On 12/19/2012 12:43 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
On Tuesday, December 18, 2012 5:04:28 PM UTC-5, Stephen Paul King wrote:
On 12/18/2012 4:40 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
On Monday, December 17, 2012 8:02:12 PM UTC-5, Stephen Paul King
On 12/17/2012 5:11 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
> Taxing the rich does not redistribute the income, it
> expenses so that those who benefit disproportionately from
> resources pay their share for an educated labor force,
> well maintained roads, bridges, ports, airports, the
> hypertrophied military to enforce monopolistic trade policies
> worldwide, etc.
Could explain how it is that it is possible to
benefit" from public resources? Are you saying that resources
natural property of the State and not of those willing to do the
investment of time and labor to exploit them?
In a democracy, they are the natural property of the taxpayers
who pay for their construction and maintenance. The Port of Los
Angeles is not the property of Onassis Shipping or whatever. If
they are making hand over fist and bring in a dozen more tankers
a week - who pays for the extra staffing of that? Who pays for
the construction on the port to be upgraded. This is how
corporations remain so profitable - privatize profit and
We are getting somewhere, but we need to stop and define some
terms so we don't just confuse things. What exactly is the
definition of "privatize profit and socialize cost" that we can
Let's use a real life example instead.
"The 1954 Guatemalan coup d’état (18–27 June 1954) was the *CIA
covert operation that deposed President Jacobo Árbenz Guzmán
(1950–54)*, with Operation PBSUCCESS — paramilitary invasion by an
anti-Communist “army of liberation”. In the early 1950s, the
politically liberal, elected Árbenz Government had effected the
socio-economics of Decree 900 (27 June 1952), the national
agrarian-reform expropriation, for peasant use and ownership, of
unused prime-farmlands that Guatemalan and multinational
corporations had set aside as reserved business assets. The Decree
900 land reform especially threatened the agricultural monopoly of
the *United Fruit Company (UFC), the American multinational
corporation that owned 42 per cent of the arable land of
Guatemala*; which landholdings either had been *bought by, or been
ceded to, the UFC by the military dictatorships who preceded the
Árbenz Government of Guatemala."*
"Privatizing profits" seems to mean, in the context of your frame,
the funneling of profits into the pockets of a few persons,
perhaps undeservedly. "Socializing costs" seems to imply the
spreading of costs to arbitrary many people, perhaps undeservedly.
It's not a concept which needs to be abstracted or generalized very
much. In the above case, a corporate monopoly, benefits by profits
based on the virtual slave labor of Guatemalan peasants under a
military dictatorship. The giant corporation (renamed Chiquita) has
friends in the CIA who use the power and wealth of the US to overthrow
the democracy of Guatemala and restore the Banana Republic to its
previous status as a corporate asset.
The costs of this are obvious in terms of the resources of the US used
to depose a foreign government, but then there are innumerable less
obvious costs to the people of the US and around the world. Labor is
held at artificially low costs to UFC, and the costs in financial and
real terms of quality of life of real people are billed to the
societies of Central America, the West, and the world at large.
Would you agree that none of this activity would be possible
without the intervention of and implicit involvement of government? The
key point here is that only government has the legal right to use force.
Corporations do not have that right unless allowed so by a government.
My thesis is that governments are inherently dangerous because of their
default monopoly on the *legal* use of force. Any use of force by an
individual person, bussiness agent or corporate activity is illegitimate
unless condoned by government. This, IMHO, obviates all a priori claims
of of criminality against corporations and thus the argument by
Progressives is shown to based on a false premise.
So the key idea, if my interpretation is correct, hinges on
the definition of "deservedly" and its opposite, "undeservedly".
This seems to point to an idea of "fairness" that remains
undefined. DO you care to define a canonical measure of fairness?
You're trying to frame it into a 'social justice' talking point. A
better frame is the obvious abuse of power. The reason you don't
overthrow enslave people to make money on the bananas that grow in
their country isn't because you don't deserve it, but because it is,
how you say, the most evil thing that human beings can possibly do.
It's like rounding up people who escaped Saddam's rape rooms and
putting them back in there so you can keep raping them. When possible,
atrocities should not be allowed to continue without trying to stop
them. Is that unreasonable?
Abuse of power by who, exactly? No abuse is reasonable, IMHO. Of
course illegitimacy does not de facto prevent abuses, but we do have the
means to ameliorate such. I hope...
Of course, this is not some isolated example. This is the template for
much of US Foreign Policy, from Iran to Vietnam, Iraq, Kuwait, etc.
The corps are driving the bus, the gov is just the passenger with the
credit card for the gas.
I understand. So the real question is: Why is this situation
allowed by "We The People" to continue? (rhettorical question, I know...)
By my logic, if the taxes of the public where taken from
people, then the public resources belong proportionately to
individuals that paid the taxes. This means that if Fred paid
than Albert then the public resources belong that much more
to Fred than
Albert. Simple math... How do you calculate "benefit"?
It's easy to calculate benefit - you look at the books. You see
how much more money a corporation is making and how much more
costs are incurred by the government to underwrite that volume of
We need to compare apples to apples here. Governements are
only bound, in their cost, by their ability to collect taxes,
levies, fees, etc. and can do so with the force of law. Private
citizens, or any collective thereof cannot use force unless
allowed by the government to do so, so their ability to recoup
costs will always be some smaller than the quantity that the
government can collect. No?
No. See above. Corporations are limited only in theory by government,
otherwise they act with greater authority and less culpability than
This claim only has logical force if there does not exist a
government that can act against the individual people that control said
corporations. It is, frankly, amusing to me that corporations are
discussed by many as if they are some form of Gozilla or mythical
monster with a mind of its own that no one can defeat or otherwise bring
Another way we can look at this is to consider the concept of
efficiency. Governments have fewer reasons to consider the
efficiency. When you can legally print money out of thin air, the
need for efficiency vanishes completely. Private citizens, nor
their collectives, can do no such thing!
That's a mico-economic theory applied to a macro-geopolitical reality.
How so? You seem to not understand the basic principle of
government legitimacy: its legal authority to use force.
The reality is that if I work for a company that can call in an air
strike without any threat of exposure, the concept of efficiency is a
That can only happen if a government cannot act legitimately
against that Behemoth of a company. Honestly, this is fantasy talk "call
in an air strike without any threat of exposure", as if!
We are talking about *permanent global domination*, not debits and
credits on a spreadsheet.
Hegemony! OH! This cannot be taken seriously.
I don't understand the collectivization of people into
classes. Numbers are equivalence classes, not people! I am
understand your thesis, not saying your wrong. ;-)
I'm open to being wrong, I just need to be pointed in the
direction of a reason why that might be the case.
What would be a clear indicator of "Craig being wrong"? You
keep shifting the argument frame around.
If there were some facts supporting the success of Trickle down
economics, for one.
That is difficult to show if one is required to produce a
constantly shifting target of data! If you cannot understand the basic
processes that are involved in an economy that relate to how cutting
taxes and regulations leads to increasing revenue, then I don't have the
time to teach you, sorry. ;_(
Could you address the questions I asked here now directly?
I always do.
1) What is fairness?
Fairness is a feeling of reciprocal satisfaction in a social context.
It's a bit like bi-simulation - a feeling of equilibrium where someone
feels that people representing different social positions within a
particular ensemble of social conditions are being served in a way in
which each position is reconciled with the other in a mutually
satisfying and ethically sustainable way.
Sound good, but can you see how it is inherently subjective and
thus it is impossible to be considered coherently as something that can
be defined objectively?
2) Why does government not do at least what is it supposed to do?
Enforce its own laws equally.
Because the government pays its workers much less than corps pay them
to subvert the interests of the people. Obviously?
Facts contradict you on that claim! Check out for your self the
numbers of average total compensation for private v. government worker
and then factor in the average job security.
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