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Forum Post: Dispelling mainstream lies about the economy

Posted 1 year ago on Sept. 21, 2012, 3:59 p.m. EST by TommyNYC (730)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Please watch the video before you respond. Please.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mM5Ep9fS7Z0

144 Comments

144 Comments


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[-] 3 points by WSmith (5271) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

More empirical truths and facts.

The public controls 70+% of the economy.

The 1% via (R)Congress is holding the economy hostage.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (20502) 1 year ago

I loved it. Nice and simple by the brilliant Robert Reich. Thanks.

[-] 3 points by TommyNYC (730) 1 year ago

Glad you enjoyed. I wish he had a larger audience. Not only is he brilliant, but he really has a great ability to break things down concisely.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (20502) 1 year ago

That's what is so great about him. His ability to convey a message succinctly and on the level of others. I love that guy.

[-] 2 points by WSmith (5271) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

Another good byproduct of the Clinton years.

[-] 1 points by TommyNYC (730) 1 year ago

Weird to me that he would hire Reich, and then have Greenspan as the Fed chair.

[-] 1 points by WSmith (5271) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

Compromise. It's a dirty word to the Corp-GOPs, but not to people interested in the repairs and improvement of the country. The right denies our collective society in its single-minded, lockstep, blitz, pursuits for "prosperity" (Read: redistribution of wealth to the top 1%). We try to bring everyone along for the general welfare, progress and posterity!

[-] 0 points by TommyNYC (730) 1 year ago

Yes. I just wish that he didn't keep an anarcho-capitalist in charge of regulation. Prosperity can be blinding.

There is still hope for Obama, I think he will take the right path in his second term.

[-] 2 points by WSmith (5271) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

Compromise is the only way democracy works.

Remember, any politician not owned by the Power Elite has a very weak handle on the controls. Especially when we have the lowest voter turnout and the highest Big$ turnout. Our apathy handicaps the public side and gives enormous advantage to the greed-addled private side. In this predicament, a People's POTUS is angling a whale with 100lb test, he/she has to be creative. The unprecedented attacks and obstruction by the Reich, indicates there is much hope for Obama and the country.

[-] 2 points by TommyNYC (730) 1 year ago

Yes, Obama has stood up through a lot of relentless and unfair attacks.

[-] 2 points by WSmith (5271) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

"All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent" -- Thomas Jefferson

Not Voting is silence supreme!

[-] 2 points by TommyNYC (730) 1 year ago

People need to stop complaining about the state of our democracy and get out there and participate!

Vote Solidarity

[-] 2 points by WSmith (5271) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

I think we're on the same "website."

[-] 1 points by flip (5074) 1 year ago

tech man sent this to me and i thought of you and our conversations - if you do not know alan watts - check him out. he brought eastern philosophy to the west (to some extent) - here is the peice - TechJunkie (2789) from Miami Beach, FL 28 minutes ago

Ever heard of Alan Watts?

...on the fundamental confusion between money and wealth:

Remember the Great Depression of the Thirties? One day there was a flourishing consumer economy, with everyone on the up-and-up; and the next, unemployment, poverty, and bread lines. What happened? The physical resources of the country -- the brain, brawn, and raw materials -- were in no way depleted, but there was a sudden absence of money, a so-called financial slump. Complex reasons for this kind of disaster can be elaborated at length by experts on banking and high finance who cannot see the forest for the trees. But it was just as if someone had come to work on building a house and, on the morning of the Depression, the boss had said, "Sorry, baby, but we can't build today. No inches." "Whaddya mean, no inches? We got wood. We got metal. We even got tape measures." "Yeah, but you don't understand business. We been using too many inches and there's just no more to go around."

A few years later, people were saying that Germany couldn't possibly equip a vast army and wage a war, because it didn't have enough gold.

What wasn't understood then, and still isn't really understood today, is that the reality of money is of the same type as the reality of centimeters, grams, hours, or lines of longitude. Money is a way of measuring wealth but is not wealth in itself. A chest of gold coins or a fat wallet of bills is of no use whatsoever to a wrecked sailor alone on a raft. He needs real wealth, in the form of a fishing rod, a compass, an outboard moter with gas, and a female companion.

Alan Watts - Does It Matter?

[-] 2 points by WSmith (5271) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

Allan Watts promoted humanitarianism, democracy, liberalism, progressiveness; never fascism, predatory capitalism, plutocracy or totalitarianism.

[-] 1 points by flip (5074) 1 year ago

i agree - and your point - did someone say other wise

[-] 1 points by WSmith (5271) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

Techjunk poison

[-] 1 points by flip (5074) 1 year ago

and your point?

[-] 1 points by WSmith (5271) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

my recollection of junk is anti-Watts

[-] 0 points by flip (5074) 1 year ago

do you enjoy making no sense - i won't repeat my question since it seems pointless!

[-] 1 points by WSmith (5271) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

I'm sorry, could you repeat that?

[-] 1 points by flip (5074) 1 year ago

very funny - so far this is the only thing you have posted that is near the intellectual level of my 3 yr old grand daughter - here they are in order - 1- Allan Watts promoted humanitarianism, democracy, liberalism, progressiveness; never fascism, predatory capitalism, plutocracy or totalitarianism (ok, so far so good but not on topic) - 2 - Techjunk poison (very bizarre!) and - 3 - my recollection of junk is anti-Watts.(ouch - are you drinking this early?) - you must be a new recruit to ows - you'll get the hang of it - someday!

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

Haha see? Mentioning my name just doesn't help anybody to make any point around here.

[-] 1 points by flip (5074) 1 year ago

well there are some people who are contra indicaters

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (20502) 1 year ago

"The Way of Zen," right? And, yes, that all makes sense. Money is simply a symbol or representation of real wealth, and so, in today's world it has obviously been unethically manipulated.

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (20479) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

Complex reasons for this kind of disaster can be elaborated at length by experts on banking and high finance who cannot see the forest for the trees.

Actually SparkNotes has a fairly great synopsis of what happened - from over production of cars, radios, and even wheat, to the ten day market panic, to repeliccan Hoover do nothing economic policy - that mirrors repeliccan policy today - with the exception of a 60% tariff on imports resulting in foreign retaliation and an end of exports.

The dollar is not like an inch at all. An inch is a measure of distance. A clock measures time, as we understand it from circling the sun. These are concrete measurements based on observations of the natural world.

A dollar is a medium of trade. It is not a measure of wealth - that is illusion. It is an illusion that industrial society is highly dependent on. It is an agreement, a contract. It is an alternative to producing my own food, and building my own shelter out of natural resources available - rather than produce these things on my own I am offered the option of trading my labor for the dollar, in the hope that I may purchase these necessities rather than produce them myself.

It is not a measure of anything, when the base line of that measurement constantly fluctuates, when the cost of milk, bread and housing out pace any increase in compensation for my labor.

At that point it ceases to be a medium of trade and becomes the means of theft.

The Dollar is an illusion. Those who have amassed tremendous numbers of them should consider carefully their own responsibility in ensuring that this illusion remain intact, that it not become self evident that the dollar is nothing more than a means of enslavement, for once that is clear, the American public will rise up and throw off that yoke, by any means both necessary and available - and those with tremendous numbers of dollars may find themselves with nothing at all.

.

And Germany was aided in matters of finance by George Herbert Walker and Prescott Bush (George W. Bush's grandfather) and other directors of the U-nion Banking Company (UBC) [who] were Nazi collaborators.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 1 year ago

Where did you get the idea that there was a 60% tariff, or that tariffs, rather than a collapse of global demand caused a reduction in exports. There was not an END to exports.

[-] 2 points by ZenDog (20479) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

I'm pretty sure I left a link up there - and I'm sure you can google for more indepth information regarding the various intricacies, nuances, and subtle distinctions of various aspects of the tariffs, the status of imports both before and after Hoover's policy, and how all of it fits in the overall global economic decline of the era . . .

ya can google, can't ya?

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 1 year ago

Yes, I can google, but I am already familiar with this subject. At no time in US history have tariffs been 60%. The highest ever tariffs were around 1870. You know 1870 when we had a great depression. Oh wait. No we didn't. Tariffs maxed out at 35% in 1930. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tariffs_in_United_States_history

[-] 2 points by ZenDog (20479) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

Hoover made another serious miscalculation by signing into law the 1930 Smoot-Hawley Tariff, which drove the average tariff rate on imported goods up to almost 60 percent.

.

The Tariff Act of 1930 (codified at 19 U.S.C. ch.4 ), otherwise known as the Smoot–Hawley Tariff or Hawley–Smoot Tariff,[1] was an act, sponsored by Senator Reed Smoot and Representative Willis C. Hawley, and signed into law on June 17, 1930, that raised U.S. tariffs on over 20,000 imported goods to record levels.[2]

The overall level tariffs under the Tariff were the second-highest in U.S. history, exceeded by a small margin only by the Tariff of 1828.[3] The act, and the ensuing retaliatory tariffs by U.S. trading partners, reduced American exports and imports by more than half.

Historically, there has been confusion as to the actual tariff level imposed by the Smoot–Hawley Tariff. In the two volume series published by the U.S. Bureau of the Census entitled "The Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970, Bicentennial Edition," tariff rates have been represented in two forms. On page 888 in the series U207-212, the first measure is the "dutiable tariff rate" which is the tariff revenue divided by the dollar value of dutiable imports. The second measure is the "free and dutiable tariff rate" which is the tariff revenue divided by the dollar sum of both dutiable and non-dutiable imports. The "dutiable tariff rate" peak of 1932 was 59.1%, second only to the 61.7% rate of 1830. However, in 1933, 63% of all imports were never taxed which the "dutiable tariff rate" does not reflect. The "free and dutiable rate" in 1929 was 13.5% and peaked under Smoot–Hawley in 1933 at 19.8% which is significantly below the 29.7% "free and dutiable rate" that the United States averaged from 1821 until 1900. By 1937 the "free and dutiable tariff rate" was reduced to 15.6% when the recession of 1937-1938 occurred.

.


.

You were saying?

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 1 year ago

Your links contradict each other. The first states an average tariff on imported goods rate of over 60%. That is blatantly false. Maybe if you read your own links a little more carefully you would notice. The 59.1% (not over 60%) was not an average rate on all goods. It was only on "dutiable" goods.Here's the key part, ..... Copied from your own link......The "free and dutiable rate" in 1929 was 13.5% and peaked under Smoot–Hawley in 1933 at 19.8% which is significantly below the 29.7% "free and dutiable rate" that the United States averaged from 1821 until 1900.......The "free and dutiable tariff rate" THAT MEANS THE AVERAGE. peaked at 19.8% under Smoot Hawley WHICH WAS SIGNIFICANTLY BELOW THE AVERAGE FROM 1821 until 1900. How many Great Depressions happened between 1821 and 1900?

[-] 2 points by ZenDog (20479) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

umm, if you look at the original, you will find I took some trouble to include both the dutiful rate, and the combined, free and dutiful rate.

and my links aren't contradictory - if they were I would now be searching a third. Instead, you will note SparkyNotes indicates almost 60 percent

while Wiki indicates 59.1%.

I do not see a contradiction there.

I did round up when I posted here and if that is your issue then the fault is mine, and not the links themselves.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 1 year ago

Sparky says average. That is not correct. Here is what you said, copied and pasted......"with the exception of a 60% tariff on imports resulting in foreign retaliation and an end of exports." You said ON IMPORTS. Not on some imports. (by the way, it's dutiable, not dutiful). The average, once again, under Smoot Hawley peaked at 19.8% That's a lot lower than the average tariffs, at 29.7% that existed from 1821 through 1900,to repeat myself. Yet no Great Depression between 1821 and 1900. Kinda might seem the tariffs might not have a hell of lot to do with it. Also,in 1870 with average tariffs at 44%, more than double the Smoot Hawley average rate,no Great Depression. You were saying?

[-] 2 points by ZenDog (20479) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

I'm sure Sparky meant average tariff on dutiable tariff rate - rather than the free and ditiable.

The Smoot–Hawley Tariff Act was simply one response to the Depression, I never said it was a cause, but it did contribute to a further contraction of the economy by making it more difficult to sell American goods overseas.

[-] 2 points by TommyNYC (730) 1 year ago

I think that it's pretty much a consensus that extreme protectionism in a serious recession is bad news.

[-] 3 points by ZenDog (20479) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

Is there? I'll bet if you look you will find some repelican somewhere who will insist otherwise . . .

[-] 2 points by TommyNYC (730) 1 year ago

Sorry, I should adjust that last statement.

I think that it's pretty much a consensus, among non-reptiles, that extreme protectionism in a serious recession is bad news.

[-] 3 points by ZenDog (20479) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

LoL!

You would think Congress would object to lizards in Chambers . . .

[-] 1 points by TommyNYC (730) 1 year ago

They have ways of disguising themselves!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KScfXiudb-c&feature=related

[-] 3 points by ZenDog (20479) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

o Heavens!

martha, git dah shot.gun!

[-] 2 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 1 year ago

Well, Michelle Bachman thought it turned a recession into a depression, except she thought Roosevelt enacted it and she called it "Hoot Smalley". Quite a hoot. (but you may already know this) So this link is just for those who need a chuckle. http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/04/historian-michele-bachmann-blames-fdrs-hoot-smalley-tariffs-for-great-depression.php

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

You're talking to a guy who responded to the idea that money is a measurement of wealth with an expression of Godwin's Law, equating Republicans with Hitler. Anything that you try to talk to him about will come back to that.

[-] 2 points by ZenDog (20479) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

o come now, you fukin repeliccan you - that's a cheap shot and you know it.

Look at the facts. What facts? These facts . . .

.

Flip said:

A few years later, people were saying that Germany couldn't possibly equip a vast army and wage a war, because it didn't have enough gold.

.

My response was

And Germany was aided in matters of finance by George Herbert Walker and Prescott Bush (George W. Bush's grandfather) and other directors of the U-nion Banking Company (UBC) [who] were Nazi collaborators.

.

Both comments were minor points in a much larger context - it isn't my fault of the repeliccan dynasty of note was complicit in the most notorious event of the 20th century.

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

The Nazis were not the point of that quote. You obviously do not comprehend that quote. Insisting on turning this into some kind of partisan thing about a Republicans and Nazis just demonstrates that you don't understand what the quote is about. All you can comprehend is the fight between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party, but that quote was about something else entirely. The quote was about the difference between a representation and the thing that it represents.

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (20479) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

You can not even be bothered to provide specificity regarding which quote I do not understand - and perhaps I should cease - but I really do have difficulty letting go of the obvious attempt at obfuscation . . .

Surely you mean this post here

In that comment reference was made regarding pubic perceptions surrounding the capacity of the German economy during that era. I was simply pointing to one of the sources of the misconception. Had it not been for the assistance provided to Germany by George Herbert Walker and Prescott Bush perhaps they would not have been able to equip a modern army.

Gold is yet another representation.

An inch, on the other hand, is a precise measure of something. And the dollar?

  • that is an illusion.
[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

Sorry, no, you're still not getting it. You're so desperate to find some angle for attacking Republicans in every single message that you are hilariously failing to understand the point.

Gold is a tangible thing but it's not wealth. A gram is a unit of measurement that you can quantify an amount of gold with. Money also is a way to measure something, rather than the thing itself. Gold and money are both representations of wealth but not real wealth. Alan Watts was trying to point out to you the difference between wealth and money, but you hilariously had the uncontrollable urge to respond with some random, totally unrelated jab at Republicans. You are an unbelievable slave to your own prejudices.

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (20479) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

I see you are still having difficulty with the reality of the dollar as an illusion.

That's alright. I understand.

It can be quite unsettling -

  • especially for a repeliccan
[-] 2 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

The whole point of that Alan Watts quote was actually about the dollar being an illusion. You're so intent on slamming on Republicans at every opportunity that you're not even trying to understand what he said.

I have to say that I lost what little respect I had for you when you repeatedly posted the dictionary definition of the word "kilogram" in an attempt to insist that mass and weight are the same thing. Googling a word doesn't make a person intelligent, understanding the concepts behind the words does.

That doesn't have anything to do with politics or ideology, but it reflects very poorly on your credibility that you would simply post and post and re-post the dictionary definition of the word "kilogram" over and over and over while at least two people are trying to point out that you're failing to understand a pretty simple concept that any high-school graduate should understand. Your actions tonight diminish your credibility on other topics. I'm always going to remember your really transparent attempts to Google something that you don't understand in order to pretend that you do understand it.

I'm going to ask two simple questions that any high school student can answer in about five seconds without using a calculator:

  1. If a rock weighs 6 pounds on Earth, and the force of gravity on the moon is one-sixth that of the force of gravity on Earth, then how much does the rock weigh on the moon?

  2. If a rock's mass is 6 kilograms on Earth, then what is the mass of that rock on the moon?

[-] 2 points by ZenDog (20479) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

No I'm making fun of you because you still think that you can just "convert" a pound to a kilogram . . .

I can, I did, you could, if you only knew, and as my comment here attests,

Your obstinate obnoxiousness - a trait that researchers have demonstrated is common among conservatives - belies the fact that your source does not present the matter of money or of wealth with any great clarity - and certainly not as succinctly as it is to simply acknowledge -

  • the dollar is an illusion

Which I think you did, finally accept somewhere around here, without ever coming to grips with the reality that Watts seems to have fallen some short on that issue.

[-] -1 points by ZenDog (20479) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

While the mass may remain the same, quantification of a rock weighing 2.7215540kg becomes problematic with any degree of precision. The reason for this difficulty stems from differences in gravitational acceleration based on elevation, latitude, and even density . . .

YOu, for example, would exert more gravity on the basis of density, than might otherwise be expected . . . but I digress.

For a precise calculation of weight, whether of pounds, kilograms, or newtons, we will of necessity require an examination of gravimetry.

Given a lack of unification - a lack of a unified theory of everything - or in the case of the obstinate contrarian, anything - we must allow the possibility that there may yet be found conditions under which mass is itself, elastic.

Since you still insist on confusion over the matter of weight - which is, I am absolutely certain, a weighty issue - I append the following from Wiki in the hope that you may somehow yet be improved . .

Types of scales and what they measure

Technically, whenever someone stands on a balance-beam-type scale at a doctor’s office, they are truly having their mass measured. This is because balances ("dual-pan" mass comparators) compare the weight of the mass on the platform with that of the sliding counterweights on the beams; gravity serves only as the force-generating mechanism that allows the needle to diverge from the "balanced" (null) point. Balances can be moved from Earth’s equator to the poles without spuriously indicating that objects became over 0.3% more massive; they are immune to the gravity-countering centrifugal force due to Earth’s rotation about its axis. Conversely, whenever someone steps onto spring-based or digital load cell-based scales (single-pan devices), they are technically having their weight (force due to strength of gravity) measured. On force-measuring instruments such as these, variations in the strength of gravity affect the reading. As a practical matter, when force-measuring scales are used in commerce or hospitals, they are calibrated on-site and certified on that basis so the measure is mass, expressed in pounds or kilograms, to the desired level of accuracy.[10]

.

As to what I provided earlier regarding Mass and Weight, clearly you are having difficulty with English:

I could, if necessary, do your homework for you and provide definitions to each of the terms: mass, weight, and force. But were I to do that it would be as if I were insisting, consistent with the theme of weights, measures, and gravitational pull

  • that you are a slug.

That just seems mean.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

Yep, okay thanks. You just proved my allegation about your credibility. The answers are really simple. The rock that weighs six pounds on Earth weighs one pound on the moon. The rock with a mass of six kilograms has a mass of six kilograms on the moon. You don't need seven or eight paragraphs of bullshit to say that.

Instead of simply saying that the rock weighs a pound on the moon, you posted a pile of obfuscation that conclusively proves that you have no clue what you're talking about. Your answer would have been worth a zero on a high school physics test.

I'm not making fun of you for not knowing some random trivia about high school physics. I'm sharply criticizing you and questioning your credibility in general for posting all of that bullshit that you just posted in an attempt to pretend that you understood a concept that you obviously did not understand. How often do you do that when you're talking about politics? Economics? History?

I have officially lost what little respect I had for you. Good night.

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

[-] -1 points by ZenDog (20479) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

you are just having a hissy because I converted six pounds into 2.7215540kg

go away. good riddance. you repelican

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

No I'm making fun of you because you still think that you can just "convert" a pound to a kilogram, which demonstrates conclusively that you don't understand the difference between mass and weight. You answered a question about weight by giving a measurement of mass.

Actually -- strike that. I'm making fun of you for pretending that you do understand when you obviously do not. You obviously just don't get it. Which is okay. Maybe there are a lot of people who just didn't get along with high school physics. But the disgusting thing about you is your endless, condescending, repetitive posts where you pretend that you know everything when in this case at least it's obvious that you don't understand the basic concept behind what you're talking about.

I have to assume that you do this everyday when you talk about things that are more complicated than this, like economics and politics. That's why your credibility took a serious hit tonight, ZenDog, and that's why I have lost what little respect I had for you. It's very sad.

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

It's becoming increasingly clear why threads of substance and issues that actually pertain to WallSt never get traction on this forum.

[-] -1 points by ZenDog (20479) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

butt out richard

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

By all means, continue your profound conversation. Don't mind me, I'm just the oddball of this forum that bitches about WallSt and inequality, regardless of labels. Not like that has anything to do with the theme of Occupy or anything.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 1 year ago

Yeah, All evil comes from Rs

[-] 0 points by flip (5074) 1 year ago

when economists and zen masters say the same thing then even unzen animals should sit up and take notice! from stephanie kelton- “So, let’s begin with the first lesson. What is money? All money exists as an IOU. It’s a debt. When we say, ‘I owe you,’ we mean two people are involved in every monetary relationship. The ‘I’ is the debtor. The ‘U’ is the creditor. I Owe You. IOUs are recorded in what we call the money of account. The money of account in Australia is the Australian dollar. The money of account in the U.S., the U.S. dollar. The money of account in Japan, the Japanese Yen. In Britain, the British pound. In Italy, the Euro. Do you see a difference? You will by the end of this talk.

(c. 6:21) “The money of account is something abstract, like a metre, a kilogram, a hectare. It’s not something you can touch or feel. It’s representational, something only a human could imagine. In any modern nation the money of account is chosen by the national government. MMT emphasises the state’s power over money. This is not something new. It dates back as far as Aristotle. You can find it in Adam Smith and in the work of John Maynard Keynes. I will read a brief quote from Keynes who said:

“‘The age of chartalist, or state money, was reached when the State claimed the right to declare what thing should answer as money of account. Today, all civilised money is, beyond the possibility of dispute, chartalist’—state money.

“A sovereign government defines the money of account. A sovereign government imposes taxes, fees, and other obligations to be paid to be paid to the state. A sovereign government decides what it will accept in payment to itself. And sovereign government chooses how it will make its own payments to others. Most governments in the world today choose their own unique money of account. And they issue their own unique currency. One nation, one money, is the rule in almost every corner of the world today. U.S. dollars, bills and coins. Mexican pesos, bills and coins. British pounds, notes and coins. Most governments also require that taxes be paid in a currency that the state has the exclusive power to issue. These currencies are sovereign money.

(c. 8:50) “As long as the state has the power to enforce its tax laws, the people will need the government’s money. The currency will have value. People will work to sell things—goods and services—to the government in order to get government money. Whatever the government accepts in payment to itself becomes the ultimate, ‘definitive,’ money in the economy. It is the only way to settle a debt. You must use government money. We can imagine in any economy a hierarchy of money. But not all money is created equal. The most acceptable money sits at the top of the pyramid. Those are the IOUs that everyone accepts and everyone must accept. Those are the IOUs that are ultimately needed to pay our debts. Those are the government’s IOUs. The rest of us can go in debt, issue IOUs, but our debt is not as good as government debt. It’s not as acceptable. It can’t be used to pay for things.

(c. 10:25) “In the U.S., the hierarchy looks like this: The government’s IOU—the United States dollar—sits at the top of the pyramid. It is a fiat currency. The United States government is the monopoly issuer of the U.S. dollar—the only entity on the planet that can legally create the currency. The U.S. government taxes in dollars. It spends in dollars. And it controls its own currency. Why is this important? What are the benefits of issuing your own currency? They are extraordinary.

(c. 11:19) “The government, when it issues its own currency, and goes into debt in that currency can always pay its debt, can never go broke, can never run out of money. It can afford anything that is for sale in that currency. It doesn’t need to borrow its own currency. And it can set its own interest rate. It does not have to pay what markets want. It does not become a victim to speculation, to bond vigilantes. It has additional policy space. It can do things for its economy and for its people that a government that does not have a sovereign currency cannot do.

(c. 12:18) “Think about what the hierarchy would look like under a gold standard. Many governments operated under gold or silver or both for some period of time in our world history. Under a gold standard, the government promises to convert its currency into gold. In that situation, what sits at the top of the pyramid is not the state’s currency, but the gold reserves. This means that the government must be careful about how much it spends. If it spends too much of its own currency, it can jeopardise the entire system because it may not be able to convert currency into gold as promised. You have to limit your spending and limit what you do with your policies. Governments operating under a gold standard do not have sovereign currency.

[-] 0 points by flip (5074) 1 year ago

you do not have the zen of a dog - not sure why this part jumped out at me - "Complex reasons for this kind of disaster can be elaborated at length by experts on banking and high finance who cannot see the forest for the trees." - alan watts just made it obvious to every thinking person (no dogs i guess)

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (20479) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

“The money of account is something abstract, like a metre, a kilogram, a hectare. It’s not something you can touch or feel. It’s representational, something only a human could imagine.

A kilo is not abstract - it has substance - it has weight. Stack eighty kilos of anything together - then pick it up. It has substance. It is not abstract.

On the other hand, eighty kilos of concrete may have a certain value in dollars today - but whatever its value today, we can be certain, it is not same value it had ten years ago, nor will it be the same value ten years hence.

IT is the value that is subjective - not the weight, and certainly not the utility.

A kilo of weight is similar in that we derive a number for that weight on the basis of agreement. We agree that a kilo is equivalent to 2.204 pounds.

We agree a dollar has value - but whatever value it has today is not what it will have tomorrow. The cost of anything is subject to change, and much of that change is based entirely on perception of market conditions.

Fear plays no part in the weight of a kilo. Let fear infect Wall Street - and the value of the dollar will plummet worldwide - and in consequence the value of my labor will necessarily go up - even if market conditions make employment impossible.

Why? Because the cost of food will rise as the dollar plummets.

This does not necessarily mean that I will not devalue what I charge for my labor - the necessity of survival may dictate accepting much less than my labor is worth.

The value of a dollar is an illusion. IT is not anchored to anything - not even the cost of my labor. The fundamental function of the dollar is as a medium of trade, an exchange, labor for dollars. Dollars for food, clothing, housing. Rather than labor to produce these things on my own, I trade my labor for dollars, and once the transaction is complete we do not say there remains some indebtedness between us.

Yet I have traded something of value - my labor - for nothing but paper. Or, more properly, cotton. I could as easily have traded my labor for a bird or a pig, and so been fed - and while this remains true today, it is not as easily done as it once was.

This does not mean the dollar is less illusory - fear on Wall Street may still reduce both the value of the dollar in my pocket and the value of my labor - what it means is that society is more committed to the illusion than it ever was. And yet, despite this commitment, the illusion remains no more secure then it ever has.

.

And I never said one could not expound for days on end on the various causes behind the Great Depression - certainly one can, I merely pointed out that it is not entirely necessary - and as Watts may seem to suggest, quite possibly it is counterproductive to do so.

And what's that you say? I do not have the zen of a dog . . . have you measured the zen of a dog? Who can say that a dog does not possess something quite profound . . .

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

A kilo has no weight. A kilo is a measurement. (Of mass, not weight.) You're making the classic logical error of "confusing the map and the territory", as Alan Watts liked to say. The map is not the territory. The map is a representation of the territory. This is a fundamental Zen concept, the distinction between a thing and a representation of a thing.

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

[-] 2 points by ZenDog (20479) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

my goodness . . . your skull is very dense compared with the mass of your entire body . . .

A kilogram is an internationally accepted unit of mass, weight or force.

A dollar has no certain value. Whatever value it may have is only that which we ascribe to it - no more and no less. It is uncertain, ephemeral,

  • illusory . . .

A dollar is both a thing and a representation of something else - something it is not.

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

A kilogram has no specific weight, so that was a very poor example. The weight of a kilogram depends on gravitation. A kilogram on the moon weighs one sixth of what it does on Earth.

But that totally neglects the overall point about the distinction between the map and the territory that you are not understanding. Which FYI is a fundamental concept in Zen Buddhism.

[-] 2 points by ZenDog (20479) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

one kilo equals 9.8 newtons, -

Professionals in engineering and scientific disciplines involving accelerations and kinetic energies rigorously maintain the distinctions between mass, force, and weight, as well as their respective units of measure. Engineers in disciplines involving weight loading (force on a structure due to gravity), such as structural engineering, first convert loads due to objects like concrete and automobiles—which are always tallied in kilograms—to newtons before continuing with their calculations. Primarily, this is because material properties like elastic modulus are measured and published in terms of the newton and pascal (a unit of pressure derived from the newton). For all practical engineering purposes on Earth, mass in kilograms is converted to weight in newtons by multiplying by 9.80665 m/s2 (standard gravity).

.

I understand your attempt at obfuscation very well.

  • The dollar has no value.

.

and who said anything about Buddha?

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

a kilogram weighs 9.8 newtons on earth

mass is not force

1 newton of force will accelerate the velocity a kg of mass 1 meter/s each second

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

Mass is not the same thing as weight. This is simple physics. You post all of these big words that you obviously don't understand since you don't understand the difference between mass and weight.

But you're still totally missing the point about the difference between the map and the territory.

[-] 2 points by ZenDog (20479) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

in typical carl with a K fashion, you keep repeating that - and all of your repetition doesn't make it so.

Any mathematical concept is entirely dependent upon precise definition of terms.

And yet a dollar is, in a very real sense, a mathematical concept - one that attempts to quantify value - whether of wealth, goods or services, or labor, really makes no differences for our purposes.

Yet the definition of the dollar as a measure of value remains uncertain.

  • the dollar is only an illusion.

Is the dollar the map? Or the territory?

  • what will it be worth tomorrow?
[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

Anybody who has taken a high school physics class, which hopefully is everybody here, is laughing right now.

https://www.google.com/search?q=difference+between+mass+and+weight

Money is a measurement. A representation. The map, not the territory. You acknowledged that by saying that money quantifies wealth but you still dont grasp the difference between a unit of measurement and the thng that it measures. You don't understand any of what Flip and I have been talking about yet you got a Karl Rove jab in there since that's the only thing that you can comprehend, is hatred for the 'other side' of a false dichotomy. Your "Zen" name seems really funny in this context.

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (20479) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

Actually we've already been over this. This constant repetition isn't getting you any closer to the truth or reality - however it is a typical carl with a K tactic.

As I said,

I understand perfectly well what you and flip have been talking about - the problem is your source material. It does not comprehend the true nature of the dollar. It is a measure of nothing - not even perception. It is perception that gives it value.

In that sense the dollar may be map or terrain - for this too depends entirely on perception. To one who accumulates dollars in the mistaken belief that dollars are wealth, the dollar is the terrain. Never mind that market place fear may make his entire wealth meaningless.

To the ultra or mega rich, whose assets are diversified, property, stocks, bonds, metals - to such individuals the dollar is no more than the map - a means of arriving at wealth - but still - all of the wealth the dollar may amass remains little more than illusory. If you think this is not so, talk to someone who owns real estate in a market that has seen the worst of the housing bubble.

The dollar is a medium of trade and no more - it is a medium of trade for my labor.

  • The dollar is but an illusion.
[-] 0 points by flip (5074) 1 year ago

i don't think you read any of this very well. who was it who said - "the wise boldly pick up a truth when they hear it - be quick or you'll lose your head!" dogs are zen - no?

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (20479) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

the value of money is an illusion. A penny is worth only one cent - and yet how much does it cost to produce one penny?

Each year the U.S. Mint puts millions of new pennies into circulation (4.9 billion in 2011, for instance), and the cost of producing each of those pennies involves four components: metal, fabrication (pre-production metal processing), labor/overhead and transportation. Metal is largest component of this cost: the penny has been composed of 97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper since 1982, and because the price of those metals fluctuates, so too does the cost of producing pennies.

In 2005, the cost to the United States Mint to produce a penny was 0.97 cents, which was just a smidge under a cent. In 2006, that year's pennies each cost about 1.23 cents to manufacture. Rises in metal prices, particularly of zinc, pushed the per-unit cost up to 1.7 cents in 2007. By 2012, production costs had risen to 2.41 cents per penny.

[-] 0 points by flip (5074) 1 year ago

not relevant

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (20479) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

of course it is relevant - it costs more to produce a penny than we agree that penny is worth. This points to the fundamental nature of the penny -

  • which is illusory.

Were it not an illusion, you would insist on gathering up all of the pennies you could, and so melt them down, so that you could get more pennies. In fact, the illusory nature of the penny is itself so fragile today that to melt them down in an effort to make money can cost you up to five years in prison.

  • United States Mint Moves to Limit Exportation & Melting of Coins . . . . . . . December 14, 2006

  • The United States Mint has implemented regulations to limit the exportation, melting, or treatment of one-cent (penny) and 5-cent (nickel) United States coins, to safeguard against a potential shortage of these coins in circulation. The United States Mint is soliciting public comment on the interim rule, which is being published in the Federal Register.

  • Prevailing prices of copper, nickel and zinc have caused the production costs of pennies and nickels to significantly exceed their respective face values. The United States Mint also has received a steady flow of inquiries from the public over the past several months concerning the metal value of these coins and whether it is legal to melt them.

  • The new regulations authorize a fine of not more than $10,000, or imprisonment of not more than five years, or both, against a person who knowingly violates the regulations. In addition, by law, any coins exported, melted, or treated in violation of the regulation shall be forfeited to the United States Government.

.

This is as much about the maintenance of perception as it is preservation of the currency for commerce.

The value we place on a dollar bill is simply based on collective agreement - it is an illusion - one that dissipates the instant fear enters into Wall Street.

It does seem that you are yourself, heavily invested in this illusion - but consider, you cannot eat the dollar, and be sustained.

[-] 0 points by flip (5074) 1 year ago

did you read the original post? this is accurate -"The dollar is not like an inch at all. An inch is a measure of distance" but doesn't change the correctness of what watts and kelton are pointing out. do you understand their point?

[-] 2 points by ZenDog (20479) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

What wasn't understood then, and still isn't really understood today, is that the reality of money is of the same type as the reality of centimeters, grams, hours, or lines of longitude. Money is a way of measuring wealth but is not wealth in itself.

the author does not understand that an inch as a measure is far more concrete than a dollar, which measures nothing. It is perception that gives the dollar meaning.

  • The dollar is an illusion.
[-] 2 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

Wealth is not an illusion. Money is. That is what Alan Watts was trying to express.

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (20479) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

that depends entirely on your definition of wealth.

Watts seems to provide one context - boat, pussy, pole . . . . but is this wealth?

Some might suggest that instead it is but a measure, a passage, a mark of time - while others may then counter that the possession of time itself may be a measure of wealth . . .

and there may yet be others who insist that we do not mark time so much as time marks us . . .

to which I must reply:

.

Doubt not my words - go seek from the condemned -

though even yet no goodness will append,

this truth they will aver: "there is no time."

.

[-] 0 points by flip (5074) 1 year ago

this is completely accurate -“The money of account is something abstract, like a metre, a kilogram, a hectare. It’s not something you can touch or feel. It’s representational, something only a human could imagine. In any modern nation the money of account is chosen by the national government. MMT emphasises the state’s power over money. - so do you have a point that is in any way helpful. do you understand the implication of what is being said. do you know the purpose of ows - are you trying to help becaause you are not - silly dog

[-] 2 points by ZenDog (20479) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

Whether and to what degree I have or have not been helpful is entirely a matter of perspective.

Words are only representations of ideas - and as such we find over time their meaning is to a degree, elastic.

The concept of money, however, is something else entirely.

  • The dollar is but an illusion.
[-] 2 points by ZenDog (20479) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

that money is an instrument of debt? IF that is the concept you are harping on, yes I understand the idea - but as a practical matter it doesn't work that way. Not in the vast majority of transactions that take place on a day to day basis.

And therefore I don't agree with the premise. This too, is one more illusion.

In C.8:50 - Whatever the government accepts in payment to itself becomes the ultimate, ‘definitive,’ money in the economy. It is the only way to settle a debt. You must use government money.

Here you see the reverse of the principle of money as representative of debt accepted as a matter of course.

I never said we did not bend over backwards and engage in contortions of epic proportions in an effort to preserve the illusion - it must be preserved, if labor is to have any meaning at all beyond the necessity to survive.

Deregulation of the banking and finance industry is a means of uncontorting ourselves, and in consequence removing some of the protections that ensure preservation of the illusion.

You can think of it as an agreement if you like - a contract - the only problem is that it remains one that is ill defined, and subject to the whim of public confidence - or fear.

The value of . . . your labor - should not be subject to either market influences that may be manipulated or by public perception of stability or its lack.

As long as it is, there will be times when your labor will be much better spent producing your own food . . .

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

No, he doesn't understand that. He understands that Republicans supported Hitler. He's too busy ruminating on that to think about Zen or economics.

[-] 2 points by ZenDog (20479) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

A dollar is a unit of measurement, like a gram or an inch. The point of the Alan Watts quote was really simple. Rather than refute what Alan Watts was saying with some kind of counter argument, you've spouted endless obfuscating bullshit in an attempt to conceal that you were not aware at the beginning of this conversation of the difference between mass and weight. You have yet to offer an actual counter-argument to what Alan Watts was saying about the difference between the map and the territory.

That is utter bullshit and I am getting very tired of hearing it. A dollar measures nothing, unless perhaps pennies. For the purposes of our discussion pennies and dollars are virtually indistinguishable - in that they both remain Illusory.

The obfuscating bullshit was yours - and it arrived as soon as you latched onto the question of mass and kilos. These questions are bullshit distractions from the central issue - which is that a comparison of dollars with that of inches is completely false. Inches measure something - dollars do not.

Ignoring your own bullshit obfuscation - which as I have demonstrated both a dictionary and practical application in a hospital setting quickly sets straight; and which you insist with an obstinate refusal like some petulant child to accept -

In short - ignoring your own mimicry of the most odious among men, that consummate LIAR carl with a K -

we are left with the many and various times I have indeed attempted to set you straight about the reality of the dollar.

I cannot help it if you refuse to accept reality. YOu lost this debate. It is over.

Let all the world bear witness . . . .

.


.

A dollar is a medium of trade. It is not a measure of wealth - that is illusion. It is an illusion that industrial society is highly dependent on. It is an agreement, a contract. It is an alternative to producing my own food, and building my own shelter out of natural resources available - rather than produce these things on my own I am offered the option of trading my labor for the dollar, in the hope that I may purchase these necessities rather than produce them myself.

It is not a measure of anything, when the base line of that measurement constantly fluctuates, when the cost of milk, bread and housing out pace any increase in compensation for my labor.

from here

.


.

We agree a dollar has value - but whatever value it has today is not what it will have tomorrow. The cost of anything is subject to change, and much of that change is based entirely on perception of market conditions.

Fear plays no part in the weight of a kilo. Let fear infect Wall Street - and the value of the dollar will plummet worldwide - and in consequence the value of my labor will necessarily go up - even if market conditions make employment impossible.

Why? Because the cost of food will rise as the dollar plummets.

from here

.


.

my goodness . . . your skull is very dense compared with the mass of your entire body . . .

A kilogram is an internationally accepted unit of mass, weight or force.

A dollar has no certain value. Whatever value it may have is only that which we ascribe to it - no more and no less. It is uncertain, ephemeral,

  • illusory . . .

A dollar is both a thing and a representation of something else - something it is not.

from here

.


.

Actually we've already been over this. This constant repetition isn't getting you any closer to the truth or reality - however it is a typical carl with a K tactic.

As I said,

I understand perfectly well what you and flip have been talking about - the problem is your source material. It does not comprehend the true nature of the dollar. It is a measure of nothing - not even perception. It is perception that gives it value.

In that sense the dollar may be map or terrain - for this too depends entirely on perception. To one who accumulates dollars in the mistaken belief that dollars are wealth, the dollar is the terrain. Never mind that market place fear may make his entire wealth meaningless.

To the ultra or mega rich, whose assets are diversified, property, stocks, bonds, metals - to such individuals the dollar is no more than the map - a means of arriving at wealth - but still - all of the wealth the dollar may amass remains little more than illusory. If you think this is not so, talk to someone who owns real estate in a market that has seen the worst of the housing bubble.

The dollar is a medium of trade and no more - it is a medium of trade for my labor.

  • The dollar is but an illusion.

from here

.


.

the value of money is an illusion. A penny is worth only one cent - and yet how much does it cost to produce one penny?

Each year the U.S. Mint puts millions of new pennies into circulation (4.9 billion in 2011, for instance), and the cost of producing each of those pennies involves four components: metal, fabrication (pre-production metal processing), labor/overhead and transportation. Metal is largest component of this cost: the penny has been composed of 97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper since 1982, and because the price of those metals fluctuates, so too does the cost of producing pennies.

In 2005, the cost to the United States Mint to produce a penny was 0.97 cents, which was just a smidge under a cent. In 2006, that year's pennies each cost about 1.23 cents to manufacture. Rises in metal prices, particularly of zinc, pushed the per-unit cost up to 1.7 cents in 2007. By 2012, production costs had risen to 2.41 cents per penny.

from here

.


.

the author does not understand that an inch as a measure is far more concrete than a dollar, which measures nothing. It is perception that gives the dollar meaning.

  • The dollar is an illusion.

from here

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

Googling words is not going to help you to formulate a coherent counter argument. Your only counter argument seems to be that the value of a dollar isn't constant, and therefore it isn't a unit of measurement.

So... the weight thing becomes relevant. The weight of a kilogram of mass is also not constant. A kilogram of mass on the moon weighs one sixth what it does on Earth. So by your argument, a pound is not a unit of measurement? The amount of mass that makes up a pound is not constant. So by your argument, how can it be a unit of measurement?

See how I formulated that argument and expressed it succinctly without Googling any words and without any ad hominem attacks or criticism of your political party affiliation? You can do that too, can't you?

[-] 2 points by ZenDog (20479) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

you are so full of shit, it really is annoying.

.

Googling words is not going to help you to formulate a coherent counter argument. Your only counter argument seems to be that the value of a dollar isn't constant, and therefore it isn't a unit of measurement.

Here you are mixing the subject matter, referencing the kilo as weight or as mass issue - your method of distracting from the issue of whether a comparison of weights and measures with the dollar as a medium of trade is or can be an accurate and realistic benchmark for understanding the fundamental nature of the dollar -

It can't. Standardized weights and measures are not subject to change on the basis of fear.

.

So... the weight thing becomes relevant.

It always was, and yet you return to it like a dog to its own vomit.

.

The weight of a kilogram of mass is also not constant. A kilogram of mass on the moon weighs one sixth what it does on Earth. So by your argument, a pound is not a unit of measurement? The amount of mass that makes up a pound is not constant. So by your argument, how can it be a unit of measurement?

That is not my argument at all - you twisted my argument concerning mass to arrive at this conclusion, and you did so simply because you refuse to accept that the value of the dollar in your own pocket is entirely subject to the behavior and perception of others, over whom you have no control.

.

See how I formulated that argument and expressed it succinctly without Googling any words and without any ad hominem attacks or criticism of your political party affiliation? You can do that too, can't you?

You did indeed manage a bit of ad hominem - by virtue of suggestion.

Your methods of discourse are dishonest - regurgitating the same deceit over and over does not enhance either your argument nor your own personal credibility.

It must really sting to have been bested by someone of an obviously inferior education, someone who is not simply crass or course, but crude, mean and offensive.

I am tempted to inquire, if only to discover something new regarding repeliccan psychology, as to the source or cause of this quite evident compulsion to lie - whether it be blatant and in your face or by subtle forms of innuendo or suggestion - but it is clear there is no future in such a pursuit, for you will undoubtedly deny that this is and has indeed been your principle method of discourse during this entire conversation - much less that this behavior has become so prevalent among repeliccan policy makers that it may as well be party platform.

  • go away. I am done with you.
[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

I already agreed with you that money is an illusion, but you're so busy hating on Republicans that you didn't even notice. This was my quote from a day ago:

The whole point of that Alan Watts quote was actually about the dollar being an illusion. You're so intent on slamming on Republicans at every opportunity that you're not even trying to understand what he said.

You were so busy calling me names that you have been blind to the fact that Flip and Alan Watts and I were agreeing with you about the abstract, imaginary nature of money.

That's typical for your behavior around here, but what came next was the icing on the cake. You spent hours of your life confirming that you're perfectly willing to get into an argument without understanding the basic concepts behind what you're arguing about. You Googled the dictionary definition of the word "kilogram" and posted that over and over and over as your citation to prove that mass is the same thing as weight. Which any high school student knows is not true. You seem like you think you're some kind of magician who creates a diversion with flash paper to distract the audience, posting paragraphs and paragraphs of meaningless obfuscation while coming back over and over to the dictionary definition of the word "kilogram".

The reason that this is all relevant is that if you're willing to bullshit over something so simple when you don't understand it, then what are we to make of it when you talk about truly complex things like quantitative easing or Keynesian versus Austrian economics? You've demonstrated quite clearly that even if you have no clue what you're talking about, you'll still wave your hands and dance around like a magician trying to distract the audience from seeing the truth.

[-] 0 points by flip (5074) 1 year ago

i have not been able to make sense of anything he says to me - i understand each word but never the point - weird - and you satan - i seem to understand your point. the obama fans don't like you is that it?

[-] 2 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

I voted for Obama actually, but yes that's correct. This guy is so foaming-at-the-mouth partisan that he can't comprehend a conversation about anything else. The part in the Alan Watts quote about Germany thoroughly distracted him and he is totally unable to even consider the actual meaning of that quote.

[-] 2 points by ZenDog (20479) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

Mass is not the same thing as weight, and a kilogram is not a measurement of weight or force.

A kilogram either is, or it is not, it depends entirely upon the context -

just as light is either a particle, or a wave.

I bet if someone told you to take that pussy and put it in a box you could get pretty lost, huh.

Any comparison between the concept of money and that of weights or measures is simply erroneous. The reason why it is erroneous is simply because the frame of reference for each kilo - whether it be a kilo of weight, force, or mass, remains constant.

  • The dollar, on the other hand, remains an illusion.
[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

A dollar is a unit of measurement, like a gram or an inch. The point of the Alan Watts quote was really simple. Rather than refute what Alan Watts was saying with some kind of counter argument, you've spouted endless obfuscating bullshit in an attempt to conceal that you were not aware at the beginning of this conversation of the difference between mass and weight. You have yet to offer an actual counter-argument to what Alan Watts was saying about the difference between the map and the territory.

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (20479) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

But I'm always going to remember your obfuscating bullshit

I know it is difficult to accept - beaten by a dog, but there it is.

you said this

I said that

and there it is - checkmate.

Surely you are not attempting to insinuate professional status as a kinetic scientist or engineer - and even if you were your entire argument is moot.

This is true - it will remain true, regardless of whether you happen to like it or not.

[-] -1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

Mass is not the same thing as weight, and a kilogram is not a measurement of weight or force. A kilogram is a unit of mass, a pound is a unit of weight, and a netwon is a unit of force. F = ma. The weight is on the "F" side. The mass is on the other side.

But that trivia isn't that important. What's more relevant is that you're going to cling to the idea that a kilogram is a measurement of weight as though repeating it makes it true. Googling a word is not a substitute for understanding what it means, but you're determined to demonstrate that you're not capable of anything else. Try Googling the word "truthiness" and see if you can understand that one.

[-] 1 points by flip (5074) 1 year ago

oh no he mated you - i just noticed that - mated by a dog. how does that feel. and a dog that doesn't know much about zen to boot. well take consolation in the fact that even though he won the chess game (that he was apparently playing by himself) you won the argument!

[-] 1 points by flip (5074) 1 year ago

so why are you the next great satan - as to the dog i don't know what to think. some here really like to type. they must have no life - what else could expain it? i used to go to the park in nyc when it was functioning - it was great because these there were discussions all over the park. you could wander around and get into anything you like. but these type guys would be shunned very quickly - the conversations were kept moving forward really well. this site is another story

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

I admitted that there is an "R" on my voter registration card, and so the rabid partisans respond to all of my attempts to talk about common ground issues like campaign finance reform with ad hominem attacks. I'm here to push for campaign finance reform, which both liberals and conservatives can agree on. But because I talk about liberals and conservatives agreeing, they automatically think that I'm here to try to turn liberals into conservatives so they attack me. The only vision of success that the rabid partisans can understand is if conservatives become liberals. They can't understand the concept of consensus.

Note how this thread about consensus turned into a Republicans-suck hate fest:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/common-ground-one-way-forward-there-should-be-no-c/

The really appalling thing about this ZenDog guy, though, is how transparently he tried to pretend to understand something that he obviously doesn't understand. If he behaves like this to try to pretend that he understands the difference between mass and weight when clearly he doesn't, then what does that say about his posts about economics? Politics? History?

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (20479) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago
[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

If you really think that you proved that mass and weight are the same thing by posting the dictionary definition of the word "kilogram" over and over and over, then I'm happy with letting you bask in what you think is victory.

But I'm always going to remember your obfuscating bullshit that you used to try to conceal that you didn't understand a basic concept. Obviously you're going to do the same thing when you're discussing economics and politics and history.

I'm also going to remember how you tried at every turn to include a jab at Republcans in a completely unrelated conversation, which simply reveals your obsession with your hatred.

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

24 hours and many many posts later, he still doesn't understand that we were agreeing with him about the ephemeral nature of money. He's so busy railing against "Repelicans" that he can't participate in a rational conversation about something totally unrelated.

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

You poisoned the well against yourself by mentioning that I pointed out that quote. You may as well have said that you had a vision from Satan.

[-] 2 points by ZenDog (20479) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

O come now. I find you much more tolerable than . . . say . . . those fools who show up here claiming no political affiliation what so ever, and yet remain petulant proponents of repeliccan madness . . . .

They plainly are liars and seek no legitimacy through the honest admission and the credibility such . . . confession . . . may confer.

You, on the other hand, do not deny your political affiliation. In this at least, you are honest. And in being honest, we find we must take much greater care in parsing every single word, every syllable and each nuance, to ensure your honesty does not wrongly impart a degree of integrity to whatever you put forth as solutions to our common dilemma.

In as much as it may be said repelican deregulatory policy is responsible for the collapse of our economy, just so, such efforts as may be made in the examination of the integrity of what you put forth are, after all, for your own good.

[-] 1 points by flip (5074) 1 year ago

did i get involved in some sort of spitting contest?

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 1 year ago

Sort of, I guess. I spent about a week trying to find common ground with ZenDog but he was pretty determined to reject that idea. And I have better things to do so I gave up. The culmination of it was this whole idiotic thing that followed where he kept posting the dictionary definition of the word "kilogram" to prove that mass and weight are the same thing. Obviously they're not, and that's irrelevant trivia, but the fact that he just kept insisting and just kept coming back with that same dictionary citation really revealed a lot to me about him.

[-] 1 points by flip (5074) 1 year ago

one of the good things about this site is that it occasionally forces me to educate myself about something i should know - like the difference between mass and weight. there are some here who are really no different than republicans of democrats or maoists - it is simply that the religious teaching are slightly different. they do not seem to be interested in making the world better - they seem more interested in ego gratification. the list is long so no need to go through it but i do wonder how the dog (and he is more dog than zen - nobody who knows anything about zen would make that their name anyway) argued with this from wiki - In everyday usage, mass is referred to as "weight", the units of which may be pounds or kilograms (for instance, a person's weight may be stated as 75 kg). In scientific use, however, the term "weight" refers to a different, yet related, property of matter. Weight is the gravitational force acting on a given body—which differs depending on the gravitational pull of the opposing body (e.g. a person's weight on Earth vs on the Moon) — while mass is an intrinsic property of that body that never changes. In other words, an object's weight depends on its environment, while its mass does not. On the surface of the Earth, an object with a mass of 50 kilograms weighs 491 Newtons; on the surface of the Moon, the same object still has a mass of 50 kilograms but weighs only 81.5 Newtons. Restated in mathematical terms, on the surface of the Earth, the weight w of an object is related to its mass m by w = mg, where g = 9.80665 ms-2 is the Earth's gravitational field.

[-] 1 points by flip (5074) 1 year ago

really - well too bad - don't know if we have butted heads or not but that piece was the bomb! and what is wrong with satan? have you read twain's "letters from earth" - it is great

[-] 0 points by globaldreamer (6) 1 year ago

there is no economy

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

I voted myself down. I figure you want to protest WallSt but ignore economics, you need all the help you can get.

[-] -2 points by Orwellwuzright (-84) from Lockeford, CA 1 year ago

Wow! I never realized how well the nation is doing!

[-] -2 points by thoreau42 (595) 1 year ago

I watched it. Might as well air it on SNL.

If countering logic with fantasy worked, he'd be brilliant.

For example, he says cutting government jobs would cut teachers, firefighters, etc. But if the government wasn't employing teachers (and as we know, teachers are in demand because parents want some stranger helping their kid learn how the world works) then private schools would pop up all over the place, employing most of those same teachers again. The teachers would have to compete (they would have to know something! gasp!). The schools would have to compete (which means prices would go down! What?!). Private citizens would all have more money. Our country wouldn't be spending nearly so much on schooling (highest in recorded history?). And on and on and on.

You know why Robert Reich isn't more famous? The internet has destroyed the credibility of court jesters like him. Ironically, he's got no grasp on economics! Or is he somehow just missing an understanding of price, demand, competition, and the market? You realize, for an economist, why that would be so laughable, right?

And that was only ONE point in the video... my gosh.

[-] 3 points by Buttercup (1067) 1 year ago

Have you lost your mind? You do not privatize a public social good. Especially one so valuable as our human capital. You are out of your mind. It is disasterous public policy on so many levels. Start with - private schools 'choose' their students. Holy crap what is wrong with you?

There are countless serious issues such as access, scalability (hell-ooooh! Ponder that for a sec and see where it leads you), exploitation and abuse that is inherent in competition. The ridiculously vast complexities of measuring success, teacher evaluation, proper measures of student achievement and the best interests of children overall - should not be lowered to the level of laundry detergent! Just because it works for laundry detergent - competition/choice - doesn't mean you can or should transfer that same concept - to education! Beyond ridiculous. The social good is not enhanced by private sector opportunists. Think vulture capitalism. Think Wall Street. Think Walmart.

You want to turn over the education system to greedy, bloody thirsty, cut throat, dog eat dog, private sector opportunists whose only reason to exist is for profit and wealth accumulation? A system which naturally leads to monopolies/quasi-monopolies. Less choices and poorer performance.

You want an education system like Walmart? Gobbling up the 'competition', driving down wages and benefits, selling cheap crap, so a few people can get grotesquely wealthy. Yeah that's a fucking great idea. Forget it. Me thinks you are nuts.

[-] 1 points by thoreau42 (595) 1 year ago

I watched your youtube video. Do you dare watch mine? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBNh543A81U

Do you understand how competition works? There is no access problem when competition is allowed. BUSINESSES MAKE MONEY BY GETTING PEOPLE TO BUY THEIR SERVICES. THEY GO TO WHERE THE CUSTOMERS ARE AT.

Vulture capitalism? You're just making stuff up. Crony capitalism and free markets are TWO DIFFERENT THINGS. ENTIRELY DIFFERENT. You can't just conflate two ENTIRELY DIFFERENT SYSTEMS, and then say that they're the same thing. Everyone having voluntary choice is not the same as crony capitalistic government monopolies. It's just not. You're only lying to yourself.

[-] 2 points by TommyNYC (730) 1 year ago

So you understand demand then? How about demand based pricing? Private schools would be priced so high that most families wouldn't be able to send they're kids to school. Private citizens might have more money in the very short term, but in the LONG term, all of those uneducated kids would be useless in the work place and there wouldn't even be enough menial jobs to go around.

Your thinking is very short term, and it fails to consider the many families who could not afford private education for their kids.

Oh yes of course, Ludwig von Mises, champion of fascism and enemy of the scientific method. Why am I not surprised.

[-] -1 points by thoreau42 (595) 1 year ago

Oh, you understand demand? Then you understand that people cannot BUY anything until they have SOMETHING WITH WHICH TO BUY IT?

You write "Private citizens might have more money in the very short term, but in the LONG term, all of those uneducated kids would be useless in the work place and there wouldn't even be enough menial jobs to go around." Are you talking about my point? Or are you talking about current circumstance. I'm not being satirical, because you're describing THINGS AS THEY ARE RIGHT NOW. Even more, there is a REASON we are where we are right now. And the reason isn't because current economic thinking is brilliant.

Demand based pricing is just stupid. Just go all the way and let the market set the price. Guess what? People WOULD have more money in the long run, because prices would go down. Anytime there is more competition and increasing innovation, price goes down. Anytime government is involved, price goes up.

I'll give you another example. Try to wrap your head around this. Scroll down to "Figure IV" http://jutiagroup.com/20090226-the-real-obama-bull-market/ Cosmetic surgery has the least amount of government intervention and the least amount of risen cost. Forget Mises, you can see the chart with your own eyes! If you can't look at data, and come to obvious conclusions, there's nothing any words of mine can do for you.

[-] 3 points by TommyNYC (730) 1 year ago

If the government fires people, than there is less demand. This is pretty simple truth, unless you are an ideologue who can never concede that the government could ever do anything for the public good.

In that case, you are a lost cause.

[-] -1 points by thoreau42 (595) 1 year ago

It's not a truth at all, since the government got the money to hire the person in the first place from PRIVATE ACTORS, who would otherwise be spending money in the marketplace, which means more people would have been employed in the market place.

Your own argument is COMPLETELY SHATTERED by the current reality of the current United States! Reality defies your logic! We currently have the LARGEST GOVERNMENT (most government employees) in the HISTORY of the country, yet demand is nearing all-time lows??????

Your inability to put logic together with reality is ignorant to an incredible degree.

[-] 1 points by TommyNYC (730) 1 year ago

We are talking about deficit spending, which isn't paid for "in the first place" by anyone, since it is by definition a debt. Demand is increased.

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

...and here you can see neolithicus-knuckle-dragicus in his confusion between debt and deficit, and their functions.

[-] 1 points by TommyNYC (730) 1 year ago

Resort to name calling because you just got clowned.

You said: "the government got the money to hire the person in the first place from PRIVATE ACTORS, who would otherwise be spending money in the marketplace"

WRONG. We are talking about deficit spending, which exceeds tax revenues.

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

A deficit compares input and output without consideration of debt or surplus. If there is a surplus when output is greater, the output doesn't necessarily add to the debt. It is only when you have a neutral balance or are in the red that it adds to the debt.

very ape

[-] 0 points by TommyNYC (730) 1 year ago

We are in the red, so deficit spending adds to the debt.

You are one of those semantics bitches I guess.

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

Yes, I find that facts and definitions are important to substantive debate and information.

[-] 1 points by TommyNYC (730) 1 year ago

No. You get proven wrong and then you deflect.

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

Actually its paid for by Goldman Sachs from the Fed, and then sold to the Treasury.

[-] -1 points by thoreau42 (595) 1 year ago

Oh right! Solving debt with more debt! How's that working out again? In the next couple years when the economy implodes on itself and the dollar collapses, remember how you defended these blatantly failed policies then. There isn't going to be any excitement, during mass suffering, to say "I told you so", so I'm telling you now. Arguing that point is simply nonsense.

But, no matter how disasterous, there are always fools who get on board. You'll find a real Nazi here and there, despite the horrors of 65 years ago. So it's not surprising, just astonishing how all of reality would stand in defiance of the view, yet you'll still espouse it. Whatever.

[-] 2 points by TommyNYC (730) 1 year ago

Less than $800B was used for stimulus out of $16T. The stimulus stopped the free fall.

"The Economic Stimulus Package, which was approved in March 2009, stimulated the economy enough to pull it out of recession in Q3."

http://useconomy.about.com/od/grossdomesticproduct/p/GDP-For-2009.htm

[-] -1 points by thoreau42 (595) 1 year ago

"stimulus" is just like it sounds. Would you recommend a person to take cocaine to get back into health? Or would you recommend a sound diet and exercise? Stimulus is stupid, and not even worth talking about in a healthy economy. We don't have a healthy economy BECAUSE of stimulus and garbage economics.

[-] 2 points by TommyNYC (730) 1 year ago

Education, health care, clean energy and other infrastructure are sound investments in our future.

[-] -1 points by thoreau42 (595) 1 year ago

I should add, for anyone who wants to learn some real economics.

https://mises.org/document/6785/Economics-in-One-Lesson

you can download the book for free!

[-] -2 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 1 year ago

Reich makes a lot of good points here, but if you really want to know why the stimulus was not more effective, look at this. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-reich/the-vanishing-american-co_b_640836.html The one thing I have to take issue with, is the nonsense that Smoot-Hawley worsened the depression, an idea that has been discredited over and over.

[-] 3 points by TommyNYC (730) 1 year ago

He doesn't say that Smoot-Hawley caused the depression, just worsened it.

Disclaimer - Argumentum ad populum I was under the impression that most economists on all sides of the debate can at least concede that Smoot-Hawley contributed to the problems of the Depression. Aren't the adverse effects of protectionism generally bad in economic downturns? I would like to see any links you have to the contrary.

[-] -2 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 1 year ago

It's a still a controversial subject. You will note, I didn't say "caused" either. I think he just exaggerates the significance. http://economyincrisis.org/content/impact-smoot-hawley-tariff-great-depression
http://www.idealtaxes.com/post3105.shtml

[-] -3 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 1 year ago

Stop promoting your generic government spending. This post is a defense of government spending and dispelling of 1%er propaganda. Fair enough but on the scale of substance it ranks near the bottom as it lacks cause and effect explanations and rather provides a general outlay. Stop using your socks to bump this worthless post.

[-] 1 points by TommyNYC (730) 1 year ago

Wow, I don't have socks dude. I have a life. But yeah, thanks for the bump.

[-] -1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

Do you use socks as mittens?

[-] -3 points by stevebol (1268) from Milwaukee, WI 1 year ago

Why can't dems nominate a guy who's really smart like Reich? Oh, because he's too short just like Kucinich. I forget. Carry on with your usual BS.

[-] -3 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

I say he is spot on in regards to the tax issues. The overall rates dont do much to business. No one pays them anyways.

Im for universal health care.

SS, unfortunately, IS a ponzi scheme. If they had kept everyones money seperate, it wouldnt be. But they didnt. If you take that 13% of everyone's paycheck away from the gov right now, and just said that the ones who now arent paying wont get a retirement, the entire system would collapse immediately. The gov is 100% dependent on that tax. Its huge.

[-] 3 points by TommyNYC (730) 1 year ago

Weak metaphor at best. C'mon, Rick Perry? The guy looks like he was dropped on his head.

Here's why it's not a Ponzi scheme:

"Ponzi schemes like the ones run by Charles Ponzi and Bernard Madoff can work only if their operators keep investors in the dark about the source of their alleged magical returns. No more scrupulously honest organization exists than the Social Security Administration. Not only does the administration mail citizens reports detailing their expected contributions and receipts from Social Security, but it also publishes annual reports indicating future shortfalls and sternly calling for action to deal with them."

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/09/09/is-social-security-a-ponzi-scheme/social-security-as-a-ponzi-its-a-bad-metaphor

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

A ponzi is an investment in which the gains are dependent on new investors. The con skims from this throughout the scheme until the scheme runs out of new investors. At that point the con has Madoff with your money and all the investors are left empty handed. SS is not a ponzi because we will not run out of new population to pay into it.

Your understanding of economics is not only offensive when you callously push it, but it's damaging when you try to make a valid point. You need to take the time to learn about these topics instead of roaring ahead with your youthful ignorance. Seriously. You can be offended by me telling you this or you can take it and better your argument and your cause.

[-] 1 points by TommyNYC (730) 1 year ago

Who is that directed at richardkentgates?

[-] 0 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

You are one obnoxious little man arent you?

[+] -4 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 1 year ago

You. You are correct that SS is not a ponzi scheme but the reason why is much much easier to explain and much shorter. And! The reason you gave has absolutely no relationship to the definition of a Ponzi.

People would have to stop being born or all stop working for SS to be a ponzi scheme.

[-] 3 points by TommyNYC (730) 1 year ago

Whatever dude. My response wasn't incorrect. It's not my fault that people don't know how to use google.

Thats pretty ironic advice from somebody who has like zero tact.

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

You must be right (I certainly agree) these 2 (hc & richard) closet right wingers always lose it when they meet a poster who debates effectively.

They appear to have resorted to the schoolyard bullying tactics of their candidate Romney.

Looks like they don't really have facts or truth on their side.

[-] -2 points by richardkentgates (3269) from Fort Walton Beach, FL 1 year ago

Tact has nothing to do with fact. Thats why it's called tact and not fact.

A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to its investors from their own money or the money paid by subsequent investors, rather than from profit earned by the individual or organization running the operation.

Source

and since SS makes no returns from the investment, the only thing that keeps SS from qualifying as a Ponzi is that it will never run out of investors.

Tact? You guys talk trash all day till you get a face full then you're suddenly a bunch of fucking priMa donnas. So now you're uninformed and a two-faced double-standard pussy. You're doing great, keep up the good work.

[-] 1 points by TommyNYC (730) 1 year ago

Now you're calling me a pussy on a forum. Real tough.