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Author Topic: Straw Poll: Birth order and Communism
hobsen
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That is a splendid example of what I meant, LoneSnark. It makes as much sense as saying that because Jesus approved of helping the poor, he would have disapproved of eating corned beef and cabbage. Perhaps Jesus would have - Jewish dietary laws were peculiar - but the latter does not necessarily follow from the former. Certainly you are right that individuals can take little credit from government actions, but that does not mean such actions are worthless. Someone had to build the Temple, for instance, of which Jesus clearly approved.
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canadian
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Render unto Caesar
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WeAreAllJust LooseChange
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Opsanus Tau - great post!

I think your theory has merit and you should write to some independent political pollsters to look more deep into this, or granting you want to invest more money and efforts - you can do it yourself (maybe writing to get a small grant from the different non-profit orgs out there, who are polling the general public opinion already)

You may want to look into further correlations between periods of high number of families with 3 and more children and their coming of age of political activism (or let’s say children coming into their late 20s maybe) and the predominant social mood –more towards the right or more towards the left at that time.

It will be hard to keep the “all other factors being equal” goal, as the correlation you theorize will be at best a minor factor and the current political and economic environment will more likely be a major factor influencing the political outcome in the “next” election.

Now for my part – middle child (of 3)
Ideal political system – there is no such thing. All political systems are prone to errors. More to the left than current system. Humanism in a broader sense maybe?

I lived through late stages of so-called Socialism which was turned into first stage of the so-called free market capitalism and now am living in a so-called mature capitalism with presumed government controls.
(I wonder how many of the folks on Ornery have such experience)
Having seen these two (three?) different systems, my current leaning is more to the left, than current US political system.

Personally I have not seen any flaw with what the current US Progressive Movement (which OSC obviously hates for some weird reason I couldn’t get after reading his “Empire”) stands for, at least the way I understand it, as there is no clear definition of it. Even Wikipedia didn’t shed much light on that one.

Socialism – definitely no (at least the way it was and continue to be implemented throughout the world), as it stomps on the biggest thrive of them all - private property ownership. (Also suppresses to big or small extent freedom of speech, religion, etc. etc.)

Free Market Capitalism – definitely no, as corporate interests stomp on any meaningful human feeling which an individual might express, supporting what is good for the human kind ONLY after being slapped around by controls put in place by the people (via government controls, social controls or finally market controls from people that stopped buying the products). The problem with this reactive approach is illustrated with the death of the boiled frog.
I just think it’s time to nudge the frog a bit again, but that’s just me ( …the animal abuser [Wink] ))
Free Market Capitalism has only led to Free Market Military Complex. It's very profitable to sell around the world - scare, false feeling of security and everything else that comes with that package.

IMHO these are money NOT well spent.

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KnightEnder
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Thanks 0Meg, Hobsen, I had forgotten about the 'literal'(?) meaning of that quote.

LS, Good point. But I still say it gives America a duality problem to be so greedy as a religion on one hand and follow a religion that openly and enthusiastically supports helping your fellow man.

Of course maybe all the rich people are giving most of their money to the poor and they just don't have enough to help the homeless. And maybe those people Bush said about: "Some people call you the have and have mores. I call you my constituents!" [Mad] Drove to that million dollar a plate dinner in hybrids after giving to the Salvation Army, but somehow I don't think so.

I agree that most Christians give a lot. More than most non-Christians. At least I've seen that statistic so many time that I accept it as true. But I still think they (most middle class Americans) have a problem deep in their souls with the disgustingly rich and and the teachings of Jesus.

Remember please this is being written by a middle class agnostic who thinks the ideas of Jesus were pretty damn good.

(Were we done with the number crunching or am I stealing a thread? I'll move it if asked. Thanks or sorry. [Smile] )

KE

[ March 15, 2007, 01:08 PM: Message edited by: KnightEnder ]

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Jesse
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If compelled to carry a shield a mile by some petty thug with government backing, carry it two.

Render unto Ceasar that which Ceasar will spend on slaves and gladitorial games.

Of course, there is the time Jesus taught the multitudes to fish with only seven fishing poles.

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LoneSnark
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I'm not sure about you, but I suspect most people have no problem with other people getting rich. What bothers us is what they choose to do with it. We find large mansions gaudy, showy, pompous. Our objection is not that some get rich, but that after getting rich they turn into idiots.

quote:
definitely no, as corporate interests stomp on any meaningful human feeling which an individual might express
Presumes facts not in evidence. Have you ever seen a corporation stomp on human feeling before? It is only in free countries, where anyone is allowed to own a printing press, that you can be reasonably assured the ability to express your feelings.

What I think you are talking about is Corporatism where large corporations seize control of the various agencies of Government and use them against both customers and employees.

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WeAreAllJust LooseChange
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LS quote:
---
Presumes facts not in evidence. Have you ever seen a corporation stomp on human feeling before? It is only in free countries, where anyone is allowed to own a printing press, that you can be reasonably assured the ability to express your feelings.

What I think you are talking about is Corporatism where large corporations seize control of the various agencies of Government and use them against both customers and employees.
-----

LoneSnark – to give an example to clarify my sentence:
“Free Market Capitalism – definitely no, as corporate interests stomp on any meaningful human feeling which an individual might express…”

As an individual (shareholder of a corporation or employee of a such) – you may be opposed to the same corporation exploiting Child Labor in Guatemala or using (slave) immigrant workers from India on H2B visas in the line of the business of the corporation.

But as PROFIT is Corporations’ God and as long as free market allows for these practices - you won’t be able to do anything with your individual feeling (other than expressing it I guess), unless: 1) there is regulation that prohibits the practice you oppose (so it is not a free-market after all, right???) or 2) there is enough public attention raised so such inhumane practice is abolished by the Corporation because of public pressure in one way or another.
The Corporation would just continue to do its business to maximize the short term profits (…of it’s shareholders)
Would you rather try to change the wrong practice or sell your stock? Or both? Or would rather close one eye and say – but that’s nothing and try to make myriad of excuses why this is so great for the economy and for business and for the kids that work in those factories abroad and for guest-worker laborers and how they are blessed to be able to make “big” bucks from working for your great Corporation and not for some other slave owner.

Now think about all the cases where you are a shareholder (or employee, etc.), but you DON’T EVEN KNOW about such practices that YOUR Corporation uses.

Isn’t that “stomping on any meaningful human feeling, which an individual might express…” ?
At least this example is what I meant by that…

And yes – Corporatism is the end result of years of glorifying one and only powerful goal in an economic system – the goal to make a “profit”. It is a goal that needs to be in place, but I support it more in the sense of a not-for-profit organization or businesses with known owners who are held personally responsible for actions performed by their organization.

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LoneSnark
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Look, not everyone likes their parents. I'm certain we would have all been better off if some people were unable to reproduce. But, as a moral question, there is a presumption that parents will not abuse or allow others to torture their children. At the same time, we see nothing wrong with parents that make their children mow the lawn, take out the garbage, fix the computer, milk the cows, program the VCR, etc. Why does it suddenly become abuse when they have their children perform these tasks for the neighbors in exchange for cash?

I'm not arguing that Child Labor is morally just, merely pointing out that it is possible for a rational person to believe it is in peculiar circumstances. If you don't want your kids getting a job and learning a trade, so be it. But if a family is having difficulty feeding all its members and the children are willing to work, then who are you to prevent their human desire to help their family?

As for MY Corporation, how it treats its workers is only MY business in so far as it impacts profits. A Corporation that abuses its workforce tends to suffer difficulty acquiring and keeping workers to the point of being forced to offer higher wages to bring workers back, as henry ford was forced to do. As such, abusing your work force is often a very expensive proposition and can even become fatal in the face of more sensible competition.

Many economists have argued that "profit" is far less important than "loss" to making a system of free enterprise work. It is losses and the subsequent bankruptcy that makes bad businesses stop whatever it is they are doing, whether it is abusing workers, defrauding investors, abusing customers, or just bad management.

Corporatism is the result of trying to eliminate "losses" from economics through the application of government force. This is why businessmen often despise proponents of free markets, they fear the financial losses that come from competition.

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Jesse
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While you're right, LoneSnark, that rent seekers despise actual Free Markets, they are more than happy to use the rhetoric of Free Trade as nothing more than a way of whining about any infringement on their Rents.

They represent actual proponents of Free Markets to about the same extent that the Soviet Union represented actual Marxism, but so it goes. Your ideology gets judged by those who claim to follow it, especially when they aren't denounced by those who actually do.


There IS a market solution to these kind of abuses, by the way, but it requires that people give a damn.

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LoneSnark
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I disagree. The "abuses" we are talking about are low wages and child labor. Both have exactly the same solution set, and there are no further market solutions required.

The market solutions required to eliminate low wages and child labor were invented early in the 20th century and are fairly automatic as of the 21st century. What is usually missing is the requisite political solutions: rule of law, political stability, and economic liberty. Once the free market is unfettered, it will begin implimenting the process of eliminating low wages and (thus) child labor (one causes the other).

Low wages are eliminated by competition for labor among firms, regretfully in the 3rd world such competition is either outlawed directly (India) or otherwise disuaded (corruption, institutional theft, heavy taxes, etc).

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Jesse
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Yeah, not to mention a virtually unlimited labor pool around the globe.

Those willing to pay a premium for goods certified by reputable independent firms to not use child labor in their production or engage in abuse of workers (and, by the way, the abuses in this particular case involve a great deal more than low wages, and include violations of law and contract) are free to put their money where their mouth is.

The more people willing to bear that cost, the larger the market for such goods. As volume increases, economy of scale reduces the added cost of such goods. When enough of the market for a particular good demands that it's production meets certain standards, it becomes necessary to meet those standards in order to aquire or maintain market share.

How well do cars with straight ones from Car and Driver sell?

[ March 16, 2007, 04:25 PM: Message edited by: Jesse ]

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LoneSnark
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Irrelevant. All your effort will stand wasted. If the country in question opens itself to competition for labor then wages will rise to modern levels and only idiotic parents would sacrifice their kids future as a doctor by taking them out of high school to get jobs digging ditches.

Or, the country in question could remain closed off and thus wages would remain stagnant. In this eventually, simply staying alive is in question and losing the extra income from a working child could mean letting some family members starve.

So, either way, your efforts to ban child labor could result in useless death or, at best, simply waste your efforts.

Everyone would be much better off if you spent your efforts trying to get these countries to suppress corruption, open up markets, and secure property rights.

[ March 17, 2007, 02:30 AM: Message edited by: LoneSnark ]

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LoneSnark
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For example. Many countries have been set up specifically to enrich the ruling class. Government outlaws competition in goods markets, enabling elites to charge monopoly prices. The government also extracts rents from the rest of the economy in the form of heavy taxation and bribes (which government supporters are exempt from), preventing competition in labor markets enabling artificially low monopsony wages. This set up results in consistent profits for supporters of the regime which is then funnelled back to the rulers, to the detriment of the whole country.

Now, what can we do? Many of these countries engage in the use of Child Labor, but that is a result of the underlying corruption, not economic reality. Also, the scheme concentrates on monopolizing local markets, not international markets (which is impossible), so it does not depend upon international trade to "work". International exchange is often acquired through the export of commodities (oil, copper, etc). On average, such countries tend to have very little international trade as consumer goods that result from such a market lack sufficient quality to sell on the world market at any price. As such, consumer boycotts of products produced by such countries would be difficult and ultimately useless.

Now, on average, high government tariffs on commodity exports from these countries would punish them. But again, the elites of these countries make their wealthy by extorting their local markets and would often be perfectly willing to sacrifice meagre imports to maintain power. In the past, such market rigging schemes only end in the event of revolution or invasion.

So, again, what do you suggest we do? Attempt to overthrow 100+ regimes?

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Jesse
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There is more work than people, to put it as simply as possible. Either some starve and work in one place, or starve and work in another.

Essentially every country on Earth today is set up to enrich the ruling class. The differences are in how pragmatically they set out to do that - a prime example of pragmatism being the New Deal which forestalled the very serious threat of a Revolution within the US.

The Rich get Richer, in objective terms, when the poor live well. Not getting Typhus from your cook has value, as does not having to employ half a dozen body guards to avoid kidnapping. Employees who can afford your product increase your market.

The poor revolt, whether there are boycotts or foriegn activists or not. The cost of supressing such insurrections and the damage done by them to property almost always far outweigh "profits" made by maintaining the Status Quo.

It's not I that promote the overthrow of regimes or remaking the nature of Human Beings. Those who indulge in corrupt practices and harsh exploitation of their countrymen have been able to maintian their power for decades now while signing "Free Trade" deals and spouting the rhetoric of the Market Faith.

Each individual consumer determines what is of value to them. Those of us who value goods produced without slave labor, without child labor, without repeated contract violations, are as free to pay a premium for that as are people who want handmade linens rather than machine produced.

Elites maintain power whether or not corporations must obey the terms of their contracts or cease employing child labor.

Without slavery in the US, we were once told, all those slaves would be without any means of support...yet..it didn't quite happen that way.

Now, how do you spend your efforts trying to get Third World Nations to supress corruption, open up markets, and secure property rights?

Seriously, what do you do?

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KnightEnder
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Bring them democracy and capitalism ala Iraq?

KE

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Jesse
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Meaning...not too much democracy and nothing remotely resembling free markets?
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Greg Davidson
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Sorry to join this late, but you would be very interested in reading Born to Rebel by Frank Sulloway. He was a historian of Darwin who stumbled onto a theory of birth order. He posited that for hundreds of thousands of years, the greatest threat to children wasn't wild animals, it was their other siblings (not in terms of attack, but in terms of attention when things got tough for the tribe). His theory is that eldest children tend to support the established order, while as you go later in the birth order, there is more incentive to diversity, to find an economic niche that the younger child could fit. What makes this theory impressive is all of the data he collected to substantiate it. For example, he looks at why some scientists embraced Darwin's theories and others rejected it, who voted for the execution of King Louis XVI of France, which countries in Europe supported Catholicism rather than the upstart Protestantism in Europe (the countries where the eldest child inherited all), which scientists in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences tended to be multi-disciplinary (the youngest-borns), etc.
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Zyne
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Only child biologically; 3rd of 4 and 2nd of 3, by marriage. Socialism for necessities, capitalism for luxuries.
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LoneSnark
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quote:
There is more work than people, to put it as simply as possible.
Where? I explained how 3rd world governments have jury-rigged their economies to produce the situation you describe. What you seem to fail to realize is that this is completely unnatural. If there are more people seeking work than jobs available, incentives will drive capital holders to generate more jobs. As the number of jobs outstrips the supply of labor then wages will rise to meet productivity, incentivising capital holders to further boost productivity and curtail job creation. This cycle continues until the economy has utilized every available technology to boost living standards.

In the 3rd world, neither of these mechanisms exist: capital holders are not allowed to compete for either markets or labor under threat of imprisonment.

quote:
Essentially every country on Earth today is set up to enrich the ruling class.
Some more than others. Invariably, the industrialized world has managed to utilize tradition and indoctrination to curtail their ruling classes from impoverishing the nation. Examples include a sense of rights, justice, and equality. To put it bluntly, all capital holders are treated relatively equal before the law: therefore Sprint Wireless is unable to use the government to eliminate Suncom Wireless here in the U.S. because such behavior seems unfair and is not tolerated in American society. Meanwhile, Telmex in Mexico was able to get legislation passed making it the sole legal provider of wired telephone service, a government protected monopoly Most goods, capital, or service markets in Mexico are similarly monopolized by government, criminal organizations, or tradition.

quote:
Now, how do you spend your efforts trying to get Third World Nations to suppress corruption, open up markets, and secure property rights?
Rule by example. It was the west that gave ideological support to such ideas as centralization and socialism. That they morphed into centralized-elitist-socialism was heavily predicted well in advance by such individuals as friedman hayek. Once you dismantle the traditions and indoctrinations necessary to contain the ambition of the ruling class, it is only a matter of time before unfettered politicians do what comes natural: seek ever more power at the expense of the nation as a whole.

quote:
Socialism for necessities, capitalism for luxuries.
Funny story. In an economy consisting of scarce resources with alternative uses, human effort tends to chase profits.

Historical examples are common. Before the revolution, the Monarchy of France was wracked with concern for the poor during a period of rising food prices (fearing a revolution). In response, it instituted price controls on the price of bread. However, due to the strong wine lobby and its perception as a luxury good, wine was exempt from government controls. In response, French farmers ploughed under their wheat to expand the vineyards for wine production because the potential profits were highest. As a result, the price of wine fell and bread disappeared from the stores of Paris, producing a substantial food shortage and subsequent starvation.

Therefore, you must understand that America's entrepreneurs will do whatever it takes to provide us with the necessities we need only because they can make a profit doing so. If food becomes too expensive for the poor then give the poor money, don't remove the incentive to feed them.

[ March 18, 2007, 01:59 AM: Message edited by: LoneSnark ]

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Greg Davidson
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quote:
Invariably, the industrialized world has managed to utilize tradition and indoctrination to curtail their ruling classes from impoverishing the nation. Examples include a sense of rights, justice, and equality.
I agree that most other nations (now and at most other times in history) do things worse than we do in America today. But I believe that this is not a binary question (things are right here or they are wrong). Among the wealthy/powerful there are some who really have a sense of rights/justice/equality, some who don't, and some with mixed views (it's the same among the poor and powerless, except since they don't have money they usually don't have much influence). There is a general tendency for the rules of our society to provide more advantages to the wealthy than to the poor.
(1) Where I live in Southern California, my mortgage payment (even before my mortgage interest tax deduction) is lower than rent would be for an equivalent house, and I get to pay this lower amount every month because I had the capital to put a down-payment down.
(2) When I go to the doctor, not only do I only have a co-pay of $15, but even the charge to my insurance company is capped at their "usual and customary cost" because they have the buying power to negotiate such a deal with medical providers. If I had no health insurance, I would pay the full price myself and I wouldn't get the discount.
(3) Thousands of murders occur every year in poor sections of our major urban areas, but it has gone on so long that we don't even seem to care. There are places in America where the streets are deadly, and Americans live every day in fear for their lives.
Sure, the power that wealth provides makes it hard for company A to oppress company B (as long as Company B has enough power to stand up to A), but economics and economic welfare ultimately is about people. I would argue that our current system of government/ecomonics, with a more robust and effective government regulation to counter the worst current excesses of business, is what is needed

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LoneSnark
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quote:
But I believe that this is not a binary question (things are right here or they are wrong)
You are right, I did not mean to use the word "invariably", I should have used "On average" or "Usually".

But you still miss the point. In any industrialized country, the resources company A needs to defend itself from company B is remarkably small. Companies 1/100th the size of their opponent routinely win both lawsuits in the courts and general protection from legislators. Similarly, even our largest companies find it impossible to gain explicit government protection (although hidden protection exists). This is not the case in Mexico.

Ultimately, it is not from the political clout of the working class that we expect high wages and comfortable working environments, but from the ability of Company B to steal workers away from Company A. It is not from the political clout of the consumer that we expect high quality products at low prices, but from the ability of Company B to steal customers away from Company A. It does not matter who voted to make Company A and B equal before the law in the industrialized world, the cause varied widely among countries, it only matters that they are. And all that matters in the 3rd world is that they are not.

As you pointed out, some countries are best at securing the policies they need for their people to prosper. Similarly, some regions inside countries do better than others. As your examples show, even some regions inside America have dismantled the requisite expectations required to attain justice. For example, in many of America's most liberal cities, "tenants rights laws" have utterly devastated their respective local markets for rental property.

For example, in the city where I live tenants have no rights beyond those listed in their rental contracts, and the courts are very land-lord friendly in accordance with local expectations. As a result, rental property is plentiful (effort chases potential profits regardless of whether those profits are ever realized) and rents are relatively low. A brand new four bedroom house with garage was for rent at $1200 a month. On the same street, a similar house was for sale with a $1600 a month mortgage (I was interested in both properties, settled for a $750 a month townhouse).

[ March 18, 2007, 03:13 AM: Message edited by: LoneSnark ]

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Greg Davidson
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quote:
Companies 1/100th the size of their opponent routinely win both lawsuits in the courts and general protection from legislators.
Companies with 1/100th the resources of their adversaries will get clobbered far more than 90% of the time. Money can buy delaying tactics that drive up legal costs for both sides; if both sides can't afford a 5 year battle, the one who can becomes the winner. You may hear on the news occasionally of a little guy that wins, but that is a selection bias on the part of the media (they won't report the 90 or 99 cases out of 100 where the little guy's lawsuit never reaches the light of day)
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Jesse
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LS, Real Estate prices are far more complicated than that, as I'm sure you know.

In Los Angeles, for example, Rent Control and most Tenants Rights ordinances only apply to multi-unit properties constructed before 1979.

This would seem to make the contruction of new multi-unit housing a very attractive investment, but when real estate prices are extremely high as a result of limited availability...

Now, I think we agree that there cannot be an unlimited right to contract. I don't think you would say that a person ought to be able to sell themselves into literal slavery, for example.

In many cases, Tenants Rights laws are no different than laws regarding Express Merchantability. In some cases, you're right, they do go overboard and contribute to high rents. It shouldn't take a year to evict someone for non-payment of rent.

Back to our previous argument.

I'm not talking boycott, I'm talking buying Fair Trade. It's important to understand that the two are not the same.

The conditions of the workers who produce the goods I use have value to me. As a consumer, only I can define the value of a good or service. I am willing to pay a premium for goods on which I place a higher value.

A Boycott is just a stick, Fair Trade includes a carrot. It's an end run around corrupt governments and exploitive employers that are not going to change.

It doesn't create any net reduction in employment, I'm still buying chocolate, coffee, clothing, ect. I'm just not buying them from slavers. In fact, there is an immediate short term (and long term) financial gain for early adopters, since they've managed to "brand" customers.

It's no different than trying to limit my own gasoline consumption in order to limit the ammount of my cash that goes to fund terrorism.

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LoneSnark
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What company can't afford a 5 year battle? 5 years is nothing to a corporation, just borrow the money; you can pay it back when you win.

I'm glad you had no objection to the rest of what I said.

In relation to rents: it is unnatural for rents to be above a reasonable mortgage and is a good measure of how much damage is being inflicted upon renters by local laws.

Right, Jesse, But as I said your efforts will do nothing to "fix" the problem and would probably make the problem worse.

If it works, and you manage to guilt (stick or carrot) the manufacturers in these countries to shun child labor and pay "fair wages", you have not fixed their economy. The children that lost their jobs lose an income they may have needed to survive. The adults now getting a "fair wage" are obviously better off, but the effects are bound to be similar to a minimum wage: as they must now pay a higher wage, corporations will shift to employ fewer workers. Some company may abandon the country all together: Nike, facing bad press for its working conditions elsewhere, relocated production to Japan. Some adults will lose an income they may have needed to survive.

In Economics, attempting to cure symptoms can often result in making things worse. In this case, our only hope to better the lives of 3rd world workers is to skip the symptoms and try to fix the underlying corruption.

[ March 18, 2007, 01:22 PM: Message edited by: LoneSnark ]

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Jesse
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What's your obsession with the "guilt" idea?

Profit incentive, pure and simple.

Most of those kids have parents. With their parents able to support them, they aren't without support.

The very mechanism of the changes you promote is a middle class, educated people with suffecient time and energy for political activism. What you and Marx ascribe to "Inevitable Forces" are the results of human action. Governments do not magically cease to grant monopolies or end corruption, unless the goverened demand it.

Creating a consumer class does not result in lower overall employment. It creates domestic markets. Even if the corporation in this example reduced the work force say, 40%, when electing to hire adults and pay them a living wage in order to reach the market of consumers who believe in personal responsibility, those employees would have the cash to purchase goods and services from other locals.

--

Most of what you are refering to in terms of rent/mortage is the result of massive speculation in the market, funny lending, and limited availability.

In Los Angeles, it's far cheaper to rent than to own, because a person who purchased a home for 250,00 ten years ago can rent it out for a substanial profit at far below what a mortage payment would cost on a monthly basis, when the current price is 600,000.

That has nothing to do with Tenant Rights law.

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Greg Davidson
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quote:
What company can't afford a 5 year battle? 5 years is nothing to a corporation, just borrow the money; you can pay it back when you win.

Oh, so you are saying that everyone has equal access to capital markets? That a bank considering giving loans would not include factors like "this tiny start-up company is likely to lose litigation with intel"? Or maybe they can get access to capital, but at a higher cost than borrowers who do more business for the banks?

And there are broader considerations - what if the banks also have related businesses (such as brokerage or support for Mergers and Acquisitions) that are a far higher source of "earnings" than the loan business? How does that influence their policies as to which sorts of businesses they should be in? They have a Board of Directors whose job it is to see that the stockholders get the maximum return on their investment, so they see that serving some markets (like high risk long-term loans to allow smaller companies to sue larger ones) that hurt overall business prospects, they are duty-bound to redirect the company away from such loans.

And all of this can happen without resort to explanations that Corporate Boards tend to be populated by senior executives and retirees from other Corporations, putting an conservative bias into the whole system of Board governance.

quote:
I'm glad you had no objection to the rest of what I said.
So much to do, so little time! [Razz]
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LoneSnark
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quote:
Profit incentive, pure and simple.
Like I said, carrot or stick, it doesn't matter how you did it, the results will be the same.

quote:
Most of those kids have parents. With their parents able to support them, they aren't without support.
And now that a portion of those parents are unemployed due to your externally enforced minimum wage, the whole family can starve together.

quote:
Creating a consumer class does not result in lower overall employment. It creates domestic markets.
Which are dominated by the ruling elites. If you succeed in producing jobs in the country that pay above the national average, who do you think is going to get these jobs? That's right, Government supporters. Western companies, which tend to pay far more than other local firms, have occasionally been shocked to find their employees paying a sizable chunk of their wages to the local mafia as protection money. Just so happens the head of the Mafia is related by blood to the democratically elected Governor.

The political/economic systems which operate in these countries are unnatural. Western observers are ill-prepared to comprehend such systems. What you think should empower workers ends up merely increasing the power of those that rule the system.

Such social systems need to be scrapped before anything we try will do any good. And we are managing to help many countries dismantle them, if only through example.

Mexico, by sheer force of will, is reforming the ruling ideology of the country. Sure, legal reform has stalled, but with so many Mexicans living in America, attitudes are changing. That American sense of how things are done or not done is catching on. For the first time in centuries, gangsters are being arrested, corrupt judges are being replaced, and the legislature is slowly dismantling the legal aspects to the former elitist-socialist system.

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Jesse
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LoneSnark, I understand that you've got an ideology to defend here, but come on.

You're simply refusing to adress the actual situation.

If products produced with less exploitive labor bring a higher price on an open market, how, praytell, does that create a need to slash labor costs?

How is that anymore of a pressure than consumers demanding higher quality goods?

You keep offering arguments that have nothing to do with anything I've suggested.

What we have here is a clear examples of the differences between Heinleinian and Randian views of markets.

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LoneSnark
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I do admit we are talking in generalities instead of specifics. IE: 3rd world countries in general, not Mexico in particular.

As per your statement about labor costs: Corporations always need to slash labor costs, they cut into profits after-all. It is just that when wages are low enough there is nothing that could be done to reduce labor costs without incurring even larger costs elsewhere. To speak particulars, relocating the factory to Japan or importing fancy new labor saving machines is always an option, just not profitable options when wages are low. By forcing wages up these options may become attractive.

But all the same, even if you are lucky and everything works out so you better the lives of a percentage of Government Party Members in the factories without making anyone else worse off through unemployment, the result of your crusade would still leave the country's economy rigged. People not lucky enough to work in export industries will still be living like peasants. Should it not be they we are crusading to save? Why spend your time and effort rescuing 10% of the country from poverty when you could be trying to rescue 100%?

Have NGOs you trust track down reform parties in these countries and perform oversight, write them checks, and get to work convincing the populous that a better way exists to organize themselves!

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Richard Dey
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1st of 4 and 1st of 5. Adam Smith with dash of Jeremy Bentham. I prefer the term 'adventure capitalism'.

I worked for a couple of years for Abt Associates in Cambridge, the consulting firm. Clark Abt got caught hiring only 1st borns (~90% of 400 employees). When caught, he explained that 1st borns were smarter, more independent, individualistic, and more daring. His employees tended to agree with him ;-\.

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LoneSnark
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^ That is pretty neat.
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