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How rich is too rich?
Posted: 19 August 2011 09:23 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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How ugly is too ugly?
How green is too green?

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Posted: 20 August 2011 06:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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toombaru - 20 August 2011 01:23 AM

How ugly is too ugly?
How green is too green?


I’m beginning to think that Sam’s ability to think does not apply itself to areas outside of philosophy.
If you took all the money in the US and distributed it evenly, in a year the people who were rich would be rich again and the people who were poor would be poor again.
Carrying his thinking to its logical end, no person and no nation should be richer than any other.
If he feels an economic disparity is offensive, perhaps he should distribute his own bank account.

[ Edited: 20 August 2011 07:59 AM by toombaru]
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Posted: 22 August 2011 03:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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The issue of “how rich is too rich?” applies only in the present system for wealth accumulation which rewards “middle-men” instead of the creators of things of value. We can deduce that a person owns what he/she creates because no one else has a stronger claim to it. If wealth accumulated to the creators of things, as it should, there would be far fewer super rich because of the limits of one person to create. People like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs would not be so rich and the computer programmers who wrote those millions of lines of code would be rich instead.

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Posted: 22 August 2011 07:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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Robert Higgins - 22 August 2011 07:20 PM

The issue of “how rich is too rich?” applies only in the present system for wealth accumulation which rewards “middle-men” instead of the creators of things of value. We can deduce that a person owns what he/she creates because no one else has a stronger claim to it. If wealth accumulated to the creators of things, as it should, there would be far fewer super rich because of the limits of one person to create. People like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs would not be so rich and the computer programmers who wrote those millions of lines of code would be rich instead.


Well then, all we need is a governmental beurocracy to determine who really earns their income and make the necessary adjustments.

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Posted: 22 August 2011 09:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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What we need is a law that says that the creator of something of value owns it and the necessary steps taken to protect this ownership in the workplace.

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Posted: 22 August 2011 09:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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Robert Higgins - 23 August 2011 01:17 AM

What we need is a law that says that the creator of something of value owns it and the necessary steps taken to protect this ownership in the workplace.

That’s what patents are for.

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Posted: 23 August 2011 08:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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Patents and copyright protect only certain kinds of creations. Any valuable change made in the world by a person is a change from what existed before and the value belongs to the creator. For example, a worker on an assembly line adds an external mirror to the car on the line. The car’s value is increased by the addition. The value of this change is owned by the worker (exclude the value of the mirror itself which is owned by the company). The company will have a claim too on this value based on their contribution to the creation (change in the car’s configuration). What the company is really paying the worker for is his equity in the creation, not for his time unless his job is being the counterweight on a teeter-totter.

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Posted: 23 August 2011 11:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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Robert Higgins - 23 August 2011 12:21 PM

Patents and copyright protect only certain kinds of creations. Any valuable change made in the world by a person is a change from what existed before and the value belongs to the creator. For example, a worker on an assembly line adds an external mirror to the car on the line. The car’s value is increased by the addition. The value of this change is owned by the worker (exclude the value of the mirror itself which is owned by the company). The company will have a claim too on this value based on their contribution to the creation (change in the car’s configuration). What the company is really paying the worker for is his equity in the creation, not for his time unless his job is being the counterweight on a teeter-totter.

The free market is the only way to determine contributed value.
Any artificial method would require a bloated and costly governmental intervention.

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Posted: 24 August 2011 06:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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The value of a production or assembly task could be estimated as a proportion of the value of the finished product at the factory door. I don’t see how a “free market” could do this truly. Possibly an employee organization could do the estimating or it could be a mission for labour unions. In any case, if it is agreed that a person owns what he/she creates then this right should be acknowledged and protected and practical difficulties overcome. The argument is the same as occurred 160 years ago about freeing the slaves. If freedom is a right then it must be acknowledged and implemented despite economic effects.
As I see it, the lack of recognition of a creator’s right of ownership is the means by which powerful, controlling people became super rich from the value of things created by others.

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Posted: 24 August 2011 07:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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Robert Higgins - 24 August 2011 10:57 AM

The value of a production or assembly task could be estimated as a proportion of the value of the finished product at the factory door. I don’t see how a “free market” could do this truly. Possibly an employee organization could do the estimating or it could be a mission for labour unions. In any case, if it is agreed that a person owns what he/she creates then this right should be acknowledged and protected and practical difficulties overcome. The argument is the same as occurred 160 years ago about freeing the slaves. If freedom is a right then it must be acknowledged and implemented despite economic effects.
As I see it, the lack of recognition of a creator’s right of ownership is the means by which powerful, controlling people became super rich from the value of things created by others.

From each according to their ability, to each according to their need?

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Posted: 24 August 2011 07:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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No! You have confused the principle I enunciated with communism which is something different.

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Posted: 24 August 2011 07:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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Robert Higgins - 24 August 2011 10:57 AM

The value of a production or assembly task could be estimated as a proportion of the value of the finished product at the factory door. I don’t see how a “free market” could do this truly. Possibly an employee organization could do the estimating or it could be a mission for labour unions. In any case, if it is agreed that a person owns what he/she creates then this right should be acknowledged and protected and practical difficulties overcome. The argument is the same as occurred 160 years ago about freeing the slaves. If freedom is a right then it must be acknowledged and implemented despite economic effects.
As I see it, the lack of recognition of a creator’s right of ownership is the means by which powerful, controlling people became super rich from the value of things created by others.

How much should a man make for baking a loaf of bread?
How about the wheat farmer and the fertilizer salesman?
How about the man who packages the insecticide and the man who designed the package?
What about the man who cut the trees to make the paper for the insecticide and man who sold the chainsaw?

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Posted: 24 August 2011 09:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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Lets see- Compensation to a man for baking a loaf of bread = (price of the loaf at the counter) - (value of the raw materials used in the bread) - (claim by the bakery owner for what he contributed to the loaf: the building, equipment, water, power & sewer services, taxes, etc. and a fair return on his investment).
I can imagine a profession of people that do such calculations and hire themselves out to governments, employee organizations/labour unions, and possibly fair-minded company management). Why not? There are professions that deal with detail that have much less significance than making sure that the equity of a person in what he has created for compensation is fairly determined.

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Posted: 24 August 2011 02:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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Robert Higgins - 24 August 2011 01:35 PM

Lets see- Compensation to a man for baking a loaf of bread = (price of the loaf at the counter) - (value of the raw materials used in the bread) - (claim by the bakery owner for what he contributed to the loaf: the building, equipment, water, power & sewer services, taxes, etc. and a fair return on his investment).
I can imagine a profession of people that do such calculations and hire themselves out to governments, employee organizations/labour unions, and possibly fair-minded company management). Why not? There are professions that deal with detail that have much less significance than making sure that the equity of a person in what he has created for compensation is
 


  What you propose is impossible in a world where everything is interconnected.

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Posted: 24 August 2011 02:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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Robert Higgins - 24 August 2011 01:35 PM

Lets see- Compensation to a man for baking a loaf of bread = (price of the loaf at the counter) - (value of the raw materials used in the bread) - (claim by the bakery owner for what he contributed to the loaf: the building, equipment, water, power & sewer services, taxes, etc. and a fair return on his investment).
I can imagine a profession of people that do such calculations and hire themselves out to governments, employee organizations/labour unions, and possibly fair-minded company management). Why not? There are professions that deal with detail that have much less significance than making sure that the equity of a person in what he has created for compensation is fairly determined.


Who determines the salary of the people who determine the salary of others?

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Posted: 26 August 2011 01:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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Consider the following Model.
A Universe in which the only occupants are two people, and the only things in existence a food machine, a road, and a truck. Oh, and each person has a house. One a one room home, with simply a bed and a table at which to eat. One of the men lives here. In the other house lives the other man. He is a wealthy man who owns the Food Machine and the Truck (roughly 50% of the wealth in this universe). His house is a massive four roomed mansion. In one room is the food machine, in another room (the Garage) is the truck, and the other two rooms are living rooms.
Every day, the Wealthy man must send the truck (it drives itself), on the PUBLIC road, in order to deliver food to the other man. And he drives on it a second time every day just for the run of it. The other man’s only job is to make trinkets that operate the food machine. In other words, he has to work for a living. He doesn’t do anything at all except wait for the food truck to show up, and watch the rich man drive by on the road on his joyride.
The Food thus is “Bought” by the “Working Man.” He is poor. But, every year he gets to go on vacation to the rich man’s second room, and thus uses the road that one time.
Here we have a situation where there is public infrastructure that is being used.
Obviously, it is in the best interest of BOTH parties for this road to be maintained.
It is the PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE.
But, we can see from the situation that the Rich Man is using the road incommensurately more than is the poor man.
Thus, if it came to a question of Taxes, he should pay more for the maintenance of this road.
This situation is no different than the world in which we live now save for the existence of another (approximately) 5,999,998 people. We have a situation where many people work for a living to support themselves, while others consume most of the infrastructure via the wealth they both have and create.
Of course, this universe is grossly imbalanced, as there should probably be 99 other working people for this one rich person (I am actually working on such a computational model. It also has a more advanced infrastructure with actual food production, a highway and five roads, in three towns and one city, and an elected government, and a public servant.), but it still depicts basically the same situation we are in.
And, if that rich man should ever find that he wants to not pay the taxes to maintain the road so that the worker can live (by having food delivered to him) then he will find that he will have to learn to make the trinkets that operate the food system himself… And he will also have to find a way to protect himself (and the food machine) from the worker, who might just do what happened in France in the 1790s and in Russia in 1914-1918… Or… What is happening RIGHT NOW in the Middle East in the Arab World where a great many people have grown tired of the inequality in their systems.
Sam is right.
The cost of NOT supporting and raising people out of poverty PALES in comparison to what it would cost to raise people out of poverty.
All it would take would be a single well educated and capable person (who was a bit saner in their methodology) such as Theodore Kaczynski or Timothy McVeigh to create a situation where the Wealthy would suffer losses that would make their wealth meaningless.
If society collapses, so does the wealth that it is based upon.
And… I happen to be the same sort of Libertarian that Sam claims to be.
Only most people are not ready for a Libertarian Society.

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