Investing in precious metals 101

The Economics of ‘Something for Nothing’

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  • Thu, Jul 09, 2009 - 05:59pm

    #1

    anarkst

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    The Economics of ‘Something for Nothing’


There is a great scourge that has plagued Mankind since He decided to socialize Himself several thousand years ago.  I believe this virulent cancer has been responsible for most of what makes social Man what he is, a ruthless warrior.  His seemingly insatiable desire to get ‘something for nothing’ has dominated nearly every sphere of human existence.

In our own time, this affliction is omnipresent, from the corporate penthouse suites, to the middle income mutual fund investor, to the lowliest tenement slums.  It seems to pervade everything we do, everything we see, our hopes, desires, and even our fantasies.

 “Free,” that favorite word of Madison Avenue, a mere phantasm, as anything of value is so because a human being has added his labor (value).     

 In our present economic system, people aspire to a position, where, instead of working yourself, why not let your money work for you? What a wonderful idea!   Capitalism, an economic concept, an economic reality of people laboring for its reproduction, owned by anybody, or nobody at all, simply a concept which asks that we “give” a certain percentage of our labor-value to its perpetuation. 

Regardless of the means of production, or resident –ism, it’s the same scam.  How do we organize society for the most effective appropriation of the majority’s labor-value?   What are the most effective methods of enslavement, oppression, inciting terror, slaughter?

Our country has twenty thousand nuclear weapons for good reason, and It is not to keep the peace. 

Something for nothing…or else.

 

 

 

 

 

     

 

  • Thu, Jul 09, 2009 - 07:47pm

    #2
    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: The Economics of ‘Something for Nothing’

"How do we organize society for the most effective appropriation of the majority’s labor-value?"

It’s not really about that any more, not at a macro, civilisation level.

As Civilisations advances and technology requires increased specialisation, people, especially specialists, have an increased need to save money, since their specialism renders them vulnerable as well as valuable. Given that civilisation advances (in the conventional economic sense)  via increasing specialisation, a means must be provided for these specialists to defer some of their consumption and save it for the future.

However the current surplus is not easily stored or saved (food rots, lumber decays etc), so the best way of preserving value for the future (from a whole civilisation perspective) is in a bond, or debt – i.e. give joe rights to your consumption today, and he gives it back in 10 years by deferring his at that time. Hence, a store of value – saving in the form of a promised by another to repay in future.

The relationship between borrowers and savers is really the key to civilisation, not surplus labour value.

 

 

  • Thu, Jul 09, 2009 - 07:52pm

    #3
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    Re: The Economics of ‘Something for Nothing’

nark –

Not sure where you are going with this thread.

You have greatly overstated the nation’s nuclear weapons operational stockpile.  By orders of magnitude.  Drop a zero and you are much closer to the correct number.  I ran the Nuclear Stockpile Assessments and Analysis Branch in a previous life at USSTRATCOM.

Of course if you dropped an unarmed physics package on someone’s foot it would hurt a lot.  But I’m pretty certain that’s not what we have them for.

  • Thu, Jul 09, 2009 - 09:28pm

    #4
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    Re: The Economics of ‘Something for Nothing’

 nark,

I have never got "Something for Nothing" that is worth having. And if you think "investing money to make money" requires no effort, then please enlighten me to your methods. While I appreciate your idealist viewpoints, I’m more concerned with the survival of my family in the years ahead.

Please feel free to psychoanalyze and categorize this community (and this country), but I can save you some time on this path and tell you that who you think "you" are, and who you think "they" are… is the only thing obscuring the truth from your grasp.

nothing for something…or else.

  • Thu, Jul 09, 2009 - 11:43pm

    #5
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    Re: The Economics of ‘Something for Nothing’

Not sure where you are going with this thread.

DIAP:

Sorry, I guess I was a bit obscure, but this little q/seventy-five year event we are experiencing is only an small crisis within a total calamity within an over all catastrophe.  It was the catastrophe, I was referring to.  The depression which is now underway was guaranteed after the final de-coupling from gold in 1971.  It was only a matter of time until everything that happened, happened.  This has been well known and predicted by many for the past four decades.

There are many who also believe that this is also the end of a three hundred year debt super-cycle.  If this is the case, our party will make the so-called Great Depression look like a picnic.  I will give you references for that.

But, beyond the actual mechanics of economic systems and how they are manipulated and how they implode, is what I feel is the primary etiology of all of this nonsense, that is, Man’s unbridled appetite for free stuff (most commonly manifest in stealing another’s labor(value).  In order words, if you had a mythical system whereby everybody had to work for themselves, things would be considerably different.

It appears as if this drive to exploit one another is so fundamental, and so institutionalized within the Western psyche and legal framework, that people refuse to acknowledge their complicity.  Similar to how the professional class in the United States has completely sold out the rest of the country so that they could scoop up the crumbs which occasionally drop off the corporate boardroom tables.

So, I was kind of going there.

 

   

  • Fri, Jul 10, 2009 - 12:05am

    #6
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    Re: The Economics of ‘Something for Nothing’

JAG says:

I have never got "Something for Nothing" that is worth having. And if you think "investing money to make money" requires no effort, then please enlighten me to your methods. While I appreciate your idealist viewpoints, I’m more concerned with the survival of my family in the years ahead.

Please feel free to psychoanalyze and categorize this community (and this country), but I can save you some time on this path and tell you that who you think "you" are, and who you think "they" are… is the only thing obscuring the truth from your grasp.

This was not to be taken personally.  I also understand your concern for your family.  I believe you mis-understood what I meant by, ‘something for nothing.’ 

On a macro- level, very few people actually receive full value for their work.  OTOH, some people receive the value from literally thousands of people.  This is how people make such enormous incomes.  If you believe this to be morally OK, then we can just disagree.  Working for someone else, be in a private individual, corporation, or government entity means that you will be giving up a percentage of your labor (value).  Of course, we all know this.  What I am saying is that this leads to enormous problems.  The desire to covet the labor of as many people as is possible, in and of itself, is a catastrophe of biblical proportions.  War after war after war has been fought over this objective, alone.

I am not really trying to psycho-analyze anybody, but I completely agree with you in that there is absolutely no difference between you and they, literally, well, spiritually (oops!)

  • Fri, Jul 10, 2009 - 12:18am

    #7
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    Re: The Economics of ‘Something for Nothing’

Scepticus says:

As Civilisations advances and technology requires increased specialisation, people, especially specialists, have an increased need to save money, since their specialism renders them vulnerable as well as valuable. Given that civilisation advances (in the conventional economic sense)  via increasing specialisation, a means must be provided for these specialists to defer some of their consumption and save it for the future.

However the current surplus is not easily stored or saved (food rots, lumber decays etc), so the best way of preserving value for the future (from a whole civilisation perspective) is in a bond, or debt – i.e. give joe rights to your consumption today, and he gives it back in 10 years by deferring his at that time. Hence, a store of value – saving in the form of a promised by another to repay in future.

The relationship between borrowers and savers is really the key to civilisation, not surplus labour value.

I understand what you are saying.  The problem is that packed in with specialization comes all the deceptions, at no extra charge.  With the increase in productivity seen in the United States over the past century, we should all be working a two day work week!

  • Fri, Jul 10, 2009 - 08:54am

    #8
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    Re: The Economics of ‘Something for Nothing’

"With the increase in productivity seen in the United States over the past century, we should all be working a two day work week!"

That can only be achieved with 0% or lower interest rates. If savers want a +ve return on savings the economy will need to be growing year on year (which requires everyone to keep working at least as hard as before).

To have a situation in which as productivity increases, the economy stays the same size (and therefore we get more free time as you advocate), then interest rates would have to be fixed at 0% by decree.

While I think that would be an improvement to the current one side situation, I think it would create economic stress when new technologies did emerge, creating pressure for growth and +ve rates), so I think it better to allow rates to fluctuate around zero (or around whatever the trend growth line of the economy happens to be).

I think if it were left to the market, rates would settle at a point determined by peoples propensity to work given the rewards,  growth opportunities and the relative demand for savings and loans.

 

 

 

  • Fri, Jul 10, 2009 - 03:31pm

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    Re: The Economics of ‘Something for Nothing’

Scepticus replies to me:

"With the increase in productivity seen in the United States over the past century, we should all be working a two day work week!"

That can only be achieved with 0% or lower interest rates. If savers want a +ve return on savings the economy will need to be growing year on year (which requires everyone to keep working at least as hard as before).

I am not sure I follow what you are saying but the point I was making is that there has been a tremendous increase in productivity over the past century (due to technological advancement).  Most, if not all, of that increase in productivity has been siphoned off at the top.  This is one of the reasons why the standard of living has precipitously declined for most working Americans.  The major reason, of course, is the planned theft (inflation) initiated in 1913 by the Banksters.

  • Fri, Jul 10, 2009 - 05:12pm

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    Re: The Economics of ‘Something for Nothing’

[quote=anarkst]

I am not sure I follow what you are saying but the point I was making is that there has been a tremendous increase in productivity over the past century (due to technological advancement).  Most, if not all, of that increase in productivity has been siphoned off at the top.  This is one of the reasons why the standard of living has precipitously declined for most working Americans.  The major reason, of course, is the planned theft (inflation) initiated in 1913 by the Banksters.

[/quote]

nark –

And there has been a disproportionate decrease in people actually doing the work.  In 1929, 70% of Americans were producers, 30% were consumers.

Today 20% of Americans are producers, 80% are consumers.  And a high percentage of these are the unjustifiably, self-entitled lot who want ‘something for nothing.’  They are members of the "Fourth Turning" described in the book of the same name by William Strauss and Neil Howe.  I highly recommend it – but it is a tough read – in both context and content.  At the same time it is encouraging because while society always goes through a crisis at the Fourth Turning, it always comes out changed for the better.  It’s the process of change that is painful.

As to the "planned theft….by the Banksters" – whether by malevolent intent or benign incompetence – it is likely that a cataclysmic crisis is looming. 

I for one hope it happens and it resets the clock such that 80% of us are once again producers because it is the only way we are going to get through the changes that are coming.

Still curious though – where were you going with the reference to nuclear weapons in your earlier post?

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