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Re: [azsecularhumanists] Re: Marxian classes and principles

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  • thekoba@aztec.asu.edu
    ... That most people prefer to get sex in some other way than rape shows that this is not the case, but those who obtain economic success find class struggle
    Message 1 of 26 , Jan 13 12:25 AM
      >
      >--- In azsecularhumanists@yahoogroups.com, thekoba@a... wrote:
      >> >> This is entirely true. Nonetheless the benefits or pursuing
      >> >aggressive
      >> >> class struggle ultimately outweigh the harm that aggression
      >causes.
      >> >
      >> >I do not see convincing evidence of that.
      >>
      >> That classes succeed in their aims by so doing is proof of that.
      >
      >It proves no such thing. The fact that rapists succeed in their aims
      >by holding a knife to their victim's throat doesn't prove that the
      >benefits of doing so outweigh the harm that it causes. Success in
      >one's aims is entirely independant from whether or not those aims are
      >beneficial or harmful.

      That most people prefer to get sex in some other way than rape shows
      that this is not the case, but those who obtain economic success find
      class struggle useful, and it is backed by at least the threat of force.

      >The new owner is bound by a contractual obligation, and in that sense
      >is a "contractor for life". Many new homes are built with CC&R's
      >that require the owners to keep the property up to rather strict
      >aesthetic standards. The principle is the same. In this case, the
      >property owners served by the road bought their property with an
      >(admittedly implicit) contract with the government that they would
      >have access to their property via the road. It is the current
      >owner's (government's) responsibility to uphold that contract, and
      >insure that it is upheld by any successor owners.
      >
      >That the existance of such implicit contracts makes unattractive the
      >purchase of many if not most existing government roads by entities
      >other than those directly benefitting from their existance and upkeep
      >is my whole point.
      >
      >Your objection to private roads boils down to nothing more than an
      >assumption that the new property owner can violate at will the
      >implicit contract you made with the government when you bought your
      >property. Selling single-access roads without the contract would
      >amount to a breach by the current owner, which is not what
      >Libertarians such as myself advocate.
      >
      >Thus "privatizing the roads" amounts in practice to transferring both
      >ownership and responsibility for most existing roads to entites owned
      >by those who benefit from the roads most directly -- those who rely
      >on the raod for access to their property. More importantly, it also
      >means that the government does not build any new roads.
      >
      >I always find it curious how fixated people are on the topic of road
      >privatization. To my knowledge, no Libertarian ever ran for office
      >stating that the first thing he or she planned to do upon being
      >elected and assuming office is privatize all of the roads. Private
      >roads are indeed implied by libertarian principles, and I am
      >confident that the concept is workable. But it's something that
      >would be done later rather than sooner. We'd start privatization
      >with such obvious targets as the Post Office and Amtrak, move on to
      >Social Security, as well as the banking, health care, and insurance
      >activities currently engaged in by the government. If we got through
      >all of that and were still in office, then maybe roads would be on
      >the agenda.

      Maintaining contracts as a perpetual condition of property ownership
      does in fact transfer only part of the property. Just as the home
      owner's association retains part of the property and some control
      over it, so would such an agreement for road maintenance. Calling it
      private ownership with such severe restrictions would be disingenuous.

      >> In fact it is inevitable that military force is used on those who
      >> refuse to trade when the [economic] imperialist powers think it
      >> worthwhile. You may not approve of it, but it happens every time.
      >
      >Because the initiation of military force has always been viewed as
      >acceptable, particularly by the politicians. That is precisely what
      >I am attempting to change.

      Lot's of luck, but I doubt you will be able to do so without yourself
      engaging in force.

      >You missed the forest for the trees. Taxes are both proportional and
      >predictable. Bribes are much less predictable -- they depend on the
      >daily whim of bureaucrats and politicans rather than a public
      >deliberative process like legislation. They are also much less
      >proportional -- often a flat "fee" is required to get something done
      >regardless of whether your income/investment is large or small.
      >
      >It is reasonable to invest capital knowing that a certain percentage
      >will be confiscated by taxation. You simply figure it as a cost in
      >your decision making. It is much less reasonable to do so when
      >bribes are required, because you don't know what it will take in
      >advance, making it hard to determine whether or not the investment
      >will be profitable. Furthermore, it is much more likely that a large
      >investment will be profitable than a small one, simply because bribes
      >will take a smaller percentage.

      Bribes are, in fact, predictable, once you've gotten to know the
      country and the bureaucracy, and people do manage to do business and
      reap huge profits in such environments.

      >The "large petit-bourgeoisie" you speak of are not actually so. When
      >and if such people of average means acquire property that is of value
      >to the very wealthy/kleptocrats, it is simply taken, perhaps after a
      >small (proportional to wealth) bribe is paid by the person who wants
      >it. The petit-bourgeoisie "own" what they own only simply because it
      >is not of interest to the wealthy and powerful. There is little to
      >no upward mobility as a result. As I said, sadly this practice is
      >increasingly becoming the case in the first world capitalist
      >countries as well.

      That is quite simply false. The only block to upward mobility of
      the third world petit-bourgeoisie is competition from multinational
      capital.

      >> The disappearance of the American "middle class" has a lot more to
      >> do with shipping jobs overseas for cheap labour than with any
      >> domestic tax policy or bribery problem. In other words it is
      >> [economic] imperialism that is destroying our own middle class.
      >
      >Such is the leftist party line. Economic data do not appear to
      >support this contention. The median wage in this country has tracked
      >relatively close to inflation for decades. It outpaced inflation a
      >bit from WWII until the early 70's, then inflation outpaced it a bit
      >for a while in the late '70s and early '80s, but then it outpaced
      >inflation again throughout much of the '90s. Where we are now in
      >terms of gross earnings for the average worker is better in real
      >dollar terms than where we were several decades ago. Furthermore,
      >real household income has risen substantially over the same period
      >due to increasing numbers of dual income households. However, there
      >is a stark difference in the amount of taxes paid by the average
      >worker/household. The combined impact of payroll tax, sales taxes,
      >federal, state, and local income taxes, property taxes, and excise
      >taxes hit the average worker at combined rates exceeding 50%. Prior
      >to and shortly after WWII the combined rates were 25% or less.
      >Simultaneously with the tax increases on the middle class, the
      >government has subsidized both the poor and the very rich -- the poor
      >with increasing "free" services, direct and indirect cash payments,
      >and the very rich with corporate welfare and the ability to shut out
      >competition with burdensome red tape that constitutes barrier to
      >market entry.
      >
      >It is an economic fact that taxing something results in less of it,
      >and subsidizing something results in more of it. Quite predictably,
      >we've seen a shrinkage of the middle class. Concurrently we've seen
      >a growth in the numbers of the poor, and in the magnitude (if not raw
      >numbers) of the very rich.
      >
      >Certainly, some middle class folks such as factory workers lose their
      >jobs and become impoverished because it's cheaper to hire someone
      >overseas. On the other hand, our economy seems to keep producing
      >many jobs that replace ones which were lost, on pay scales that are
      >comparable. The key difference between the new jobs and the old ones
      >is that the new ones require increased skills. Most of the folks I
      >hear whining about losing their job to cheaper labor simply don't
      >want to invest the time and money to improve their own skills. In a
      >society which produces rapid technological progress (a very desirable
      >thing, I hope you agree) it is simply not reasonable to expect to go
      >to school, learn a job, and then do that job and be paid well at it
      >until you retire. Yesterday's skills simply aren't as economically
      >valuable as today's skills, whether those skills are found locally or
      >halfway around the world. Once you factor in relative skills, the
      >real results on middle class incomes from "globalization" are
      >miniscule.
      >
      >--Jason Auvenshine

      The facts do not bear out your taxation hypothesis. The upper brackets
      of the income tax were reduced substantially 20 years ago. Any "shrinking"
      of the middle class since that time can't have been due to overtaxation.
      The real difference between old and new jobs is that the new jobs are
      parasitical, largely consisting of shuffling papers and herding electrons.
      They only manage the wealth of the transnationals, not creating any.
      Other new jobs are largely in the low-paid service sector.

      --Kevin
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