Heinlein had a prediction - true?

About: are we rome? stossels take blog


The America of my time line is a laboratory example of what can happen to democracies, what has eventually happened to all perfect democracies throughout all histories. A perfect democracy, a "warm body" democracy in which every adult may vote and all votes count equally, has no internal feedback for self-correction.... [O]nce a state extends the franchise to every warm body, be he producer or parasite, that day marks the beginning of the end of the state. For when the plebs discover that they can vote themselves bread and circuses without limit and that the productive members of the body politic cannot stop them, they will do so, until the state bleeds to death, or in its weakened condition the state succumbs to an invader " the barbarians enter Rome. (Heinlein)

I am now extremely interested in Bitcoin & in particular, using such over the Internet & stores that have Bitcoin payment.  It was mentioned in the Stossel linked above (the whole program).

Tags

  1. bitcoin
  2. pearltrees
  3. heinlein
  4. labor
  5. bitcoins

Comments


Mark de LA says
Bitcoin wiki has a lot of information to digest:
https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Main_Page
including weakness & scalability
& Deflationary Spiral


Mark de LA says
seth 2013-07-20 12:43:45 16654
i guess pearltrees is an interesting interface too.  i kinka don't like that you dont get urls from it.
still hard to find out how to buy and sell bitcoins in dollars.
Apparently you need a bitcoin wallet - see the main page bitcoin.org & then one of the exchanges like http://bitcoincharts.com/markets/


Mark de LA says
Bitcoin micropayments: http://www.pearltrees.com/#/N-s=1_4095071&N-play=0&N-u=1_209890&N-p=35940778&N-f=1_4095071&N-fa=3054164

Mark de LA says
& then there is google federal reserve vs bitcoin to think about. If Bitcoin ever got to be a serious rival to the federal reserve & big government do you think they would not try to foil it & possibly destroy Bitcoin's reliability, credibility & public image?


Mark de LA says
Fascinating theory of value detour from the Bitcoin Wiki
found in wikipedia detour of myths in Bitcoin: ... The subjective theory of value is a theory of value which advances the idea that the value of a good is not determined by any inherent property of the good, nor by the amount of labor required to produce the good, but instead value is determined by the importance an acting individual places on a good for the achievement of their desired ends.[1] This theory is one of the core concepts of the Austrian School of Economics, but is also accepted by most other "mainstream" schools of economics.
 

In the context of a free market, several major conclusions follow from the theory. The theory contrasts with normative versions of the labor theory of value that say the exchange value of a good should be proportional to how much socially necessary labor went into producing it. The subjective theory of value is a denial of intrinsic value. It leads to the conclusion that there is no proper price of a good or service other than the rate at which it trades in a free market. Whereas the labor theory of value has been used to condemn profit as exploitation, the subjective theory of value rebuts that condemnation: a buyer in a free market who offers to pay a price lower than that which is commensurate with the amount of labor used to produce the good merely communicates information to the seller about the value the good might create for the buyer. (The price offered is not a measure of subjective value; it is just a means of communication between the buyer and the seller.) The offer is in one sense an expression of the buyer's opinion, which the seller is free to reject.
...


Mark de LA says
seth 2013-07-22 06:56:02 16654
Well anyone who has done any buying and selling in the free marked knows for a fact that the price of an item is established "subjectively" and that the item has no *intrinsic* price.  Certainly that has been the basis of economic theory for a long time.

But I fail to see how that economic fact could be used to condone undervaluing labor.  If you are happy to trade a day's labor for 10 cents, and i can sell the products of that labor for 10 dollars, the economic theory says nothing about the *morality* of doing so.
You might want to read his defense of the theory in full here:
http://www.mises.org/epofe/c5sec1.asp
-
Labor should not be a commodity in the Valley of Threefoldness.

Seth says
M 2013-07-22 11:14:49 16654
seth 2013-07-22 09:56:18 16654
M 2013-07-22 07:46:46 16654
seth 2013-07-22 06:56:02 16654
Well anyone who has done any buying and selling in the free marked knows for a fact that the price of an item is established "subjectively" and that the item has no *intrinsic* price.  Certainly that has been the basis of economic theory for a long time.

But I fail to see how that economic fact could be used to condone undervaluing labor.  If you are happy to trade a day's labor for 10 cents, and i can sell the products of that labor for 10 dollars, the economic theory says nothing about the *morality* of doing so.
You might want to read his defense of the theory in full here:
http://www.mises.org/epofe/c5sec1.asp
-
Labor should not be a commodity in the Valley of Threefoldness.

i tend to agree. Everybody accesses the value to themselves of their time differently.  That is, in fact, their choice.  If i value one of my days so little as to sell it to you for 10 cents, do i not have that choice?  ... or maybe i don't have a choice there at all, because for me there may be no alternative.  But should you not have the choice to buy it at that price if i am willing to sell it at that price?  Unsurprisingly I think we need to look elsewhere than the mere math of economics and freemarkets to arrive at the ethics of labor transactions.  Perhaps we do need to look towards the spirit of the brotherhood of man when it comes to working together.  For that, we kind of do need emphathy, no?
More like a synergy of individuals. Empathy is over-rated. We need a 2-way street as are most economic transactions.


Well another word for "empathy" is "compassion" ... me, i don't think it is over-rated ... rather i think it is one of the things that  causes brotherhood.  To me, the word "synergy" is more of a description of what we want to happen ... it describes a behavior ... and there is no doubt in my mind that were we to have more compassion, it could also be described as synergy.

Mark de LA says
seth 2013-07-22 14:36:31 16654
M 2013-07-22 14:23:37 16654
They are different quality domains.  It would be like writing a symphony to be played w/ potatochips & chocolate mousse .

well specifically the example of pricing out labor is where you might use compassion. 

Let us say that i can buy a day of your labor in the free market for 10 cents,  sell its products for 100 dollars and make a profit 99.90 dollars.  Can i not figure how it would feel to you to live on 10 cents a day?  That *is* using empathy.  Then perhaps i will recalculate and pay you instead 10 dollars a day and reduce my profit to 90 dollars. 
Try that with your own business & see how that works out.


Mark de LA says
seth 2013-07-22 13:38:15 16654
M 2013-07-22 13:22:07 16654
Yep keep driving that train.
Compassion, empathy & sympathy are of the spiritual domain in society - the same one that relates to faith & religion, medicine & charity - all awesome things.  Include in that domain the Golden Rule.  I was in the first batch of people signing the Charter for Compassion.  It is interesting that while we were building the charter that many were loath to include the Golden Rule by name. You can sign it here.


i think i signed the charter a long time ago.  You mention "when we were building the charter", were you personally involved in composing that?  Didn't the Golden Rule actually get included? ... whether by name or otherwise.  

Are you saying that compassion and empathy are different spirits?  I really do think they are almost just two different names or at best aspects of the same thing.  Do you see it differently?


You say, "Compassion, empathy & sympathy are of the spiritual domain in society - the same one that relates to faith & religion, medicine & charity",  but are you also saying that compassion and empathy should not be used in the economic domain?  Me, i rather think that not using them is a large part of why our society is out of whack. 
How are you going to use compassion, empathy & sympathy in the economic domain?

Mark de LA says
M 2013-07-22 14:49:36 16654
M 2013-07-22 14:41:28 16654
seth 2013-07-22 14:36:31 16654
M 2013-07-22 14:23:37 16654
They are different quality domains.  It would be like writing a symphony to be played w/ potatochips & chocolate mousse .

well specifically the example of pricing out labor is where you might use compassion. 

Let us say that i can buy a day of your labor in the free market for 10 cents,  sell its products for 100 dollars and make a profit 99.90 dollars.  Can i not figure how it would feel to you to live on 10 cents a day?  That *is* using empathy.  Then perhaps i will recalculate and pay you instead 10 dollars a day and reduce my profit to 90 dollars. 
Try that with your own business & see how that works out.

It is easy to be compassionate with other people's money - there is a guy in the White House who has mastered it.  Compassion is an individual thingy. Just like the Golden Rule it can not be legislated or enforced. The economy requres a different relationship of brotherhood - people working together to make it work with synergy. When you produce excess in the individual domains then charity is easy.  When the government takes the excess away from you charity is a burden.


Sounds more like gifting your son - to me.  I think they tried it on a much larger scale in Detroit & how's that working out?


Mark de LA says
seth 2013-07-22 15:27:35 16654
M 2013-07-22 15:18:17 16654
Now try gifting the Chinese who work at lower than US wages more so that they can raise their standard of living.

... we don't pay Chinese workers ... the owners (or managers) or managers of the factories do that ... your message should be directed to them.   But, i for one, would be glad to pay more for the things i buy from China if that extra went to paying chinese workers a living wage.   This actually applies more pertinently to the garment workers in Bangladesh.   I choose to pay artisan i know in person for personal items they make, rather than purchace the same kind of items cheeper from WalMart.   I actually do believe in your selective spending.   What drives that?   Wouldn't be compassion would it be?
You just have to learn to do the numbers. If your business can survive by paying your workers more then by all means do that.  You will have improved your one worker's, your sun's, lot in life & can pat yourself on the back.  To force the same on other businesses & other people is quite another situation. Your example may make it around the universe in a few thousand years or not. It would not change the funamentals of economics in the direction of threefoldness IMHO. The minimum wage argument is somewhat similar.  Why stop at a minimum wage of 8.50, eh.  Why not keep going to $25 an hour or maybe like lawyers $200/per hour.  Prices would have to rise, but who cares.  Decree from the ruling class is a wonderful thingy.  Do the nunmbers. Work with your model beyond a single situation. Economic domain involves everyone. The surest way for it to work is freedom & cooperation (not force from the top).  Anyway this teminates my interest in your diversion from either clowns & circuses or bitcoins.


Mark de LA says
seth 2013-07-22 15:06:45 16654
M 2013-07-22 14:59:40 16654
M 2013-07-22 14:49:36 16654
M 2013-07-22 14:41:28 16654
seth 2013-07-22 14:36:31 16654
M 2013-07-22 14:23:37 16654
They are different quality domains.  It would be like writing a symphony to be played w/ potatochips & chocolate mousse .

well specifically the example of pricing out labor is where you might use compassion. 

Let us say that i can buy a day of your labor in the free market for 10 cents,  sell its products for 100 dollars and make a profit 99.90 dollars.  Can i not figure how it would feel to you to live on 10 cents a day?  That *is* using empathy.  Then perhaps i will recalculate and pay you instead 10 dollars a day and reduce my profit to 90 dollars. 
Try that with your own business & see how that works out.

It is easy to be compassionate with other people's money - there is a guy in the White House who has mastered it.  Compassion is an individual thingy. Just like the Golden Rule it can not be legislated or enforced. The economy requres a different relationship of brotherhood - people working together to make it work with synergy. When you produce excess in the individual domains then charity is easy.  When the government takes the excess away from you charity is a burden.


Sounds more like gifting your son - to me.  I think they tried it on a much larger scale in Detroit & how's that working out?

you really should talk to jason if you think this is a gift.   I know for a fact it does not feel like a gift to him.  Rather it feels exactly like what i said it way ... a just payment for his time.   In a few cases i have been over generous ... but that is about something else. 
He's your son, dude - that atypical at the best.

Mark de LA says
seth 2013-07-22 15:01:40 16654
M 2013-07-22 14:49:36 16654
M 2013-07-22 14:41:28 16654
seth 2013-07-22 14:36:31 16654
M 2013-07-22 14:23:37 16654
They are different quality domains.  It would be like writing a symphony to be played w/ potatochips & chocolate mousse .

well specifically the example of pricing out labor is where you might use compassion. 

Let us say that i can buy a day of your labor in the free market for 10 cents,  sell its products for 100 dollars and make a profit 99.90 dollars.  Can i not figure how it would feel to you to live on 10 cents a day?  That *is* using empathy.  Then perhaps i will recalculate and pay you instead 10 dollars a day and reduce my profit to 90 dollars. 
Try that with your own business & see how that works out.

It is easy to be compassionate with other people's money - there is a guy in the White House who has mastered it.  Compassion is an individual thingy. Just like the Golden Rule it can not be legislated or enforced. The economy requres a different relationship of brotherhood - people working together to make it work with synergy. When you produce excess in the individual domains then charity is easy.  When the government takes the excess away from you charity is a burden.



well i am not talking about legislating it.  you cannot legislate compassion.  i totally agree with you there.  and, if i get your drift, compassion/empathy is something we do of our individual free will ... it is not something that can be imposed from the top down.

but i don't think compassion is necessarily "an individual thingy" ... rather it is a "social thingey" ... it is about how man relates to man ... it *is* brotherhood ... and "people working together to make it work with synergy" is just another way to say that same thing.   I pay you a living wage not out of charity ... but out of compassion ... because if i was in your shoes, i would like to be paid a living wage as well.  I really don't get why you are separating The Golden Rule from the economic domain.
That sounds nice & warm & fuzzy - implement it now.

Seth says
kewl!
I'm sure that the feds will figure out how to ruin it because it would seriously alter the way the Federal Reserve manipulates the national debt & the money supply. Even rumors that the feds were going to investigate Bitcoin about money laundering & criminal activities depressed the market a bit.  It is now up again, though.


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