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Thread: A typical liberal fallacy

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    Default A typical liberal fallacy

    Doctor: After having administered the curative, I'm confident the patient will recover.

    Big Bro: Pfft, you're naive. The curative will kill us all, so while you weren't looking I mixed sulfuric acid into the concoction.

    Doctor: But that will kill the patient!

    Big Bro: No, his death is proof that your solution didn't work. If I hadn't taken action, the consequences would have been much worse.

    Doctor: How do you know?

    Big Bro: Well... err...

    Doctor: Die in a fire.

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    So this is about making false assumptions?

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    That could just as easily go the other way. Or maybe like this:

    Liberal doctor: After having administered the curative, I'm confident the patient will recover.

    Conservative know-it-all: Only if you take out this part.

    Liberal doctor: That's the active ingredient! How is the medicine going to work without the main ingredient?

    Conservative know-it-all: When it doesn't work, it'll be proof that your "cure" was faulty.
    It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.
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    I don't understand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slacker View Post
    That could just as easily go the other way. Or maybe like this:

    Liberal doctor: After having administered the curative, I'm confident the patient will recover.

    Conservative know-it-all: Only if you take out this part.

    Liberal doctor: That's the active ingredient! How is the medicine going to work without the main ingredient?

    Conservative know-it-all: When it doesn't work, it'll be proof that your "cure" was faulty.
    Note this part of the original post:

    Doctor: How do you know?

    Big Bro: Well... err...
    Now let's turn the tables like you suggest:

    Liberal doctor: How do you know it will work?

    Conservative know-it-all: Oh, here's this mountain of historical evidence that proves it decisively. You may not have heard of it, since it was conspicuously left out of your entire education.

    Liberal doctor: FUCK YOU

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uniden View Post
    I don't understand.
    No biggy.

    The crux of my point is that liberal political positions usually omit the consideration of unintended consequences. You have to balance dreams with reality, which they persistently neglect to do.

    When the doctor asked the liberal to share his reasoning, the liberal had none, meaning he didn't even consider what might actually happen as a result of his actions beyond what he hoped and assumed would happen. In my experience dissecting liberal politics, I'd say that close to one hundred percent of liberal political positions are based on this kind of normative thinking.

    The conservative, when pressed, presented a body of historical evidence showing that he had good precedent for acting and had given due consideration to the possible effects his actions might trigger. This is because conservative (i.e., libertarian, not neo-con) politics is based on impartial consideration of factual evidence, which makes conservatives seem cruel and heartless to liberals, who see the world filtered through their 2D glasses.
    Last edited by discojoe; 04-06-2011 at 10:33 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by discojoe View Post
    No biggy.

    The crux of my point is that liberal political positions usually omit the consideration of unintended consequences. You have to balance dreams with reality, which they persistently neglect to do.
    This argument's also liable to cull innovation, especially as reality in most people's minds really means tradition.

    ps: I have no opinion specifically related to policy though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckland View Post
    This argument's also liable to cull innovation, especially as reality in most people's minds really means tradition.
    Innovation is caused by entrepreneurs who must continuously balance their dreams with their fiscal responsibilities if they are to ever achieve their goals.

    Like I said, it's a balance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by discojoe View Post
    Innovation is caused by entrepreneurs who must continuously balance their dreams with their fiscal responsibilities if they are to ever achieve their goals.

    Like I said, it's a balance.
    Why can't innovation also appear from governing bodies? Entrepreneurs have fiscal motivation, the only motivation present in governing bodies would be ideals (in a perfect system, unlike the real self-serving political scenes that actually exist).
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    aka all liberals are uninformed, uneducated imbeciles who make decisions based on reactions of "omg!" i don't understand how they ended up in their own special breed like this. perhaps since this is what it is to be a "liberal" people such as these flock to the domain of liberalism by default. but could it really be so simple? all those who are "liberals" exhibit these qualities? amazing.

    and i don't even call myself a "liberal" and don't want to be called anything really politically. so it's not that i'm having my own "omg!" reaction. my point is that it can't possibly be this simple.

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    Big brother is a problem, too bad discojoe sounds like Goldstein.

    The only cure he has is the "market", but when the disease happens to be the "market", what's the cure for that.

    He is just another hypocrite. He talks about the unintended consequences of government oversight while ignoring the unintended consequences of the market and entrepreneurship. The truth is that all action as well as inaction has unintended consequences and innovation is the prediction and mitigation of those consequences ad infinitum.

    He thinks that libertarians are impartial and only consider the fact, but he fails to understand that discontent and feelings of discontent are a FACT. In fact, I'm pretty sure he feels that pretty often, which is why he makes this sort of posts. Maybe he's not as impartial as he pretends to be. Maybe he's just another malcontent working his two minute hate.

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    i think discojoe is fishing for "omg!" reactions to the OP in addition to trying to share his vast amount of knowledge and wisdom on these political topics as he knows the right way to go about it and most others are too stupid to see

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    Libertard: Oh noes, I gots an owie!

    Doctor: Here's a band-aid. That'll be $500.

    Libertard: I'm a broke-ass dick - hopefully my parents' insurance still covers me.
    SLI/ISTp -- Te subtype

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    Quote Originally Posted by buckland View Post
    Why can't innovation also appear from governing bodies? Entrepreneurs have fiscal motivation, the only motivation present in governing bodies would be ideals (in a perfect system, unlike the real self-serving political scenes that actually exist).
    (This is long, but it answers your question, trust meh)

    The motive of entrepreneurs investing resources into creating goods and services is profit. But to get that profit, they have to convince millions of people to hand over their hard-earned cash in exchange for whatever product is being offered by the entrepreneur. If the product fails to entice consumers to give up their money, then the entrepreneur will most likely go bankrupt. And there is no way to succeed at this task without being innovative; you have to create something new and/or better than what is currently available, otherwise there is simply no incentive for people switch over to your product.

    This is the natural process in which a market cleanses itself of poorly invested resources, resources used in attempts to innovate in ways that prove unsuccessful. It's a process which serves the vital function of communicating to future investors what sorts of things not to create. This is why foil bags are filled with potato chips and not dog shit; no one wants to eat shit, so entrepreneurs aren't going to waste time trying to sell it when they could be making money selling potato chips. You might point out that the market doesn't need to convey something as obvious as people not wanting to purchase dog crap, but just look at any example where a product was discontinued and replaced with better innovations from which society could derive more subjective utility.

    Remember that coffee flavored Pepsi? Pepsi had to divert their scarce capital into creating and marketing the nasty stuff, and when the sales were poor, they ceased production and those resources that would have gone into producing more liquid coffee vomit were instead channeled into areas that Pepsi deemed more profitable. In essence, consumers ousted Pepsi Kona from office by voting for different products with their dollars.

    However--and fortunately for us--unlike the government, the free market is not a hulking bureaucratic monstrosity. When Pepsi stopped making Pepsi Krappa, it rapidly shifted its focus into providing the customers what they did want, which was determined by whether or not the alternative product actually sold well. If Pepsi had taken its time and waited months or even years before making these changes, its losses would have been enormous--not just for itself, but for all of society.

    The reason the losses would have been passed on to society is because resources are global. If Pepsi had kept producing Pepsi Kona that wasn't selling, all of the resources required in its production are resources that didn't go into producing something that people were actually willing to purchase, with causes similar goods to become more scarce which leads to their prices increasing. So society pays more money as a result of Pepsi's inefficiency, money that could have been used to pay for more productive things.

    But the market rarely allows such irresponsibility to occur for very long, its innate purging mechanism being highly effective at motivating companies into productive action via do-or-die circumstances. Without such a mechanism, malinvestment runs rampant, and the standard of living plummets.

    Now, your theoretical system includes these imaginary saintly entrepreneurs whose motives are purely altruistic. Unfortunately, such pure motives don't change the fact that the great majority of humans are hard coded to make decisions that they believe will maximize personal gain at the lowest possible cost. You may object to this, but you're wasting your time; every attempt made at changing such a core aspect of human nature has met with the cumulative deaths of tens of millions of innocent people at the hands of tyrannical dictators. Once personal gain is looked on as intolerable greed, the logical course of action is to forcibly confiscate any and all private possessions whose ownership can be construed as unethical and greedy, and then to ration them out using whatever hazy criteria is being used to determine "need."

    So humans won't change their nature, and attempting to make them do so will inevitably result in widespread atrocities. Therefore profit motive will be the primary function of the economy. This is fundamentally at odds with a non-profit motivated market, because if entrepreneurs aren't trying to make money, why would private institutions loan it to them? Would you loan money to someone who has made it clear to you that he has no intention of profiting from the investment, someone whose intentions aren't to provide society with its wants buy with that he considers to be its needs?

    Even if capital weren't an issue, such an entrepreneur wouldn't last, since it is logistically impossible to determine what society as a whole needs. The end result would be the government telling people what they need and limiting them to only those things, there being no incentive to create additional products that are viewed as unnecessary and therefore greedy. This would in turn lead to an utter lack of innovation in every sector, since any demand for new products would be seen as catering to unsavory impulses and would most likely be banned in order to limit consumption of resources that the government already has trouble producing, storing, and allocating.

    Bleh, this is too long. Here's a summary that includes some details I didn't touch upon:

    1. Profit-driven entrepreneurs are ousted, replaced by niceguyz who want only to make us happy and content.
    2. Companies refuse to loan these people money, since the investments are in society's theoretical needs and not its wants. Such investments are bound to fail in a private economy.
    3. Without entrepreneurial funding, all innovation stalls until the government begins allocating public resources into the investments of their sponsored entrepreneurs.
    4. This money coming from the government can either be printed or taxed. Either route disrupts free economic activity and reduces the standard of living.
    5. Because entrepreneurs believe they are acting in the public's best interests, they feel it is justified to enthusiastically encourage consumption of their products, so prices are made competitive.
    6. Already battered by reduced purchasing power, consumers must strictly budget, so they opt to buy the cheaper government produced goods, driving practically all private companies out of business. Even business offering fripperies must shut down as the tumultuous economy scares people into buying and hording only basic necessities.
    7. All economic production is now controlled by the public sector, which now faces the logistically impossible task of directing the flow of all resources to the areas in which they are needed, a task only possible when billions of people can collectively cast individual dollar votes that tell profiteers with the highly specialized knowledge required to interpret and respond to the activity in their markets (of which there are hundreds of thousands). To make matters worse, this process simply won't happen unless profit can be earned by actors in the market.
    8. All innovation ceases, as even basic needs can barely be met. And even if such needs could be fulfilled, there would be very little innovation while frills are seen unethical investments that consume public property at the expense of the poor.
    9. The standard of living plummets to 3rd world levels as centralized planning authorities struggle with futility to do something that is simply impossible, something that ruins and ends lives.
    Last edited by discojoe; 04-07-2011 at 02:26 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hkkmr View Post
    The only cure he has is the "market", but when the disease happens to be the "market", what's the cure for that.
    The market isn't a static entity. It self-corrects, and rebounds far faster without government intervention. The great depression of 1920 was initially worse than that of 1929, but Harding, instead of taking the interventionist route that Hoover and FDR would take, cut government spending and kept the federal government from participating in the recovery. The result was a full economic rebound in two years.
    Last edited by discojoe; 04-07-2011 at 03:04 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by force my hand View Post
    Libertard: Oh noes, I gots an owie!

    Doctor: Here's a band-aid. That'll be $500.

    Libertard: I'm a broke-ass dick - hopefully my parents' insurance still covers me.
    And the high prices for medical care in the US are caused by socialistic government subsidies and insurance mandates distorting the market. The result is that liberals ironically blame free market capitalism for what is actually caused by a system that is probably around 80% socialized.

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    Political parties are just little social cliches that have trends that they follow, just like any social group or subculture. They are basically for people who can't think for themselves and can't develop original thoughts on solutions to real world problems and don't have the balls to speak their mind as an individual.

    I'd say the problem with America isn't "Liberals" or "Conservatives" but that the political environment in America is being driven by popularity contests. These popularity contest usually seek to satisfy people's materialistic and narcissistic needs. The problem isn't "Liberals" or "Conservatives" but is all of America, in the fact that people need a genuine paradigm shift away from materialism and narcissism which are largely by-products of post WWII America. People need to build a new paradigm or vision of what it is to be American that connects with our past and carries the support of the entire nation, while still allowing critics their right to free speech.
    Last edited by male; 04-07-2011 at 03:17 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by discojoe View Post
    (This is long, but it answers your question, trust meh)

    The motive of entrepreneurs investing resources into creating goods and services is profit. But to get that profit, they have to convince millions of people to hand over their hard-earned cash in exchange for whatever product is being offered by the entrepreneur. If the product fails to entice consumers to give up their money, then the entrepreneur will most likely go bankrupt. And there is no way to succeed at this task without being innovative; you have to create something new and/or better than what is currently available, otherwise there is simply no incentive for people switch over to your product.

    This is the natural process in which a market cleanses itself of poorly invested resources, resources used in attempts to innovate in ways that prove unsuccessful. It's a process which serves the vital function of communicating to future investors what sorts of things not to create. This is why foil bags are filled with potato chips and not dog shit; no one wants to eat shit, so entrepreneurs aren't going to waste time trying to sell it when they could be making money selling potato chips. You might point out that the market doesn't need to convey something as obvious as people not wanting to purchase dog crap, but just look at any example where a product was discontinued and replaced with better innovations from which society could derive more subjective utility.

    Remember that coffee flavored Pepsi? Pepsi had to divert their scarce capital into creating and marketing the nasty stuff, and when the sales were poor, they ceased production and those resources that would have gone into producing more liquid coffee vomit were instead channeled into areas that Pepsi deemed more profitable. In essence, consumers ousted Pepsi Kona from office by voting for different products with their dollars.

    However--and fortunately for us--unlike the government, the free market is not a hulking bureaucratic monstrosity. When Pepsi stopped making Pepsi Krappa, it rapidly shifted its focus into providing the customers what they did want, which was determined by whether or not the alternative product actually sold well. If Pepsi had taken its time and waited months or even years before making these changes, its losses would have been enormous--not just for itself, but for all of society.

    The reason the losses would have been passed on to society is because resources are global. If Pepsi had kept producing Pepsi Kona that wasn't selling, all of the resources required in its production are resources that didn't go into producing something that people were actually willing to purchase, with causes similar goods to become more scarce which leads to their prices increasing. So society pays more money as a result of Pepsi's inefficiency, money that could have been used to pay for more productive things.

    But the market rarely allows such irresponsibility to occur for very long, its innate purging mechanism being highly effective at motivating companies into productive action via do-or-die circumstances. Without such a mechanism, malinvestment runs rampant, and the standard of living plummets.

    Now, your theoretical system includes these imaginary saintly entrepreneurs whose motives are purely altruistic. Unfortunately, such pure motives don't change the fact that the great majority of humans are hard coded to make decisions that they believe will maximize personal gain at the lowest possible cost. You may object to this, but you're wasting your time; every attempt made at changing such a core aspect of human nature has met with the cumulative deaths of tens of millions of innocent people at the hands of tyrannical dictators. Once personal gain is looked on as intolerable greed, the logical course of action is to forcibly confiscate any and all private possessions whose ownership can be construed as unethical and greedy, and then to ration them out using whatever hazy criteria is being used to determine "need."

    So humans won't change their nature, and attempting to make them do so will inevitably result in widespread atrocities. Therefore profit motive will be the primary function of the economy. This is fundamentally at odds with a non-profit motivated market, because if entrepreneurs aren't trying to make money, why would private institutions loan it to them? Would you loan money to someone who has made it clear to you that he has no intention of profiting from the investment, someone whose intentions aren't to provide society with its wants buy with that he considers to be its needs?

    Even if capital weren't an issue, such an entrepreneur wouldn't last, since it is logistically impossible to determine what society as a whole needs. The end result would be the government telling people what they need and limiting them to only those things, there being no incentive to create additional products that are viewed as unnecessary and therefore greedy. This would in turn lead to an utter lack of innovation in every sector, since any demand for new products would be seen as catering to unsavory impulses and would most likely be banned in order to limit consumption of resources that the government already has trouble producing, storing, and allocating.

    Bleh, this is too long. Here's a summary that includes some details I didn't touch upon:

    1. Profit-driven entrepreneurs are ousted, replaced by niceguyz who want only to make us happy and content.
    2. Companies refuse to loan these people money, since the investments are in society's theoretical needs and not its wants. Such investments are bound to fail in a private economy.
    3. Without entrepreneurial funding, all innovation stalls until the government begins allocating public resources into the investments of their sponsored entrepreneurs.
    4. This money coming from the government can either be printed or taxed. Either route disrupts free economic activity and reduces the standard of living.
    5. Because entrepreneurs believe they are acting in the public's best interests, they feel it is justified to enthusiastically encourage consumption of their products, so prices are made competitive.
    6. Already battered by reduced purchasing power, consumers must strictly budget, so they opt to buy the cheaper government produced goods, driving practically all private companies out of business. Even business offering fripperies must shut down as the tumultuous economy scares people into buying and hording only basic necessities.
    7. All economic production is now controlled by the public sector, which now faces the logistically impossible task of directing the flow of all resources to the areas in which they are needed, a task only possible when billions of people can collectively cast individual dollar votes that tell profiteers with the highly specialized knowledge required to interpret and respond to the activity in their markets (of which there are hundreds of thousands). To make matters worse, this process simply won't happen unless profit can be earned by actors in the market.
    8. All innovation ceases, as even basic needs can barely be met. And even if such needs could be fulfilled, there would be very little innovation while frills are seen unethical investments that consume public property at the expense of the poor.
    9. The standard of living plummets to 3rd world levels as centralized planning authorities struggle with futility to do something that is simply impossible, something that ruins and ends lives.
    I think this will only function in a scenario with "infinite" resources. An entrepreneur is self-serving and will try to improve their profit margins as much as possible. As exists in almost every industry, competition also means that if you don't keep your prices low you will die. These 2 add up, meaning that long term possibilities (and in all likelihood realities) are being ignored hence the potential for your capitalist driven society destroying itself. I agree in part with what you're saying that the market inherently self-corrects, but that assumes that the motivators for change happen early enough for it to do so without significant collapse. Otherwise someone has to be there to tether these guys, ensuring sustainability, which may be at a cost in the current situation but ensures an easier long term transition.

    Also, governmental restraints don't have to curb innovation. I think if anything, trying to work around these restraints will spur growth in new areas.
    LII?

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    Quote Originally Posted by discojoe View Post
    And the high prices for medical care in the US are caused by socialistic government subsidies and insurance mandates distorting the market. The result is that liberals ironically blame free market capitalism for what is actually caused by a system that is probably around 80% socialized.
    Interesting. Why do fully socialized healthcare systems cost much less then iyo? [1]
    You can do anything with a bayonet except sit on it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by buckland View Post
    I think this will only function in a scenario with "infinite" resources. An entrepreneur is self-serving and will try to improve their profit margins as much as possible. As exists in almost every industry, competition also means that if you don't keep your prices low you will die. These 2 add up, meaning that long term possibilities (and in all likelihood realities) are being ignored hence the potential for your capitalist driven society destroying itself. I agree in part with what you're saying that the market inherently self-corrects, but that assumes that the motivators for change happen early enough for it to do so without significant collapse. Otherwise someone has to be there to tether these guys, ensuring sustainability, which may be at a cost in the current situation but ensures an easier long term transition.

    Also, governmental restraints don't have to curb innovation. I think if anything, trying to work around these restraints will spur growth in new areas.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jxrtes View Post
    Interesting. Why do fully socialized healthcare systems cost much less then iyo? [1]
    In response that ranking:

    http://wichitaliberty.org/health-car...-not-reliable/

    I'll respond to your question about costs later. I've had five hours of sleep in the past 48 hours and need to go pass out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by discojoe View Post
    The market isn't a static entity. It self-corrects, and rebounds far faster without government intervention. The great depression of 1920 was initially worse than that of 1929, but Harding, instead of taking the interventionist route that Hoover and FDR would take, cut government spending and kept the federal government from participating in the recovery. The result was a full economic rebound in two years.
    I'm not too read up on the earlier depressions, but this is what I got so far:

    As the Depression wore on, Franklin D. Roosevelt tried public works, farm subsidies, and other devices to restart the economy, but never completely gave up trying to balance the budget. According to the Keynesians, this improved the economy, but Roosevelt never spent enough to bring the economy out of recession until the start of World War II.

    From here Doesn't seem to fully support your argument, and there are other statements in there which suggest ideas along the lines of quantitative easing.

    I think you're misunderstanding my position. Yes, the market will in all likelihood evolve to accommodate whatever new pressures exist. What you can't predict though is when that'll happen, and whether it will happen fast enough to prevent a significant/complete collapse. Really, this has parallels with Darwinian selection. Yes the market will bounce back, but it may be very different and the time it takes to do so may be unacceptable. The market is inherently selfish and therefore needs oversight to ensure the rest of the population isn't screwed in the process, as well as tempering the frequent booms and busts that would inevitably occur in purely capitalist systems.
    LII?

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    Here's a mediocre essay (I got 100% on it though lolololol) I wrote like three years ago in which I discuss the economic aspects of the Great Depression.



    Perhaps no other event of the twentieth century is more widely misunderstood than the Great Depression. Popular opinion, media spin, public school curriculum—all of these sources tell us that the Great Depression found its genesis on a particularly Black Tuesday, late in October of 1929, when money grubbing Wall Street capitalists, in their naked greed, rode the market to too great an altitude, one which the economy could not support. The result of this act of fiscal cupidity, say our textbooks, was to cause the economy to plummet into an abyss from which it could not have returned if it were not for the brave and timely intervention of the United States Federal Government, with the dauntless and lionhearted President Franklin Delano Roosevelt at the helm.

    Nothing could be further from the truth. Beginning with wage controls that were enacted during the Hoover administration and culminating in the policies of the New Deal, the Federal Government's doctrine of direct and indirect economic interventionism both caused the Great Depression and prolonged it. By taking a closer look at the wage controls, tax increases, and economic agencies created by the Federal Government during the twenties, thirties, and forties, as well as the role of the Federal Reserve in instigating the Wall Street Crash of 1929, this paper will bring to light the identity of the true villain of Great Depression: the Federal Government.

    The Great Depression began as the Wall Street Crash of 1929, on October the 29th of that year. Despite what anti-capitalists will say about the reasons for the crash, the true causal factor was not greed but the fractional reserve banking system—namely, the Federal Reserve System of the United States. The Federal Reserve, or Fed for short, created in 1913 under the administration of President Woodrow Wilson, is the central banking system of the United States, and is an independently operated offshoot of the federal government. While the Fed's intended purpose is to prevent bank panics and ensure the soundness of the nation's commercial banking system, in reality its most important function is to regulate the money supply in order to minimize the effects that market fluctuations have on employment. Unfortunately, this practice of national money management has the unintended consequence of causing the business cycle (the continuous pattern of economic booms and busts that we've all grown accustomed to), which is exactly what happened on October 29th, 1929, better known as Black Tuesday. On that day, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates in order to slow the rate of economic growth in the economy. This caused banks to loan out less money, which eventually reverberated through the stock market in the form of a massive devaluation of financial securities, followed by widespread bankruptcy and unemployment. Critics will argue that the Federal Reserve had to lower interest rates to stem unsustainable growth caused by greedy speculation, but that argument disintegrates the moment one realizes that such speculation only occurred because, up to that point, the Federal Reserve had been keeping interest rates artificially low. This is akin to giving two liters of Mountain Dew to a child and then scolding him for wrecking his bedroom. So the Federal Reserve worked its magic and the stock market collapsed, sending the economy into a severe depression that lasted more than a decade.

    But that's just it; why did the Great Depression last so long? At the beginning of the Depression of 1920–21, the initial economic conditions were in many ways worse than those seen in the Great Depression, yet by July of 1921 the economy was experiencing full recovery. So what happened during the Great Depression that kept us in economic stagnation for so long? The answer is as simple as it is unpopular: the government intervened in the economy, which is precisely what it did not do during the Depression of 1920–21, when it actually cut taxes and cut spending, contrary to the tenets of Keynesianism, which tell us that the government should increase spending during times of economic crisis. With no Keynesian economists around to influence political leaders with the idea that government could be the ultimate safety net, the hero-to-the-rescue, it was up to President Warren G. Harding to espouse his own fiscal views—views that just so happened to be the correct ones:

    We will attempt intelligent and courageous deflation, and strike at government borrowing which enlarges the evil, and we will attack high cost of government with every energy and facility which attend Republican capacity. We promise that relief which will attend the halting of waste and extravagance, and the renewal of the practice of public economy, not alone because it will relieve tax burdens but because it will be an example to stimulate thrift and economy in private life.
    And so, following the fiscal wisdom of a criminally underrated president, the American economy extricated itself from a depression that had the makings of one worse than that which would follow nearly a decade later, when the government would step up to the plate and deliver a series of fiscal policies that would ensnare the New World in an economic quagmire.

    The first such ruinous government policy originated not after the Great Depression, but several years before it. President Herbert Hoover believed that the drop in wage rates seen during the Depression of 1920-21 was morally unacceptable, and in his disgust he promoted something called a “high wage” policy throughout the 1920s. By December of 1929, barely a month after the onset of the Great Depression, Hoover's years-long espousal of systematically higher wages during recessions—wages that would, in his view, maintain the standard of living of workers and somehow stabilize the market—was widely accepted by economists and business leaders alike, and so wage rates remained high for nearly two years after Black Tuesday, which made it much more difficult for displaced laborers to find new employment. Higher wages also kept prices higher as business needed to recoup their costs of production, which made it harder for people already hard hit by the depression to buy the goods they needed. And because more money was being spent on goods whose prices were indirectly being kept artificially high by the “high wage” policy, there was less available money to spend on other goods, forcing those industries to make cutbacks on their respective payrolls.

    The fiscal policy of President Hoover also played a role in the early years of the Great Depression. Hoover wanted to show the world that he had faith in the economy of the United States, so in December of 1929, Hoover cut personal income taxes by one percent. However, he failed to include in this surprisingly astute act an accompanying cut in government expenditures. So in 1930, facing a horribly timed budget deficit, Hoover decided that it would be a good idea to sharply raise personal income taxes in the midst of a recession. The smallest personal income bracket rose by more than three hundred percent, slightly higher than the highest tax bracket, which Hoover nearly tripled. This tax increase, writes economist Gene Smiley, “led to a reduction in household spending and a further contraction in economic activity."

    As destructive as Hoover's fiscal policy was on the United States economy, Hoover's successor would prove to have a far worse grasp of basic economics. In 1933, President Hoover vacated the executive office and was replaced by Franklin Delano Roosevelt. President Roosevelt's destructive rampage through the American economy began even before his tenure in office. Between his electoral victory in the 1932 presidential election and his inauguration on 4 March 1933, Roosevelt would neither confirm nor deny that he would continue with the economic policies of President Hoover, and he began to indirectly hint at the possibility of devaluing the dollar against gold. This presidential ambivalence toward the national economic crisis caused bank runs and failures, which persisted until the federal government stepped in via The Emergency Banking Act, which gave the president the power to temporarily shut down insolvent banking institutions. Roosevelt's initial irresponsible attitude also had the effect of provoking foreigners into redeeming their dollars for gold, resulting in an outflow of gold from the United States, which jeopardized the strength of the dollar on the foreign market.

    Roosevelt's cluelessness about economics also applied to his advisers, who erroneously believed that the depression was caused by overproduction from too much competition. The result of their off-the-mark economic advice played a big part in the New Deal, a slew of economic reforms, policies, and programs designed to aid the ailing economy on a previously unheard-of scale. Responding to the advice of his advisers, Roosevelt signed into law two of the main pieces of New Deal legislation, the National Industrial Recovery Act, a bill that led to the creation of the National Recovery Administration, and the Agricultural Adjustment Act. Both bills were written with the express purpose of keeping wages and prices artificially inflated while simultaneously limiting production. Predictably, both bills had the unintended consequence of worsening the severity of the Great Depression.

    The Agricultural Adjustment Act sought to limit the production of American agriculture by creating price floors for farmers. Artificially high prices for food have little effect other than to keep supply away from demand, and in a time of such economic hardship as the Great Depression, the people creating that demand may literally be starving on the street. As economist Thomas Sowell explains:

    Agricultural price support programs led to vast amounts of food being deliberately destroyed at a time when malnutrition was a serious problem in the United States and hunger marches were taking place in cities across the country. … Huge amounts of farm produce were plowed under, in order to keep it off the market and maintain prices at the officially fixed level.
    The key to quick economic recovery during a deep depression, Roosevelt seemed to be saying, is to withhold food from starving masses of displaced workers at a time when a stunning 37 percent the non-agricultural workforce and 25 percent of farmers were without employment.

    But wait. There's more. The New Deal had an even more horrifying ace up its sleeve. The Nation Recovery Administration, an agency created by the second major piece of New Deal legislation, the National Industrial Recovery Act, came into being just in time to ruin the economic recovery of the summer of 1935. The National Recovery Administration, like the AAA, was actually created for the purpose of stifling economic growth in the United States. Instead of focusing on agriculture, however, the NRA was aimed at American industry, but unlike the AAA, the NRA functioned by legalizing the cartelization of American industries! Economic growth between the fall of 1933 and early 1935 stagnated as businesses adhered to minimum prices and quotas that made competition impossible. Even President Roosevelt admitted that the NRA had damaged the United States economy, “The American economy has become a concealed cartel system." It wasn't until May 1935 that the Supreme Court stepped in and ruled the NRA unconstitutional (the AAA was ruled unconstitutional the following year), but the damage had already been done, and it had been done by the Federal Government reaching beyond the confines of the Constitution.

    The final stop on this Greatly Depressing blame game brings us back to the Federal Reserve, that agency of economic expansion and contraction, that clown of the Federal Government that hands children balloons with its right hand and pops them with the needle in its left. Between 1935 and 1936, private banks were stocking up excess cash reserves so as to protect themselves from the danger of bank runs such as those that had taken place in the preceding years of the depression. In order to amass these reserves, banks naturally had to reduce lending, which in turn reduced the nation's money supply. The Federal Reserve, in all its wisdom, assumed that the excess reserves being kept by banks only existed due to a low level of private demand for bank loans. The Fed concluded that limiting the money supply further would create a surge in demand for new loans, which would cause the money supply to expand rapidly, thereby inducing economic growth. This led to the Fed doubling the reserve requirement of member banks, which further limited the ability of banks to lend money and caused an even greater decrease in the money supply. This ridiculous application of monetary policy by the Fed led to an economic contraction that lasted until 1938, in which unemployment moved upwards from 12 percent in 1937, peaking at 19.1 percent in 1938. Because of a single foolish exercising of federal power, millions of people lost their jobs.

    Despite overwhelming evidence that they are wrong, people continue to believe that the Great Depression was born into the world via greedy capitalists who were too fixated on making money to realize that they were racing toward the edge of the Grand Canyon. It is not centralized bureaucratic meddling that causes economic turmoil, they say, but greed. And it is also greed that sustains depression, they proclaim, not high taxes, wage controls, production quotas, cartels, or price floors--despite whatever damning evidence to the contrary may have been uncovered in the decades since the Great Depression.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hkkmr View Post
    Big brother is a problem, too bad discojoe sounds like Goldstein.

    The only cure he has is the "market", but when the disease happens to be the "market", what's the cure for that.

    He is just another hypocrite. He talks about the unintended consequences of government oversight while ignoring the unintended consequences of the market and entrepreneurship. The truth is that all action as well as inaction has unintended consequences and innovation is the prediction and mitigation of those consequences ad infinitum.

    He thinks that libertarians are impartial and only consider the fact, but he fails to understand that discontent and feelings of discontent are a FACT. In fact, I'm pretty sure he feels that pretty often, which is why he makes this sort of posts. Maybe he's not as impartial as he pretends to be. Maybe he's just another malcontent working his two minute hate.
    Thank you...

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    Glorious Member mu4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckland View Post
    I'm not too read up on the earlier depressions, but this is what I got so far:

    As the Depression wore on, Franklin D. Roosevelt tried public works, farm subsidies, and other devices to restart the economy, but never completely gave up trying to balance the budget. According to the Keynesians, this improved the economy, but Roosevelt never spent enough to bring the economy out of recession until the start of World War II.

    From here Doesn't seem to fully support your argument, and there are other statements in there which suggest ideas along the lines of quantitative easing.

    I think you're misunderstanding my position. Yes, the market will in all likelihood evolve to accommodate whatever new pressures exist. What you can't predict though is when that'll happen, and whether it will happen fast enough to prevent a significant/complete collapse. Really, this has parallels with Darwinian selection. Yes the market will bounce back, but it may be very different and the time it takes to do so may be unacceptable. The market is inherently selfish and therefore needs oversight to ensure the rest of the population isn't screwed in the process, as well as tempering the frequent booms and busts that would inevitably occur in purely capitalist systems.
    It's not the market or the government that solely causes economic problems or gives economic solution. How these systems manage wealth distribution, growth and debt ratio is more important then any ideology of what mechanism should be in charge.

    When the wealthy controls the wealth, the consumer class becomes has less money to spend. The only time this is sustainable is when there is economic growth, without it, GDP drops and business no longer are able to make money.

    Ultimately government spending is the only way out of a depression/recession, but this creates inflation, and you can only really inflate as much as your trading competitors without compromising your currency. During WWII, this was a situation where the government and business were able to inflate and spend without taking a hit on the currency. Naturally this is something the wealth hoarders seek to avoid as it dilutes their stake while for debtors and people without wealth, it eases wealth disparity, especially if wages rise. Deflation is bad when combined with a decreasing GDP and large amount of debt, because debt vs GDP ratio become much higher and become harder, if not impossible to pay off, not that debt needs to be paid off necessarily. If the interest on your debt is higher then your GDP, it's game over and probably sometime before that.

    The Great Depression can be viewed as a deflationary spiral and the policies which created it are being enacted today in the form of debt deflation.

    The same policies that likely caused the Great Depression is being advocated by people like Discojoe and if they succeed, it will likely happen again.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causes_...Debt_deflation

    They have other causes like wealth disparity, and decreased housing demand, protectionism. I think ultimately it was some of these causes in combination which created a perfect financial storm. You can see some of the problems today which mirror the Great Depression: Wealth disparity, low housing demand, high debt, debt deflation policies being advocated, protectionism. I think most conservatives actually want the US to take a suicide pill.
    Last edited by mu4; 04-08-2011 at 08:49 PM.

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    You know it's pointless to argue with Discojoe, right?

    Also is it just me or does DJ look an awful lot like Saif Gadhafi?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hkkmr View Post
    It's not the market or the government that solely causes economic problems or gives economic solution. How these systems manage wealth distribution, growth and debt ration is more important then any ideology of what mechanism should be in charge.

    When the wealthy controls the wealth, the consumer class becomes has less money to spend. The only time this is sustainable is when there is economic growth, without it, GDP drops and business no longer are able to make money.

    Ultimately spending(by business and government) is the only way out of a depression/recession, but this creates inflation, and you can only really inflate as much as your trading competitors without compromising your currency. During WWII, this was a situation where the government and business were able to inflate and spend without taking a hit on the currency. Naturally this is something the wealth hoarders seek to avoid as it dilutes their stake while for debtors and people without wealth, it eases wealth disparity, especially if wages rise. Deflation is bad when combined with a decreasing GDP and large amount of debt, because debt vs GDP ratio become much higher and become harder, if not impossible to pay off, not that debt needs to be paid off necessarily. If the interest on your debt is higher then your GDP, it's game over and probably sometime before that.

    The Great Depression can be viewed as a deflationary spiral and the policies which created it are being enacted today in the form of debt deflation.

    The same policies that likely caused the Great Depression is being advocated by people like Discojoe and if they succeed, it will likely happen again.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causes_...Debt_deflation

    They have other causes like wealth disparity, and decreased housing demand, protectionism. I think ultimately it was some of these causes in combination which created a perfect financial storm. You can see some of the problems today which mirror the Great Depression: Wealth disparity, low housing demand, high debt, debt deflation policies being advocated, protectionism. I think most conservatives actually want the US to take a suicide pill.
    I stopped reading when you said that business spending causes inflation. Learn about economics and them come and talk.

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    Quote Originally Posted by discojoe View Post
    I stopped reading when you said that business spending causes inflation. Learn about economics and them come and talk.
    We have been studying modern economics for ~250 years, and look where we are now. Something is fundamentally amiss in our study of financial structures.
    LII
    that is what i was getting at. if there is an inescapable appropriation that is required in the act of understanding, this brings into question the validity of socionics in describing what is real, and hence stubborn contradictions that continue to plague me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mariano Rajoy View Post
    We have been studying modern economics for ~250 years, and look where we are now. Something is fundamentally amiss in our study of financial structures.
    Uh... what are you saying?

    Anyway, inflation is only ever caused by an expansion of the money supply. A good indicator of economic illiteracy is when someone says otherwise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by discojoe View Post
    Uh... what are you saying?
    If my car habitually broke down, I'd think my mechanic/mechanical engineer was full of shit.
    LII
    that is what i was getting at. if there is an inescapable appropriation that is required in the act of understanding, this brings into question the validity of socionics in describing what is real, and hence stubborn contradictions that continue to plague me.

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    uh... yeah, people fuck up economics all the time, but it isn't done based on sound economic principles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crazedratsshadow View Post
    uh... yeah, economists fuck up economics all the time, but it isn't done based on sound economic principles.
    Fixed.
    LII
    that is what i was getting at. if there is an inescapable appropriation that is required in the act of understanding, this brings into question the validity of socionics in describing what is real, and hence stubborn contradictions that continue to plague me.

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    Socionists have more predictive power than economists, which is pretty sad.
    You can do anything with a bayonet except sit on it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mariano Rajoy View Post
    Fixed.
    Dont rearrange my posts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mariano Rajoy View Post
    If my car habitually broke down, I'd think my mechanic/mechanical engineer was full of shit.
    What if your mechanic was forced to use inferior tools and parts when repairing your car?

    Quote Originally Posted by crazedratsshadow View Post
    uh... yeah, people fuck up economics all the time, but it isn't done based on sound economic principles.
    Yep. You can't say something doesn't work when you've only seen it function after someone deliberately sabotaged it.

    And I'd like to add that it's politicians and Keynesians who fuck up the economy, not economists.

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    Quote Originally Posted by discojoe View Post
    What if your mechanic was forced to use inferior tools and parts when repairing your car?
    Seek compensation/retribution for his/her complicit behaviour, and perform all future maintenance and repairs myself to prevent exploitation.

    Quote Originally Posted by discojoe View Post
    Yep. You can't say something doesn't work when you've only seen it function after someone deliberately sabotaged it
    Who sabotaged it?
    LII
    that is what i was getting at. if there is an inescapable appropriation that is required in the act of understanding, this brings into question the validity of socionics in describing what is real, and hence stubborn contradictions that continue to plague me.

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    Glorious Member mu4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by discojoe View Post
    I stopped reading when you said that business spending causes inflation. Learn about economics and them come and talk.
    This part is just a bit unclear, I never made a explicit causal link and you just interpreted it incorrectly.

    Spending is necessary to bring a economy out of a depression, but when government increases the monetary supply due to low tax revenue and GDP, inflation occurs. Business spending is also necessary as these are major employers, at least in the US.

    I am going to make a edit to clarify this in the original post.

    Anyways, the only thing you know about economics is a narrow perspective which you advocate without much rational basis. It's the lunatic fringe. Most of your criticism about sabotage and poor economic theory actually applies to you.
    Last edited by mu4; 04-08-2011 at 09:06 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mariano Rajoy View Post
    Seek compensation/retribution for his/her complicit behaviour, and perform all future maintenance and repairs myself to prevent exploitation.
    Good idea. One problem though is that any compensation from the government can only come from the taxpayers.

    Who sabotaged it?
    Politicians who either don't know about or don't care about the economy.

    Quote Originally Posted by hkkmr View Post
    This part is just a bit unclear, I never made a explicit causal link and you just interpreted it incorrectly.

    Spending is necessary to bring a economy out of a depression, but when government increases the monetary supply due to low tax revenue and GDP, inflation occurs. Business spending is also necessary as these are major employers, at least in the US.

    I am going to make a edit to clarify this in the original post.

    Anyways, the only thing you know about economics is a narrow perspective which you advocate without much rational basis. It's the lunatic fringe. Most of your criticism about sabotage and poor economic theory actually applies to you.
    Blah blah blah. You have no idea what you're talking about and I'm not going to waste my time unraveling your labyrinth of misconceptions. It's like talking to a chopsticks version of tcaud. Take it as a cop out if you want; don't care.

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    Glorious Member mu4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by discojoe View Post
    Blah blah blah. You have no idea what you're talking about and I'm not going to waste my time unraveling your labyrinth of misconceptions. It's like talking to a chopsticks version of tcaud. Take it as a cop out if you want; don't care.
    A cop out is exactly what it is. You really can't face up to my criticism because you have no rational argument or solution for the problems I bring up, such as wealth disparity, lack of consumer spending power, debt deflation and other problems of market only economic policy.

    I wouldn't say conservative, because many conservative economists would disagree with your economic recommendations totally.

    You represent the lunatic fringe of economic policy. Don't lump me with Tcaud, because I don't agree with him much. You're just as extreme as he is, I should probably get you two a cage.

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    Debating this kind of autistic effluvium is impossible through written communication.

    I challenge you to a public tinychat debate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by buckland View Post
    Why can't innovation also appear from governing bodies?
    Hm.

    Quote Originally Posted by ragnar playing communist

    Yeah a gov't Department of Innovation would be a good idea. A preliminary Congressional hearing is called for to establish a committee to formalize the mandate, authority, budget and timeline for the activities of the new department, and to establish the statutes and formal routines of it's daily activities.

    For quality control of the functioning of the new department, a metric for measuring the number, degree and quality of the innovation and creative activity performed would be necessary. A congressional standardization committee needs to be appointed to produce a report and eventually a national standard.

    A number of qualified people would then be hired, preferably with PhD or relevant gov't experience. These would then receive formal creativity training and also be taught the national standard for defining and measuring creativity and innovation, plus the statutes and formal routines of their position by congressionally appointed instructors.

    A 5-year plan would then be established, outlining and formalizing the general goals, nature and direction of the innovation and creativity to be produced.
    I wrote this for fun or satire, but a huge number of people actually fall for it. Which is scary, given the history of Socialism and intrusive government in general.
    Greetings, ragnar
    ILI knowledge-seeker

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