jefferson in the debate over the Re-charter of the Bank Bill (1809)

“The hand that gives is above the hand that takes. Money has no motherland; fiananciers are without patriotism and without decency; their sole object is gain.” ~ Emperor Napolean Bonaparte 1812

The venomous private banks, their corporations, government employed stooges and controlling shareholders commit treason against citizens’ common welfare for the sake of immense profits for a few. Greed, corruption, fraud, revolving doors. Res ipsa loquiter.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

Agree totally. That is why I am racking my brain and trying hard to think totally out of the box regarding money. Conceptually speaking, I am done with money. It has proven to be too severely flawed a mechanism in the hands of humans who, themselves, are severely flawed. Since the money system can be so easily manipulated and corrupted, the wealthy power-elite wish to preserve the status quo because it is to their great advantage to use it (or should I say abuse it), either legally or otherwise, to bribe and/or buy influence, conduct ponzi/pyramid schemes, steal/embezzle, conduct insider trading, tax evasion and offshore havening, and other forms of perversion of the system. The way I see it, the only way to do away with all of that (if it can be done away with) is to design a rock-solid impenetrable system that can't be corrupted. I know this is highly idealistic, and greedy humans will always probably find a way to subvert any system. But I want to find a way that makes it a whole hell of a lot harder for them to do so. I want to try to find a way to save people from themselves. If you can eliminate the profit motive and greed, maybe people will turn their attention to more altruistic endeavors, like trying to save the planet for one thing.

[-] 1 points by ediblescape (235) 1 year ago

I like inclusive Deomocracy

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

Could you, perhaps, elaborate on a few of its key points that you find most appealing and why? I am genuinely interested in people's opinions on this. Is there anything about it that you don't like? Thanks!

[-] 1 points by ediblescape (235) 1 year ago

Other democracies only tell us how to share political power. ID told me that democracy shall balance power of 4 areas, political, economic, social, and ecological.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

Thanks!!!

[-] 1 points by freethemouse (2) 1 year ago

we have the internet at our figure tips. why not have all citizens participate in voting on issues. forget the politicians. one person one vote. we think for ourselves, all votes count. it doesn't have to be just the U.S. it can stretch across the world. For example, if we just have everyone devote one hour of their time per week to resolve issues together and vote together on issues, it sounds nice but difficult to build such a platform. no citizen is excluded, everyone has to participate.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 1 year ago

It has been built. Go vote! http://the99vote.com/

[-] 1 points by dreamingforward (394) from Tacoma, WA 1 year ago

The only solution is to realize what happens when a civilization has reached the "End of Growth". At this point, the notion of freedom radically changes because there's no more territory to expand into to get away from each other. One's policies must shift from individualism to cooperation. The specific form this takes is entirely decided by the world-at-large which has decided that it has reached that point, not by fiat.

The only barrier to this collective realization is evil itself which only has the status quo to hide behind.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

My primary concern is by the time we reach the "End of Growth" we would have already gone too far and reached the "End of Life" (for most species on this planet). Natural resources and habitats are disappearing at an alarming rate. The profit motive is the primary cause. It MUST be eliminated. Capitalism MUST end. Any other course is collective suicide.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 1 year ago

The profit motive is the primary cause.

The profit motive restated, is the "I want to be better than you" motive.

The exact numbers are completely arbitrary. If the richest person in the world only had $700 million, instead of ~$70 billion, other rich people would still be trying to reach the top but the negative influence on things like politics would be much lower.

And working less would lead to lower inequality meaning the rich would be less rich. http://jobcreationplan.blogspot.com/

[-] 0 points by dreamingforward (394) from Tacoma, WA 1 year ago

That's why rigid protest and calculated acts of violence could be required.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

the powers that be want us to be violent so they crack down excessively. And to get public opinion on their side. It's in their manual/playbook. Don'y play into their hands.

[-] 1 points by dreamingforward (394) from Tacoma, WA 1 year ago

I guess when I say violence, I really mean Direct Action.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Sorry - lame - don't talk violence.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

So then you know if you say direct action when you mean direct action instead of saying violence people won't think you are advocating violence

So how about givin' me an example of Direct action.

[-] 1 points by dreamingforward (394) from Tacoma, WA 1 year ago

Fair enough. I wasn't really sure what I meant anyway, but just going by nature's example of how it protects the body.

In any case, direct action is all the culture jamming tools presented in Adbusters, the Yes Men and the like.

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[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

U wanna talk violence? Go somewhere else! OWS is non-violent.

[-] 1 points by dreamingforward (394) from Tacoma, WA 1 year ago

That is part of why it has failed. Non-violence works when rationality prevails or fear can be used. The problem like, I noted ,is evil. Evil is an addict, compare to Emperor Palpatine(sp?) in Star Wars -- there's no logic or sweet love which will make him normal anymore and he fears nothing because he has nothing to lose.

Consider the immune system of the body. Does it use violence to protect itself?

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Talk violence somewhere else.

[-] 1 points by dreamingforward (394) from Tacoma, WA 1 year ago

I really hope that those who were assaulted by the police prosecute it to the fullest extent possible to show that the system is broken. There should be pro bono lawyers lined up to help. The protesters were exercising the highest rights protected in the land: the US Constitution.

If anyone needs approaches of how to best argue their case and get the most good done, please contact me.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

And they should.

[-] 0 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 1 year ago

Why you ignoring me homie. You're the mutherfucker that called my house. You deaf?

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/theprophet/2649101?token=695d496a

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[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

I watched the video. It appears to be very admirable and, the best part is, it isn't theoretical. Someone (perhaps it is you, idk) is actually trying to make a difference in the world. Great job! I wish all the success possible.

[-] 1 points by jaktober (286) from Sonoma, CA 1 year ago

Thank you! Yes it is me. I still need that first $5 contribution to get the funds kicking off (people often want to see that others are backing a project before they get in; sort of the catch-22 of activism).

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 1 year ago

a few systems that advocate labor vouchers (what I was calling time credits, or "tics", in another post of mine). These appear to be well-established and thought-out systems

"Imagine an alternative currency based on hours worked where everyone was paid at the same rate and could be trusted not to slack off or 'invent' useless types of work. One hour of work would allow you to purchase an hour's worth of product from someone else. Someone who enters a large community does not affect how much work anyone else can do, and the same can be said for someone who leaves the system."

http://jobcreationplan.blogspot.com/2012/07/working-less-helps-the-poor.html

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

If my assumption is correct, you are saying that under a labor voucher system people would slack off and invent useless types of work. Please keep in mind that under such a system most people would likely work in worker cooperative businesses. These business would still have managers (and even CEOs). If a person tries to "slack off" or otherwise underperform, they would still be subject to dismissal as happens today. The motivation not to slack off would still be in place, because the business can still suffer and even go under if everyone doesn't continue to do their fair share, and everyone still needs time-credits (aka labor vouchers) to pay bills, etc. Competition between businesses within the same industries still exists under such a system. It is the way that people are compensated that is different.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 1 year ago

As I understand it, there are two ways to do time credits.

The first is the same as I once read in a fiction book, where people can choose the work they do and are basically trusted not to lie.

The second is one which is basically the same as everyone being paid the same wage rate in an existing currency. This means that a central organization, like the government, still has to issue credits before they can start circulating.

So for that case, you might as well just suggest that no one can be paid at a higher rate than X and bonuses are not allowed.

Competition between businesses within the same industries still exists under such a system. It is the way that people are compensated that is different.

I am not sure how well the system would work for large-scale enterprises and manufacturing that uses components from many different companies, such as the iPhone. Currently it has a 50% gross profit margin... with this system, are products supposed to be priced in time-credits so that it exactly compensates all of the workers? Is it even possible to do this for things that require initial research and development costs but low marginal production costs? More importantly, if people work more slowly doesn't this just let the business charge a higher price?

It does not actually seem as if it would fix unemployment, because it does not seem to give people any way to 'win' by working less.

But I realize that this is just sort of a minor point in the original post. The difference between capitalism and (true?) communism is much larger than between capitalism and capitalism-with-everyone-paid-the-same-wage.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

Ok, I see that you have not read many of my previous comments about this (that's ok, I wouldn't have expected you to), so I'll try to summarize around some of your comments/concerns.

You said -- The second is one which is basically the same as everyone being paid the same wage rate in an existing currency. This means that a central organization, like the government, still has to issue credits before they can start circulating.

It is true that the goal of this ideal egalitarian society is to produce a single-class (primarily focused as the equivalent of middle-class standard of living where everyone has a comfortable, but not excessive, standard of living as the rich and poor have today). Note that this is contrasted with Communism as it's goal is a classless society. Within this one middle-class, there has been some suggestion that there can be room for variabiliy roughly corresponding to lower, middle, and upper middle-class. While there is not total agreement on this, some have advocated that labor vouchers be classified as, for example, A, B, and C class vouchers that would entitle those of upper-middle (professionals like doctors, lawyers, etc.) to be rewarded for all of their educational training to be slightly higher purchase value. Those of B class slightly less than A, and those today considered lower-middle class to be provided C class vouchers. The thing to be noted here is that through the use of arkets (artificial markets), the cost of goods and services will fall within a range that will allow for the widest possible range of purchasing power for the entire population. This is accomplished because, without money, the cost of goods and services is determined strictly by the labor costs required to produce a good or service. Further, in highly-automated production environments where little labor is required, the actual cost of a product is much less than would be required if automation were not present. This would allow even C class consumers to easily purchase an item.

The government does NOT issue credits that circulate under such a system. In fact, these credits do not circulate at all (you are still thinking in terms of how money circulates today). In my particular vision of this, a central computer (or computers) operating independantly of both the Public and Private sectors is/are responsible for tracking all time labor and issuing labor vouchers electronically to voucher accounts. Transactions by people would be by card swipe or possibly bio-scan. As I said, these vouchers do NOT circulate. They expire the very moment they are first used. There is NO exchange with this system, and the "immortality" of money like we have today is impossible. Thus, the basis for vast wealth or vast debt is eliminated because that basis today is exchange and theoretical infinite lifetime of money.

You said -- I am not sure how well the system would work for large-scale enterprises and manufacturing...doesn't this just let the business charge a higher price? (entire paragraph)

Bear in mind that costs to any given company are much lower due to parts being made by some other company(s). Let's say Company A produces a widget that requires parts from Company B. Company B's part is produced by B workers and they are paid their labor vouchers/credits by central computer to their voucher accounts as previously indicated. Company A has put in a request for 100 parts. Those parts have already been "paid for" so to speak by the labor costs to produce them at B company. So Company A gets the 100 parts and can produce 100 widgets with Company A labor, where A workers are also compensated by labor vouchers. To prevent hoarding on Company A's part, there must be strict rules/regulations in place that prevent monopolies from occuring under this system, although, from another perspective, there is nothing theoretically wrong with a monopoly under this system since profit is impossible. As long as everyone is working, everyone is being issued labor vouchers by the central computer (as I envision it).

You really have to try to free your mind up from everything you have ever known under our money system. This is VERY hard to do initially, but not impossible. Once you start thinking differently under this new proposal, a lot of things start to open up. For one thing, there are NO taxes at all under this system. For another, inflation and deflation are impossible since you cannot inflate or deflate time. An hour is an hour is an hour. Unless someone starts monkeying with the computer, there can be no "funny business" like there so easily can be under our very poor and corrupt money system that has existed for thousands of years. Besides primitive technology of the past, I strongly suspect that the reason there has been no concerted effort by societies to replace money is that the power-elite certainly prefer a system that they can so easily manipulate and corrupt to their advantage. Such would be almost (or perhaps even entirely) impossible under this new proposal. Undoubtedly, they would resist this with every trick in the book that they know, as it represents the end of their power reign that they have enjoyed for thousands of years.

People are flawed with emotions and a desire to hoard money. The computer is emotionless and will issue these labor vouchers in strict accordance with time worked. It is a much more fair and equitable system that takes human greed out of the equation. Some people will hate it, of this there could be no doubt. But for the vast majority it would be a much more fair system allowing a comfortable lifestyle for all. It should also be less impactful of the planet's natural resources as only what is required is produced. There is no need for excessive overproduction since there is no profit and thus no profit motive.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 1 year ago

The thing to be noted here is that through the use of arkets (artificial markets), the cost of goods and services will fall within a range that will allow for the widest possible range of purchasing power for the entire population. This is accomplished because, without money, the cost of goods and services is determined strictly by the labor costs required to produce a good or service.

So someone who takes just a few seconds to fold a box for a pack of cards would "earn" the same amount of time credits as someone who takes five times as long, but the cards made by the efficient person would be slightly cheaper in time credits.

On the other hand, someone who repairs city streets at a very high level of quality would be "paid" the same by the state as someone who does a very sloppy job because they are clumsy and don't care much about their work. Or however those kinds of services would be rewarded. Maybe some other kind of product/service... say barbers/hair stylists. But maybe a bad example because people can pick the better one. Since this seems to be more similar to the first system I listed above, the example in the fiction book was making bicycles.

So someone who spends 10 hours making two poor-quality bicycles would be "paid" by the computers the same as someone who takes 10 hours to make 4 high-quality bicycles, but the poor-quality bicycles would be twice as expensive as the high-quality ones.

You would end up with the high-quality bicycles being "sold" immediately, where the time credits vanish upon being used, while the low-quality bicycles just sit there unused.

This would lead to people making deals with each other to provide high-quality products, avoiding markets. This basically invalidates the purpose of a market.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

There are still details to be worked out under this system, but someone who works exceptionally fast or slow at a manufacturing facility would not be considered the "normal" rate of production. If, for example, the production facility requires 10 people to produce bicycles (probably a more realistic number in a manufacturing/assembly environment), the average output per worker can be determined and used as one factor in determining retail purchase price. If the manufacturing facility is highly automated (and this is becoming increasingly more common), then the product is even cheaper to produce (requires less labor) and thus retail price is increasingly lower. Depending on the product, purchase price related solely to labor costs to produce becomes increasingly irrelevant.

Remember that low-quality products are unlikely to be purchased (in the long-term) regardless of economic system. The public will always seek out high-quality products over low-quality. So eventually the low-quality company will see orders for its products from retailers diminish or stop altogether. It is true that for a little while sloppy craftsmanship resulting in poor products might be produced by the company, but soon word will get around and they will be out of business if they don't turn things around and produce a competitive product. So the law of business survival will dictate that companies, even under this new system, will be required to produce as high a quality of good or service as possible to remain competitive. Since the employees need jobs (and vouchers or credits) to pay their bills, there should still be plenty of motivation under this system to produce high-quality output.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 1 year ago

Low and high quality normally has a place because the high-quality product is allowed to reach an equilibrium where demand equals supply through price changes. Even if the high-quality product is available, people will still choose to purchase the low-quality one.

(In current society it's more likely to be just "brands" because quality is so easy to replicate now... but this is arguably the result of money-based free markets.)

In the new system as described, you don't need to sell a product to be paid for making it (by the central computers). So you might have buildup of excess product.

In some cases it might not be worth the trouble to try to distinguish between product quality... maybe all food products of a certain type are pretty much the same for example. I think in some cases it would still be a problem.

I actually have an example... http://www.leadershipalliance.com/deming.htm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._Edwards_Deming

People preferred Ford cars made in Japan. Engineers looked for the reason: "The American-made car parts were all within specified tolerance levels. On the other hand, the Japanese car parts were virtually identical to each other, and much closer to the nominal values for the parts - e.g., if a part was supposed to be one foot long, plus or minus 1/8 of an inch - then the Japanese parts were all within 1/16 of an inch."

I think this shows how quality differences can occur in reality, not really through the skill of workers but through management practices. But if prices are only based on the amount of time worked, businesses will only implement better management practices if there is a glut in the market that prevents poor-quality products from being sold.

This petition is about fixing the current economic system: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/783/697/872/tell-the-1-how-they-can-help-the-economy/

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 1 year ago

Well, after being on this forum for the last ten months, I am going to have to say that our current system is the best that we can ever achieve. There are way too many different opinions on what system is best to ever agree on a whole new system without the use of force.

There is a reason why people are not content with Proportional Representation, being it was the form of government that gave rise to Hitler and Mussolini. Because it takes less of a majority to bring people to power with other forms of democracy, those who fear tyranny, fear the idea of twenty percent of the population bringing someone to power. This is one of those lessons learned after World War II.

Whether or not Direct Democracy would ever work, I guess we’d have to have to have a Constitutional Convention to do away with our Electoral College system and the republicanism that was bestowed upon us by our Founders. Without doing away with our current system, talk of all other systems of democracy seems more like exercises in academia. Do we really expect those who rose to power with the current system to ever vote for a candidate professing a different system?

I believe the two party system is the great equalizer. It takes all the passions, presumptions and prejudices and boils them down to two political choices. Those who are the most radical on each side are the ones who are the most upset with the outcomes. I believe those who are the most radical among us are better off changing the culture then they stand a chance to change the political apparatus.

I am no knocking radicalism for radical people are what move the culture forward. But with that said, I believe there should continue to be a check on radicalism which our system of government provides for. If the radicals believe they have all the answers, then they need to convince fifty percent (plus one) of the population, not twenty percent, that their new system is the best system.

I have to say, besides our nation’s flirtation with corporate empire—globalization if you will—the biggest problem that we need to address is to better understand those we disagree with.

I guess the major change that this nation needs is not political but cultural. Cultural change is the only change that cannot be forced on the individual because it takes change from each individual to change the culture.

This is one of the reasons I enjoy coming to this site. I believe it is dangerous to always partake in conversation with those who already see the world as I do. And if I want to change personally, I need to be open to different subcultures. Until we have overcome our own egos—though they are the same egos that moved us from the industrial revolution to the information age—there really is no better system then the one we have.

Our system does not make it impossible for a third party, but it does make the third party inept if it is not willing to compromise with the status quo. Cultural change is what ought to be called for, all other changes derive from this change.

The Tea Party is an example of what I’m saying. They could have had more of their beliefs come to fruition if they would have been more compromising while they were in Congress. Instead, they hold off from any compromising in hopes that one day they will have a majority big enough to force their beliefs on us all. I hope this is not what other radical elements of our culture believe is the only solution.

In closing, I believe we should fix our current system before we go creating new ones.

[-] 2 points by trashyharry (1126) from Waterville, NY 1 year ago

I like the style of your language,Jess-but I don't agree with you much.I think it is very clear that every living thing on this planet has one problem that is by far more pressing than any other-that is climate change due to global warming.That has to be stabilized so we can all live to disagree for another day.Thanks for your post.

[-] 1 points by benjamin (3) 1 year ago

The only alternative to Capitalism are we all. Each of us. We must change our way of life. We've got to create a new world. Free ourselves from everything that's been burdening us all throughout our history and has finally pushed us to the point where we have to ask ourselves how to go forward. We've got to free ourselves from the slavery of egoism and money and finally step down from the throne of supremacy on this planet. We have to rise up to the higher level of civilizational development. This means going away from "ME" and towards "WE" the mankind, “WE” the planetary community. More on Ecohumanworld the alternative to Capitalismworld.

www.ecohumanworld.com

[-] 1 points by benjamin (3) 1 year ago

The only alternative to Capitalism are we all. Each of us. We must change our way of life. We've got to create a new world. Free ourselves from everything that's been burdening us all throughout our history and has finally pushed us to the point where we have to ask ourselves how to go forward. We've got to free ourselves from the slavery of egoism and money and finally step down from the throne of supremacy on this planet. We have to rise up to the higher level of civilizational development. This means going away from "ME" and towards "WE" the mankind, “WE” the planetary community. More on Ecohumanworld the alternative to Capitalismworld.

www.ecohumanworld.com

[-] 1 points by jart (1252) from New York, NY 1 year ago

Why hasn't anyone mentioned communism? Clearly communism is the system we want to be working towards.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

Even if we construct the perfect system, the imperfect people who make up that system will cause it to malfunction. How will Anarchism or it's variants control the very selfish human nature within all of us?

[-] 5 points by jart (1252) from New York, NY 1 year ago

I don't think that we're all selfish. I think that's more a problem with men who've been taught from birth to believe that their duty is to dominate and control everything. So part of the solution is going to have to be social change which will redefine what we value as a culture. For example, rather than glorifying cutthroat competition, we should cherish mutual aid and benevolence.

Also in any society (including an anarchist one) you need people with guns who can fight those among us with anti-social behaviors. In our current capitalist society, we devote much of these resources to punishing the poor who commit petty crimes of property, like shoplifting. I say we turn those guns around at the super rich people who hoard the resources others need to survive. They're the true anti-social individuals who harm others.

[-] 4 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Exactly, the ultra competitiveness we ingrain in our children has to be replaced by the values related to sharing, and helping everyone.

And in regards to police I remember some Michael Moore bit where he was talkin to the creator of "COPS" suggesting a show where they arrested white collar criminals. Without a doubt they have created untold unmatched damage to the 99%.

[-] 7 points by jart (1252) from New York, NY 1 year ago

And in regards to police I remember some Michael Moore bit where he was talkin to the creator of "COPS" suggesting a show where they arrested white collar criminals.

Now that's a show I really want to see

[-] 5 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

especially since we just watched the justice dept claim the law and evidence doesn't allow for a successful prosecution of Goldman Saks.

Whatta joke. Meanwhile NYC just announced new more creative surveillence (in conjunction w/ microsoft) of the 99%. They are suffocating us and letting the criminals breath free.

Demoralizing

[-] 4 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

That would be an immediate through the roof national hit.

Take Down on WallStreet - Bad Boy's Bad Boy's - watcha gonna do(?) - watcha gonna Do(?) - when they come for you.

aAHhaahaahahahaheheehe - wins all awards for most popular show ever - HOOhoohoohooheeehehehehaha...............

The sequel - Take Down on Capitol Hill - reeling in the Traitors....... They thought that they were immune - turns out that they were wrong.....Bad Boy's Bad Boy's - watcha gonna do(?) - watcha gonna Do(?) - when they come for you.

aAHhaahaahahahaheheehe - again it wins all awards for most popular show ever - HOOhoohoohooheeehehehehaha...............

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

A spoof might be very popular, and effective educationally. I'll look around, it might exist.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Post the idea to comedy central or something.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Yes.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Also - make a post and then tweet it.

[-] 4 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Well said - from your lips to the Judicial and law enforcement community. Feed society - restrain the insane. {:-])

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

There are many examples of women being just as selfish as men. Meg Whitman, recently hired back as CEO of HP is laying off 27,000 workers.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/23/hp-layoffs-hewlett-packard_n_1540596.html

[-] 0 points by Misaki (893) 1 year ago

Since when are corporations a charity?

The reason people dislike capitalism is because they see the profit motive as being incompatible with creating enough jobs for the world's growing population. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/At-will_employment

On the other hand, one of the points I have been making all along is that the only reason capitalism is not working is because workers themselves are choosing to work long hours, which due to physical limits means that the rich are not able to spend enough to get rid of all their money and the economy stalls—despite that the rich are spending enough that the top 20% of income are responsible for 60% of consumer spending.

Much of this is because people see working long hours as the only way to get promoted—which is ridiculous when you think about it because it is in the best interests of a business to promote the most competent people, not just the most industrious people who work 90-hour work weeks. If we change the culture, capitalism is fixed. It's that simple.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

The problem isn't capitalism. The problem is a tiny fraction of the population is hoarding the wealth of the nation. Inflation masks the reality of near zero growth in wages for the lower 90% over the last 40 years.

http://stateofworkingamerica.org/who-gains/#/?start=1968&end=2008

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 1 year ago

The first paragraph in that NYTimes article linked above:

Nordstrom has a waiting list for a Chanel sequined tweed coat with a $9,010 price. Neiman Marcus has sold out in almost every size of Christian Louboutin “Bianca” platform pumps, at $775 a pair. Mercedes-Benz said it sold more cars last month in the United States than it had in any July in five years.


Does that sound like they are trying to hoard anything? More like they are just earning as much money as they can and just not able to spend at the same rate. Unions may have sort of died with the air traffic controller strike of 1981 but we can adopt an ethical standard and wage concept that will effectively create a 'national labour union' and cause wages for the typical worker to rise without needing to negotiate with employers, since a tight labor market will mean that employers will raise wages relative to prices (such as imported goods prices) to retain workers.

Part of this is people who see working 80-hour weeks as the only way to get that promotion, but this is a culture problem. Businesses have an incentive to promote competent people who work 40 or even 20 hours if they are willing to delegate work.

[-] 5 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

Did you notice the how much the 1%'s share of income has increased over the last 40 years? Add to that the huge losses in housing equity, the stock market, and the rise in oil prices. The bottom 90% are being drained of their resources. They don't need to work less, they need a fair share of the product of their labor.

It's similar to all of the blood rushing to one's head. The rest of the body can't function because there is an inadequate blood supply. Restore the blood flow (money), and health will return.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 1 year ago

They don't need to work less, they need a fair share of the product of their labor.

It's hard to get paid for working when you don't have a job.

The top 1% still get 2/3 of their income from working (which includes things like bonuses), and only 5% of the top 1% of income do not work.

For the most part, the bottom 90% don't have any resources, that's why many people have gone into debt. Since bubble economies are not long-term viable as we saw with the housing market, the rich are not somehow siphoning away assets of the bottom 90% because the 90% only spend money that they earn, which is often money that comes from the government now.

The top 10% own 70% of the nation's wealth and 83% of its financial wealth. They don't need more money to buy their $10,000 dresses, and they don't need to be working either. If we encourage wealthy people to work less, they will spend just as much but other people will be able to take over that work. If just the top 20% of income work half as much, that creates enough work for another 10% of the workforce to work full-time if they choose to, instantly fixing unemployment.

[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

The reason why the mid and low income don't have jobs is because the money that should be in their possession has been siphoned off. No growth in real wages for 40 years, loss in housing, stock market, and commodities. They don't have money to spend and neither do the people they would normally buy from, so the businesses close and the jobs vanish.

Picture this small town. A perfect economy with everyone employed, money in the bank, all bills paid on time. A group of wealthy speculators moves in, buying up all of the available properties. Housing prices skyrocket. When house prices hit a plateau, the speculators sell all of their houses. House prices tumble. The speculators leave with a hoard of cash, the towns people are left destitute. For every dollar lost in that town's financial collapse, a dollar was gained by those speculators.

Everyone in town is broke. Businesses are closing. People are being laid off. Banks are going under. Why? Because the necessary level of money that is required for the economy to prosper was removed. That town will not come back to life until that level of money is built back up to a minimum level.

Just like a body that has lost a lot of blood, without a minimum supply, it can't function, activity slows. Dizziness and collapse follow. These same symptoms in economics we call recession and depression.

Sound familiar? What our economy needs is to have the funds the speculators took, put back into the economy. That simple solution is all that is needed. We could instead raise low and mid income wages, or raise taxes on the wealthy. each one has a similar overall effect.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 1 year ago

The current economy has been described as "winner take all", because some people have very good jobs while others have poor jobs or no job. From the NYTimes article:

“If a designer shoe goes up from $800 to $860, who notices?” said Arnold Aronson, managing director of retail strategies at the consulting firm Kurt Salmon, and the former chairman and chief executive of Saks.

“This group is key because the top 5 percent of income earners accounts for about one-third of spending, and the top 20 percent accounts for close to 60 percent of spending,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics. “That was key to why we suffered such a bad recession — their spending fell very sharply.”

Part of the demand is also driven by the snob factor: at luxury stores, higher prices are often considered a mark of quality.

People who can afford $900 shoes and $10,000 dresses do not need to be working 60, or even 40 hours per week—but they are.

A group of wealthy speculators moves in, buying up all of the available properties. Housing prices skyrocket. When house prices hit a plateau, the speculators sell all of their houses. House prices tumble. The speculators leave with a hoard of cash, the towns people are left destitute.

Perhaps people should not have bought when house prices were that high? Nothing wrong with renting, or waiting a few years before buying a house.

Sell high, buy low. Normal people can do this too, though of course most people aren't going to sell their primary residence just because home prices are high.

What our economy needs is to have the funds the speculators took, put back into the economy. That simple solution is all that is needed. We could instead raise low and mid income wages, or raise taxes on the wealthy. each one has a similar overall effect.

The speculators are spending that money, on $10,000 dresses and yachts. We can easily fix the problems caused by people buying into a housing bubble by sharing jobs. Taxing the wealthy could work, but people just can't seem to get enthusiastic about it... even a petition on the White House website only got three signatures.

[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

The speculators are still speculating on oil, commodities, and stocks. If they were spending the money, the economy would be recovering.

Instead prices continue to rise on smaller amounts of food. A one lb. can of coffee is now 11 ozs., a 6 oz. can of tuna 5 oz., and a 5 lb. bag of sugar is now 4 lbs. We're being drained of what little wealth remains and if Romney gets in, the austerity he puts in place will guarantee no recovery.

Sharing jobs is not a viable solution. It won't increase the blood supply to the lower body. If money does not flow back to the lower and middle classes in the form of increased wages or taxes on the rich, the economy will not recover.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 1 year ago

The speculators are still speculating on oil, commodities, and stocks. If they were spending the money, the economy would be recovering.

It's true that they have enough money to buy US bonds at negative real interest rates (but that's still better than letting it sit in a bank at 0.01% interest). But as the data shows they also have enough to afford luxury goods, yachts, giant houses, and whatever else rich people spend their money on.

This post explains why the money they spend does not reach the poor, if you're interested.

Or you can look at Apple's $100 billion in cash, stored in offshore tax havens, which it is not spending and neither are other companies—corporations have huge piles of cash which they aren't even bothering to put towards dividends. And this is even while giving out giant bonuses. People accuse financial companies of being greedy, but they do pay their employees extremely well — someone in an entry-level position, one year out of college, can make $115k/year after bonuses, which they then proceed to spend but the money mostly just goes right back to the rich in the form of corporate profits or high salaries.

If wealthy people work less, the economy will be fixed.

Instead prices continue to rise on smaller amounts of food. A one lb. can of coffee is now 11 ozs., a 6 oz. can of tuna 5 oz., and a 5 lb. bag of sugar is now 4 lbs. We're being drained of what little wealth remains and if Romney gets in, the austerity he puts in place will guarantee no recovery.

Prices are only up about 2% from last year, and may have even decreased slightly recently. The Billion Prices Project @ MIT

At one store, I was surprised to notice that a box of corn flake breakfast cereal had gone down to 99¢, when it used to be $1.39 (up from $1.19) and I thought corn was more expensive due to droughts or something.

Sharing jobs is not a viable solution. It won't increase the blood supply to the lower body. If money does not flow back to the lower and middle classes in the form of increased wages or taxes on the rich, the economy will not recover.

1) even if only the lower and middle classes worked less, they would end up buying fewer iPhones with 50% profit margins, and so on and so on, so less money would flow up to the rich. Meanwhile, wages would increase due to full employment.

2) If rich people work less, then the effect is even more immediate. You wouldn't have unemployed people suddenly working for $100k/year, but you would have the $80k/year people being bumped up to $100k, the $60k to $80k, 40 to 60, 20 to 40, and the unemployed to $20k.

[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

"1) even if only the lower and middle classes worked less, they would end up buying fewer iPhones with 50% profit margins, and so on and so on, so less money would flow up to the rich."

Lees wealth would be created for all classes. We would be in even worse economic conditions. This makes no sense at all.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 1 year ago

Lees wealth would be created for all classes. We would be in even worse economic conditions. This makes no sense at all.

Workers A, B, and C voluntarily reduce their hours from 40 to 30. Worker D is hired for the remaining 30 hours/week, who was previously unemployed.

How is less wealth being created?

(One possibility: Worker D was previously receiving unemployment checks or food stamps... is this what you were aiming at?)

I guess it's difficult for most people to think of the marginal change because much of it is things that affect all workers, and many people probably don't intuitively understand that... so it might help to think not just of one person working less or becoming employed, but of many people doing so.

For example, suppose that if unemployment went from 8% to 0.5%, it also caused everyone's wages to go up by 10% (so labor getting the share of national income that it did 30 years ago or so). This is only after something like 12 million people getting hired, which means that if a single person is hired it only increases everyone's wages by 0.000000833%.

This is hardly anything. But actually, since it affects 150 million people, it is equivalent to a single worker having their wages increased by 125%. It's just spread so thin that most people ignore it.

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[-] -1 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Make a real go on something no one else has ?

[-] 1 points by jart (1252) from New York, NY 1 year ago

What do you mean?

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Well communism has never ( IMO ) had a very good go of it. You know with Dictators and such.

[-] 1 points by jart (1252) from New York, NY 1 year ago

Which is why I advocate anarchist communism

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Well there you go - but you had best give a very detailed definition of what that is or you will have people going nuts as they don't understand either concept - they have just heard the decades and centuries of bad press given to the two terms.

[-] 3 points by jart (1252) from New York, NY 1 year ago

I just like to throw the words out there occasionally for fun and hope people suppress that initial response of horror that capitalist propaganda has conditioned them to have, and actually do the research and find out what those words mean. I like to remind people that the ideas are still relevant, but outside of internet forums I hardly ever use those words because they've been stolen from us and are no longer capable of articulating my ideas.

So since you asked, and for anyone reading, here's my little spiel about my favorite alternative to capitalism.


I believe the simplest system is always the best system. I also believe that true genius comes from bringing simple systems to life. If you peel back a lot of the layers of what we've been taught growing up in this society, you wonder why so many things are more complicated than they ought to be. I wonder why when I'm hungry, that I can't simply just go into a supermarket and take the food I need. I wonder why I can't just walk into a cafeteria and get a meal. I wonder why when I need to go somewhere, I can't just hop into the first car I see parked on the street and go. I wonder why when I need clothes I can't just walk into H&M and take them. I wonder why when I'm sick, that I can't just see a doctor. I wonder why when I need a place to sleep, I can't just walk into an Inn and ask for a bed.

Money and paperwork stands in the way of doing all these things. The only things you can actually get in the U.S. without money and paperwork is air and clean water. Why does it have to be that way? I'm not hurting anyone by taking the things I need to survive. So what is money protecting? There's no scarcity of resources thanks to modern technology. The labor necessary to produce the things we need to live a prosperous lifestyle becomes lower and lower each day. The only thing money seems to be protecting is the urges of men to be greedy and in control.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could just produce an abundance of resources and let people take what they need freely without any hindrances? No accountants, no banks, no stock, no deeds, no insurance companies, no superfluous nonsense that serves only to waste labor. The only expectation is that people contribute back to society in accordance with their abilities. This is called a gift economy, and it's a large part of what Marx defined as pure communism.

Now forget everything you think you know about what's practical and what isn't. In that case, wouldn't you agree that a gift economy is what we should be striving for? Seriously, if you reply to this comment, then please answer that question. How could you possibly argue against a society where all the basic needs in life are just free and no one has to struggle to survive and prosper. A society where we've finally evolved past the primitive human struggle for basic survival and we move on to accomplishing bigger and better things. I believe it's possible.

So if we can all get on board with the idea that a gift economy is the way to go, then politics simply becomes a question of how we get there. This is, after all, the recognized end goal of pretty much everyone further left than liberals. The anarchists and the marxists want the same thing, they just disagree on tactics and strategy. One of the reasons I have more affinity with the anarchists than the marxists is because the attempts of marxist-leninists, maoists, etc. in the past have failed to achieve communism. There's all sorts of theories as to why, like putting communism on the backburner to fight fascists, inability to move past the nation-state paradigm, centralization of authority, bureaucracy, etc. I could even argue that in many ways, state-communist societies worked out better than most capitalist societies, but I'd rather not because talking about what "works" on the macro scale is such a pseudo-intellectual activity.

So if you take one thing out of reading this comment, I ask that you reorient your politics to keep these goals in mind, and try not to get lost in the minutiæ of petty political struggles.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

I think the gift society sounds very much like what I would like. The incentive to create, or innovate is currently the accumulation of money but than would (and can) be replaced with something.

That something can be an impediment just as the terminology is because of our cultural brainwashing. The whole nation-state thang you mentioned is also a problem. When i consider an endgame or ideal society, it always include one world govt.

It's the only way.

Achieving this goal is hard to imagine. The path forward, the struggle against the moneyed interests (and those hoping to be monied interests) is daunting.

I would say the leftward concepts of anarchists/communists must be the guiding light. And any step towards those concepts must be embraced.

Soldarity.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

It is good to have good dreams and good values - without them we would not have a personal inspiration to do better - we would have nothing to aim for to strive for. A better world for all is an awesome dream, ideal, goal.

Thanks - you should do this more often.

[-] 1 points by jart (1252) from New York, NY 1 year ago

<3

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

You know? I have seen that symbol around - and have been somewhat embarrassed to say - that I don't know what it stands for though apparently it is good. {:-])

[-] 0 points by shooz (18095) 1 year ago

According to my daughter, It's a sideways heart.............:) <3

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

OH - OH - now I see said the blind man as he picked up his hammer and saw. {:-]) thanks for cluing in an old guy.

[-] 1 points by shooz (18095) 1 year ago

I had to ask my daughter.......so............:)

I'm so old, I once had to ask her what a teabagger was.

Now that was embarrassing.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

LOL - I bet she was quite embarrassed to clue you in. {:-])

[-] 0 points by shooz (18095) 1 year ago

Kids today are whole lot more unabashed than we were.

She thought it funny she had to explain it to me.....................:)

[-] -1 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

She got a good laugh at embarrassing Dad - Hey? {:-]) good deal.


[-] 1 points by shooz (9068) 0 minutes ago

Kids today are whole lot more unabashed than we were.

She thought it funny she had to explain it to me.....................:) ↥twinkle ↧stinkle permalink

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 1 year ago

Knowledge is the gift economy.

[-] 0 points by Misaki (893) 1 year ago

Wouldn't it be nice if we could just produce an abundance of resources and let people take what they need freely without any hindrances?

People like challenges.

Many things could easily be more complicated. Supermarkets that put clothes, or things like pumpkins, out in front of the store are just asking for those things to be stolen—but they still do it. I am sure that it would be easy for many people to steal things (even more than already happens), especially with things like self checkout stations. It could be easier to provide payment for things, and technology helps this with things like radio-based transit cards that eliminate the need for paper bus transfers or the cellphone-based payment systems common in Japan. But for many people, the inefficiencies introduced by having to pay for things is less important than being able to afford the prices that are offered.

So if everyone has access to money, your complaints largely disappear. This is why in poll after poll, people say that creating jobs is the most important issue for the United States.

Not everyone is in a position to be able to work even if jobs are available. Society is responsible for providing for those who cannot work, which in the US happens through things like disability social insurance or the legal obligations that hospitals have to treat people who come to the emergency room regardless of their ability to pay. But for the most part, people who can't work are taken care of by society, or their relatives or something, so making jobs available is really all that needs to be done to fix economic problems.

The only expectation is that people contribute back to society in accordance with their abilities. This is called a gift economy, and it's a large part of what Marx defined as pure communism.

It leads to shortages, as the USSR saw. When there is no standard of measurement (money), people just don't have any incentive to anticipate problems and maintain the commercial relationships to prevent them. Someone might feel there will be a shortage, but groups of people need more than "a feeling" to act on if everyone is trying to also avoid the waste that results from overproduction.

And since companies will happily accept people who want to work standard 40-hour weeks, or 60 or 80-hour weeks, because it can be advantageous both for managers and for the business to have fewer total employees, the current system won't be fixed unless a significant number of talented people decide to work less so there is no stigma against doing so and enough jobs can be created without government spending.

Or, "do you really think people will work as a garbage collector if they don't get paid for it"? There is a reason almost no female people choose the job.

[-] 3 points by jart (1252) from New York, NY 1 year ago

Yes I think people will work as garbage collectors without getting paid for it because the alternative is having garbage and filth everywhere. The difference is that in a proper communist society, people will share that responsibility. Why must we find one poor sap struggling to survive and force him to do the same shitty job 40 hours a week for the rest of their life, when we can find thirty people from a community to do it one day per month? A non-capitalist society opens up all sorts of different, more humane possibilities for sharing responsibility that simply aren't possible in the current model.

Also the USSR wasn't exactly the best example of communism so if you want to talk about shortages, then let's talk about the shortages of capitalism, hmm? When people talk about how communism doesn't work, they forget that such a statement is meant to imply that capitalism does work. This isn't true, capitalism does not work. We see it every day when people are starving or lacking basic needs. So if both systems haven't worked so far, then the answer becomes to pick the system that sucks less and to find a way to make it work, or perhaps come up with something new.

[-] 1 points by Misaki (893) 1 year ago

I recently read something which reflected on hippie communes, saying that advertisements for them in the 70's or whatever could have been more accurately described as "looking for someone to join hippie commune and do all the cleaning". Couldn't find it again when I searched though. Edit: found it.

Even for something as simple as a shared kitchen, people often don't manage to coordinate cleaning so that it gets done. (This happens even within families!) Intelligent people might get biased feedback on this for, well, the same reason that educated, wealthy people are more likely to say that people can be trusted. They and their neighbors are more likely to have their basic needs fulfilled and find it less costly to be nice to each other.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/18802/gallup-panel-people-cant-trusted.aspx
http://www.gallup.com/poll/124580/trust-varies-income-education-race-age.aspx

High school or less: 36% say most people can be trusted. Postgraduate education: 61% say that most people can be trusted.

This might change in a gift economy if everyone had their needs met, but it could just as easily switch from people thinking that people can't be trusted because they wouldn't return a wallet with $200 still inside to people thinking that people can't be trusted because when it's their turn to collect the neighborhood garbage, they don't bother to do necessary procedures to keep the garbage truck running properly like they're supposed to or make up an excuse to get out of doing that work.

This gets back to your earlier comment:

I don't think that we're all selfish. I think that's more a problem with men who've been taught from birth to believe that their duty is to dominate and control everything. . . . rather than glorifying cutthroat competition, we should cherish mutual aid and benevolence.

This would basically be China, which you might classify as a better example of communism than the USSR even if, of course, its economic system is extremely capitalistic by now. The United States is the extreme example of emphasizing the individual, while China is the extreme example (or at least the most well-known and successful) of emphasizing the needs of society and being "harmonious".

But this just leads to its own problems. A good comparison is that the US is well-known for people "bribing" the government by donating to political parties and PACs; China is well-known for bribing officials directly. When a US politican gets prosecuted for accepting bribes, Chinese people joke that such small bribes are even worth noticing.

(The general reason for problems in either type of society is described here but it's a tangent)

Back on the topic of money! Probably few people would prefer to collect garbage, 40 hours/week, if other jobs were available; but significantly more people might be willing to do it if they were well-paid for doing it just 10 hours/week. The only time the US has ever really been at "full employment" was during WWII when there were price controls on things; economists are scared of government policies that would lead to full employment at any other time because traditionally it has led to inflation, which only happens because the rich can afford to pay more and people are not used to the idea of scaling back in work hours if they can already afford everything they need, so instead they just work full-time and accept higher prices at stores.

I think it's necessary to show that the current system, as you define it (having money), does not really lead to the greediness and corruption you accuse it of doing. This post sort of explains why rich people allow that perception to continue to exist if you're interested. But by itself that doesn't prove it's better than other systems (like communism, whatever that really is since "centralized decision-making" doesn't work well).

So: gift economy again. Someone might think this would work well if people are willing to "socially punish" anyone who, for whatever reason, abuses the system. Maybe no one would be friends with someone who didn't do any work.

In a community where people know each other, this could work reasonably well. There are probably examples of communities who do, or did, exactly this. But it doesn't work nearly as well on a global level. Maybe it's because people naturally distrust other groups they aren't familiar with? But there's no real way to choose which regions to trade with if money isn't involved, or to communicate the level of 'need' a community has for specific goods, and so on... if the US just made 100,000 cars, how does it decide where to send them? If Iran just siphoned a million gallons of oil from the earth's limited reserves, which country deserves to use that oil? Should the US get that oil simply because it is already by far the largest user of oil in the world?

Despite sayings to the contrary.. oh, apparently it is "the love of money is the root of all evil"... money is not inherently bad. To the extent it leads to harmful results, it is just a metric for achievement like any other metric. People who want to collect lots of money have a defined goal which can be controlled like any other people with defined goals, such as someone in an MMORPG who wants to get a high 'score' on some number like equipment quality or some type of quantified performance. Since no one is able to process enough information to avoid any mistakes, metrics like this are necessary—we just need to make sure that we choose the right ones that don't lead to harm, which importantly means choosing metrics that conflict.

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Hear, hear! Great comment. Thanks for sharing:)

[-] -1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 1 year ago

You proposition begs the question: are we competitive, judgmental, and indifferent to other people's struggle because the system we live under, or did the system we live under evolve because we engender those characteristics.

Because i believe the latter, under a gift economy society, people would frown upon extravagance, conspicuous consumption and largess. After about twenty years of living under this system, i bet, Instead of oozing over what the Joneses have, we would berate them for having believed they deserved so much.

When your neighbor is consuming more of the gift than you, I bet you would be more inclined to let it be known that you ain't impressed.

If we are all products of our environment, then I believe your gift economy idea might be just what is needed to combat the continued degradation of our ecosystem.

I guess what I'm saying is that you have to ask yourself are we asses because of the system we live under, or did we create this system because we are asses.

Also, I believe, how you answer that question pretty much dictates your political view.

[-] -1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 1 year ago

The gift economy depends on the selflessness of it's workers, while a free market system depends on the selfishness of it's workers. Because people are more selfish than selfless, the free market system produces a greater abundance than the gift economy. But selfishness being the driver of abundance, is also the driver of unequal distribution of that abundance. Each system has a flaw, the free market, unequal distribution, and the gift, abundance.

Instead of forcing either system on all people, why not let the people decide under which system they prefer and form their own governments. Couldn't a group of anarchists live their ideas in a small town, modifying and perfecting their system, either proving or disproving that it is even viable?

[-] -1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Actually humans are very solidaric and altruistic in nature; the problem is that we're being encouraged to be greedy and only look after ourselves.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/human-nature/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/dehumanization/

Anarchism must come into place when the people want it.

Anarchist communes are great, but the economy is all-encompassing. The whole economy, with its enormous concentration of wealth and power, must also be addressed and dealt with.

[-] -3 points by TryingForAnOpenMind (-358) from Yonkers, NY 1 year ago

more DKA bs.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Share your thought with jart - HavingAchievedaClosedMind. You can send your reply comment to her from the reply button just above my last comment.

[Removed]

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 1 year ago

I believe the only real alternative to capitalism is Democratic Market Socialism.

That is because the basic idea is peer reviewed in mainstream economics journals and advocates have been publishing on the subject in peer reviewed journals for nearly 100 years from Oskar Lange debunking Mises and Hayek in the famous Economic Calculation Debate to Paul Cockshott today.

And nearly every component of this idea already works in practice today.

So it is a good plan that is already proven to work. It is fair. And it guarantees everyone a very high standard of living.

The way it works is:

1) Total national income is paid to workers in exchange for working since they do all the work. You cannot collect unearned income such as rent, interest or profit.

2) Differences in income are limited to only what is necessary to get people to do undesirable jobs and give their max effort in performance based jobs. The national compensation plan is democratically approved by the workforce.

3) Companies would be individually run and managed by the company workers. Managers may be elected by the company's workers. They also elect a delegate to an industry organizing body (so that companies within industries can be coordinated) and a national organizing body (so that there is some coordination at the national level).

4) All investment comes from public funds which the central bank makes available to investment banks.

This kind of economy would raise the minimum wage to $115,000 per year, reduce the week to just 20 hours, guarantee you a 100% mortgage at 0% interest, pay you a pension at retirement, pay you an income to go to school up to Doctorate, and guarantee you a job.

You can read more details here:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/1-replace-capitalism-with-democracy/

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

But your proposal is still using dollars/money, right? I'm sick (conceptually speaking) of money and now believe the only hope for a more egalitarian society of the future would be a system that is not based on money at all, but one where there are single-transactions (no monetary transfer or exchange) and/or a built-in time limit on currency that destroys the "immortality" of money. The above proposals all allocate labor vouchers as replacement for money.

Besides, if everyone earned $115,000 a year minimum, wouldn't the cost of goods/services go up dramatically as the law of supply and demand dictates? Would not a loaf of bread cost $500 or so under such a proposal? So what is being gained besides a severe devaluation of the current dollar/money model?

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 1 year ago

In a socialist system, money works just like labor vouchers do.

This is my canned response to the inflation question:

All we are doing is re-allocating EXISTING income. We are not increasing the total amount of income that is getting paid out. So it does not cause inflation.

If all we did was increase the minimum wage to $115k, and kept everyone else's income the same, that would cause inflation. But that is not what we are doing. We are also lowering the top pay from hundreds of millions and billions of dollars to just $460k. The amount we are reducing the top pay is exactly equal to the amount we are increasing the minimum pay. The net result is no increase in price on average. This is math 101.

If you have a $14.5 trillion economy and you only pay out $14.5 trillion in income, it is mathematically impossible to have inflation. How is the economy going to inflate beyond the $14.5 trillion if only $14.5 trillion is being spent? It can't. It is impossible.

You can see the calculation in paying out those incomes here:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/1-replace-capitalism-with-democracy/#comment-662000

[-] 1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

well said

nice math!

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

Hmm. After reading through your links, working within the context of money as you have indicated to reallocate the nations money supply seems admirable towards a more egalitarian society. For me, however, I think I have given up on money altogether as a medium of exchange system regardless of how it's allocated, because as long as it exists there will be corruption. In all the thousands of years that money has been around there has been corruption and evil (the love of money is the root of all evil). So I advocate throwing the whole rotten thing out and using something else that is far less likely to lead to such massive corruption as we are now witnessing (although I will admit that humans will always seek to corrupt or circumvent any system even if they have to create an underground economy to do it).

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 1 year ago

Labor vouchers are money.

But I would say blaming money for the world's problems is like blaming a thermometer for the heat. People don't love money, they love the things it buys. People are not corrupt over money. They are corrupt over consuming more than their fair share of our production.

So long as you have production and the need to limit people's consumption, you will have corruption whether you have money or not.

Eliminating money is not going to eliminate corruption. And since you need to limit people's consumption, you have no choice but to use money.

The only question is how should we allocate that money fairly.

The only fair way is to pay 100% of it to our workers since they are responsible for 100% of our production. And since the only economic justification for paying one worker more than another is to get them to do an undesirable job or to give their maximum effort in a performance based job, differences in income should be limited to only what is necessary to get people to do undesirable jobs and get people to give their max effort in performance based jobs.

And you should give everyone a right to a job.

Everything else takes care of itself. You have solved nearly every problem in society.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

Disagree that Labor vouchers are money in that money is a medium of exchange and the LV is not.

See below from Wikipedia from this link

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labor-time_voucher

Unlike money, vouchers cannot circulate and are not transferable between people. They are also not exchangeable for any means of production hence they are not transmutable into Capital. Once a purchase is made the labour vouchers are either destroyed or must be re-earned through labour. Therefore, with such a system in place, monetary theft would become impossible.

Such a system is proposed by many as a replacement for traditional money while retaining a system of remuneration for work done. It is also a way of ensuring that there is no way to 'make money out of money' as in a capitalist market economy. Additionally, the only kind of market that could exist in an economy operating through the use of labour vouchers would be an artificial market (arket) for mostly non-productive goods and services; as with the dissolution of money, capital markets could no longer exist and labour markets would also likely cease to exist with the abolition of wage labor which would by necessity occur with the adoption of vouchers.

Capitalists, whether statist, minarchist or anarcho-capitalist generally oppose labour vouchers as they are not money and thus claim an economy using them could not set prices according to marginal utility and would theoretically have to rely on the labour theory of value which adherents of the subjective theory of value generally see as inflexible and restricting economic freedom of choice for the consumer. Although some proposed systems which advocate labour vouchers (namely participism) reject the labour theory of value.

And here is a post of mine that generated a fair amount of discussion before I had even heard of Labor Vouchers. Even then on this post I was trying to conceive of a way to do away with money.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/heres-a-ideawill-it-work/

Imho, money is the root of the problem, so you and I will likely have a hard time agreeing on this.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 1 year ago

"Disagree that Labor vouchers are money in that money is a medium of exchange and the LV is not."

A labor voucher is money because it is used as a medium of exchange. You are exchanging your labor voucher for goods and services.

.

"Unlike money, vouchers cannot circulate and are not transferable between people"

That wiki article is not definitive on anything and has a lot of problems with it.

If you prevent the labor vouchers from being transferable, then you have just banned the purchase of used goods. There is no benefit to that.

The purpose of a socialist system using labor vouchers is not to prevent the buying of used goods.

The purpose is to prevent people getting paid unearned income (income from something other than working such as interest, rent, profit, dividend or capital gain).

You don't need to prevent the transfer of money between people for used goods in order to ban the collection of unearned income.

A better system is to just let people give their money to whoever they want and when you buy something from someone, the person selling it cannot collect an income above what he purchased the item for.

If you buy a widget for $400 and you no longer want it, you can sell it and collect no more than $400 from that sale.

.

"Imho, money is the root of the problem, so you and I will likely have a hard time agreeing on this."

The lack of money is the root of all problems.

And the way we allocate income is the root of all the unfairness in he economy. Instead of allocating income based on bargaining power, like what we do in capitalism, a socialist system would guarantee you a job and pay you the full product of your wage which simply means differences in income would be limited to only what is necessary to get people to do undesirable jobs and give their max performance in performance based jobs.

You don't need to eliminate money to accomplish any of that.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

A labor voucher is money because it is used as a medium of exchange. You are exchanging your labor voucher for goods and services.

If a voucher is money, why not just call it money? Answer: because it isn't. The voucher isn't "exchanged" for goods and services. It doesn't pass hands from one person to another in order to receive the good or service. Instead, it is a one-use item that facilitates the acquisition of needed goods or services that is instantaneously voided/destroyed upon its one-time use. It serves more as a tracking mechanism for time worked than as a medium of exchange (which is what money is). It is a medium of acquisition, not a medium of exchange.

If you prevent the labor vouchers from being transferable, then you have just banned the purchase of used goods.

If something costs X amount of time to produce, and people are compensated with X amount in labor vouchers, then they should pay X amount for it ONCE. Why should people pay $60k, or 3 times the amount required to produce a $20k car, if the car is sold 3 times? It is because the capitalistic system is designed to maximize profit and generate loans and interest for the banking industry far beyond the cost of producing the car. This is just one of many things wrong with capitalism. Used items should be gifted. This would greatly simplyfiy the complexity of the economy by reducing/eliminating secondary markets that are also fueled by greed. This would also incent manufacturing to do away with planned obsolesence as exists today in order to maximize profits. High quality goods would be produced that would last many times longer than they currently do.

You don't need to prevent the transfer of money between people for used goods in order to ban the collection of unearned income.

Yes you do, because the transfer of money between parties is the basis for wealth acquisition...that and the fact that money has no expiration date and lives in perpetuity to be passed down through many generations. People will work the system and pass laws to benefit them and to gain an advantage over others. The only way to guarentee that can't happen is to design a system that makes it impossible. That is my goal.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 1 year ago

"If a voucher is money, why not just call it money? Answer: because it isn't"

It is called a labor voucher because you can only get it in exchange for providing labor - for working.

That is what differentiates socialism from capitalism. In socialism, you only get paid for working. You cannot get paid for investing. You cannot get paid interest, rent, profit, dividends or capital gains.

In order to prevent people from getting paid for investing, you don't need to ban the "circulation" of labor vouchers. You just need to ban investment income.

.

"it is a one-use item that facilitates the acquisition of needed goods or services that is instantaneously voided/destroyed upon its one-time use. It serves more as a tracking mechanism"

By destroying the money, you just destroyed its ability to be used as a tracking mechanism!

You want to use the labor voucher for keeping consumers within a budget. But production organizations need to be kept within a budget too. And the labor voucher should be used to keep them within a budget just like it is being used to keep consumers in a budget.

When I spend $100 at a store to buy a $100 widget and the money is destroyed, what tracking mechanism do you then use to make sure that store only uses $100 worth of resources to make that widget it is selling for $100?

If a store generates $100k in revenue, it should only be allowed to use up $100k in resources. If you delete the money the store gets, you have just deleted your mechanism for making sure that store does not use any more than $100k in resources!!

.

"Why should people pay $60k, or 3 times the amount required to produce a $20k car, if the car is sold 3 times?"

If you think this through, you would realize it is wrong.

When I buy a car for $20k, I spent $20k for the car, so a total of $20k was spent on buying that car.

Now I sell that car used to you for $20k.

Since you are paying me the $20k, I have now spent $0 on the car and you have spent $20k on the car. So the total spent on buying that car was still $20k!

.

"Used items should be gifted"

If you think this through, you would realize how this doesn't make sense either.

If I buy a car for $20k and give it to you, I would be out $20k and you would have a free car. How is that fair or desirable? Why should I pay for the car you are using?

If you are the one using the car then you should be the one paying for it.

.

"This would greatly simplyfiy the complexity of the economy by reducing/eliminating secondary markets that are also fueled by greed"

You don't want to eliminate secondary markets. You want to eliminate people collecting investment income in the secondary market.

If I buy a car for $20k and then sell it to you for $20k, that should be allowed. If you are the one using the $20k car, you should be the one paying for the $20k car.

However, if I sell that car for $30k, that would mean I collected an investment income of $10k. I did not collect that money from working, I collected it from investing. That is what you want to eliminate in a socialist system - the investment income, not used goods.

.

"Yes you do, because the transfer of money between parties is the basis for wealth acquisition"

Again, if you think this through, you would see it is not correct.

If I buy a car for $20k and then sell it to you for $20k, my wealth increased by ZERO dollars!

What you have to ban is unearned income - income you get from investing.

So if I buy a car for $20k, I cannot sell that car for any more than $20k.

.

"money has no expiration date and lives in perpetuity to be passed down through many generations"

Just like you don't want to ban used goods and services, you don't want to ban gifts or saving.

If someone wants to hand all their money over to someone else, they should be free to do that. It would be impossible to prevent it even if you wanted to. If you stop me from giving $20k to my kid so he can buy a car, I will just buy a $20k car and let him drive it.

The problem is not gifts. The problem is people using money to make more money. The problem is investment income. You just need to ban investment income. You don't need to ban selling used goods or gifts or saving.

Investing allows people to grow their income exponentially through luck without doing any work whatsoever. That is what causes the increasing disparity of incomes, not gifts.

.

"People will work the system and pass laws to benefit them and to gain an advantage over others. The only way to guarentee that can't happen is to design a system that makes it impossible. That is my goal."

People have spent hundreds of years working these idea out.

The solution is not to ban gifts or selling used goods or saving. And the solution is not to destroy the money once someone buys something at a store. The solution is socialism which is the ban of investment income and the ban of allocating income based on bargaining power.

In order to accomplish your goal, you need socialism which just means 100% of the income is paid to workers (you can only get paid an income for working, you can no longer get paid an income from investing) and differences in income between workers is limited to only what is necessary to get people to do undesirable jobs and to give their maximum performance in performance based jobs (differences are no longer based on how much bargaining power you have which enables the tiny few at the top to use their power to exploit everyone else).

And both of these 2 rules would be the law.

In other words, workers are paid the full value of what they produce because we are eliminating the payment of unearned income to investors who do no work and eliminating exploitation. According to American anarchist Benjamin Tucker, this is what makes an economy socialist. It's an economic system summed up in the original, pre-Marxist, socialist slogan, "To each according to their contribution."

Since differences in income would be minimal, everyone will be on a level playing field. You will not have some people making 50 or 150,000 times more than others. So nobody will have 50 to 150,000 times more power.

People are only able to make 50 to 150,000 times more than others through investing or through using your bargaining power to exploit others. So the goal should be to end investment income and exploitation.

I wrote a post here which describes how socialism works. Just scroll down a little bit to the second section called How DMS Works.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

I disagree with a very great deal of what you are saying, so I don't think you and I have enough common ground to continue this conversation much longer.

I will say this, however. My conception of the implementation of this system would be that of purely electronic. So even though the voucher would be voided upon first use, it can still be tracked within the system as to its status (valid, void, time issued, time consumed, good/service obtained, etc...just about anything people would want to keep track of that information systems excel at). When I said it was primarily a tracking mechanism, I meant that it is a means to ensure that the proper amount of labor worked is used as the basis for acquisition of goods and services. Since everyone (except for the old, infirm, children,etc.) must work under this system, and are being paid up-front before goods and services are actually purchased/utilized, there is no actual reason for the goods or services to have any purchase cost whatsoever. Everyone has already been compensated ahead of time. The concept of purchasing items by assigning a price to them is simply to prevent hoarding.

Your store example is also not in line with the system I am proposing. The "store" makes no money. It merely provides an outlet for people to acquire goods. The store people make no "money" from "customers". They acquire their time-credits from their labor (provided by the central computer) just like everyone else in this theoretical economic system. I wish I had a way to provide a graphic of what I am talking about in this forum. A picture would make it so much easier to understand.

Regarding the $20k car example, I do consider multiple profiting from the effort to produce a specific unit of good once to be wrong. That is how things are now under money. If I were god, I would eliminate that capability under the system I am proposing. Again, you have to free your mind from all that you have been born and raised under in our caplitalistic profit-oriented system. I understand how you think the $20k equates to $0 after you sell it, but to me I see banks involved, loans made, and interest charged. And we both know how they create bank credit from thin air when they make loans. They call it expanding the money supply. I call it inflation and the devaluing of currency.

A gift economy has been discussed elsewhere and, in the interest of time, I will not discuss it here. There are many advantages to it, but capitalists hate it. It is also difficult to comprehend by people who have been raised in a capitalistic society unless they make a concerted effort to change their thinking about things.

I'm not going to address everything you have said because, as I said, you and I are too far apart to agree on things. But one last thing. The reason why I said the exchange of money is the basis for wealth is that it forms the basis for surplus. Those people who are very dedicated to acquiring surplus dollars by whatever schemes (legal or otherwise) they can devise can eventually stockpile very large sums of money. It is true that they can also acquire large sums through investing, but the basis of investing also entails the buying/selling of securities, which is an exchange process (as in the New York Stock Exchange). So if you eliminate the inherent exchange quality of money (it is a medium of exchange), you eliminate the possibility of stockpiling surplus money and thus building wealth.

I don't think you and I should be spending time discussing this stuff any further...we are too far apart to come to any consensus on things.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 1 year ago

"I don't think you and I should be spending time discussing this stuff any further...we are too far apart to come to any consensus on things."

Education is a powerful thing. You should be more open minded.

What you are trying to accomplish is not new. It is called socialism. And people have spent hundreds of years working it out. You are not breaking new ground. You are trying to re-invent the wheel.

You are misunderstanding many concepts (like exchange and surplus). And there are a lot of flaws in your idea.

You are not coming up with any new ideas here. If you take the time to study how socialism works, you will see that they want to do exactly what you want to do. The difference is that the ideas have already gone through a rigorous peer reviewed process. So you will learn what will work and what will not and the reasons why.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

I am not interested in coming up with anything new and getting my name in a history book, if that is what you were thinking. I know labor vouchers are not new, although they are relatively new to me personally. I am only interested in the destruction of money because I think it can be too easily perverted in so many ways from its original intent and thus used as a means to secure power and control. I am unaware of any country in history that tried to operate without money. If the definition of money is that it is a medium of exchange, then discussing the implementation of labor vouchers by way of modern computer technology is, at a minimum, something that probably has not garnered much discussion (at least I am having a hard time finding anything about it on the Internet). For all I know it may be new, and it may not be. I do know that there are plenty of people and businesses using their own voucher systems via electronic trading (a type of electronic barter). But those systems still retain the concept of exchange, and I want to destroy that particular aspect of money for reasons I have already stated.

You seem quite confident and sure of yourself regarding Democratic Market Socialism. You state there are many flaws in "my idea". I am all ears. Please educate me and everyone else who reads this as to where these explorations I am discussing are flawed, and how your advocacy of DMS is superior. From my viewpoint, Socialism still uses money and I already told you I am done with money (conceptually speaking). I want to lock things down so that there is only one middle-class and abolish the Rich and Poor classes. As long as there is money I don't see how that is possible. I feel deep down that the destruction of money is possible because humans thought it up (it is artificial) so we ought to have the ability and creativity to get rid of it and replace it with something better if we only have the collective will to do so. But I fear that we don't have that collective will to do it and will thus allow the power-elite and their capitalistic system to destroy the life-sustaining attributes of our planet.

[-] 0 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

currency is a simplified form of trade

how is a labor voucher different than money?

You get x amount on your labor voucher based on how much you work just like you get x amount of dollars based on how much you work.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

Please see this link elsewhere in this post for detail on difference.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/alternatives-to-capitalism-which-is-best/#comment-801075

[-] 0 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

after reading that I have to say I dislike the idea of labor vouchers. I think that would make society more difficult to function.

[-] 2 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

Why? And how much did you read? As I have said elsewhere, my conception of LV implementation is not via paper. It would all be electronic. A central computer (or computers) would be responsible for recording time worked and issuing the LVs to LV accounts. Transactions would be by card swipe or possibly unique bio-scan of some type. Since there is no transfer between people, vast wealth and vast debt cannot happen. People can only accumulate LVs for the amount of time they work. Unlike people collecting personal fortunes of billions of dollars today, people cannot collect billions of LVs because people cannot live for billions of hours.

[-] 0 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

a more equal distribution of dollars I feel would be easier to accomplish than a completely restructured system of labor vouchers.

That and I enjoy playing poker which could not happen for labor vouchers

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

:-)

Admittedly, the elimination of cash would require some getting used to. But it would also do away with illegal "cash-only" activities such as underground drug economies, payola to corrupt politicians, under-the-table tax avoidance schemes, and yes, illegal gambling. I imagine legal gambling could use such a system however.

Oh, and btw, there would also be no taxes under such a system. And there would be no inflation or deflation like you have today because you can't inflate or deflate time worked. An hour is an hour is an hour. How can you turn an hour into 1.5 hours LV if you didn't work it?

[-] 0 points by gnomunny (5783) from St Louis, MO 1 year ago

How would this work in the secondary markets in regards to actual products? For example, how would I pay for your used car? Am I correct in assuming there would be a system in place for valuing such things? How would things be valued in highly selective arenas such as antiques. How would I pay my kid his allowance? Admittedly, I haven't explored much about cashless societies because I don't believe they're workable. Cash permeates society far deeper than most people realize. Also, imo, there's no way in hell cash will be eliminated in our lifetimes.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

Yes, I know people are quite skeptical of something as radical as this. Money is all we've known. It is hard to even try to imagine life without it. But let's look at some of the examples you've raised. In order to do this, however, you must try very hard to envision an entirely different society...one that is not based on greed or avarice...because there is NO profit in this system (it is impossible), and thus no profit motive (hard to imagine I know, but just try).

Regarding a used car, consider how much money is made today on a car from beginning to end of life. Say, for example, that it takes $20k parts and labor to produce a car. Adding in all production costs, including advertising, shipping, insurance, dealer profit, etc. and by the time it is on the retail lot it might be sticker priced at, say, $25k. Very few people can afford to plop down $25k, so they will finance the purchase of it. So that might be another $5k or so in interest. Now your up to $30k on a product that took $20k to make. Let's say after a few years, the owner decides to sell the car. He asks and gets $20k for the car (since he paid $25k originally). The new owner has $10k, but has to finance the remaining $10k, paying $2k interest. So the new owner must pay $22k (still more than what was required to produce the car originally). So now, there is $52k of money associated with something that took $20k to make. Finally, let's say the car is sold one last time before being scraped. It sells for $8k. New owner pays cash. So the total amount sunk into this one product is $60k -- 3 times the amount required to make it. I know we are trained from birth to look at things this way as correct and "normal", but honestly, doesn't that strike you, even a little bit, as being somehow...well, wrong?

In the new paradigm, used products, if they still have usefulness, would likely be gifted. I know that is an astonishing statement, and so at odds with everything we've been taught in our society. But if you think about it a little more deeply, there are advantages. For one thing, the overall economy would be FAR less complex. Products and services are produced once, therefore they have one cost...the cost of labor to produce them (remember that the various parts are also produced by labor so those parts are already paid for by the labor vouchers paid to those that produced them, so the car maker doesn't have any parts cost...laborers are only payed for the labor to put the car together). For another thing, there is no such thing as interest charges anymore since there is no money in this system, only these labor credits for time served. And EVERYONE has to work to get these credits, excepting the old and infirm. In their case, a welfare program can be established where they are provided a stipend of these credits to live on. Since these vouchers evaporate the moment they are used, there is no burden on the economy, since no one is taxed under this system.

Now let's look at your antiques example. Antiques are a highly specialized area of "product" in our society. From one point of view, there is no reason to value them at all, since many of them are not even functional and serve no practical purpose in modern society. From another point of view, they do have value because humans have an attraction for old things. Since many antiques could be quite rare, humans assign an arbitrarily high value to them far beyond the original cost required to produce them. If someone wanted to obtain an antique from a dealer, there is nothing to stop someone from spending their labor credits/vouchers on it (alternatively, the "purchaser" might be willing to work for the antique dealer for a period of time "off the grid" in exchange for the item, thus benefiting both parties). Since the antique dealer is not paid by transfer of money from buyer to seller (s/he is compensated for his/her labor in gathering up antiques, restoring them, etc.) one could obtain antiques this way, although the majority of the population would probably not pursue antique collecting. It would be a niche segment of the economy not really devoted to the practical day-to-day necessities towards which this new proposal is primarily directed.

With your kids allowance, there is nothing that precludes a special account being setup for minors. When minors work, minors get paid vouchers. It could be determined how many labor credits/vouchers are paid to minors, and perhaps society would determine that this would be a special reduced amount of labor credits/vouchers than what an adult would earn. I don't know exactly. This is something that would require working through the details on.

The most important thing to understand is that in this system everything is based on labor. Money does not exist. There is no "immortal" money like we have today. Imho, the "immortality" of money is one of its greatest flaws. That, and its inherent exchange quality allows for billions and trillions of dollars in fortunes and debts to be aquired. This puts society way out of balance. And when societies are way out of balance, then we begin to impact the earth itself and its inherent balance. We are destroying the earth, its animal occupants, and ourselves by way of an artificial system of finance devised thousands of years ago that has undergone very little modification in all of that time. Science and technology has advanced enormously. Why must we still be shackled to something as antiquated as money? Is it not the case that it does more harm than good? If we can send men to the moon and split the atom, why are we not clever enough to come up with something better than money? Money is an artificial thing. Humans thought it up as a means of convenience. But people failed to envision what it would turn into thousands of years later. Money is now our prison. We have enslaved ourselves to this artificial construct we created. We have given the keys to this prison to a tiny few prison guards and prison owners who control the world and us. Isn't it time we take back the keys and try to free ourselves?

That is all I'm saying in looking at alternatives to money.

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (5783) from St Louis, MO 1 year ago

You explained it very well, thanks. The concepts make sense, however, the transition from cash-based to cashless would be daunting, to say the least.

[-] 0 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

Daunting does not even come close to describing it. First of all, It would require getting millions of people educated to the possibility that there is even any alternative whatsoever to money. Most people have not even considered that there could be an alternative, so they go about their lives completely oblivious to the concept. They consider money a force of nature, like the air they breathe. Money is all they have known from childhood. Money is so ubiquitous in society that the human brain cannot even consider anything else. I myself did not consider anything else until just relatively recently...and I am 57 years old. So there are tremendous awareness/educational challenges associated with this idea.

But let's say that we can get millions of people on-board with this concept. You then will face an even greater obstacle of overturning the Illuminati who have worked for centuries to get to the point that they are now near (or have actually already obtained) global domination of the money system. They will use every means at their disposal to oppose and destroy this idea using every trick in the book that they have learned down through time. Their great power will attempt to bury it through disinformation etc. long before it has any chance of being legislated into existence. Before it could be implemented, I actually envision that there would be a physical war break out over it, as they will not go quietly away and watch their trillions be taken from them by this new approach to a more egalitarian society.

And then the world will know, without any doubt whatsoever, exactly who and what they are, their agenda, their goals of power to enslave the entire world under their domination. It is for this very reason alone that I am pursuing this idea, because I can now see a world coming where somewhere between 400 and 1000 people will enslave 7 billion of us in a one-world currency and national debts so large that entire countries will be forced to fold-up under their "shock doctrine" approach. People will not know what else to do, so they will go along with it.

And then the world will enter a new dark age...and who knows how long, if ever, it will take to emerge from it.

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (5783) from St Louis, MO 1 year ago

Yep. It would definitely be a long-term goal. Very long-term. There's going to be a whole lot of changes on this planet before the idea could even be implemented, if ever. A complete shift in power, globally, would have to occur first. Realistically, you're probably talking a hundred years, no possible way it would be less than fifty.

[-] 6 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

I hate to tell you this, but at the current pace of destruction that we are witnessing, the world doesn't have 50 years. We will cook ourselves in a carbon blanket long before then if we keep this up. The power-elite appears determined to suck every last drop of oil from the ground before they will convert to alternative energy sources because that's where the money is. All of our modern way of life is based on oil. The profit motive is what keeps things at status quo. The profit motive MUST be removed or we will destroy ourselves. Some well-respected scientists already are saying that we may have already waited too long. After a certain time you reach the "tipping point" where no amount of reversal can stop the undesired effect.

And it is ridiculously appalling to think that we are too stupid a species to prevent it simply due to our collective inability to rise up against those who would destroy us. When it actually happens, and people are saying "What will we do now?", what will they all think about themselves that they didn't take steps to reverse it when they had a chance?

The human race is worse than the animals in some respects. Animals do not behave so stupidly as we do and knowingly and purposefully destroy their environment. What we are doing to the earth can be prevented, yet we are doing it anyway.

Yeah, we're the smartest animal on earth alright.

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[-] 0 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

we all drive cars

[-] 0 points by gnomunny (5783) from St Louis, MO 1 year ago

You're not telling me anything I don't know already. I started saying we probably already passed the tipping point three or four years ago. I also knew the PTB wouldn't do anything to stop it. As a species, we deserve to go extinct.

[-] 0 points by ZenDog (13739) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

well - there are rabbits . . . but they don't actually know any better -

[-] 0 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

but without under ground drug economies how can people get access to marijuana?

Also illegal gambling is fun. My buddies and I play house games on weekends.

How do they determine what goods are worth? Value of goods still changes based on supply.

I like aspects of what you're saying... but I think there is just too much to restructure versus more equality in pay.

There could be no income taxes now if we reformed monetary policy or at least taxed the federal reserve and we could still fully fund the government and then some.

[-] 0 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

I'm in favor of legalizing pot, just so you know. And who knows if such a thing as being proposed might not hasten the legalization of it? The reason why it probably hasn't been legalized by now is that there is too much money to be made on both sides of the law. Remove the illegal profit motive and the huge institutionalized infrastructure to police it and probably no one would care one way or another if it were made legal.

Couldn't you just play for chips? There is still the thrill of winning with no loss of money.

Value of goods and services are determined by amount of hours to produce/provide X product or service. It is actually less subjective under the new proposal and less inclined to setting profit margins based on who knows what decision companies make today.

I know most people think I'm nuts for discussing this alternative method of compensation. I just really think money has shown the full depth of its abuse possibilities with everything that has happened (and continues to happen) in the last few years. LIBOR is the ultimate insult and testament to the full power and depth of corruption that is possible under the current money system, not to mention huge Recessions/Depressions that are considered "normal" and "acceptable" as part of the "normal economic cycle". To me, that is total bovine excrement. It is unacceptable to throw millions of people out of work and call it "normal". It is unacceptable to have a lifetime of savings wiped out by Wall Street crooks and call it "normal". If that is "normal" then we ought to do something "abnormal" about it.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

right, pot is an unregulated and opaque industry

[-] 0 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

You're definitely not nuts for suggesting alternative theories. I think that is the time we're in right now as the government has shown to be out of control and capitalism has been going in a direction of exploitation.

You said - "It is unacceptable to throw millions of people out of work and call it "normal." It is unacceptable to have a lifetime of savings wiped out by Wall Street crooks and call it "normal". If that is "normal" then we ought to do something "abnormal" about it."

Amen brother

I must say it's been really enjoyable to have a reasonable debate on an issue we have differing opinions on. It's rare to run into that on this site sometimes.

Keep posting alternative ideas! Great post!

[-] 0 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

inflation can be ridden if wages rise with it

[-] 2 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

inflation is mainly a scam.

like when they say putting more money into circulation makes money worth less... that's a scam. All it should really mean is there is more money in circulation.

Wages need to rise!

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (34825) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Inflation happens when the people in charge of the stores decide they want more money in their pocket and no one says NO.

[-] 0 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

that is another form of inflation, correct. That is also a scam.

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[-] 0 points by funkytown (-374) 1 year ago

I'm not sure I feel like laboring; and so the capitalist is born.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

Labor is good. Labor produces real-world products and services. Food, clean water, soap, shelter, toothbrushes, shoes, a million other things of true value to society.

The capitalist lives in a world of abstract finance and exploitation. Because he is intelligent, he can plan and scheme up ever-more-clever ways of manipulating numbers (because money is just a number in our modern world), and thus give birth to complex computer-driven shenanigans like derivatives e.g. that do not actually provide true value the way real-world goods and services do. Thus, the capitalist is a modern-day parasite existing on the labor of others. His self-image, however, is one of superiority, since he is well-compensated for his cleverness and understanding of the financial system. He views himself as the ultimate Darwinian success story. But he is in for a rude awakening, as a parasite cannot exist without a host, and nothing artificial can long endure in the real-world in conflict with Nature. Nature always sets things right in the end, even if there is enormous destruction necessary to do so. Nature eventually does away with artificiality, and thus restores balance.

Capitalism's days are numbered. It has existed for a long time, but no system based on exploitation of resources, both human and natural, can exist forever. It is ultimately self-defeating and based on a flawed principle resulting in an unsustainable growth paradigm. We may, in fact, be witnessing the beginning of the unraveling of it now with the entire world economy in the toilet, coupled to natural resources being pushed to the very limit of what can be obtained.

Dark times ahead under this model...very dark.

[-] 0 points by funkytown (-374) 1 year ago

You're partially right and you're partially wrong; it was those who sought to capitalize that created our middle class in the first place; it was they that provided the stability and just enough profit to allow labor, over a period of years, to eventually acquire assets of their own and secure their future. Without the capitalist America we would have no middle class; virtually all would be poor. There's too much generalization and a whole lot of fallacy in the Marxist model as applies to the American experience.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

Capitalism may have served a purpose of bringing technology to a state that has allowed millions to enjoy a comfortable standard of living, this is true. But this has occurred at the cost of global exploitation and destruction...and it is unsustainable. A new model, a new way of doing things must be found if we are to avoid self-destruction and animal/plant extinction. We must find something more natural (as in Nature)...something based on the way Nature operates...not this artificial financially-driven, greed-motivated model that rewards exploitation and denies Nature's basic rule that all animals (including the human animal) must labor for their survival. That is why a system using Labor Vouchers, that requires 100% labor on every single person's part, appeals to me. The Exploiter cannot exist under such a system. Vast fortunes cannot happen under such a system. Vast debts that create monetary dictatorships and economic slaveowners cannot occur under such a system. It is a much more fair and equitable model.

We must try to do something new because what we have going now is leading us on a path to destruction...and every intelligent person can see that future coming quickly.

[-] 0 points by funkytown (-374) 1 year ago

Listen to me for one second... our country has been ruled by Ivy League schools since the Regan era; our current presidential cabinet has less business experience than any previous cabinet in over 100 years. These people are educated but not necessarily intelligent - they are merely credentialed, and as such they are not "doers," everything is about media appearances, the political image; meanwhile they are employed by money mongers of immense wealth.

Nothing will change on the political level, nothing. And even here, thoughts and visions of Utopia are meaningless, they are the mind's entertainment, and nothing more.

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (13739) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

you don't believe that - that is nothing but a sales pitch.

OWS scares ya.

I like that.

[-] 0 points by funkytown (-374) 1 year ago

I do belief the first paragraph; the second is bait. :) Do with it as you will.

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (13739) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

I see.

Or I do not.

In any case . . . ta ta

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (13739) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

has less business experience than

kinda reveals your priorities

These people are educated but not necessarily intelligent -

you are suggesting the current President will suffer fools. Not a credible assertion.

[-] 0 points by funkytown (-374) 1 year ago

Since government performs a dual function of promoting a "general" prosperity, I would like to see government as fiscally responsible to the people, yes. And on many levels - some of which I can cite - I do not see the current president as tremendously intelligent; there is succinct difference between being "intelligent" and being an "intellectual." Today's government is simply credentialed through Ivy League connections and that is all.

You know, this is a government that is supposedly all about diversity, right? And yet they attack a Sarah Palin, not for her performance in government, or for her personal character, but on an intellectual level; this would not have occurred had she attended an Ivy league school, regardless of either intelligence or intellect.

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (13739) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

True... but we've drifted, me thinks.

Not sure I like abetting . . . obfuscation . . . or whatever I am abetting - I lack sufficient data to make such a determination. But you did say we . . .

I have not drifted at all. I have remained fairly constant for quite some time.

The granularity of any data set determines the precision of an equation's end result, just as the quality of a camera lens - combined with the logarithms used to analyze the resulting picture - determines the quality of the photo.

how many different equations, how many different data sets, what differences of granularity, are being sold today?

Is it yet, one more Russian doll, emblematic of the riddle, wrapped in a mystery, enshrined in an enigma?

Is it, can we say, a virus, designed to infect the entire human race, and subdue us all to a state of passive acquiescence? A computer virus designed to ensnare, corrupt, and induce silence?

Or is that simply one more . . . .unintended consequence . . .

[-] 0 points by funkytown (-374) 1 year ago

What, pray tell, are you talking about? Is what an unintended consequence?

You know, cool use of words but let me give you a little advice - when in the course of wordsmith-ing, a phrase emerges to lighten some path, save it... sooner or later it will find its place in time.

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (13739) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

a phrase emerges to lighten some path, save it... sooner or later it will find its place in time.

  • save it . . . ?

Really? You think I should?

You know, in point of fact, I have heard that suggestion before . . . symbolized in a much more elegant, and symbolic manner . . .

My response, of course, comes in the typical spirit of Vermont traditions and . . . values

[-] 0 points by funkytown (-374) 1 year ago

Maybe you should enshrine that thought in enigma; you think?

I can do italics here? Why doesn't anybody ever tell me these things?

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (13739) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

I really think there is generally much too much obfuscation around here as it is - and I don't mean just on this forum.

I do mean

  • nation wide

On a personal note: I do find that over time, generally, I have become better able to respond to suggestions of silence with much less emotion than when I first encountered them. This of course is as variable as the weather - but as a general trend and as demonstrated above - indifference is to a degree an asset that I myself am finding useful.

I wonder . . . how did you come here? Certainly you are not passionate about any kind of political reform - it is, it seems, a matter of indifference to you, and perhaps not an asset in this instance.

Highly intelligent, yet . . . . not adequately prepared. You jumped - or were tossed - in cold.

While I find you in particular, rather interesting, your circumstances themselves would, I am certain, prove much more instructive regarding the shape of the construct and its operational mechanisms.

Have you ever lept? There are of course many many ways to leap and it is a term - or rather, the act - of leaping has become so prevalent that it has entered the culture via Hollywood - and that itself might help explain repelican disdain for the industry, but I digress - . . . .

In any case, so many and various aspects of the culture have entered the mainstream that by now silence is, it seems, entirely counter productive.

And as for leaping - well. AS I said - there are many kinds. There is the leap of observation, for example - which is basically what we have done, together. We have observed, and we have lept, to conclusions regarding each other and what we may deduce through the filter of cyber space.

There is the leap of execution . . .

and I must confess - even now consideration of the topic itself does produce a small reaction within the endocrine system. You should avoid such leaps as that, as much as you may. They do have an adverse and cumulative affect on the biological processes.

As for myself, and my own circumstances - perhaps I may save you some time - some leaping as it were.

  • when I pull my ear, it comes as an act of rebellion
[-] 0 points by funkytown (-374) 1 year ago

A word, I heard... it has been said no act of rebellion is wasted; would you be so kind as to explain that to the rebel's son?

And you are sooo right - there are many leaps to spring and to be sprung, but as for me, it's time to flee... because all gedankensprung is calamity.

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (13739) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

and you, of course, are an intellectual.

of course.

How's your math?

[-] 0 points by funkytown (-374) 1 year ago

Math definitely does not define the intellectual. Definitely not, that's part of my point. My math at one point was, I don't know, third year college level. No longer. Math, no offense, was always too easy for me. Although, will admit, it does get a little freaky at the upper levels.

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (13739) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

Math definitely does not define the intellectual.

Oh of course not. Unless one enters into the physical debate on the wrong side, and then of course, it is no longer science but rather philosophy, at which point the mathematician insists, it is purely intellectual -

proof can be hard to come by.

You must be the salesman/implementation tech. Checking on the product? Modeling your beliefs to fit the market. Unless no tailoring is needed - and that seems more likely, but not necessarily the case.

You will protest of course. Denial will be . . . interested, amused.

[-] 0 points by funkytown (-374) 1 year ago

Yea, I know, you're baiting me. I'm not sure what your point is here. You're saying that only math and experimental science can be trusted as true truths, as that which we believe, or can believe, with all certainty?

Can you say with all certainty that is true of all those currently in government, of Ivy League schools? That they only believe what is proven through math and experimental science? I sincerely doubt it. I also think that both math and science contain tremendous gray areas.

But it doesn't matter - math and science are but tools in the philosophical quest for knowledge, as understanding, which is unending and cannot be denied. They don't define the intellectual. Nor are they a measure of intelligence, which arrives in many forms.

Am I the salesman or are you? What product have we determined to sell, and what do you suppose will be the final price?

My mind, incidentally, is not for sale at any price. Even if it were, who would buy it?

[-] 2 points by ZenDog (13739) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

My mind, incidentally . . .

Certainly not me - I don't have any money. But I'm sure there are those who would be interested. Why else would you bring it up . . .

As far as math as an intellectual endeavor goes - I was simply pointing out that there are mathematicians who would certainly disagree with your original characterization that math was not an intellectual endeavor, or that it was not in some way, definitive.

I do not argue either side of that debate, I lack the qualifications. I do find it interesting.

What are true truths?

Surely math is true, when all of the variables behave as predicted. When the all encompassing equation is complete.

When the entire series of functions are laid out upon the black board where all can see the beginning, and the end

then of course, math is true.

But is it a truth?

or is it simply another shiny lure with which to reel in big fish . . . and so to the fish, a lie . . .

[-] -1 points by funkytown (-374) 1 year ago

True... but we've drifted, me thinks.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

You said -- "Nothing will change on the political level, nothing. And even here, thoughts and visions of Utopia are meaningless, they are the mind's entertainment, and nothing more."

You have a very dark vision of things. We might as well all put a gun to our heads and pull the trigger. I prefer to think of the possibilities that could be if you could get enough people moving in a positive direction. I don't believe in Utopia. But I do believe in trying to make things better. Progress is possible. History proves this. Yes, the Illuminati have the advantage now. You may be correct, and they might indeed enslave the entire planet. But people have a way of being very resilient, and I prefer to place my bet with the common man/woman. What other alternative is there, except to just give up?

I never give up...ever.

And Occupy doesn't appear to be a group who gives up easily either.

[-] 0 points by funkytown (-374) 1 year ago

Well, it is an interesting concept. And determination goes a long way.

[-] 0 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

interesting post

[-] -1 points by Bert74 (-8) from Philadelphia, PA 1 year ago

None of them. Capitalism is the best model every tried by any civilization. Anarchism is the dumbest and Mutualism leaves everyone poor.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 1 year ago

So a system based on exploitation of resources, both human and natural, and that results in now planetary destruction of habitats and the global environment (resulting in mass-species extinction and global warming), is the best model possible?