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Paul Krugman Attacks Britain's Austerity Drive As 'deeply Destructive'


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As for my intelligence the last time I took the mensa test my IQ was 135. I also have a U.S. obtained doctorate in the hard sciences. I'm trying to educate you but it doesn't seem possible sadly. "[/i]

Though I am really curious (seriously, not aiming at you alexw) why so many highly intelligent people (in general) can't see the macro economics picture when proposing solutions.

Perhaps doing hard sciences requires skills in solving micro issues (e.g. why certain air flow behaves in certain way) by making assumptions without having to consider the overall effects to the overall system? ( e.g. The butterfly flap wings in China and then..., or if you make a faster hypersonic plane, then how would your competitors react etc).

On micro levels, human sufferings are very real, but unfortunately, at macro economics level, one really has to consider the effects of trying to divert resources at the expense of one group to solve the other group's problems. (Unfortunately, fairness is a relative concept, it is nothing like c= 299 792458 m / s )

Edited by easy2012
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Though I am really curious (seriously, not aiming at you alexw) why so many highly intelligent people (in general) can't see the macro economics picture when proposing solutions.

Perhaps doing hard sciences requires skills in solving micro issues (e.g. why certain air flow behaves in certain way) by making assumptions without having to consider the overall effects to the overall system? ( e.g. The butterfly flap wings in China and then..., or if you make a faster hypersonic plane, then how would your competitors react etc).

On micro levels, human sufferings are very real, but unfortunately, at macro economics level, one really has to consider the effects of trying to divert resources at the expense of one group to solve the other group's problems. (Unfortunately, fairness is a relative concept, it is nothing like c= 299 792458 m / s )

I have had this argument with other people.

Fairness and morality do not exist in nature

they are intellectual constructs that have no basis in reality.

They are therefore entirely subjective, so a persons belief in what they consider fair or moral can never be used in any logical argument.

I have terrible trouble trying to get this over to people and most of the threads here contain numerous statements justifying some particular position on the basis that something is unfair or immoral.

As an example, apparently if you borrow money off someone and then can't pay them back the fact that they lent you the money in the first place is immoral.

And as I have said elsewhere this argument has been used to persecute Jewish money lenders for centuries.

:blink:

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And as I have said elsewhere this argument has been used to persecute Jewish money lenders for centuries.

:blink:

Back in 2008 I had a LOL moment when a french minister got very angry at the bond markets accusing them of ....get this...."predatory lending"

Jesus H Christ on a tricycle!

Zero acknowledgement that they went to the Bond markets and asked to borrow from them in the first place because they can't stop bribing voters with their grandchildren's money.

Edited by KingBingo
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I'd suggest improvements to the lives of the masses was entirely due to advances in technology, certainly NOT socialism. Any advances were made IN SPITE of socialism, not because of it.

??

There is nothing long with socialism or individualism. It is the forced participation that is the problem.

Forming cooperatives, unions and so forth is all good, just as long as people aren't coerced into it. Equally, doing stuff on your own is fine too, just as long as you aren't coercing others to gain a monopoly.

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There is nothing long with socialism or individualism. It is the forced participation that is the problem.

Forming cooperatives, unions and so forth is all good, just as long as people aren't coerced into it. Equally, doing stuff on your own is fine too, just as long as you aren't coercing others to gain a monopoly.

Socialism doesn't work without coercion

If loads of poor people get together they will just be a bunch of poor people.

The point of getting together is to then steal other peoples wealth

That's the entire point of the exercise.

:)

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I have had this argument with other people.

Fairness and morality do not exist in nature

they are intellectual constructs that have no basis in reality.

They are therefore entirely subjective, so a persons belief in what they consider fair or moral can never be used in any logical argument.

I have terrible trouble trying to get this over to people and most of the threads here contain numerous statements justifying some particular position on the basis that something is unfair or immoral.

As an example, apparently if you borrow money off someone and then can't pay them back the fact that they lent you the money in the first place is immoral.

And as I have said elsewhere this argument has been used to persecute Jewish money lenders for centuries.

:blink:

All of which doesn't matter.

It is more advantageous to an individual, if they form bonds of trust and friendship with others. Whether you think that this is purely by selfish motivation or because people value morality and fairness doesn't change this.

TBH though, if people didn't value morality or fairness, I doubt we would live in a country where people respected the law, while patiently wait 4 years to make a pointless vote.

edit: usual typos

Edited by Traktion
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Socialism doesn't work without coercion

If loads of poor people get together they will just be a bunch of poor people.

The point of getting together is to then steal other peoples wealth

That's the entire point of the exercise.

:)

I disagree.

Socialism is just common ownership of stuff. A cooperative is an example of a socialist organisation.

State socialism (ie. coerced socialism) is something else, which goes beyond this basic definition.

This is why you can be a libertarian socialist. This describes freely associating individuals, forming mutuals, cooperatives, unions and so forth.

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This is why you can be a libertarian socialist. This describes freely associating individuals, forming mutuals, cooperatives, unions and so forth.

I met a Leprechaun riding a Unicorn once, and asked him if he had ever met a libertarian socialist, he said he had not.

Every Socialist I have ever met have defined their ideology as being one of an ever expanding ever growing state, I would venture none of them would have been OK with taxes or regulations being voluntary (except for themselves).

If you believe in freedom from the tyranny of the state, and want to strive for less state, less tax and less regulation, you will only ever find a home on the right as a libertarian.

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I met a Leprechaun riding a Unicorn once, and asked him if he had ever met a libertarian socialist, he said he had not.

Every Socialist I have ever met have defined their ideology as being one of an ever expanding ever growing state, I would venture none of them would have been OK with taxes or regulations being voluntary (except for themselves).

If you believe in freedom from the tyranny of the state, and want to strive for less state, less tax and less regulation, you will only ever find a home on the right as a libertarian.

That's the problem with words - they get twisted to meaning one thing or another, by those who wish to deceive.

I believe in freedom from the tyranny of the state, just as I believe in the freedom from the tyranny of any organisation or individual.

There is nothing wrong with organisations being owned and run by many individuals. Mutual ownership of schools, hospitals, roads and so forth may work rather well. These are a form of socialism.

That doesn't mean that others should be forced to use or pay for those mutually owned schools, hospitals, roads or whatever. That would be coercive and rather evil - much like state socialism, in fact.

Edited by Traktion
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I disagree.

Socialism is just common ownership of stuff. A cooperative is an example of a socialist organisation.

State socialism (ie. coerced socialism) is something else, which goes beyond this basic definition.

This is why you can be a libertarian socialist. This describes freely associating individuals, forming mutuals, cooperatives, unions and so forth.

This is just complete nonsense

common ownership of everything means that individuals own nothing

under such a system people only ever produce what they personally need, they never willingly produce a surplus

because it is then stolen 'for the greater good'

:)

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This is just complete nonsense

common ownership of everything means that individuals own nothing

under such a system people only ever produce what they personally need, they never willingly produce a surplus

because it is then stolen 'for the greater good'

:)

You added the 'of everything' bit there. That is state socialism.

I agree that state socialism is a coercive theft fest, but it doesn't mean that socialism, in its more general form, is evil.

If people freely enter into an agreement to commonly own something, there is nothing wrong with that. It is when coercion is used that the problems start.

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I agree, but why call this concept socialism and not use an alternative phrase (cooperative?) that has a less ambiguous meaning.

It's the original meaning of socialism, which has since become incorrectly interpreted as state socialism by many.

You could call it cooperativism/mutualism or some such and they would also be valid, but socialism is a broad term which also includes these terms.

Calling all forms of socialism bad, allows those who use negative propaganda against the concept, to win. It's just as annoying as when people blame the current crisis on the free market, when clearly it is state corporatism which is the problem, not people freely trading and associating.

EDIT: To add, the above also has the affect of narrowing the debate to state socialism or state individualism. People then fall in to the trap of thinking the only choices are left vs right, rather than the fuller picture, which includes freedom vs coercion (or libertarianism vs authoritarianism).

Edited by Traktion
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It's the original meaning of ........

All fair points. However, impossible to use in the modern political environment, where politicians are granted a few seconds at a time to make their points, and default to soundbites.

I doubt any meaningful political discussion is possible (or useful) all the time we have the media we do and one man one vote. (or one Tower Hamlets address, two dozen postal votes)

Indeed our current political system seems incredibly destructive, yet since you have to use that structure to reform it, any change seems unlikely as the system continue into ever more a farce of itself, where more state and more coercion is the default setting.

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Besides, it was the author speaking I was drawing your attention to, not the logo behind him.

I'm just pointing out the irony of man talking about individual liberty in a forum sponsored by the second biggest corporation in the United States. :lol:

Or maybe I'm wrong- maybe-deep down-corporations really are ''people' as they claim- and deeply care about the liberty of the little guy.

But I doubt it.

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I'm just pointing out the irony of man talking about individual liberty in a forum sponsored by the second biggest corporation in the United States. :lol:

Or maybe I'm wrong- maybe-deep down-corporations really are ''people' as they claim- and deeply care about the liberty of the little guy.

But I doubt it.

Corporations are owned by their shareholders, like anyone with a pension. I really don't see what point your trying to make.

I know lefties run around wailing 'corporations corporations!!!' but none have bothered to say whats wrong with them.

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Corporations are owned by their shareholders, like anyone with a pension. I really don't see what point your trying to make.

I know lefties run around wailing 'corporations corporations!!!' but none have bothered to say whats wrong with them.

the problem is which corporations own the corporations own the corporations.

this was the big argument about why the TBTF banks are impossible to break up....they are made up of hundreds of firms all owning each other...in reality, there is probably £1 coin flying around at the speed of light between them all to give an illusion of substance.

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You added the 'of everything' bit there. That is state socialism.

I agree that state socialism is a coercive theft fest, but it doesn't mean that socialism, in its more general form, is evil.

If people freely enter into an agreement to commonly own something, there is nothing wrong with that. It is when coercion is used that the problems start.

I am currently re-reading a book on medieval warfare which also includes a good explanation of how feudalism evolved

feudalism evolved because the alternative was being preyed upon by other bands of humans who had got together and decided to co-operate in robbing and pillaging because it was a very easy way to get what they wanted.

The state therefore evolved because people preferred it to the alternative

All you are doing is proposing the alternative which was abandoned 100's of years ago.

The state cannot be uninvented, what we need to be doing is going for the smallest state possible IMO

and all the evidence shows that Socialism inevitably leads to very large and oppressive states - no matter how well intentioned the original idea may have been.

:)

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Corporations are owned by their shareholders, like anyone with a pension. I really don't see what point your trying to make.

I know lefties run around wailing 'corporations corporations!!!' but none have bothered to say whats wrong with them.

The problem with corporations, is their lack of liabilities. Instead of individuals being responsible for losses, pollution and so forth, a corporation becomes responsible.

Well, I say responsible, but those running the corporations can extract profits through abusing people and the environment. They can then either leave the corporation (leaving the costs on the consumer) or liquidate the corporation without fear of their property being taken as compensation (limited liability).

If those who owned the corporations were liable for its actions, it is likely that they would consider the repercussions far more carefully. It is also likely that they would require insurance to cover any calls for compensation too.

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I am currently re-reading a book on medieval warfare which also includes a good explanation of how feudalism evolved

feudalism evolved because the alternative was being preyed upon by other bands of humans who had got together and decided to co-operate in robbing and pillaging because it was a very easy way to get what they wanted.

The state therefore evolved because people preferred it to the alternative

All you are doing is proposing the alternative which was abandoned 100's of years ago.

The state cannot be uninvented, what we need to be doing is going for the smallest state possible IMO

and all the evidence shows that Socialism inevitably leads to very large and oppressive states - no matter how well intentioned the original idea may have been.

:)

Using that logic, you're suggesting that a state can only exist in a socialist form. That seems rather self detonating for your argument of having a small, individualist, state*.

* Which, IIRC, you think requires public health care, public schools, fiat money, policing, courts, fire service, an army, border control, planning controls, roads, corporations... the list goes on.

Edited by Traktion
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Using that logic, you're suggesting that a state can only exist in a socialist form. That seems rather self detonating for your argument of having a small, individualist, state*.

* Which, IIRC, you think requires public health care, public schools, fiat money, policing, courts, fire service, an army, border control, planning controls, roads, corporations... the list goes on.

States have existed for thousands of years, Socialism was largely a 20th Century phenomenon.

There is a big difference between having your rubbish collected and having the state checking through all your rubbish and prosecuting you if you put the wrong sort of plastic in the wrong bin.

There is also a big difference between the state taking 90% of what you earn or 30% of what you earn

60% difference in fact.

:blink:

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There is also a big difference between the state taking 90% of what you earn or 30% of what you earn

60% difference in fact.

:blink:

I ran the maths on that......he is right!

Edited to say: Or 66.6667% if you just look at the tax take.

Edited by KingBingo
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States have existed for thousands of years, Socialism was largely a 20th Century phenomenon.

There is a big difference between having your rubbish collected and having the state checking through all your rubbish and prosecuting you if you put the wrong sort of plastic in the wrong bin.

There is also a big difference between the state taking 90% of what you earn or 30% of what you earn

60% difference in fact.

:blink:

A few hundred years ago, the state did little more than run crown courts and raise armies of mercs now and again. That is closer to anarchism than it is to a modern statist society.

Regardless, you said that socialism leads to a state, implying that they go hand in hand. Either socialism is required for statism or it isn't. Which is it?

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A few hundred years ago, the state did little more than run crown courts and raise armies of mercs now and again. That is closer to anarchism than it is to a modern statist society.

Regardless, you said that socialism leads to a state, implying that they go hand in hand. Either socialism is required for statism or it isn't. Which is it?

For someone who favours a smaller state your hair splitting for the sake of it looks a lot like an attempt to fragment the libertarian tendencies in favour of the statists.

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