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Tags socialism , worker cooperatives

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Old 2nd September 2017, 07:59 AM   #201
Craig B
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Well there's so much you can think of. For example, necessities in abundance are free, necessities in shortage are rationed, and luxuries are over-priced to pay for the free necessities.
Try doing that without bringing into being a huge bureaucratic apparatus that would be required to establish and operate such a system.

That was the main original failing of the Bolshevik regime. Democratic institutions were dismantled, and the result was bureaucratic rule headed by a political clique, culminating in the personal dominion of a tyrant.

Moreover, the economic system was spectacularly wasteful and inefficient.

One thing is for sure. The Revolution may have been a workers' revolution, but the USSR was never a workers' state, not for a single hour.

Last edited by Craig B; 2nd September 2017 at 08:01 AM. Reason: Punctuation
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Old 2nd September 2017, 02:07 PM   #202
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Actually I brought it up to show you how free market pricing leaves some demand unfulfilled.
I have no clue how this concept is related to a house costing $1. Or anything else either.

Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
You just arbitrarily say these things, don't you? If you must pay for something then you get what you want, but if you get it for free then it's not something you want, even though it's the same thing?
My perception is that equal distribution of well-being is one of the most difficult objectives to achieve in the world. To get people to politically agree that what we have should be distributed equally is impossible to begin with. People will not easily agree about that. Otherwise we would have a far-left Socialist government now as we speak.

You take it for granted that when everything would be free, it would get distributed equally to everyone. (Or if you don't expect that to happen, then you take it for granted that the production would be so superiorly abundant that everyone has a marvellous standard of life even if don't distrubute the well-being equally with a mathematica precision. Or if you don't expect that either, then you accept a lowish standard of living. At least that is what Communism has achieved provenly, I must admit. But none of the other afore-listed variants.)

Thus, I have serious concerns and doubts about the standard of living that would be practically available for everyone in the society, if nothing costs anything. The cake is only so big as it is, and if it is not sliced to equal pieces with mathematical precision, then the first ones in queue will take as wide slices as they please, and I have concerns and doubts about what the last ones in queue will get. Probably nothing at all.

Similar concerns shadow the production and logistics side of the story. If nothing costs anything, people will request more than is possible to produce and/or to distribute. Then what?

You speak as if all of this would self-evidently function like a charm. I am Skeptical(tm) about that. That is why I prefer to rely on proven techniques of pricing, mathematical calculation of how much would be the equal share of everyone, and mathematical calculation of production costs and total output capacity, etc.

What I perceive as the most difficult thing in the world, you assume to self-evidently function easily and effortlessly. A huge gap between these two perceptions.

Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
I didn't say that
Hmm, so you would abolish money. Would you also stop calculating how much each citizen got of a standard of living? So you would not even know or care if the total production output is distributed with mathematical fairness and equality between everyone or not?

Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
It is more fair to have a shortage of everything rather than have enough basic necessities but a shortage of luxuries?
My model does not assume a shortage of everything. Or anything at all.

Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
And giving people free necessities rather than letting them go without them is "wasting" resources?
Yes, because then people can and will use it wastefully, beyond what they actually need, as it costs nothing. We need a cause-and-consequence link between costs and consumption, people need to feel it in their purse if they waste resources. Then they will self-ration their own consumption.

Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
And your completely unaccountable Dear Leaders, who set the prices, get to decide on behalf of the rest who gets access to basic necessities and who doesn't?
If income is equalized, prices cannot make a difference between "who gets access to basic necessities and who doesn't". Look at the prices around yourself. They are not quite as tyrannical and irrational as you describe. Real estate prices in city center are, specific laws are necessary to get rid of a chain-reaction of people buying just to sell for a higher price, which is what creates the high real estate prices in city centers.

Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
you're explicitly producing less than required to fulfill demand.
I don't recall saying that I would produce less than is demanded.

Or let us put it this way: We must produce less than people dream of, because people are capable of dreaming of more than we are able to produce. Also your system must produce less than people dream of. But when people have a specific amount of money at their disposal, then they will self-ration their own consumption, make their own personal choices what they value and what they want to get. That creates a paid order, and then we produce (or immediately sell pre-fabricated) as much as is ordered. Not less than that, as you claim.

In your system it is the Dear Government, which decides a one-size-fits-all rationing of what they value as "essential" and what they want to produce. Been there, done that in Communist countries. Then people get what the Dear Government valued and ordered.

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Old 4th September 2017, 02:05 AM   #203
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No offense intended, caveman1917, I know that what I say now could potentially be interpreted as an intellectual insult, but:

Have you paid any attention to the mega-thread where Gaetan has been defending his vision of a moneyless society for years? You don't bother to participate in that discussion, though you seem to have a somewhat similar stance on the issue.
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Old 4th September 2017, 05:42 AM   #204
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Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post
I have no clue how this concept is related to a house costing $1. Or anything else either.
{...}
I don't recall saying that I would produce less than is demanded.
Think it through.
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Old 4th September 2017, 05:50 AM   #205
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Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post
No offense intended, caveman1917, I know that what I say now could potentially be interpreted as an intellectual insult, but:

Have you paid any attention to the mega-thread where Gaetan has been defending his vision of a moneyless society for years? You don't bother to participate in that discussion, though you seem to have a somewhat similar stance on the issue.
I've made a post or two in that thread. It's not interesting, it's "religious guy vs bunch of idiots".

This one stopped being interesting as well. You could potentially interpret that as an intellectual insult and you'd probably be right. With some offense intended, but mostly to try to poke you to finally think it through (see previous post) regarding the glaring inconsistency in your model, so you can take that as you want.
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Old 4th September 2017, 10:50 AM   #206
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
I've made a post or two in that thread. It's not interesting, it's "religious guy vs bunch of idiots".

This one stopped being interesting as well. You could potentially interpret that as an intellectual insult and you'd probably be right. With some offense intended, but mostly to try to poke you to finally think it through (see previous post) regarding the glaring inconsistency in your model, so you can take that as you want.
There exists a self-centred attitude which induces those unfortunate people who possess it to assume that disagreement results either from unwillingness to "think things through"; from the inability of interlocutors to perceive the truth; or from malice: so people who disagree deserve not only to be informed and corrected, but to be intellectually insulted.

It is regrettably impossible to argue those people out of this attitude, because it is not based on reason.
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Old 4th September 2017, 11:06 AM   #207
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
mostly to try to poke you to finally think it through (see previous post) regarding the glaring inconsistency in your model
Let us imagine that you were a teacher. Or a great philosopher. Or Jesus Christ. Or Karl Marx. Or anyone who wants other people to learn and understand something that they currently don't know.

You just say "think it through", without giving guidance how to think and what. And you say that there is a "glaring inconsistency in your model", without specifying what the inconsistency is. This does not even qualify as debate, as you don't specify what you oppose and why, nor what you stand for and why.

Rather unteacherly, un-philosopherly, un-Jesusly, un-Marxlike, and un-whatever. But very ISF-forumly, that must be admitted.

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Old 4th September 2017, 11:09 AM   #208
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Well, it seems to me that JJM claimed, contrary to caveman, that free market pricing will not leave any demand unfulfilled, i.e., that free market pricing will always clear the market.

Empirically we can't confirm that. Theoretically such (general) equilibrium result is obtained only when the formal conditions/assumptions are so stringent that they cannot be assumed to have a real-world application.
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Old 4th September 2017, 12:11 PM   #209
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Originally Posted by lupus_in_fabula View Post
Well, it seems to me that JJM claimed, contrary to caveman, that free market pricing will not leave any demand unfulfilled, i.e., that free market pricing will always clear the market.
You misread me. I questioned the claim that free market pricing necessarily / always leaves some demand unfulfilled. That is not the same as claiming that it will certainly not leave any demand unfulfilled. But rather, that the pricing model does not cause demand to be fulfilled or unfulfilled. Feel free to demonstrate how and why it would cause it to happen.

However, Wikipedia(tm) is on my side:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Market_clearing

"The new classical economics assumes that, in any given market, assuming that all buyers and sellers have access to information and that there is no friction impeding price changes, prices always adjust up or down to ensure market clearing."

Now this is just something what I googled up at this very moment. This is not what I have claimed in this thread. I never even heard about this quote before this very moment. And the quote is obviously not completely true, there is stuff which will not sell even at 99% discount, nor even if given out for free. A boring book or movie, or an ugly dress, will not be accepted by consumers even for free. At that point (or when a previously desirable product becomes worn-out or obsolete), what once was intended to be a product, becomes worthless waste. A form of market clearing too.

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Old 4th September 2017, 10:56 PM   #210
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Originally Posted by JJM 777
However, Wikipedia(tm) is on my side:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Market_clearing

"The new classical economics assumes that, in any given market, assuming that all buyers and sellers have access to information and that there is no friction impeding price changes, prices always adjust up or down to ensure market clearing."
Yeah, I'm not sure you really want to be on that side. As I said, the assumptions in those models are way too unrealistic for any practical consideration. The new classical school of macroeconomics drives all that even further than basic neoclassical modelling, which already is a more like a thought experiment than a serious scientific approach. For example, in the macro-model you mention there's already an assumption of full employment, full capacity utilization, output at full capacity, perfect information, perfect competition and perfect rationality by economic actors… what you'll also find out if you dig further is that they often implicitly assume a single good and single actor economy (homogeneity of factors of production). Also, they don't have any money in the models.

In short: we're talking about cloud cuckoo land stuff.

Originally Posted by JJM 777
You misread me. I questioned the claim that free market pricing necessarily / always leaves some demand unfulfilled. That is not the same as claiming that it will certainly not leave any demand unfulfilled. But rather, that the pricing model does not cause demand to be fulfilled or unfulfilled. Feel free to demonstrate how and why it would cause it to happen.
OK, fair enough. Well, the pricing mechanism itself is probably not sufficient a factor. But there's some good comparative studies of socialist and capitalist modes of production (e.g. Kornai, Pasinett etc.) ,and the general contention seems to be that capitalist economies tend be demand constrained (also noticed by Keynes) whereas planned economies tend to be supply constrained. But yeah, again, there's more to it than mere differences in pricing methods.
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Old 4th September 2017, 11:24 PM   #211
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Originally Posted by lupus_in_fabula View Post
capitalist economies tend be demand constrained (also noticed by Keynes) whereas planned economies tend to be supply constrained.
Constrained by, and also driven by. I advocate a demand-driven economy. We supply what is demanded by consumers, not what is authoritatively planned at management level.

But the demand needs to be rationed, to fit the potential supply capacity. Monetary valuation of goods, services, labour, transportation, raw materials etc. seems good enough for that purpose. While it may not be perfect, I have not seen a more perfect model yet. The moneyless anarchistic laissez-faire model lacks a sufficient mechanism for fair rationing and fair distribution of production, in my opinion. Caveman takes "thousands of years of human history" as evidence that it works. It certainly didn't work in any Communist country of the past century. I maintain my belief that fair rationing and distribution of production is one of the most difficult objectives to practically ensure. Its adversaries are the selfishness of people, and then de facto corruption on the ground, as the goods arrive.

Perfection will not be achieved in this life, that is a sure thing. My motto is: Aim for 85%, a 100% target will surely fail.

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Old 5th September 2017, 04:31 AM   #212
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Originally Posted by lupus_in_fabula View Post
Well, it seems to me that JJM claimed, contrary to caveman, that free market pricing will not leave any demand unfulfilled, i.e., that free market pricing will always clear the market.
Clear the market and leave all demand at a price point under the market clearing price unfulfilled. "Market clearing" =/= "fulfill all demand".

Quote:
Empirically we can't confirm that.
Of course we can. Every time you say to yourself "I would like X but can't afford X" then you have demand which went unfulfilled.

This is pretty trivial, you know.
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Old 5th September 2017, 04:39 AM   #213
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Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post
You just say "think it through", without giving guidance how to think and what. And you say that there is a "glaring inconsistency in your model", without specifying what the inconsistency is.
I've specified it enough. You've claimed you would produce enough for everyone to have what they like to have. Yet at the same time you claim to use free market pricing, which necessarily leaves some demand unfulfilled. That's called an "inconsistency". Heck, I've even given you an example of someone who likes to have a house and has 1$ to offer for it, if the free market price of a house is more than 1$ then he won't get a house and his demand for it went unfulfilled.

You've been given more than enough information, in multiple ways, as well as examples and a specific description of your inconsistency. If after all that you still can't figure it out then the problem is really with your ability to think things through.
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Old 5th September 2017, 04:41 AM   #214
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
There exists a self-centred attitude which induces those unfortunate people who possess it to assume that disagreement results either from unwillingness to "think things through"; from the inability of interlocutors to perceive the truth; or from malice: so people who disagree deserve not only to be informed and corrected, but to be intellectually insulted.
None of the above. It's their inability to reason, if you really wanted to know.
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Old 5th September 2017, 08:01 AM   #215
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Of course we can. Every time you say to yourself "I would like X but can't afford X" then you have demand which went unfulfilled.

This is pretty trivial, you know.

This is what we can't confirm:

Quote:
that free market pricing will not leave any demand unfulfilled, i.e., that free market pricing will always clear the market.
In other words: We don't find complete market clearing as a general rule.
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Old 5th September 2017, 08:06 AM   #216
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Originally Posted by lupus_in_fabula View Post
This is what we can't confirm
No, because we can refute it, free market pricing necessarily leaves some demand unfulfilled.

Quote:
In other words: We don't find complete market clearing as a general rule.
Again, and for the last time, market clearing =/= fulfilling all demand. If it did then producing absolutely nothing (and hence leaving the market cleared) would fulfill all demand.
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Old 5th September 2017, 08:17 AM   #217
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You still misunderstand my point. We almost always empirically observe market situations where market clearing does not happen. Ergo: Markets almost never clear.

The postulate that free market pricing will lead to market clearing as a general rule can't be confirmed.
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Old 5th September 2017, 08:18 AM   #218
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If only socialists could make these sorts of arguments: "but look, the shops are empty over here, therefor all demand has been fulfilled".
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Old 5th September 2017, 08:19 AM   #219
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Originally Posted by lupus_in_fabula View Post
You still misunderstand my point. We almost always empirically observe market situations where market clearing does not happen. Ergo: Markets almost never clear.

The postulate that free market pricing will lead to market clearing as a general rule can't be confirmed.
And what does that postulate have to do with anything? The postulate under consideration was that free market pricing leaves at least some demand unfulfilled.
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Old 5th September 2017, 08:26 AM   #220
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I was originally commenting on JJM's counterclaim to you, which I apparently misunderstood (#208)… and which was cleared up in post #209 and #210.

(Btw. In broad terms I tend to agree with your contention about demand being unfulfilled.)
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Old 5th September 2017, 08:36 AM   #221
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Originally Posted by lupus_in_fabula View Post
(Btw. In broad terms I tend to agree with your contention about demand being unfulfilled.)
Do you agree with the broader contention, that at least some demand being unfulfilled is a necessary requirement for any form of economics? Because if all demand is fulfilled there is no scarcity, and hence nothing to economize in the first place.
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Old 5th September 2017, 09:19 AM   #222
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Do you agree with the broader contention, that at least some demand being unfulfilled is a necessary requirement for any form of economics? Because if all demand is fulfilled there is no scarcity, and hence nothing to economize in the first place.
Yes. But then we must define what we mean by "demand", for it cannot simply be about any want that comes to mind.

Scarcity is however not the whole of economics. For example, one of the important questions pertains to the question of how national produce is distributed and what effects distribution has on economic activity.
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Old 5th September 2017, 09:25 AM   #223
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
"Market clearing" =/= "fulfill all demand".
Fulfilling demand for a price under... hmmm... production costs, would be equal to other people practically paying for you to consume. Why should they want to allow you to consume at their expense -- in a world where income has been equalized, so nobody should have a specific reason to live at the expense of others? I think it's perfectly fair and reasonable that goods or services are only very seldom sold for a price under the production costs.

Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Every time you say to yourself "I would like X but can't afford X" then you have demand which went unfulfilled.
Would your system somehow solve that problem? Or is it a problem at all?

Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
I've even given you an example of someone who likes to have a house and has 1$ to offer for it, if the free market price of a house is more than 1$ then he won't get a house and his demand for it went unfulfilled.
In a world where income has been equalized, it would be actually unfair to sell anything for a remarkably lower price than it is sold to others. That would nullify the equalization of income. The objective is fair equal distribution, and a part of that is not selling houses for $1 to one hand-picked lucky person.

Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
free market pricing necessarily leaves some demand unfulfilled.
&
Originally Posted by lupus_in_fabula View Post
I tend to agree with your contention about demand being unfulfilled.
If "demand being unfulfilled" refers to refusing to sell goods or services for a price under production costs, I wholeheartedly admit this, and also morally defend it, see some of my latest comments above.
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Old 5th September 2017, 09:26 AM   #224
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Originally Posted by lupus_in_fabula View Post
Yes. But then we must define what we mean by "demand", for it cannot simply be about any want that comes to mind.
Leading us back to the start of this tangent:
Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post
"Enough" and "too much" are relative to demand from consumers. If consumers would like to drink 1,000,000 liters of beer per year, producing 500,000 liters per year would be "not enough", and producing 1,500,000 liters per year would be "wastefully too much".
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Old 5th September 2017, 09:29 AM   #225
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Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post
If "demand being unfulfilled" refers to refusing to sell goods or services for a price under production costs, I wholeheartedly admit this, and also morally defend it, see some of my latest comments above.
Well let's hope you never need expensive medical care or something.
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Old 5th September 2017, 02:37 PM   #226
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
Well let's hope you never need expensive medical care or something.
I probably will, but medical insurance will take care of it. Of course I have one, I hope you have too.

In My World(tm) medical insurance, and indeed all other insurances too, would be free (that is, paid by the state, which in turn means that citizens pay it as part of the tax rate), and automatically in effect without applying, and automatically covering every person and every situation in the society.

Insurance is a key tool for balancing equality of the well-being of individuals, because **it happens randomly to this or that individual. Then it is not enough to equalize monthly income, at the moment of unexpected unlucky economic loss we need to get that person back in balance, by the state compensating all the unexpected sudden losses of an individual.

Last edited by JJM 777; 5th September 2017 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 5th September 2017, 03:53 PM   #227
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Been working in retail again during this year. Sometimes we clear the market by tossing stuff down the garbage chute because that has less long-term impact than a clearance that erodes perception of the standard price point we have to maintain to squeeze a profit out of some items.
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Old 5th September 2017, 05:47 PM   #228
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Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post
But the demand needs to be rationed, to fit the potential supply capacity. Monetary valuation of goods, services, labour, transportation, raw materials etc. seems good enough for that purpose. While it may not be perfect, I have not seen a more perfect model yet.

The moneyless anarchistic laissez-faire model lacks a sufficient mechanism for fair rationing and fair distribution of production, in my opinion. Caveman takes "thousands of years of human history" as evidence that it works. It certainly didn't work in any Communist country of the past century. I maintain my belief that fair rationing and distribution of production is one of the most difficult objectives to practically ensure. Its adversaries are the selfishness of people, and then de facto corruption on the ground, as the goods arrive.

Perfection will not be achieved in this life, that is a sure thing. My motto is: Aim for 85%, a 100% target will surely fail.
The problem with the monetary valuation of goods, is the utter corruption of the monetary system. But you are correct, the alternative is much worse. Most of the problems with inequitable wealth disparity are to do with the money scam, not free market capitalism (which does not exist). If most communists/collectivists really cared about the betterment of humanity, they would criticize the real culprit - the money scam, and not espouse communism, which basically represents the ultimate monopoly as set up by the money masters.

Communism has been financed by western bankers since its inception when they backed Friedrich Engels.
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Old 5th September 2017, 08:57 PM   #229
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Originally Posted by JJM 777 View Post
I probably will, but medical insurance will take care of it. Of course I have one, I hope you have too.

In My World(tm) medical insurance, and indeed all other insurances too, would be free (that is, paid by the state, which in turn means that citizens pay it as part of the tax rate), and automatically in effect without applying, and automatically covering every person and every situation in the society.

Insurance is a key tool for balancing equality of the well-being of individuals, because **it happens randomly to this or that individual. Then it is not enough to equalize monthly income, at the moment of unexpected unlucky economic loss we need to get that person back in balance, by the state compensating all the unexpected sudden losses of an individual.
You just said you are (morally) against making someone else pay so as to give you something for below production price. Now you seem to say that there are at least some things for which you want to do exactly that.
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Old 5th September 2017, 09:14 PM   #230
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
None of the above. It's their inability to reason, if you really wanted to know.
One of the above. I referred to it in my point "the inability of interlocutors to perceive the truth", which is the same thing.

I see you're keeping up the disparagement of other posters rather than trying to engage their reason. Poor show. Because I don't think "inability" is the main cause of disagreement with the various ideas contained in your posts, if you really want to know, which of course you don't.
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Old 5th September 2017, 09:41 PM   #231
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
One of the above. I referred to it in my point "the inability of interlocutors to perceive the truth", which is the same thing.
No it isn't. Well, it is for first-order logic, but not in general.

Quote:
I see you're keeping up the disparagement of other posters rather than trying to engage their reason.
What reason?

Quote:
Because I don't think "inability" is the main cause of disagreement with the various ideas contained in your posts, if you really want to know, which of course you don't.
What ideas contained in my posts, and what is the main cause of disagreement with them?

For someone complaining about failure to engage with people's reason, you seem peculiarly failing to, you know, engage with anything specific rather than making vague meta-posts.
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Old 5th September 2017, 09:48 PM   #232
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
No it isn't. Well, it is for first-order logic, but not in general.
Logic will do fine.


Quote:
What reason?

What ideas contained in my posts,
Yes, you have detected the fatal flaw in my strategy. Damn!
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Old 6th September 2017, 12:29 AM   #233
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Originally Posted by Delphic Oracle View Post
Been working in retail again during this year. Sometimes we clear the market by tossing stuff down the garbage chute because that has less long-term impact than a clearance that erodes perception of the standard price point we have to maintain to squeeze a profit out of some items.
caveman1917 would be outraged about this, no doubt. But this is a valid concern. My friend had an online retail store once. The sales were OK, but he wanted to boost them a bit, so he had a 60% discount campaign. It gave a momentary boost, but then people stopped buying for normal prices, and waited for these discounts. It killed the business, it became unprofitable and he had to quit.
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Old 6th September 2017, 12:35 AM   #234
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
You just said you are (morally) against making someone else pay so as to give you something for below production price. Now you seem to say that there are at least some things for which you want to do exactly that.
It's all about equality, man. Focus your mind on equality, what promotes equality, you will find me promoting that.

If the production cost of a house is 100.000, practically everyone must pay at least 100.000 for a house. If someone gets a house for $1, he essentially gets more than the others, because he still has the 99.000 left to spend for something else. That is why I oppose the idea of selling a house for $1, because it is counterproductive for equality of humans.

Insurance is an opposite example. (As well as state compensations to children, the sick, and the elderly.) Again equality is the objective, which explains and motivates the action.
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Old 6th September 2017, 12:44 AM   #235
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Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
What ideas contained in my posts, and what is the main cause of disagreement with them?
You assert that market pricing causes waste and denial-of-service, of an unspecified extent. I admit that it does, but I believe that the extent is acceptable, and its risks are quite well known and stable. Whereas you propose a moneyless system, whose waste is more vague to assess, and whose risk is unknown. I personally am worried about the risks of jumping into such unknown.
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Old 6th September 2017, 02:12 AM   #236
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Originally Posted by Delphic Oracle
Been working in retail again during this year. Sometimes we clear the market by tossing stuff down the garbage chute because that has less long-term impact than a clearance that erodes perception of the standard price point we have to maintain to squeeze a profit out of some items.
Originally Posted by JJM 777
caveman1917 would be outraged about this, no doubt. But this is a valid concern. My friend had an online retail store once. The sales were OK, but he wanted to boost them a bit, so he had a 60% discount campaign. It gave a momentary boost, but then people stopped buying for normal prices, and waited for these discounts. It killed the business, it became unprofitable and he had to quit.
I'm sure many more, including you, would be outraged if that happened with groceries in a society plagued with wide scale starvation and/or malnutrition. So we must at least qualify the justification for dumping goods if it's solely premised on producers' profit motives. It is, after all, the profit motive that dictates such behavior, and which in general seems to be the central determinant of the capitalist mode of production.

I'm also not entirely convinced that such central tenet will continue to serve as a justification endlessly. We could approach a situation where we must take environmental considerations into account in every (physical) productive activity to a greater degree than currently… thus, when some kind of tipping point is reached, making throwing away stuff for the sake of individual profit socially and politically untenable. Obviously, if we could produce most at the point of purchase (like with a "Star Trek machine"), we wouldn't have that kind of problem. Although, then, I suppose, the whole search for profit would probably be redundant.
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Old 6th September 2017, 03:34 AM   #237
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Originally Posted by lupus_in_fabula View Post
I'm sure many more, including you, would be outraged if that happened with groceries in a society plagued with wide scale starvation and/or malnutrition. So we must at least qualify the justification for dumping goods if it's solely premised on producers' profit motives. It is, after all, the profit motive that dictates such behavior, and which in general seems to be the central determinant of the capitalist mode of production.

I'm also not entirely convinced that such central tenet will continue to serve as a justification endlessly. We could approach a situation where we must take environmental considerations into account in every (physical) productive activity to a greater degree than currently… thus, when some kind of tipping point is reached, making throwing away stuff for the sake of individual profit socially and politically untenable. Obviously, if we could produce most at the point of purchase (like with a "Star Trek machine"), we wouldn't have that kind of problem. Although, then, I suppose, the whole search for profit would probably be redundant.
We tossed food that was within 2 days of expiration when I worked grocery. I never got a satisfactory answer on why arrangements with homeless or domestic abuse shelters couldn't be made.

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Old 6th September 2017, 05:08 AM   #238
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Originally Posted by lupus_in_fabula View Post
I'm sure many more, including you, would be outraged if that happened with groceries in a society plagued with wide scale starvation and/or malnutrition.
The few existing grocery stores going bankrupt and quitting would not be very helpful, would it? Unsustainable discounts are not the solution. The solution is empowering people to pay the fair price, and then they pay the fair price. If a society is plagued by wide-scale (sic) starvation, discounts at the grocery store are neither a cause for trouble nor a remedy, the problems lie elsewhere. Expecting the grocery store to save the society is a lot asked, from the wrong direction.

Originally Posted by lupus_in_fabula View Post
producers' profit motives. It is, after all, the profit motive that dictates such behavior
Could we rephrase that as "economic sustainability motives"?
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Old 6th September 2017, 05:10 AM   #239
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Originally Posted by Delphic Oracle View Post
We tossed food that was within 2 days of expiration when I worked grocery. I never got a satisfactory answer on why arrangements with homeless or domestic abuse shelters couldn't be made.
Shops and restaurants giving food to the poor is becoming a trend in western countries. It is a solution to a problem that shouldn't exist in the first place.
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Old 6th September 2017, 05:56 AM   #240
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Originally Posted by JJM 777
The few existing grocery stores going bankrupt and quitting would not be very helpful, would it? Unsustainable discounts are not the solution. The solution is empowering people to pay the fair price, and then they pay the fair price. If a society is plagued by wide-scale (sic) starvation, discounts at the grocery store are neither a cause for trouble nor a remedy, the problems lie elsewhere. Expecting the grocery store to save the society is a lot asked, from the wrong direction.
...and yet it could also cause outrage regardless of the perceived systemic fault laying elsewhere. I don't think this matter is a binary one; context matter a great deal. In France, it seems, there's already legislation banning some kind of food-dumping, and that's in a rather affluent society.

From the beginning of capitalism in the sense we recognize it (i.e., from the beginning of the industrial revolution to present times), there's been plenty of reforms effectively adjusting the boundaries of where and how profit-making is deemed socially acceptable. When child labor laws first came about, the opposition also warned they would cause widespread economic malaise. Nothing of the sort happened. I expect that kind of progress to continue… and in those particular instances where private profit making becomes inapplicable with social and political norms; public production will simply take over if considered important enough.

Originally Posted by JJM 777
Could we rephrase that as "economic sustainability motives"?
Not really.
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