I have some convincing reasons, mostly based on the idea that competition in a free-market is a rivalrous, dynamic, and entrepreneurial process. Basically, markets lead to specialization rather than centralization, and just one technological innovation can radically switch the distribution of wealth and make certain products and services completely obsolete.
But besides that, my argument is kinda bare. Any help would be appreciated, as I'm currently in a debate with my professor and some students.
Oh, and one more thing. I said that, even if wealth centralization did occur, giving a ton of power to another centralized monopoly doesn't exactly seem like a solution to that problem. Sounds like a fair point, right?
Fool on the Hill:Sure. But when I gave my original example, I mistakenly assumed that others were assuming that capitalists would behave in the same way in a "free" market regarding investment vs. consumption. I've now clarified my assumptions. So it is up to you guys to say whether we have reached an agreement or not. I do agree that Nirgraham's example is logically valid.
Thank you. I don't know why it was so difficult for you to explicitly concede that his example is logically valid.
If you made a mistaken assumption in your original example, why didn't you come out and say that afterwards? You didn't do that. Instead you countered Nirgraham's claim by changing the context. That's not intellectually honest, if you ask me.
Fool on the Hill:I wouldn't want to define an economic system in a way that makes it impossible. Would you define an anarcho-capitalists society as a society where no coercion or property rights violations ever happen? In any case, I could say that to the degree that capitalism is prevalent, the problems I've highlighted will occur.
You're going to have to try a lot harder to side-step my point than this. When you refer to "an economy where goods are produced by wage labor", are you referring to an economy where all goods are necessarily produced by wage labor, or are you referring to an economy where some goods are sometimes produced by wage labor? In other words, are you implicitly using the universal quantifier or the existential quantifier? My reaction to your phrase has been to assume that you're implicitly using the former, but I could be wrong. Since I'm not a mind-reader, it's up to you to clarify.
Fool on the Hill:I do. My prediction is that the economy will move towards overproduction/falling-rate-of-profit/inflation/increasing-debt/imperialism faster as the percentage of profits are reinvested vs. consumed.
Okay, and what reasoning do you have to support that prediction? What is it based on? Quotes from Marx don't count IMHO.
Fool on the Hill:Do you think a "free" market would have roughly the same amount of wage labor as present? Do you think it would have a business cycle if it had the same or more?
As a follower of the Austrian school of economics, I don't think the business cycle is caused by any amount of wage labor. Whether a free market would have roughly the same amount of wage labor as present doesn't matter to me.
Fool on the Hill:Yes. I'm not sure my "price markup" category is the same as that though.
Fool on the Hill:They do. My assertion is that the problem I've highlighted would still be an issue if they reinvested any of it--it would simply happen at a slower rate.
Did you or did you not previously write that capitalists don't consume their profits?
Nirgraham's example, which assumes capitalists consuming all of their profits, doesn't show the problem you've highlighted. So in that case, how would the problem happen at a slower rate if they don't consume all of their profits? That's a complete contradiction. Let me remind you that you conceded earlier that Nirgraham's example is logically valid.
The keyboard is mightier than the gun.
Non parit potestas ipsius auctoritatem.
Fool on the Hill:In exchange-value, the value is expressed in the form of use-values. Use-values, therefore, are the expressions, not what is expressed.
That directly contradicts what Marx wrote. He wrote that exchange-value is the expression of value (average amount of socially necessary labor time) under commodity production and exchange. Value and use-value are independent of one another.
Fool on the Hill:B would be paid according to how much socially necessary labor time was required to pick the apples as opposed to the socially necessary labor time required to reproduce B's labor power.
And why would that be? B only needs to be paid enough to reproduce his labor power, right?
Wealth is unconsumed production. What's the problem with accumulating it? There is none.
Wealth turns into investment seed-money. That's a very good thing. The US is still the cheapest and safest place to invest money. That accounts for a great deal of our economic success. Try to invest in physical capital in Africa; it will probably get stolen before you can make your money back.