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Does the Ithaca Hour Disprove the Regression Theorem?

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Smiling Dave posted on Wed, Jul 6 2011 11:59 AM

I'll start with a quote from Mises in Money and credit, emphasis mine:

The Necessity for a Value Independent of the Monetary Function
before an Object can serve as Money

If the objective exchange-value of money must always be linked
with a pre-existing market exchange-ratio between money and
other economic goods (since otherwise individuals would not be in a
position to estimate the value ofthe money), it follows that an object
cannot be used as money unless, at the moment when its use as
money begins, it already possesses an objective exchange-value
based on some other use. This provides both a refutation of those
theories which derive the origin ofmoney from a general agreement
to impute fictitious value to things intrinsically valueless'
and a
confirmation of Menger's hypothesis concerning the origin of the
use of money.
This link with a pre-existing exchange-value is necessary not only
for commodity money, but equally for credit money and fiat money.'
No fiat money could ever come into existence if it did not satisfy this
condition
.
..

OK, now for the Ithaca Hour. It is a fiat currency, used in Ithaca, New York and for 20 miles around that city.

Links:

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ithaca_Hour

Home Page: http://www.ithacahours.com/

How it got started: http://www.ithacahours.com/archive/0001.html

Cute cartoon: http://ithacahours.com/weprint.jpg

Two quotes:

...on October 19, I bought a samoza at the Farmer's Market with Half HOUR #751 from from Catherine Martinez-- the first use of an HOUR. Neither of us knew what a Half HOUR was worth, since the $10/HOUR rate was then merely suggested.

...He established that each HOUR would be worth the equivalent of $10, which was about the average hourly amount that workers earned in surrounding Tompkins County,[8] although the exact rate of exchange for any given transaction was to be decided by the parties themselves.

Seems to refute Mises' regression theorem. Would appreciate enlightenment.

 

 

 

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I think I have the answer to why both Ithaca Hours and Bitcoin are not money. Voila:

If you and your kid sister set up a system of paying each other for lollipops with tarot cards, that doesn't make tarot cards money, right? And why not? Because money has to be something accepted
1. by a whole community
2. in exchange for anything and everything.
That's what medium of exchange means. [So it's not a "no true Scotsman" argument].

When everything has a price in tarot cards, for a large group of people, not just a few close friends, then they can be legitimately called money.

Bitcoin is not money yet, because there is no community, [even if we call a group of people connected by computers a community], who will buy and sell everything for bitcoins. Same for Ithaca Hours.

In my posts, I tried to get across why it will never be a money in the above sense [=medium of exchange].

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I think you are oversimplifying the regression theorem.  Mises is explicit in saying that in order for money to have value the commodity (or whatever makes up said money) has to have some previous value.  That is, the value of money comes from the value of something else.  In bitcoin's case, that something else is the dollar.

Yes, bitcoins derive their value from the expectation that one may readily exchange them for actual money (money proper), i.e. dollars. In this sense, bitcoins sort of function like secondary media of exchange, but they're not employed nearly as regularly as traditional secondary media of exchange (precious metals, securities, etc). Thus, we can say that bitcoin are essentially tertiary media of exchange.

But money is defined as a commonly employed media of exchange, which means that, by definition, bitcoins are not money. Your grocer will not accept bitcoins, laborers will not accept bitcoins as payment, etc, etc. In order for bitcoins to emerge as actual money, in a way which consistent with Mises' regression theorem, they would have to be absolutely interchangeable with actual dollars but more convenient, so that eventually the employment of bitcoins completely surpasses the employment of dollars (in all of its various forms) altogether.

If bitcoins actually become money (again defined as a commonly employed media of exchange) in any other way, then Mises' regression theorem will become empirically invalidated.

"If we wish to preserve a free society, it is essential that we recognize that the desirability of a particular object is not sufficient justification for the use of coercion."

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What did I assert that needs proving?
"I saw nothing there that proved really anything."

You asserted that proof was required, when you only requested additional arguments (bitcoin related). In terms of the thread there - I didn't need to provide a proof for the gold standard (free market in money), the burden of proof rests with those arguing against it. That is what the OP there was trying to do. That is not what he accomplished, and the arguments I provided there were in refutation of that effort.

But really this is a red herring fallacy. You brought up the concept of proof, not me. Would you like to stick to the issue at hand - you requested additional arguments, I provided one/some.

And where in any of that display of obnoxious treatment of suede did you prove bitcoin will fail?
Moving the goal posts fallacy. Try again. Now, will you answer the question posed?

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Conza88:

What did I assert that needs proving?
"I saw nothing there that proved really anything."

You asserted that proof was required, when you only requested additional arguments (bitcoin related). In terms of the thread there - I didn't need to provide a proof for the gold standard (free market in money), the burden of proof rests with those arguing against it. That is what the OP there was trying to do. That is not what he accomplished, and the arguments I provided there were in refutation of that effort.

But really this is a red herring fallacy. You brought up the concept of proof, not me. Would you like to stick to the issue at hand - you requested additional arguments, I provided one/some.

What the hell are you even talking about?  Where was the gold standard even mentioned in this thread or the one it was spawned from?
 

And where in any of that display of obnoxious treatment of suede did you prove bitcoin will fail?
Moving the goal posts fallacy. Try again. Now, will you answer the question posed?

Again, what?  What question?  What the hell are you talking about?

 

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"What the hell are you even talking about? Where was the gold standard even mentioned in this thread or the one it was spawned from?"

Wow, just wow. Are you really that slow on the uptake? Or are you just playing it, because I thought you said you "got it", or was that just baseless rhetoric?

The specific issue wasn't the gold standard... it was the latter half of the post THAT ADDRESSED THE VALIDITY OF BITCOIN. The OP's post there was against the free market in money (gold standard) and in favour of bitcoin. The other thread that was spawned from it - was talking about BITCOIN, all you do is post in bitcoin threads...

YOU listed arguments put forward against bitcoin in this thread - YOU asked to be enlightened on other ones. I linked you to the thread post of mine which is where they were. The reasons for linking to it (1) answering your question, (2) but also highlighting the fact that no-one ("pro-bit coin supporters who run from forums far and wide to sign up here to respond to posts and threads made") had responded to it.

I mean, is this clear enough for you? All that was a side issue you seemed to wanted to keep irreverently focusing on.

What question? What the hell are you talking about?

Do you not read? Or is there an actual correlation between a lack of comprehension skills and supporting bit-coin? I'd drop the jibes if I didn't feel like I was getting a run around.
 

  • "I'd be interested to hear the 'positives' / 'arguments for' bitcoin - that would still exist, if there was a voluntary society (free market in money & the law) etc."

Basically, the arguments that make it better than gold - what the market has chosen as money in the past (thousands of years).

In context:

Conza88:
Michael Suede:
:

I would like to end this article with some thoughts on money by Hoppe.

In a free society, the market would produce money, as all other goods and services. There would be no such thing as money in a world that was perfectly certain and predictable. But in a world with unpredictable contingencies people come to value goods also on account of their marketability or salability, i.e., as media of exchange. And since a more easily and widely salable good is preferable to a less easily and widely salable good as a medium of exchange, there is an inevitable tendency in the market for a single commodity to finally emerge that differs from all others in being the most easily and widely salable commodity of all. This commodity is called money. As the most easily salable good of all it provides its owner with the best humanly possible protection against uncertainty in that it can be employed for the instant satisfaction of the widest range of possible needs. Economic theory has nothing to say as to what commodity will acquire the status of money. Historically, it happened to be gold. But if the physical make-up of our world would have been different or is to become different from what it is now, some other commodity would have become or might become money. The market will decide. In any case, there is no need for government to get involved in any of this. The market has provided and will provide some money-commodity, and the production of that commodity, whatever it is, is subject to the same forces of supply and demand as the production of everything else.

Bitcoins are the first true digital commodity.

Bitcoins are free market money.

Hahah. Bitcoin is not a commodity in the proper sense of the word ie. economic good, at least you seem to acknowledge that by prefacing it as a digital commodity. Does that make it money? No - since a commodity in the Hoppean sense above has to be valued previously for something else. Whereas bitcoins were just fiat'd as money from the get-go. His quote doesn't support your case, it invalidates it.

Bitcoins:
- Commodity? No.
- The most easily and widely salable good? No. Let me know when people start trading in gold en masse for bitcoins.
- With the best humanly possible protection against uncertainty? Haha! Speaks for itself really given what it is based on - 'faith' and nothing else (besides legal tender laws & the state - which gives it the appearance of 'validitity' & 'legitimacy'. Bitcoin is merely a reaction to the existence of the state. It is not a valid free-market money. And I'd be interested to hear the 'positives' / 'arguments for' bitcoin - that would still exist, if there was a voluntary society (free market in money & the law) etc.

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To address the OP here; and for everyone else:

The Local Currency Question - Jeffrey Tucker

And more specifically from the comments, the great Gil Guillory who in 2009 was presented with the O.P. Alford III Prize in Libertarian Scholarship by Doug French at the Austrian Scholars Conference 2010 , along with Patrick C. Tinsley. "For their article “The Role of Subscription-Based Patrol and Restitution in the Future of Liberty.” This paper is a pioneering effort to advance the theory of the private production of justice. Guillory and Tinsley integrate and blend the theoretical and the practical, and set forth a detailed and practical plan to begin to establish such private institutions. Their article is creative and bold, informed by existing libertarian theory while extending it."

Gil Guillory:

Most of the local money schemes rest on economic fallacies. A good example is the movement which fosters and supports Ithaca Hours (by the way, I have some Ithaca Hours, because I visited there in 1995 or 1996 and asked lots of folks about it). There is a nice cartoon(Link) that lists these points [my comments in square brackets]:

1. More money = more trading = more jobs. [what, no circular flow diagram?]

2. Printing more money raises the hourly wage of workers. [hmm, and I thought real wages tended to equal the DMVP(Link)]

3. More local demand will create more business opportunities locally. [sustainably? or will the retort merely be that in the long run, we are all dead?]

4. Ten percent of the newly-printed money is given away to the needy. [if only more were given away]

5. Business loans of hours are made at zero interest. [yet another way to encourage the inflation of an unbacked medium]

6. They promote solidarity and friendliness. [ok, I'll give them that one]

7. Hours have a geographical boundary. [nothing like limiting the extent of your market -- where do I sign up?]

Also, Mr. Riegel(Link) seems to cleave to this old canard, quoted in the Author’s Preface to his book, _Private Enterprise Money_:

“In fact, adequate, sustained consumer-demand would do more than any other means now within human control toward increasing wealth, abolishing poverty, maintaining employment, solving labor problems, increasing good will among men generally, and maintaining the peace of the world. No means of preventing war holds out such large immediate possibilities as this… It is, therefore, difficult to exaggerate the importance of finding a means of sustaining purchasing power. The next world war, if it does come, may well be the last war—at least the last war in which the present nations will have any interest, for it may well destroy civilization itself.”

That is, more money = more trading = more wealth. (See number 1 above.)

The sad facts of the matter are:

a. freely fluctuating fiat currencies is about as sorry a system of money as one could have, and we’ve got it

b. eventually, the system will break down

c. we don’t know when or how exactly, so we can’t time our exit, nor reliably invest in the next widely-accepted medium, such as a return to gold or silver

Maybe we could get folks to start using silver and/or gold, but here are some problems:

a. why would they choose a less marketable money (gold/silver) over a more marketable one (FRNs)?

b. if you could somehow get a scheme going that worked (here’s a possibility(Link)), the state will likely intervene to protect its turf.

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Conza,

Those are valid points relating to the side issues raised by the cartoon, which is indeed chock full of fallacies.

But Tucker's article doesn't address the following questions, which is the point of the thread [for me]:

1. Does the current state of the Ithaca Hour fit the description of "money"? Why or why not?

2. If it is money, does its very existence disprove Mises' Regression Theorem and/or the quote from him in the OP from Money and Credit? Why or why not? [Obviously, if the answer to first q is no, then second q is moot].

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Remarks on some of the earlier posts:

1. Some wrote that the Ithaca Hour is no problem whatever to Mises, because it was set up from the beginning to be equivalent to 10 USD.

I see two problems. First, the understanding was that the value of the Hour was to be determined by the two parties involved, the 10 bucks being a mere suggestion. I quoted the inventor of Hours in the OP about this.

Also, if that works, the Mises regression theorem is disproven. The money need not be worth anything as a commodity initially, which is what Mises claims. It may be valueless as a commodity, with a town crier going out and saying it is worth some number. 

It doesn't work. The reason is because why should people trust the town crier, or the inventor of the Hour?

2. Some asked how bitcoin differs from the Euro, which arose out of nowhere. Whatever did it for  the Euro will do it for bitcoin, they said. And what did it for the Euro was the pegging of the Euro to the various currencies. So too, bitcoin can be pegged to the USD, as indeed it is by various websites.

That line of thinking is flawed. For one thing, the Euro has value because taxes have to be paid in Euros, as explained many times. Bitcoin doesn't have that feature. For another, the euro is pegged in the sense that the issuers of the Euro had to give you those other currencies in exchange for Euros. Nobody has to give you dollars for bitcoins.

 

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Conza88:
Wow, just wow. Are you really that slow on the uptake? Or are you just playing it, because I thought you said you "got it", or was that just baseless rhetoric?

The irony is almost palpable.

 

The specific issue wasn't the gold standard... it was the latter half of the post THAT ADDRESSED THE VALIDITY OF BITCOIN. The OP's post there was against the free market in money (gold standard) and in favour of bitcoin. The other thread that was spawned from it - was talking about BITCOIN,

Again, I still haven't seen any proof bitcoin would fail.  The only thing you did is act like more of an ass and claim "bitcoin is not a commodity in the proper sense of the word" and ask for someone to let you know when more people use bitcoin.  Again, if that's supposed to be an argument, I hope you never join a debate team.

 

all you do is post in bitcoin threads...

Apparently you don't visit anything but bitcoin threads (save for the law without government one and the slate article one, both of which where you elect to be assholish too).
 

YOU listed arguments put forward against bitcoin in this thread - YOU asked to be enlightened on other ones. I linked you to the thread post of mine which is where they were. The reasons for linking to it (1) answering your question, (2) but also highlighting the fact that no-one ("pro-bit coin supporters who run from forums far and wide to sign up here to respond to posts and threads made") had responded to it.

1) I didn't ask for "arguments against bitcoin."  I asked for proof of the claims that it would fail.  You could have said "bitcoin is ugly and its mother dresses it funny" and that would have satisfied a request like the one you pretend I made. (Which is pretty close to what you've come up with).

2) Did you ever consider your attitude might have something to do with no one wanting to respond to you?  Let alone the uselessness of your post that really doesn't warrant a response.

 

Do you not read? Or is there an actual correlation between a lack of comprehension skills and supporting bit-coin?

Obviously it is you who doesn't read.  I'm not "supporting bit-coin".  All I did was ask for proof of the claims Smiling Dave and other users have made.

 

Basically, the arguments that make it better than gold - what the market has chosen as money in the past (thousands of years).

I never made any statement of the sort.  I never even implied bitcoin was better than gold.  And I'm supposed to argue that why?  Do you not even bother to look at who you're being an asshole to, and you're just continuing on as one person made the same argument as any other, or do you have nothing to attack so you pretend people made statements and then attack the straw man you built up?
 

All the rest of your post is a user called michael suede giving his assessment and you reproduce it and your responses here as if I said anything of the sort.  Really, are you just desperate for something to attack?  If you have such a problem with that user he has freely linked to his site where you can contact him.  And I believe Graham Wright allows a way to contact him as well.  Or better yet, I'm sure there are plenty of bitcoin forums you could join and get plenty of reaction there.  It would be much better if you brought this stuff there instead of building straw men here.

 

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John James:
"Again, I still haven't seen any proof bitcoin would fail. "

It might help if you took off the blinkers, but besides that I still haven't seen any proof it will succeed. wink

John James:
"1) I didn't ask for "arguments against bitcoin."  I asked for proof of the claims that it would fail."

Liar.

John James:

You have yet to present any such considerations.  Again, the only arguments I have heard are:

1) Bitcoin will fail because I know it will fail and everyone agrees with me because my reasoning is not flawed.

2) "How will you convince anyone to use bitcoin?"

3) Bitcoin is a pyramid scheme.  Everyone using bitcoins is a speculator.

4) By virtue of being unbacked, Bitcoin is at the mercy of the Establishment because it has nothing but its convertibility into other fiat monies. (As if bitcoins couldn't be traded for anything else...oh wait, isn't that kind of what they do?.)

If I've missed anything please enlighten me.  But to be honest if this is the best anyone can come up with, I really don't see how people could be so sure of themselves and still call others "irrational."

"2) Did you ever consider your attitude might have something to do with no one wanting to respond to you?"

I did. But then I realised the fettish to defend bitcon is more than likely far greater.

"Let alone the uselessness of your post that really doesn't warrant a response."

The origional post was useless in it's arguments against the gold standard. Didn't take much.

John James:
I never made any statement of the sort.

/facepalm. And who said you did? Seriously, how hard is it to answer a simple question/statement.

And I'd be interested to hear the 'positives' / 'arguments for' bitcoin - that would still exist, if there was a voluntary society (free market in money & the law) etc.

If you can't answer it, or aren't interested then simply say so. Someone please enlighten me seriously.

John James:
I never even implied bitcoin was better than gold.  And I'm supposed to argue that why?

Because that's what bitcoin supporters imply [didn't read the Michael Suede thread]?. Great if you don't. Because gold was chosen by the freemarket as money for thousands of years (commodity, most easily and widely saleable good etc.) - a freemarket money and without the existence of the state - what reason would there be for bitcoin to exist? What reason? How on earth could it ever then possibly be considered money? (If I was for the sake of argument to concede it is now)

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Conza88:
I still haven't seen any proof it will succeed.

Never made that assertion, ace.

 

Maybe expecting actual proof of such an accusation was assuming too much, thanks to that random link to a page you reminded me I also asked for proof that "no one accepting [bitcoin] as money except people who want them to speculate with them themselves."

 

John James:

You have yet to present any such considerations.  Again, the only arguments I have heard are:...

If I've missed anything please enlighten me.  But to be honest if this is the best anyone can come up with, I really don't see how people could be so sure of themselves and still call others "irrational."

Oh I see.  You didn't read what the comment was in reply to (or don't understand how the English language works).  See, "the only arguments I have heard" implies the subject being the afore mentioned "such considerations" in the previous sentence.  "Such considerations" refers to the "theoretical considerations" mentioned in the direct quote that my comment was in reply to...the quote that is directly above the comment...which states that bitcoin "is ultimately a doomed experiment".  I'm still waiting on proof of that.

 

I did. But then I realised the fettish to defend bitcon is more than likely far greater.

I doubt that's even possible.

 

The origional post was useless in it's arguments against the gold standard. Didn't take much.

Which again begs the question why you would even invoke such an irrelevant useless post from a irrelevant useless thread here in this discussion.

 

John James:
I never made any statement of the sort.

/facepalm. And who said you did? Seriously, how hard is it to answer a simple question/statement.

Oh I see.  So I'm supposed to be saddled with shitty arguments made by other people because that's all the ammo you have to attack me with.  Got it.

 

If you can't answer it, or aren't interested then simply say so. Someone please enlighten me seriously.

Sure I'll enlighten you, again, even though I never made any of the irrelevant arguments you insist on invoking here:

And I'd be interested to hear the 'positives' / 'arguments for' bitcoin - that would still exist, if there was a voluntary society (free market in money & the law) etc.

I'm sure you would be interested in that.  And I'd be interested to hear the 'positives' / 'arguments for' property rights that would still exist if there was an abundant society (unlimited resources and instantaneous production).  When such societies are even close to actually existing, such a list might actually be relevant.

 

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"Which again begs the question"

Which has already been answered elsewhere.

"Oh I see.  So I'm supposed to be saddled with shitty arguments made by other people because that's all the ammo you have to attack me with. "

Lmao, wth? Delusional. No, it was a question I sought a response to - and an additional argument that you requested.

"I'm sure you would be interested in that.  And I'd be interested to hear the 'positives' / 'arguments for' property rights that would still exist if there was an abundant society (unlimited resources and instantaneous production).  When such societies are even close to actually existing, such a list might actually be relevant."

   "every person's physical body would still be a scarce resource and thus the need for the establishment of property rules, i.e., rules regarding people's bodies, would exist. One is not used to thinking of one's own body in terms of a scarce good, but in imagining the most ideal situation one could ever hope for, the Garden of Eden, it becomes possible to realize that one's body is indeed the prototype of a scarce good for the use of which property rights, i.e., rights of exclusive ownership, somehow have to be established, in order to avoid clashes."

~ Hoppe, A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism, pp. 8-9. See also Stephan Kinsella & Patrick Tinsley, "Causation and Aggression,"Download PDF Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics 7, no. 4 (Winter 2004): 111-12 (discussing the use of other humans' bodies as means).

I'm sorry, you were saying?! Haha cheekysurprise. Yeah, it seems pretty simple - there are no arguments for the existence of bitcoin in a free market society. If anyone wants to take up that question (besides John James) who dismisses it... please let me know aye.

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Conza,

On another thread, someone argued that in a complex economy, people will want a currency because it makes everything run so smoothly.

Bitcoin has all the features a great currency has, total fungibility, divisibility, scarcity etc.

The only thing it is missing is a demand for it in a non trade context. But so what? The need for a currency is enough in and of itself to be a legitimate demand that bitcoin will satisfy as nothing else can.

Yout thoughts?

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Conza88:
Which has already been answered elsewhere.

So the question as to why you would even invoke such an irrelevant useless post from a irrelevant useless thread here in this discussion is answered elsewhere.  Gee.  That's helpful.

 

   "every person's physical body would still be a scarce resource and thus the need for the establishment of property rules, i.e., rules regarding people's bodies, would exist. One is not used to thinking of one's own body in terms of a scarce good, but in imagining the most ideal situation one could ever hope for, the Garden of Eden, it becomes possible to realize that one's body is indeed the prototype of a scarce good for the use of which property rights, i.e., rights of exclusive ownership, somehow have to be established, in order to avoid clashes."

~ Hoppe, A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism, pp. 8-9. See also Stephan Kinsella & Patrick Tinsley, "Causation and Aggression,"Download PDF Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics 7, no. 4 (Winter 2004): 111-12 (discussing the use of other humans' bodies as means).

I'm sorry, you were saying?!

I was saying a world of unlimited resources.  Perhaps I should have been more clear:

resource  (rɪˈzɔːs, -ˈsɔːs)

a source of economic wealth, (mineral, land, labour, time, capital, equipment, personnel, etc)

Any resource.  Unlimited.  That includes the physiolgical source of your existence in the world.  It doesn't have to be indestructible even.  Just so long as you have an unlimited supply.  That means time as well.  In short, a world without scarcity.  So again, I'd be interested to hear the 'positives' / 'arguments for' property rights that would still exist if there was an abundant society (unlimited resources and instantaneous production) [if it would make it easier for you to understand, a world without scarcity].  When such societies are even close to actually existing, such a list might actually be relevant.

It does seem pretty simple.  There is no free market society.  Just like there is no society without scarcity.  So you need a better argument that's all.

 

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z1235 replied on Thu, Jul 7 2011 8:33 PM

John James:

Just like there is no society without scarcity.  

There would be no life without scarcity, as there would be no action. Any agent residing in a non-scarcity universe -- to the extent that he exists as a separate entity from such universe -- must be completely and perfectly satisfied at his current state, by the definition of non-scarcity. Scarcity (a present state of lesser satisfaction that could be changed into a state of greater satisfaction through action) is a defining precondition for action, hence life.

 

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John James:
So the question as to why you would even invoke such an irrelevant useless post from a irrelevant useless thread here in this discussion is answered elsewhere.  Gee.  That's helpful.

Yeah, in this very thread. So recent I didn't think it necessary to link or quote. Search is your friend.

John James:
I was saying a world of unlimited resources. Perhaps I should have been more clear:

resource  (rɪˈzɔːs, -ˈsɔːs)

a source of economic wealth, (mineral, land, labour, time, capital, equipment, personnel, etc)

Any resource.  Unlimited.  That includes the physiolgical source of your existence in the world.  It doesn't have to be indestructible even.  Just so long as you have an unlimited supply.  That means time as well.  In short, a world without scarcity.

OH, you mean like the Garden of Eden? /facepalm

John James:
So again, I'd be interested to hear the 'positives' / 'arguments for' property rights that would still exist if there was an abundant society (unlimited resources and instantaneous production) [if it would make it easier for you to understand, a world without scarcity].  When such societies are even close to actually existing, such a list might actually be relevant.

It does seem pretty simple.  There is no free market society.  Just like there is no society without scarcity.  So you need a better argument that's all.

So again, I'll dumb it down this time (even more so). Yet, some how I know the point will probably be lost in the morass you call your thoughts.

"Alone on his island, Robinson Crusoe can do whatever he pleases. For him, the question concerning rules of orderly human conduct—social cooperation—simply does not arise. Naturally, this question can only arise once a second person, Friday, arrives on the island. Yet even then, the question remains largely irrelevant so long as no scarcity exists. Suppose the island is the Garden of Eden; all external goods are available in superabundance. They are "free goods," just as the air that we breathe is normally a "free" good. Whatever Crusoe does with these goods, his actions have repercussions neither with respect to his own future supply of such goods nor regarding the present or future supply of the same goods for Friday (and vice versa). Hence, it is impossible that there could ever be a conflict between Crusoe and Friday concerning the use of such goods. A conflict is only possible if goods are scarce.  Only then will there arise the need to formulate rules that make orderly—conflict-free—social cooperation possible.

In the Garden of Eden only two scarce goods exist: the physical body of a person and its standing room. Crusoe and Friday each have only one body and can stand only at one place at a time. Hence, even in the Garden of Eden conflicts between Crusoe and Friday can arise: Crusoe and Friday cannot occupy the same standing room simultaneously without coming thereby into physical conflict with each other. Accordingly, even in the Garden of Eden rules of orderly social conduct must exist—rules regarding the proper location and movement of human bodies. And outside the Garden of Eden, in the realm of scarcity, there must be rules that regulate not only the use of personal bodies but also of everything scarce so that all possible conflicts can be ruled out. This is the problem of social order." ~ The Ethics and Economics of Private Property, Hoppe

John James:
When such societies are even close to actually existing, such a list might actually be relevant. It does seem pretty simple.  There is no free market society.  Just like there is no society without scarcity.  So you need a better argument that's all.

Not close to existing and yet it is even more relevant today [ethics]. A free society is possible, a society without scarcity is not (see above). Your argument is terrible, your dodging disasterous.

So again, any arguments for the existence of bitcoin in a freemarket society? Anyone?

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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Conza88:
John James:
When such societies are even close to actually existing, such a list might actually be relevant. It does seem pretty simple.  There is no free market society.  Just like there is no society without scarcity.  So you need a better argument that's all.

Not close to existing and yet it is even more relevant today [ethics].

So just to be clear...something X would be irrelevant, but only in a certain situation A, but said situation A is not even close to existing...and yet this something X that would be irrelevant only in that situation A "is even more relevant" now, in situation B.  Well.  I must say you might be due for some intellectual award.

 

A free society is possible, a society without scarcity is not (see above). Your argument is terrible, your dodging disasterous.  So again, any arguments for the existence of bitcoin in a freemarket society? Anyone?

That's cool, we can use a different example.  Would you like to give an argument for the existence of vision correcting-eyeglasses in a society which has genetically and surgically eliminated all vision problems?  The point is, if your argument for bitcoins being useless hinges on the caveat that there must a "voluntary society (free market in money & the law)", then you haven't made an argument against bitcoins in today's world.

If you could do so, I'd love to hear it.  I'd also love to hear the "theoretical considerations" that "[bitcoin] is ultimately a doomed experiment".  Something I've repeatedly asked for.

 

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