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Accumulation of capital (Help)...

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Wheylous Posted: Sun, Aug 21 2011 6:34 PM

I was arguing currencies over at the Libertarian Left and Birthday Pony mentioned accumulation of capital (which I apparently know little of) and wage labor.

http://libertarianleft.freeforums.org/an-argument-for-private-currencies-t1163.html

I know I'm missing something important here that de-legitimizes the conquests of the kings and dirty capitalists, I just don't know what it is. Could you help me?

I think I may have fallen into a trap discussing Europe, as its history is much muddier than that of the US. It seems like BP's argument wouldn't work as well in the US.

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Could you please state specifically what you're wanting help with so that we don't have to read through 30 posts of a leftist thread?

 

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Wheylous replied on Sun, Aug 21 2011 7:03 PM

Sorry.

BP begins arguing that corporations cannot exist without state power and that wage labor is mandatory here:

http://libertarianleft.freeforums.org/an-argument-for-private-currencies-t1163.html#p23363

Then BP says that given the current capital accumulation it is impossible to not work for wages here (and gives historical points legitimizing the accumulation of this capital):

http://libertarianleft.freeforums.org/an-argument-for-private-currencies-t1163.html#p23372

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I'm still not clear what you're looking for.  What is your question?

 

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maybe you should just stop debating... why debate on a topic that you dont know about?

My Blog: http://www.anarchico.net/

Production is 'anarchistic' - Ludwig von Mises

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Wheylous replied on Sun, Aug 21 2011 11:10 PM

Well, JJ, is BP correct?

Also, I should be able to debate any topic if I want to defend my philosophy.

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you should be able to debate about whatever topic you want but at least understand the topic, you get more out of a debate when you know what you are talking about, that is all im saying

 

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John James replied on Mon, Aug 22 2011 12:00 AM

Well for one thing, I don't see where he "legitimized the accumulation of capital".  I didn't realize in year 2011 private property still needed to be legitimized.  Second, I would think he would be trying to delegitimize it if anything.

Second, if his argument is really that "given the current capital accumulation it is impossible to not work for wages" as you say it is, then it's complete nonsense.  That's like saying "Nobody goes there anymore.  It's too crowded."

Third, he claims "Modern day capitalism started with slavery".  Again that doesn't even make sense.  Slavery has no place in capitalism.  If slavery exists, it isn't a capitalist system.  (At least not in the free market sense.  If you want to get really nit-picky you can claim that every country is "capitalist", but I would hope someone wouldn't reach that far just to have something to argue.)

Fourth, he can't be claiming it's "impossible to not work for wages" if he readily admits "Sure, anyone can try to make a start up"...even if he adds the caveat "but most fail unless there's a lot of money backing it."  My response would be, "And?"

 

Again, I'm really not getting the overall thesis here.  But I also don't really feel like wading through that whole thread.  So if you'd like to summarize it, or ask the pony what his point is, I'd be happy to offer an opinion on it.

 

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Hey there,

I'm going to start off by saying this will be my only post on this thread, mostly because I'm not going to debate the same thing on two different websites, especially when one of them has been acting up lately and is impossible to navigate. But in the interest of helping Wheylous understand what I'm saying and getting feed back from everyone else, I'll let you know what my point is.

Given the current situation, where people's day-to-day survival is on the line, the only reasonable (in the sense of minimizing loss) thing for most people (in fact 80% of Americans that live under the poverty line, according to the census) to do is work for a wage.

Also, I go from the over dramatic Marxist feminist bitch to a male leftoid! Ya'll can't make up your minds!

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Birthday Pony:
Given the current situation, where people's day-to-day survival is on the line

What the hell does that even mean?  Can you specify some time in history when this wasn't the case?

 

the only reasonable (in the sense of minimizing loss) thing for most people (in fact 80% of Americans that live under the poverty line, according to the census) to do is work for a wage.

1) What does "minimizing loss" mean?  Loss of what?

2) 80% under the poverty line?  Could you please offer the source of this information?  I mean, you state it comes from "the census", but the only census I can think of that anyone would actually use for that sort of statistic is the US Census from the United States Census Bureau.  According to the latest figures from that census, the poverty rate is 15.7%...a decent number to be sure, but let's recognize the number you're quoting is literally 500% higher.  Needless to say I'm quite interested to know where this number came from...and more importantly, what in the hell led you to believe it.

3) You're claiming that the most reasonable thing for most people to do is work for a wage.  Obviously for many people that isn't the case, as indicated by the unemployment figures which show a hefty percentage of the population collecting a nice check while sitting on their ass (for up to 99 weeks), courtesy of their neighbors who actually are producing something.  So that's #1, for a decent percentage of Americans, working for a wage isn't the most reasonable thing to do.  Number 2, suppose working for a wage is the most reasonable thing for someone to do.  This is where my question comes in: "And?"  You'll have to spell this out for me because apparently I'm missing it.  The fact that being an employee actually benefits a lot of people more than being an independent contractor is...what?  Bad?  Wrong?  Something that needs to be "corrected"?  I'm failing to see what the real issue is here, and more importantly, what exactly you're suggesting is the "solution".

 

Also, I go from the over dramatic Marxist feminist bitch to a male leftoid! Ya'll can't make up your minds!

Well, I always assumed you were a female, what with your girlish handle, and your avatar, which is a picture of a girl...but everyone else seems to think you are male for some reason...so I just went with it.

 

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"What the hell does that even mean?  Can you specify some time in history when this wasn't the case?"

Didn't mean to differentiate the survival aspect, just emphasizing that while one has other options they are not always the best considering survival.

"What does "minimizing loss" mean?  Loss of what?"

As in if we were to make a betting table. The reasonable option would be the one with the least potential loss.

"80% under the poverty line?"

That was a pretty careless gaff on my side, recalled from secondhand, unreliable news sources. The number 80 could have been double the census threshold (the threshold used by most sociologists, which would be about $44,000 for a family of four), but who knows? At this point, I was just flat out wrong with the numbers.

I highly contest the idea that people would rather be on welfare than work, however. You must be incredibly out of touch with the vast majority of unemployed people. To suggest that an unemployment check provides anything near a level of safety, security, comfort, or an actual living wage is ridiculous.

Anywho, since I've clarified here, and I don't want to debate the exact same thing on two different websites, one of which is not respectful towards me in a number of ways, one of which being which gender the posters decide to assign me, I'll leave it at this. If you really want to continue go ahead and come on over to FLL.

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Birthday Pony:
just emphasizing that while one has other options they are not always the best considering survival.

Again, could you please specify a time when this isn't the case?

 

As in if we were to make a betting table. The reasonable option would be the one with the least potential loss.

What are we betting on?  And again, loss of what?

 

I highly contest the idea that people would rather be on welfare than work, however.

I think they would argue they are on "unemployment"...not welfare.

 

You must be incredibly out of touch with the vast majority of unemployed people. To suggest that an unemployment check provides anything near a level of safety, security, comfort, or an actual living wage is ridiculous.

1) You have no goddamn clue who I am or how "in touch" I am with unemployed people.  You would be wise to stick to what you know (which is evidently shaping up to be not much).

2) I don't think I've ever seen a more loaded sentence than that second one you strung together...

a) What is this "safety, security, and comfort" level you speak of?  How did you measure that exactly?

b) "Living wage."  The buzz phrase that never dies.  Could you please tell me what "living wage" is?

c) And finally, the whole thing is a straw man. I never made any suggestion other than the fact that people collecting unemployment (obviously) consider that their most reasonable option.  If you would like to dispute this, I would be happy to watch you try.

 

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"Again, could you please specify a time when this isn't the case?"

I'm not trying to suggest there was a time when this wasn't the case. Consider it faulty wording on my part.

"1) You have no goddamn clue who I am or how "in touch" I am with unemployed people."

You're right, I don't. But considering that you think we're doing nothing but sitting on our asses all day would suggest you either don't know any unemployed folks or have a lot of contempt for the ones you do. Apparently all we need is a swift kick in the ass to get us motivated. Being one of those lazy unemployed folks, I feel pretty safe saying you're out of touch.

"I don't think I've ever seen more loaded sentence than that second one you strung together..."

Maybe you haven't, but for most of us over here it's not so confusing. Not having constant financial worries is not a crazy abstract thing to ask for. For most unemployed or working poor, to suggest that our income should provide some level of security, safety, or comfort wouldn't sound crazy. Not having to worry about meals, losing a house to the bank or getting evicted, are a few concerns that would fall under there. It's not so hard to grasp what that means when you're unemployed or poor. That's what makes me think you're out of touch.

"I never made any suggestion other than the fact that people collecting unemployment (obviously) consider that their most reasonable option."

More reasonable than having absolutely no income, yes. But given the choice between a job and an unemployment check, most folks would choose the job. And let's not ignore that I've constantly been saying "most people" this entire thread. Not the 14 or so per cent (depending on area and sources) that are unemployed.

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Birthday Pony:
I'm not trying to suggest there was a time when this wasn't the case. Consider it faulty wording on my part.

Then what was your point?  Or is this your admission you didn't have one?

 

You're right, I don't. But considering that you think we're doing nothing but sitting on our asses all day would suggest you either don't know any unemployed folks or have a lot of contempt for the ones you do. Apparently all we need is a swift kick in the ass to get us motivated. Being one of those lazy unemployed folks, I feel pretty safe saying you're out of touch.

1) I'm wondering what you'd say if I told you I was sitting on my ass waiting for my unemployment benefits to run out before I went and got a job.  I'm wondering what you would say to all the people I could introduce you to who would tell you the exact same thing.

2) I'm not suggesting unemployed people need anything.  I'm suggesting unemployment benefits provide an incentive to not find employment.  But as our good friend LeVar Burton used to say, you don't have to take my word for it.

3) For someone who's so hard at work being unemployed, you sure seem to have a lot of time to debate on political forums.

 

"I don't think I've ever seen more loaded sentence than that second one you strung together..."

Maybe you haven't, but for most of us over here it's not so confusing.

Perhaps you should look up the definition of "loaded".

 

Not having constant financial worries is not a crazy abstract thing to ask for.

Is this supposed to be the definition of "living wage"?  I'm curious, at what income does one automatically become free of "constant financial worries"?  Would you like me to introduce you to some individuals who earn 6 and even 7 figures per year who have "constant financial worries"?  Because I could.

 

Birthday Pony:
losing a house to the bank or getting evicted

Didn't Burt Reynolds just get foreclosed on?  Didn't that investment banker husband of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills reality star just commit suicide over "financial worries"?  Seriously, how much income are we talking here?  How much do you think you are entitled to?

 

But given the choice between a job and an unemployment check, most folks would choose the job.

I guarantee you I could get you at least 3 jobs tomorrow.  And I guarantee you you would voluntarily choose your unemployment check over every single one of those jobs.

 

And let's not ignore that I've constantly been saying "most people" this entire thread. Not the 14 or so per cent (depending on area and sources) that are unemployed.

"most people" what?

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JJ, like I've been saying, come on over to FLL if you'd like to discuss this any further, although it doesn't look like you have much to add to the conversation.

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John James replied on Mon, Aug 22 2011 10:20 PM

Birthday Pony:
JJ, like I've been saying, come on over to FLL if you'd like to discuss this any further, although it doesn't look like you have much to add to the conversation.

You mean I too easily poke holes in your fundamentally flawed non-argument.  You can't even define the nebulous terms you use.  There isn't much of a "conversation" to begin with.

 

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I mostly don't feel comfortable here, and its a discussion that started on that board. But sure, why not, if you like it better that way, you've destroyed my entire argument. You win the internet.

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I didn't realize your "argument" = "the Internet".  I didn't even think you had an argument.

 

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I don't think you really care anyway. I think you just want to nit-pick holes, expound no effort in understanding, and basically just contradict anything I type.

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Birthday Pony:

Hey there,

I'm going to start off by saying this will be my only post on this thread,[...]

To paraphrase Marc Faber: We're all doomed, but that doesn't mean that we can't make money in the process.
Rabbi Lapin: "Let's make bricks!"
Stephan Kinsella: "Say you and I both want to make a German chocolate cake."

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Birthday Pony:
I don't think you really care anyway. I think you just want to nit-pick holes, expound no effort in understanding, and basically just contradict anything I type.

Not at all.  If you typed anything that was decently reasoned or actually made logical sense, I'd have no problem not only not contradicting it, I'd more than likely agree with you.

And I don't have to nit-pick to create holes...the gaps in your so-called "argument" are so pronounced on their own, they barely need even illumination.  All I did was ask you to define your terms and you can't even do that.  You, like most statists, just revert to more nebulous pathos appeals and non-arguments.

But by all means, if you think you had some argument to make, go ahead and make it, because I'm still not even sure you ever had a point.  If you did, it certainly hasn't yet been spelled out.

 

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"...and basically just contradict anything I type."

"Not at all..."

Oh boy, I saw it coming from too far away. Anyway, if you really, really want to continue, go ahead and go to FLL. I haven't been trying to do anything more than help Wheylous here, and this board, as I've said numerous times, is not a place I particularly enjoy posting long-winded arguments. After my first thread where I was introduced to all the amazing semantical acrobatics I have to go through just to describe a commonly used term, I'm not that into clarfiying what I mean when there's no recirpocal action from the rest of the community.

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Birthday Pony:

"...and basically just contradict anything I type."

"Not at all..."

Oh boy, I saw it coming from too far away.

Yawn.  Seriously is this what you call "expounding effort in understanding"?  You make accusations, then claim that if I deny them it proves them to be true?  Is that how it works?  So basiclly if someone wanted to call a murderer and say you killed that girl who went missing, all he would have to do is preface it with, "I know you'll deny it, because that's exactly what a guilty person would do...."

This is the kind of useless nonsense that "arguments" like yours are fraught with.  You have no real standing for the views you're promoting, so you when you have to defend them you end up resorting to logical fallacies.

 

I'm not that into clarfiying what I mean

As our friend Fred Thompson says: I didn't know you were going to admit that.

 

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As we both know at this point, we're doing little more than having the online equivilent of a playground quibble between two fifth graders. I'm not saying my argument as it stands here has been laid out in such a stellar fashion that it is undeniably understandable and quantifiably true. What I'm saying is that my first thread here was around 5 pages of clarifying differences in understandings of property before I got an answer to my original question.

So no, at this point I'm not interested in clarifying much. You reject whatever I say on face-value just knowing my background. Why go through the effort of seamless communication and yield the same results? At least this way we both get something. You maintain your superior position by insisting that I won't discuss things with you because my argument is just wrong, and I get to throw in my two cents so that anyone who is interested in having a mutually beneficial discussion can seek me out.

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Birthday Pony:
You reject whatever I say on face-value just knowing my background.

Your background?  I know nothing of your background other than what you've revealed here.  I've rejected what you said so far because everything you've presented has either been nebulous nonsense or just plain wrong.

 

You maintain your superior position by insisting that I won't discuss things with you because my argument is just wrong

What superior position?  There is no position to be had.  Again, you've taken up half the thread and haven't even made a single point.

 

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When you figure out whatever my disorder is on this thread:

http://mises.org/Community/forums/t/25980.aspx

my only hope is that you'll be kind enough to direct me to the psychological attention I so desperately need. God forbid a leftoid Marxist communist syndicalist anarcho-statist bitch like me dare to open my mouth when I have the convenience of a microwave.

It's probably for the best if you don't go to FLL anyway. All that's there is porn and pancakes.

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Birthday Pony:

When you figure out whatever my disorder is on this thread:

http://mises.org/Community/forums/t/25980.aspx

my only hope is that you'll be kind enough to direct me to the psychological attention I so desperately need. God forbid a leftoid Marxist communist syndicalist anarcho-statist bitch like me dare to open my mouth when I have the convenience of a microwave.

I'm not even sure what this is supposed to be, let alone how it has anything to do with this discussion.

 

It's probably for the best if you don't go to FLL anyway. All that's there is porn and pancakes.

Well I do enjoy a good flapjack.  Pancakes are pretty good too.

 

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  • I highly contest the idea that people would rather be on welfare than work, however. You must be incredibly out of touch with the vast majority of unemployed people. To suggest that an unemployment check provides anything near a level of safety, security, comfort, or an actual living wage is ridiculous.

This is from a while back, but I'd just like to offer my own personal experience here.  In 2009 I was on unemployment for a few months, and I was able to pay my $800+/month rent and utility bills.  I bought a video game now and again, and booze, and was still able to stick $100 a month into savings.  Now, I'm an unmarried guy with no dependents, but at the same time I was nowhere near maxing out the benefits, and as you can see I could have made some cutbacks too. If I wanted to, I could have basically sat on my ass all day drinking and playing video games, in a large one-bedroom apartment, and everything was fine as long as that check kept coming..  I know people who are on unemployment and still paying $120/month for cable TV.  If that's not a "living wage" I don't know what is.

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Wheylous replied on Wed, Aug 24 2011 4:18 PM

May I ask how much the unemployment benefits were?

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I think it came out to something like $1400-1500/month, if I recall.

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LogisticEarth:

  • I highly contest the idea that people would rather be on welfare than work, however. You must be incredibly out of touch with the vast majority of unemployed people. To suggest that an unemployment check provides anything near a level of safety, security, comfort, or an actual living wage is ridiculous.

This is from a while back, but I'd just like to offer my own personal experience here.  In 2009 I was on unemployment for a few months, and I was able to pay my $800+/month rent and utility bills.  I bought a video game now and again, and booze, and was still able to stick $100 a month into savings.  Now, I'm an unmarried guy with no dependents, but at the same time I was nowhere near maxing out the benefits, and as you can see I could have made some cutbacks too. If I wanted to, I could have basically sat on my ass all day drinking and playing video games, in a large one-bedroom apartment, and everything was fine as long as that check kept coming..  I know people who are on unemployment and still paying $120/month for cable TV.  If that's not a "living wage" I don't know what is.

Thank you for sharing your experience.  This is exactly my point.  These stories are a dime-a-dozen.  Even Peter Schiff admits he sat around and collected unemployment after college and hung out on the beach.  (Most of that video is a great extrapolation of everything I've been saying.  The relevant discussion starts here.)

And here's the vlog that came before that people were reacting to, another great dose of reality.

 

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