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View Diary: The Myth of the "Consensual" Marketplace (124 comments)

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  •  money is an asset in its own right (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Troubadour, Kevskos, mike101

    People who have more money can do more things than people who have less of it.  Just like someone who eats one bowl of gruel a day can never become either a bodybuilder or a fatass on a scooter, someone who has very little money is simply not able to do much of anything, regardless of their intentions or abilities.  What little calories they take in are entirely devoted to staying alive, not to growth, and the margin between maintenance and atrophy from caloric deficiency is very thin.  It's the same with money and whether it's an individual, a country, or a business.

    There is only a finite amount of money in the world in much the same way that there's only a finite amount of value in the world: from resources like energy and metals to the brains, hands, and mouths of people, there's only so much that can be done even if money were no object.  But it's increasingly difficult to change that side of the equation because the supply of money is being artificially restricted by paralyzed banks and contractionary fiscal policy, being monopolized by people who already have more than they could ever spend productively, or being outright denied to people on the grounds that because they've never gotten a lot to eat, they're too physically and/or mentally stunted to do a lot with it.

    Too much money can be a bad thing; no matter how many hours a week you spend in the gym, if you're eating too much more than that, you're still going to get fat.  Printing money and/or issuing debt beyond actual economic activity will just raise prices, and if you don't raise wages and/or issue more debt to keep pace, you'll end up breaking the economy.

    •  True, the money supply is being artificially (0+ / 0-)

      restricted, rationed, in hopes of maintaining its use as an abusive tool. However, it doesn't have to be that way. In cultures where people's access to sustenance is not restricted by private property rights, they can sustain themselves quite well, as long as thieves don't take what they harvest for themselves.

      Property rights are a major culprit. But, I won't go into that now.

      Monetary certificates differ little from marriage certificates. The relationships they symbolize and formalize with public recognition can and do exist regardless of the certification.
      We owe sustenance to the next generation because the prior generation sustained us. That some people reject that obligation doesn't negate it. It just means that some people are self-centered anti-social beings. Probably got born that way. Maybe they were damaged in utero or on the way out.

      We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

      by hannah on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 02:08:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How can there be thieves without (1+ / 0-)
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        property rights?  Isn't theft, by definition, taking that which belongs to another?

        •  I don't think there has to be a claim to ownership (0+ / 0-)

          for thieving to occur. Some critters just sneak what they want. I tend to contrast thievery with exchange or sharing. Thievery is the way of the predator. When humans do it, it's really primitive behavior, especially since language makes it possible to inquire whether anyone else has a claim.

          Rights, of course, have to be respected to even exist.

          Are rights assigned or claimed?

          We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

          by hannah on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 03:24:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  rights are a function of power (0+ / 0-)
            Are rights assigned or claimed?
            A powerful person both assigns rights to less powerful people, as well as claiming rights against less powerful people.  A group of less powerful people claiming rights against a powerful person is attempting to increase its power and use it to reassign rights.  

            For most of human history, the only claim to rights (implicitly the rights of the aristocracy) that society respected was the fact of exercising them.

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