After Gamestonk will hedge funds now threaten U.S. solvency itself?

Cheetodust

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When you say "we", you mean "you". You don't regard that as theft, because it's important that you always cast ownership as evil. If a business is successful, the owners are thieves to you. If unsuccesful, the owners are incompetents to you. And everyone else in the whole world is entirely without agency, so who cares about them, because they are seemingly incapable of doing wrong.

Don't lie to Silvanus. You and I both know you don't believe it's a problem of scale. If every worker got $100,000, and the owner got $5, you'd still consider that $5 as stolen and you know it.
We can all just leave of you'd rather just create people's stances and argue with those? Have you considered puppetry? You might find it fun.
 

Seanchaidh

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When you say "we", you mean "you". You don't regard that as theft, because it's important that you always cast ownership as evil.
I don't regard it as theft because it simply isn't.

If a business is successful, the owners are thieves to you. If unsuccesful, the owners are incompetents to you.
In a capitalist system, yes. Or unlucky, perhaps. Or else very generous which isn't allowed. (But not generous enough to let the workers control their own destiny.)

And everyone else in the whole world is entirely without agency, so who cares about them, because they are seemingly incapable of doing wrong.
Everyone else is not without agency. They're just without the right kind of choice. They may be able to choose which dictatorship to submit themselves, but precious few have the option not to submit at all. Ownership of the means of production gives people power over those who need those means in order to participate with any degree of competence in the economy. The only way for workers to wield similar power is to band together in a union and make demands in concert; since they're the ones actually doing the work, that is righteous in a way that using the bargaining power of one's ownership of the means of production is not.

Don't lie to Silvanus. You and I both know you don't believe it's a problem of scale. If every worker got $100,000, and the owner got $5, you'd still consider that $5 as stolen and you know it.
???

Ownership is distinct from management. A CEO (the top manager, unless you consider the board of directors, I guess) may be entitled to ~$100,000 in such a case. Potentially more if the workers think the CEO is entitled. Probably not less, though maybe there are some exceptions if the work is overly difficult compared to the administration (my preference is that everyone would be involved in administration in the first place, but that's not strictly necessary). An owner is entitled to a reasonable return on an investment-- that would be paid off and ended, like a loan, based on what they invested. Like if I bought you a hammer, you could pay me for the hammer over time, potentially with some interest if that's a normal thing in the surrounding society. But it wouldn't entitle me to a portion of all the earnings made by anyone using that hammer in perpetuity.
 

tstorm823

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We can all just leave of you'd rather just create people's stances and argue with those? Have you considered puppetry? You might find it fun.
I'm pretty familiar with Seanchaidh's point of view. See last point below. I'm also familiar with Seanchaidh's willingness to skirt issues to mess with me.
In a capitalist system, yes. Or unlucky, perhaps. Or else very generous which isn't allowed. (But not generous enough to let the workers control their own destiny.)
You think that by virtue of offering someone a job, a person is robbing another of control of their destiny? That's how it works in your head?
But it wouldn't entitle me to a portion of all the earnings made by anyone using that hammer in perpetuity.
So there is no compensation for ownership that you would not consider theft, correct? Any portion of the earnings granted to ownership as a result of ownership, no matter how small, is stolen value, by your analysis. Correct? Please tell the lovely audience that I correctly understand your position.
 

Generals

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Ownership is distinct from management. A CEO (the top manager, unless you consider the board of directors, I guess) may be entitled to ~$100,000 in such a case. Potentially more if the workers think the CEO is entitled. Probably not less, though maybe there are some exceptions if the work is overly difficult compared to the administration (my preference is that everyone would be involved in administration in the first place, but that's not strictly necessary). An owner is entitled to a reasonable return on an investment-- that would be paid off and ended, like a loan, based on what they invested. Like if I bought you a hammer, you could pay me for the hammer over time, potentially with some interest if that's a normal thing in the surrounding society. But it wouldn't entitle me to a portion of all the earnings made by anyone using that hammer in perpetuity.
So if I get it write you would just get rid of equity? However, what about entrepreneur-owners? How do you determine the size of their initial investment? Purely on the cash they put out when setting up the company? Because I know entrepreneurs who started their company by investing little cash but a lot of time for little to no pay, this is often the case with "tech" startups where the value lies in the software developed. How do you determine the value of the "loan" which might mainly consist out of a year or more of development/R&D, sales, etc ?
 

Seanchaidh

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I'm pretty familiar with Seanchaidh's point of view. See last point below. I'm also familiar with Seanchaidh's willingness to skirt issues to mess with me.
Or maybe both of these are false.

You think that by virtue of offering someone a job, a person is robbing another of control of their destiny? That's how it works in your head?
Nope. That was already decided by virtue of the system they live in. Which I'm sure you'd understand if you bothered to consider even the simplest of the implications of what I've said.

So there is no compensation for ownership that you would not consider theft, correct? Any portion of the earnings granted to ownership as a result of ownership, no matter how small, is stolen value, by your analysis. Correct? Please tell the lovely audience that I correctly understand your position.
You're phrasing things ambiguously, so I can't tell if you do or not.

So for example:

I buy some land. Other people besides me want to use the land. I sell the land to the people who want to use it in an agreement which has a certain pay schedule or some other financial contraption with either a definite end date or a limit to the amount of compensation at which the agreement is considered complete; renting to own.

This is fine.

I buy some land. Other people besides me want to use the land. I let them use it in return for a share of their output for as long they use it, with no limit whatsoever and with no transfer of ownership such that I can stop them from using it at my discretion and go on to sell the land to someone else, or whatever else I want to do with it.

Where is the merit in that? What have I earned by doing nothing but having a title deed? Once I've received more than what I paid for the land (including any investment to improve it) plus reasonable interest or adjustment for inflation, why should I get more? If someone has paid me significantly more than the worth of the land for the privilege of using it, why shouldn't ownership transfer to them?

So if I get it write you would just get rid of equity? However, what about entrepreneur-owners? How do you determine the size of their initial investment? Purely on the cash they put out when setting up the company? Because I know entrepreneurs who started their company by investing little cash but a lot of time for little to no pay, this is often the case with "tech" startups where the value lies in the software developed. How do you determine the value of the "loan" which might mainly consist out of a year or more of development/R&D, sales, etc ?
There are many ways to deal with this. In the broadest terms, the company can negotiate extra compensation with the particular worker who put in that extra initial effort.
 

tstorm823

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You're phrasing things ambiguously, so I can't tell if you do or not.
I'm not phrasing it ambiguously, you're dodging the question. If an individual increases their wealth by virtue of owning the means of production, not selling it or renting to own, just by owning it, is there any situation where you would not consider that theft?
 

Seanchaidh

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I'm not phrasing it ambiguously,
You certainly were. You've even managed to continue to do so, but probably only because you haven't put enough thought into just how vast are the set of circumstances that could be referred to as "by virtue of owning..."

If an individual increases their wealth by virtue of owning the means of production, not selling it or renting to own, just by owning it, is there any situation where you would not consider that theft?
if it's a result of exploitation in the Marxian sense-- which is to say taking the surplus value produced by the workers, or otherwise preventing them from accessing the value that they produced (e.g. by sequestering it in a stock which is valuable because the workers generate more revenue than they are paid). Buying a commodity or other resource and then seeing it increase in price isn't per se theft (though it isn't exactly meritorious), so there are some circumstances that you're describing that are not theft.
 

TheMysteriousGX

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Setting aside the level of conspiracy theorist you're being, I still respond "oh no, without international trade, people here would pay more for iphones, in this country that's self-sufficient in food and energy. What a horrible thing that would be!"
Explain to me why some people get paid less for the same labor. Specifically in the "how it's not exploitation" sense. Why does somebody building a TV in Mexico get paid less than somebody putting together the exact same TV in the United States? How is that not bullshit?
But yeah, I'm a conspiracy theorist for believing the things that the CIA admits to
 

Silvanus

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Depends, insofar it has shown it can yield better results than other alternatives which have been tested: Yes it is a success story.
Better results depending on who you're looking at, of course. A poorer person needing major surgery is in better hands in Cuba than in a lot of the USA.


"Held" being the key word.
"Held", and derived a great deal of wealth from them whilst they were held, giving these countries a financially comfortable starting position moving into modern capitalism. A solid foundation and a head start.

Economic inequality isn't bad in itself.
Hard disagree.

And poverty really needs to be considered in relative terms. When you are able to afford food, shelter, medicine and education you are richer than most humans have ever been in the history of our species. So yes there is "poverty" as it is currently defined, but the vast majority of the poor still have all their basic human needs met in these countries. And that's a pretty damn good achievement if you ask me.
For the majority of the history of our species, we've lived in hunter-gatherer societies, or under local warlords, petty kings, and corrupt militaristic empires. That's not a high bar, and a system doesn't get accolades for accomplishing a better standard of living than the abject misery of feudalism.

And plenty of people cannot afford food, shelter, medicine etc. I walk past numerous homeless people on the way to work. If a society allows some to hold more money than they could ever spend, even if they spent £100,000 an hour, while other people cannot afford the absolute basic of sustenance and shelter, then I don't think you can call that a functioning system in any moral sense of the word.
 

stroopwafel

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If a society allows some to hold more money than they could ever spend, even if they spent £100,000 an hour, while other people cannot afford the absolute basic of sustenance and shelter, then I don't think you can call that a functioning system in any moral sense of the word.
Good point. Though I'd argue it isn't Bezos etc that is preventing the government from providing affordable housing or income assistence or any other plan to prevent people from becoming homeless. It is the government's own incompetence and/or disinterest. If they want to do something about it, they can. They have all the tools to provide building contracts, regulate prices, tax property etc. Yet they rather provide tax relief for home owners who have already seen their wealth exponentially increase due to inflated property prices and low interest rates than guarantee affordable rent for the homeless(or any other people who are struggling to pay rent).
 

Silvanus

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Good point. Though I'd argue it isn't Bezos etc that is preventing the government from providing affordable housing or income assistence or any other plan to prevent people from becoming homeless. It is the government's own incompetence and/or disinterest. If they want to do something about it, they can. They have all the tools to provide building contracts, regulate prices, tax property etc. Yet they rather provide tax relief for home owners who have already seen their wealth exponentially increase due to inflated property prices and low interest rates than guarantee affordable rent for the homeless(or any other people who are struggling to pay rent).
The primary culprit for inaction on poverty & homelessness is the government, yeah. But the government is often the target of relentless lobbying by the wealthy (and others) to dismantle regulation and keep the rates of tax for highest earners low. Bezos isn't implementing policies that bring this situation about, but he will have greased some palms to ensure Amazon paid £0 in federal taxes on income of 11 billion in 2018. And that's the kind of money that could have done some actual good if it was moving in the ways it should be.
 

Avnger

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Good point. Though I'd argue it isn't Bezos etc that is preventing the government from providing affordable housing or income assistence or any other plan to prevent people from becoming homeless. It is the government's own incompetence and/or disinterest. If they want to do something about it, they can. They have all the tools to provide building contracts, regulate prices, tax property etc. Yet they rather provide tax relief for home owners who have already seen their wealth exponentially increase due to inflated property prices and low interest rates than guarantee affordable rent for the homeless(or any other people who are struggling to pay rent).
The government, like any organization, is only as incompetent as the people who run it. There's a reason the US has such problems when 50% of the people elected to run its government are intentionally sabotaging it under the guise of "starve the beast" and "I'm from the government and here to help" being 'communism'. The fact that the other 50% run the gamut from truly interested in solving issues to only interested in keeping the status quo doesn't help either.
 
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Agema

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Good point. Though I'd argue it isn't Bezos etc that is preventing the government from providing affordable housing or income assistence or any other plan to prevent people from becoming homeless. It is the government's own incompetence and/or disinterest. If they want to do something about it, they can. They have all the tools to provide building contracts, regulate prices, tax property etc. Yet they rather provide tax relief for home owners who have already seen their wealth exponentially increase due to inflated property prices and low interest rates than guarantee affordable rent for the homeless(or any other people who are struggling to pay rent).
The government is not so much incompetent as it is representative of the wishes of its stakeholders. Some of whom have a great deal more influence and supply a great deal more funding than most of the electorate.
 
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Seanchaidh

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"Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if Labor had not first existed. Labor is superior to capital, and deserves much the higher consideration." -- Some Marxist
 

tstorm823

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Buying a commodity or other resource and then seeing it increase in price isn't per se theft (though it isn't exactly meritorious), so there are some circumstances that you're describing that are not theft.
So you dont believe Bezos has stolen anything then? Cause that is all of Bezos' wealth, ownership that increased in peice.
Explain to me why some people get paid less for the same labor. Specifically in the "how it's not exploitation" sense. Why does somebody building a TV in Mexico get paid less than somebody putting together the exact same TV in the United States? How is that not bullshit?
They are willing to do the labor for less there. That is it. That is how it isn't exploitation. Employees have agency, and have decided making TVs is worth that pay. As it turns out, poor people arent soulless robots after all.
 

TheMysteriousGX

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They are willing to do the labor for less there. That is it. That is how it isn't exploitation. Employees have agency, and have decided making TVs is worth that pay. As it turns out, poor people arent soulless robots after all.
Ahh, yes, the good ol' "you can choose between poverty and exploitation, but it's your choice" argument.
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But hey, gotta justify those sweatshops. It's not technically slavery, after all. Although there's a distressing amount of actual slavery in capitalist supply lines too.
 

TheMysteriousGX

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But hey, whether or not it's "exploitation" in your definition of the term is largely irrelevant to the fact that if the agricultural and manufacturing bases that the "winning capitalist" countries rely on using (because of their cut rate, exploitative labor costs) decided to stop until they got paid like a "capitalist" country's national citizen, the economies of those capitalist countries would shit the bed immediately.
 
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Seanchaidh

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By the by, anyone else getting random errors when trying to post or preview saying to try again later? (edit: It finally worked when I changed my self-quote to a generic quote. Coincidence?)

So you dont believe Bezos has stolen anything then? Cause that is all of Bezos' wealth, ownership that increased in peice.
Heh. I didn't expect you'd take this approach.

Stocks are not commodities, nor are they properly described as 'resources' in the economic sense, although I suppose one could speak of them colloquially that way-- in the same way one might speak of one's family as part of one's 'resources'. Stocks are a legal claim that you own part of a business.

So when I say

if it's a result of exploitation in the Marxian sense-- which is to say taking the surplus value produced by the workers, or otherwise preventing them from accessing the value that they produced (e.g. by sequestering it in a stock which is valuable because the workers generate more revenue than they are paid)
that is a precise description of how Bezos has amassed his fortune. Amazon is worth a lot because what its workers produce sells for a lot more than what it pays its workers (on top of what it pays for any other inputs). He has not simply bought a resource and seen its price increase any more than a slave plantation owner can be described as having innocuously bought a resource (the plantation) and seen its price increase (because of slavery).
 
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Cheetodust

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They are willing to do the labor for less there. That is it. That is how it isn't exploitation. Employees have agency, and have decided making TVs is worth that pay. As it turns out, poor people arent soulless robots after all.
Dumbest take I've seen in a long time. Good job.
 
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Agema

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By the by, anyone else getting random errors when trying to post or preview saying to try again later? (edit: It finally worked when I changed my self-quote to a generic quote. Coincidence?)
That sort of error occurs for me not uncommonly with inserted images, links and emojis, including in quoted messages.