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The defamation of socialism

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Bluenami and jbander: 


Notice both of your last 2 posts with no other content than personal attacks, have disappeared.  Take your shared feud to NHB.  Do not continue it in LO.  I can exert further "persuasion" than that if necessary.  Maybe start a thread in NHB -  "The Defamation of Socialism"?  Or something like that where you can battle it out.  But do not continue in this vein, in the Liberal's Only Room.    Thanks in advance for your cooperation.

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16 hours ago, Bluenami said:

The sun blasts us with free energy, we just need to harness it... and we will eventually.  Robots can build and repair themselves.


No.  It's NOT free.  You need solar panels, cables, transformers, transmission lines, real estate, batteries, etc.   It's no more free than the oil/coal/uranium in the ground.  It's there, but it requires the expenditure of productive capacity to access it, therefore it is NOT free.


16 hours ago, Bluenami said:

Sure, but you can't compel people to work to build those unnecessary things in order to buy necessary things.  If people want to voluntarily build those unnecessary things and possibly receive some benefit from doing so, then fine.


Cool.  No disagreement here.   People should be free to take the job they want.  


16 hours ago, Bluenami said:

Is the complexity of the tax code requiring lots of employment in the tax industry something you support?  Or is that digging holes and refilling them to justify a paycheck?


Here's another area of agreement!  Our government should vastly simplify the tax code.  It would free up the labor of thousands of IRS bureaucrats and tax accountants and be more fair and effective at the same time.  Instead, our politicians continue to make the tax code more complex, often just to buy votes from different interest groups.


16 hours ago, Bluenami said:

Is Google paying someone to change their logo periodically to reflect holiday themes a productive use of time?  Or is that just to justify a paycheck?


Productive.  Given the number of people who see that logo daily (3.5 billion) and the relatively minuscule amount of labor required, I'd say that the value (aesthetic) exceeds the cost.  But, this is important, it's not my call to make.  I make my decision when I choose load up Google (or Bing, or Yahoo, or...).  


16 hours ago, Bluenami said:

Computers, cellphones, tvs, and anything you can think of can be mass-produced by robots with free energy from the sun.  They could potentially fill your property with Ferraris piled a mile high.


There are only a few things that can't be replicated en masse, like: particular plots of land, sentimental things, and pets and people (friends, kids, etc).  Pretty much everything else can be made ad nauseam.


Are you familiar with the concept of opportunity cost?  In order to mass produce cars, you must transfer productive capacity from some other endeavor.   You could flood the market (satisfy all needs) for any one particular good, but not for all goods simultaneously.   


16 hours ago, Bluenami said:

Hard work will be antiquated with machines, so it's not a merit.  Creativity is a subset of intelligence.  So what are superior to intelligence and empathy?


"...will be..."   That's not today.  It's someday, so far in the future it's out of sight.  Therefore, the end of your sentence should read "so it has merit" until that day arrives.


Suppose my intelligence is superior to yours...  Do you get nothing?   If I can cry for the homeless while I ace my GRE, do I get to be a millionaire?


Intelligence in and of itself is absolutely useless and deserves no merit whatsoever.  Until it's combined with other attributes, it has no positive effects on anything.  Maybe you've solved all the world's problems in your mind.  Can you effectively communicate those solutions?  Empathy is nice.  You can cry while I starve to death.  Maybe my final moments will be less painful.  But, I'd much rather you actually spend some effort to bring me food.  Positive human attributes are only effective in combination.


If we ask someone else, they might say artistic talent is the most important attribute.  You and I would disagree, but they would be adamant.  How do we decide who is right?  My position isn't that one attribute or another is the best...I'm saying they all have value.  The market does a fine job of resolving the relative weighting.  16% for intelligence seems very generous to me, considering all the competition it's up against.


16 hours ago, Bluenami said:

Plastic garden hose nozzles make the most profit because they can be mass-produced cheaply and sold for high profit margins, but that doesn't mean it's what the consumer wants.  If I need a garden nozzle, I have to take what's offered or do without.  I get no say in what's offered.


Sometimes the free market works and sometimes it doesn't.



I'll address the second part first...  True.  Free markets need help sometimes.  Now, the second part...


I have several garden hose nozzles (really, I do...I'm a gardener).  Some are plastic, some not.  We have far more choice now than we did even 10 years ago.  New manufacturing technologies allow for economical production at ever lower quantities.  These days, I'm often overwhelmed by choice and find myself wishing for the old days when I only had 4 or 5 choices for items.


The quality of the plastic garden hose nozzles has increased.  They're reasonably durable now and they work well.  None of them (metal or plastic) will last more than a few years, but that's largely our fault as consumers.  We (maybe not you or me, but consumers as a group) elected to buy cheap goods (like that damned particle board furniture) instead of more expensive and long-lasting goods.  You and I might disagree with that, but we don't get to tell other people what their priorities are.


But, your choice is still there.  Amazon lists a variety of metal (bronze, galvanized, copper, etc.) garden hose nozzles.  Some have very high reviews.  You do get a say in what's offered!


16 hours ago, Bluenami said:

We're just debating whether or not communism will ever be realized.


That's not what I'm debating.  I'm debating the "end of scarcity".  My position is that it's nowhere in sight.  Until it is, discussion of what might happen someday is just a thought exercise.

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