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View Poll Results: Is a "Free Market" System Sensible?
Yes 8 53.33%
No 6 40.00%
Other 1 6.67%
Voters: 15. You may not vote on this poll

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Old December 30th, 2017, 08:43 AM   #1
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A "Free Market" System is Not Sensible

A "Free Market" System is Not Sensible

Society does not necessarily always value rational things, and others are able to profit tremendously off of the stupidity/ignorance/ect. of the masses that support it. Examples of this are Musicians, actors, athletes, celebrities ect. ect. that in a rational society, are definitely not necessarily more deserving than an Engineer for instance (as our modern world is based on Science and Tech, not Rap/Justin Beiber-type Pop music, Kim Kardashian's ass, ect. ect).

Consider, a huge portion of the nation's wealth is being put into sectors of society that serve no real productive purpose/lack in value while areas of high value such as intellectual pursuits are dramatically underfunded and discouraged (in many respects). This is due to society at large sharing the same collective delusions and valuing trivial bullsh't over serious, productive endeavors. This will always incentivize and produce a non-rational society unless structures are fundamentally challenged/altered.
Lets take Professional athletes as the first example:

NBA- Out of 456 players in the league in 2017-18, 120 make $10,000,000 or more for one years worth of work and 389 make more than $1,000,000. The minimum salary for a 1st year player is over $800,000 per year. Links here:
A. http://www.espn.com/nba/salaries//page/1
B. Minimum Salary Scales under the 2017 CBA

NFL- Minimum salary for 1st year players is over $450,000 per year. 656 players make at least $1,000,000 per year or more. Links here:
A. NFL Minimum Salaries for 2017 | The Daily Spot
B. https://www.pro-football-reference.c...ers/salary.htm

MLB- 112 players make $10,000,000 or more per year. Out of 251 players total, 240 make $1,000,000 or more per year

Actors and musicians that "make it" get huge salaries and the ones that don't get salaries on par with other "common" jobs.

Now, contrast that to absolutely necessary fields such as Science & Maths, Engineering, Architecture, Construction Work, Waste Management, Medical Doctors, Teachers, Repairs, Farming, Electricians, Labor Intensive work, ect. ect. and fields that, although not necessary, should be prioritized/held in high esteem in a non-superficial, deep, passionate, engaged society (i.e. rational) such as Literature, History, Philosophy, Art, ect. ect.

Consider the process of becoming a Scientist (which, depending on the subject matter, is perhaps the chief field pushing innovation forward that makes all of our lives orders of magnitude more comfortable than our ancestors could have ever dreamed of--as well as revealing deep truths about the nature of our existence and the universe). One must first pay large sums of money to attend a school for 4-5 years, then proceed to further schooling for another 5-7 years (while attempting to live off of a stipend of $15,000-$25,000 or so per year--i.e.very poor), then must find a post-doc position for another 3-7 years or so which is typically only $20,000-$35,000 a year, by which time a person has been nearly dirt poor for a 15 years or more and then, finally, may find a research/professorship position (however there is absolutely no guarantee since the funding is so low due to the irrationality I have discussed--thus competition is fierce) or they very well may end up empty handed (no Science research job and/or professorship) even after that approaching two decade long process. Here are some of the fundamental questions involved:

Why do we treat some of the greatest minds amongst us doing work that is absolutely imperative so poorly? Why do we treat others doing necessary work (e.g. Construction Workers, sewer management, ect.) so poorly? Why are we putting people who do not contribute anything to the productivity of society and/or our expanding knowledge about ourselves/the Universe up on a pedestal (e.g. Katy Perry, Kardashians, Pro Athletes, ect. ect.)?

Do you see any problems with this, or do you believe that the Market is the best determining agent in matters such as this?

My basic argument is this:

The people doing the overwhelming bulk of the work should be quasi-proportionally related to the ones reaping the benefits (which is not at all our current model). In order to ensure this, we would still operate under a "Market" system, but simply constrain the Market by switching off of a "preference based" value to a "utility based" value structure. Practically, this would be enforced by regulatory incentives.

The argument for a "Free Market/quasi-Free Market" is basically:

"If people are stupid/ignorant and make horrible decisions as a consequence of this ("this" being the dynamic I described before), then let them be stupid/ignorant and make horrible decisions. Who are you and/or the people doing the overwhelming bulk of the work that allows society to function, pushes it forward and lets us survive to voice disapproval/complain about that? Who are "they" to promote intervening with the system in order to course correct this scheme even if people's collective ignorance/stupidity and horrible decision making is objectively running humanity off of a cliff (as well as the ecosystem at large) all while oppressing the people doing all the work?" (Note: That is not a straw-man of what is being promoted
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Old December 30th, 2017, 09:07 AM   #2
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So a person works hard, goes to college, saves his money and starts a business. He develops the business and works hard. He employs lots of people, then you come along and tell him it is the people he hired that deserve everything not him.

That is called a communist take over.
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Old December 30th, 2017, 09:13 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justoneman View Post
So a person works hard, goes to college, saves his money and starts a business. He develops the business and works hard. He employs lots of people, then you come along and tell him it is the people he hired that deserve everything not him.

That is called a communist take over.
Other than you who said anything about giving anyone EVERYTHING???
When will you people understand the concept of DEGREES?
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Old December 30th, 2017, 09:27 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Hollywood View Post
Other than you who said anything about giving anyone EVERYTHING???
When will you people understand the concept of DEGREES?


Quote:
The people doing the overwhelming bulk of the work should be quasi-proportionally related to the ones reaping the benefits,,,,

Communism.
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Old December 30th, 2017, 09:31 AM   #5
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A free market does weird shit.
And technology disrupts established markets.
There was a market for musicians, the better ones could make a decent living, there was part time income opportunities for the merely proficient, and relatively large wealth for the very best.
Then came recording technology, and the vast majority of music consumed came from a few thousand artists. Tremendous cash flow to the few artists at the top, but a huge reduction in employment possibilities for that vast majority of musicians.
The same with sports, technology has focused the consumption of sporting events, to a relatively small number of highly compensated professional events.
The market system of Adam Smith works best on established products, with many buyers, many sellers, low barriers to entry and exit and near perfect knowledge of market conditions by buyers and sellers.
It goes crazy when those condition are not met.
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Old December 30th, 2017, 09:42 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by justoneman View Post
So a person works hard, goes to college, saves his money and starts a business. He develops the business and works hard. He employs lots of people, then you come along and tell him it is the people he hired that deserve everything not him.

That is called a communist take over.
Actually, you got that completely wrong. Furthermore, your lack of comprehension was due to your own pre-conceived notions and internal biases that hijacked your higher order mental faculties, ultimately led you toward jumping to an erroneous conclusion. (There are plenty of very valid criticisms of the argument/system I suggested, however your argument is fundamentally based on your own misunderstanding of the model).

"Capitalism" as it is generally used, is consistent with both a "Free Market" system and various forms of "Constrained/Regulated Market" systems. I am arguing for a form of "Constrained Market" system (in the short term) as I think they still have usefulness and are feasible to implement in the current climate/Zeitgeist. However, it is important to note that the type of "Constrained Market" system I am proposing is very different than typically conceived of by people such as Sanders, Green Party, ect. ect.

Now, the economy already is "rigged", so all you would have to do is "rig" it in a different direction (as well as the imperative of getting people more interested in productive, creative, activities rather than frivolousness--note, rigging the economy would in it of itself shift peoples interests due to the incentive structure). That is, jobs that have high utility value (e.g. "Blue Collar" laborers, Architects, Scientists, ect.) objectively contribute far more to society than Justin Bieber (although the current system incentive structure would suggest that this is the other way around). The current Market system is based on preference value while I am arguing for a utility value system.

It would still be a market system, there would still be an abundance of greedy, self-interested people, anyone could still start a business, ect. ect, However, by necessity, the work they would be doing if they wanted to increase their wealth would be productive and actually benefit society rather than frivolous--e.g. Models would not be paid much at all in such a society while being a Construction worker, many "Blue Collar" intensive labor, Scientist, Architect, ect. ect. would be paid well (just nearly flip everything on its head, roughly speaking)). This is why I said such a system is feasible in the short-term given the current climate/Zeitgeist. It would essentially be like a Social Democratic society but rather than the type of "Inverse Capitalism" that Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein/Green Party, ect. promote, it would be based on a productivity/utility incentive structure.

Note: A truly "Free Market" system has never been applied (as of yet it remains theoretical). There have always been some level of constraints, however to varying degrees and different formats (which is important).
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Old December 30th, 2017, 10:00 AM   #7
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Part of the problem with the argument is that the perspective is sort of like cherry picking (although maybe not intentionally). What I mean is this - you're taking a few select examples of athletes and entertainers and holding them up as reasons for why the free market system has problems. What I think really needs to be done is to take all athletes, entertainers, or whatever type of individuals that you think don't contribute something important or useful to society, add up what they make, then take all the individuals that you think do contribute something important or useful to society, such as scientists, engineers, physicians, farmers, construction workers, etc. I have no idea what those numbers will turn out to be, but I wouldn't be surprised if the total amount for athletes and entertainers turns out to be almost nothing compared to the rest of the total amount.

Here's another thing - who are you to decide who contributes something important or unimportant in the manner you seem to have arbitrarily chosen? If you don't find actors, singers, or athletes entertaining, then don't go to their concerts, or games, or buy their albums, or go to the theater to watch their movie. You do what you want with your money, and let everyone else decide what they want to do with their money. Vote with your pocket. If there's a company working on a project you like because you think it'll help feed more people around the world, invest your time or money in it (I'm doing that). If you have an idea you want to bring to the market, start a company or crowdfunding campaign.

Have you ever considered that part of the reason celebrities get paid might be because they're selling their privacy? As publicly recognizable figures in society, they have to buy it back, or pay others to "rent" it. They have to spend money to have homes with fences/gates, security systems, and private security guards; they have to hire bodyguards, spokespeople or reps, pay extra for private booths in restaurants, extra for hotel rooms at hotels that cater to those seeking privacy, limos with tinted windows, etc. BTW you know what that means? It means jobs are created for people to do all of those things - and that's just for getting back some privacy.
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Old December 30th, 2017, 10:14 AM   #8
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Here's another thing - who are you to decide who contributes something important or unimportant in the manner you seem to have arbitrarily chosen?

You can quantify the obvious difference between the contributions of Kim Kardashian and Applied Physicists for example--or countless other examples. When the difference is patently obvious there is nothing difficult to figure out.

I'm not attempting to determine who is more productive between a Construction Worker and Waste Management for instance. Rather I am discussing different general levels concerning utility/productivity across professions. Consider the thought experiment below:

Consider for a moment if society had to start from scratch tomorrow. Now, if you want to survive there are certain necessities that are required such as food, protection, shelter, ect. This requires contributors, at minimum people who find and prepare food, construct/find some form of shelter that gives some level of protection from the environment and/or other animals, care for the young, ect. This is very rudimentary however it still requires people to step-up and work, not guys that simply goof around and wrestle with each other all day (i.e. athletes) or perpetually gawking over some hot chick's as' to the point that you give them all your resources (i.e. celebrity culture).

Now, unless you want to live in a perpetually primitive state (i.e. quasi Anarcho-Primitivism), than you require people of practical intelligence (i.e. architects, engineers, scientists, ect.) to plan and organize with workers willing and able to put such plans into motion (i.e. construction workers, "blue collar" laborers, farmers, repairs, waste management, ect.). After a certain level of advancement is achieved, then this will sufficiently free things up for other creative/intellectual work (i.e. artists, other intellectual pursuits that lack practical application but nevertheless are highly enriching, ect.). Even then, society does not require much of what goes on in Celebrity culture and the like (e.g. think of ET network, reality TV, ect. ect.) which serves no purpose to society other than being harmful.

Note, our Modern World only feels disconnected from the thought experiment described above, however this remains our situation--we are just starting from a framework that is already in place rather than scratch. Now, is it a scientific fact that describing some courses of action for society rather than others is more rational?--No. However, that doesn't mean that it is entirely arbitrary either and anyone with even the most rudimentary Philosophical sophistication would comprehend that. We need to (at least) start incentivizing people to use their Frontal Lobes (if not demanding it)--you know, behave like Homo Sapiens rather than Bonobo Apes (the latter being quite seriously how our current society is largely structured around/product of and this is how people largely behave in a "Free Market" as well as many versions of "Constrained Markets" that don't fundamentally challenge the underlying dynamics at work)
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Old December 30th, 2017, 10:28 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Neil View Post
Part of the problem with the argument is that the perspective is sort of like cherry picking (although maybe not intentionally). What I mean is this - you're taking a few select examples of athletes and entertainers and holding them up as reasons for why the free market system has problems. What I think really needs to be done is to take all athletes, entertainers, or whatever type of individuals that you think don't contribute something important or useful to society, add up what they make, then take all the individuals that you think do contribute something important or useful to society, such as scientists, engineers, physicians, farmers, construction workers, etc. I have no idea what those numbers will turn out to be, but I wouldn't be surprised if the total amount for athletes and entertainers turns out to be almost nothing compared to the rest of the total amount.
This would in fact be a useful statistic to run, however the way you have framed it is quite problematic since there is a clear number of workers imbalance that would have to be factored in.

You still are not addressing the fundamental points stated thus far.

The entire modern Global system (all/overwhelming majority of the luxuries of modernity, as well as the dangers) is predicated on the fruits of Science and Tech. Now, I can only conclude that a person responding like this fails to understand just how precarious our situation is.

For example, there are only about some 10,000s of Physicists in the world (not all of which are great researchers--there is a standard distribution like in any other population). Without Physicists, we would have next to none of our modern inventions that we currently depend upon nor would we be able to push innovation forward. Therefore, the "basic" research and work of such people is extremely valuable (and there is currently hardly anyone equipped to do it). The standard/average Engineer learns enough Physics, Chem, ect. to harness what we have learned about Nature in a useful manner (however, the overwhelming bulk of this work in no way approaches the depth of understanding in Physics, Chem, ect. and they are highly limited in what they can do). If you just gathered up the one million people most eager, persistent, and qualified to do the sort of research that our modern world depends upon and removed them from the planet, we would be left with very few people (if any) capable of sustaining our current system (and one million is a very generous number). That is a huge problem, and one that is nearly never discussed (accept for in the Scientific community itself, which discusses this matter perpetually) simply because people are taught that their collective delusions in some way make sense, and are viable ideas to organize their lives around (when in reality they are non-sensical and self-destructive).

I would add, based on my reading of you current position, the some 10,000's of physicists number likely doesn't bother you one bit. What if it were 1,000? 500? There is an enormous problem having the information that society is based upon being that arcane. You must see that? Also, it is important to note, these few people in fields such as this are not at all treated like Athletes, Actors, Celebrities, ect. but rather are largely treated very poorly. If someone wants to go into such a field at the moment it has to be in spite of the profound hardships they are bound to encounter (even if they are genius level like Alan Guth for example--look up his case, it should be eye-opening for you).

Also, Construction Workers and the like are often treated similarly awful even though our society absolutely depends upon their hard work and continued existence (which is largely taken for granted--look up the average salary of a Construction Worker yourself since much of your criticism is fundamentally predicated around this point)

Intensive laborers, many "Blue Collar" professions, and such are imperative in order to keep society functioning and they are looked down upon (often are disincentivized) due to people's simple-minded prejudices. This is an inherently unstable structure as well as unjust (because the people doing the overwhelming bulk of the work are not the ones benefiting from the system--and the knowledge of Sci & Tech that our society is based upon is incredibly arcane).
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Old December 30th, 2017, 10:35 AM   #10
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Here's another thing - who are you to decide who contributes something important or unimportant in the manner you seem to have arbitrarily chosen?
It is not arbitrarily chosen. It is a simple fact that our society is based upon harnessing the knowledge of Science & Mathematics to useful ends (and our species strength revolves around creativity & intellectualism), not Kim Kardashian's ass (or equivalency). Therefore, the former is objectively far more important than the ladder
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