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    (Original post by DrunkHamster)
    No, state intervention creates the power of large monopolies. As for the idea that the rich can act 'tyrannically' towards smaller businesses and the poor, this is simply an abuse of language. A quote from Hayek, as well as one from Trotsky, are both relevant here:

    "What is called economic power, while it can be called an instrument of coercion, is, in the hands of private individuals, never exclusive or complete power, never power over the whole life of a person. But centralised as an instrument of political power it cretes a degree of dependence scarcely distinguishable from slavery."

    "The old principle: who does not work shall not eat, has been replaced with a new one: who does not obey shall not eat."
    As humans, we are intensely political and different people and groups of people will always struggle over power. Libertarianism from my perspective seems to be the naive assumption that all power and suppression stems from the state, and without this power and suppression we would all be better off. The state can control competition within businesses to ensure monopolies don't destroy smaller businesses and put laws in place to allow employees to demand a decent wage and working conditions.
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    (Original post by DrunkHamster)
    This is a bad definition, because a partner at Goldman Sachs on £2 million a year is being thereby 'exploited' by GS. Not to mention that sweatshop workers are also 'exploiting' their employer, because they are treating him as a means to an end (namely, a paycheck.)
    There is a significant moral different between GS and a sweatshop. The difference is that the GS employee hs the chance to work at another firm and his life is not in danger whilst the sweatshop employee is being exploited because he must choose between a pathetic wage and starving.Perhaps a better def of exploitation would be using someone as a means to an end at their expense .
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    There's also the matter of what I call 'structured exploitation' and which is most obviously understood as it relates to private property. If A by historical good fortune happens to own all the land on the island and B by his historical bad fortune happens to own none, the land owner is structurally advantaged to call the shots in any economic exchange because B has no choice but to labour for A, despite this arrangement not being one freely agreed to with regard to the ownership of land. This idea of structured exploitation can be transferred to more complex situations involving other forms of capital advantage, but it is in private property where it's most obvious.
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    (Original post by tomheppy)
    There is a significant moral different between GS and a sweatshop. The difference is that the GS employee hs the chance to work at another firm and his life is not in danger whilst the sweatshop employee is being exploited because he must choose between a pathetic wage and starving.Perhaps a better def of exploitation would be using someone as a means to an end at their expense .
    Would you rather the sweatshops didn't exist and he instead had a choice between starvation and... starvation?
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    (Original post by JW92)
    As humans, we are intensely political and different people and groups of people will always struggle over power. Libertarianism from my perspective seems to be the naive assumption that all power and suppression stems from the state, and without this power and suppression we would all be better off. The state can control competition within businesses to ensure monopolies don't destroy smaller businesses and put laws in place to allow employees to demand a decent wage and working conditions.
    Lol, so the way to avoid the possibility of harmful monopolies having too much power over other people is... to create a monopoly with unlimited power over other people, i.e. the state. That's great logic there.

    I'd really recommend watching this video, which, with a bit of luck, will disabuse you of the notion that government is a solution to all of the issues you raise.
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    (Original post by Edenr)
    Would you rather the sweatshops didn't exist and he instead had a choice between starvation and... starvation?
    I'd prefer it if the state took from the rich and gave to the poor or the state forced the sweatshop to reduce profits by giving more money to the workers.
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    (Original post by DrunkHamster)
    Lol, so the way to avoid the possibility of harmful monopolies having too much power over other people is... to create a monopoly with unlimited power over other people, i.e. the state. That's great logic there.

    I'd really recommend watching this video, which, with a bit of luck, will disabuse you of the notion that government is a solution to all of the issues you raise.
    It's very logical. One limits the power of those who may abuse it by transferring control to the state, which exercises said power in a way which benefits everyone and not just the rich. The rich will look after themselves whilst the state should look after everyone. I will watch that video (but later, it's really long).

    Also, the government is an attempt at solving these problems. Libetarianism proposes no solution whatsoever.
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    (Original post by JW92)
    But isn't the tyranny of the fortunate over the unfortunate an unavoidable side-effect of complete economic freedom?
    Not so far as I can tell. It is not very clear what you are referring to.
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    (Original post by tomheppy)
    I'd prefer it if the state took from the rich and gave to the poor or the state forced the sweatshop to reduce profits by giving more money to the workers.
    I have to say, unfortunately, sweatshops are somewhat of an necessary evil. People in third world countries only work for terrible wages and in terrible conditions because they must in order to survive. If the UK imposed legislation telling companies they had to pay third world sweatshop workers more, these companies would take their labour to a more prosperous country with workers who would be better skilled. Ideally, everyone everywhere would have enough money to feed themselves without having to resort to sweatshop labour but that's not the reality of our world.
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    (Original post by Richard_A_Garner)
    Not so far as I can tell. It is not very clear what you are referring to.
    Take the situation of a manual labourer and his employer. With state regulation that labourer can demand a decent wage in order to achieve a decent standard of living. The labourer can demand a decent level of healthcare and education for his children. This is all due to state intervention.

    If the manual labourer could not rely on state intervention, his employer could lower his wages to a figure below a threshold of decency and deny him access to decent healthcare and education.

    The state acts in a way to ensure a good standard of living for both the employer and employee, whilst the employer would only seek a better standard of living for himself.
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    (Original post by tomheppy)
    seems like they believe in corporation's tyranny over individuals.libertarianism:trans fer the power of the state to the corporation
    Got any quotes to back this up? Most of them I have come across seem divided over whether corporations should exist at all. Even if they do think that some corporate form is compatible with the principles of a free market, they also think that those that presently exist have benefitted and made income, and been able to grow as such, due to state intervention, and would have less power and me less harmful when the ability to subsidise them, grant them tax breaks, grant them eminent domain, or protect them with monopolistic privileges has been removed. As Brian Doherty has written,

    “It has always been one of libertarianism’s insights…..that massive concentrations of government power are more likely to be used to benefit other huge concentrations of wealth and power than help the needy or downtrodden…the powerful few who benefit from government action are more highly motivated to work the mechanisms of democracy to their benefit than are the masses who all pay a little – often too little in each specific case to feel it worth fighting, or even knowing about – and thus win in the democratic game of shifting property and wealth from person, or group, to another. If a government were restricted to its libertarian minimums of protecting citizens’ life and property from force and fraud, all a corporation could do is to try to sell us something and we could decide whether or not to buy. It couldn’t tax us for its benefit, raise tariffs on its competitors to make their products more expensive, subsidize bad loans or overseas expansion, or take formerly private property on the grounds that it will make more lucrative use of it than would the former owner.
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    (Original post by tomheppy)
    I'd prefer it if the state took from the rich and gave to the poor

    So you would take from those who have one way or another worked hard for their money and give to the poor, who may or may not have worked hard? So where is the incentive for success? It is a recipe for disaster. When the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great; but when the government levels the playing field and takes more of reward away; no one will try or want to succeed as much as before.
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    (Original post by Aeolus)
    So you would take from those who have one way or another worked hard for their money and give to the poor, who may or may not have worked hard? So where is the incentive for success? It is a recipe for disaster. When the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great; but when the government levels the playing field and takes more of reward away; no one will try or want to succeed as much as before.
    People who work hard do not do so of their own free choice. Their genes and environmet determined that they would always work hard. There is also no definite connection between working hard and success. Many people work hard all their life and get paid very little. I don't believe in complete equality for the reason you stated because I agree with the difference principle but there is certainly room for more redistribution of wealth.
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    (Original post by Edenr)
    Would you rather the sweatshops didn't exist and he instead had a choice between starvation and... starvation?
    You assume that the human being has no autonomic functions and that starvation is the natural alternative. Hypothetical situations are always so flawed...
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    (Original post by tomheppy)
    so those who work for half a dollar a day because otherwise they would starve are not being exploited?
    Are you describing the status quo? Because if you are, that would presume that the status quo is something like libertarianism, instead of being what it really is, some form of corporatism.

    How would I solve the problem of someone being paid a half a dollar a day? I would remove any restrictions that would prevent other companies competing for his labour. This would bid his wages up to his marginal product. His marginal product itself would increase as the level of capital accumulation in his society rose, so that there were more machines, better resources to work with, etc.

    BTW Johan Norberg writes,

    Critics observe, quite rightly, that employees in developing countries have far worse conditions than we have in the affluent world, but this is an unfair comparison, because we have far higher productivity. The interesting comparison, the one which decides whether foreign firms in a developing country are a good thing, is how well off these employees compared with other workers in the same country. In the poorest developing countries, someone working for an American employer draws no less than eight times the average national wage! In middle income countries, American employers pay three times the national average. Even compared with corresponding, modern jobs in the same country, the multinationals pay about 30 per cent higher wages. Foreign firms in the least developed countries pay their employees, on average, twice as much as corresponding native firms. Marxists maintain that the multinationals exploit poor workers, but if exploitation means many times greater wages, then surely exploitation is the better alternative?
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    (Original post by JW92)

    If the manual labourer could not rely on state intervention, his employer could lower his wages to a figure below a threshold of decency and deny him access to decent healthcare and education.

    The state acts in a way to ensure a good standard of living for both the employer and employee, whilst the employer would only seek a better standard of living for himself.

    This is wrong, why would the employer purposefully do damage and harm to the employee who is making him money. It would be more profitable to keep the employee in good health for the long run. If this employee were to die and have to be replaced due to lack of decent healthcare provision. The employer would lose alot more money on finding and training a new employee, and then again when that one becomes sick and so on and so forth, it is more economical to just keep you employees healthy.

    Would a farmer neglect the condition of his plow or a mechanic his wrench? No
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    (Original post by Aeolus)
    This is wrong, why would the employer purposefully do damage and harm to the employee who is making him money. It would be more profitable to keep the employee in good health for the long run. If this employee were to die and have to be replaced due to lack of decent healthcare provision. The employer would lose alot more money on finding and training a new employee, and then again when that one becomes sick and so on and so forth, it is more economical to just keep you employees healthy.

    Would a farmer neglect the condition of his plow or a mechanic his wrench? No
    If there was a ready supply of more cheap plows, I don't think he'd care.
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    (Original post by tomheppy)
    People who work hard do not do so of their own free choice.Their genes and environmet determined that they would always work hard.
    People work to live, yes? In our current enviroment an individual has the choice to work harder to increase his standard of living. The harder he works, the bigger the reward.



    There is also no definite connection between working hard and success. Many people work hard all their life and get paid very little.
    Hard work isn't just manual labour, and there is more to it than just low wages. The majority of jobs pay very well, but you have to take other factors into account such as the size of a persons family, the amount they are taxed so on and so forth. Choosing to work harder for a bigger reward entails both physical and mental hard work, the acceptance of greater responsibilities and therefore greater risk. Those who work physically hard all their lives choose not to take on the mental burden, or the risks, earn less and have a lower standard of living than those who do.



    I don't believe in complete equality for the reason you stated because I agree with the difference principle but there is certainly room for more redistribution of wealth.

    Like i said. Why should those who took on the extra burdens and the extra responsiblities share their reward with those who didn't?
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    (Original post by JW92)
    As humans, we are intensely political and different people and groups of people will always struggle over power. Libertarianism from my perspective seems to be the naive assumption that all power and suppression stems from the state, and without this power and suppression we would all be better off. The state can control competition within businesses to ensure monopolies don't destroy smaller businesses and put laws in place to allow employees to demand a decent wage and working conditions.
    Why do you assume a "monopolies versus smaller businesses" dichotomy? There are not very many example of successful predatory pricing (increasing market share at a competitor's expense by selling goods below cost), but the few examples tend to be of situations where small competitors used predatory pricing to bite into a bigger "monopolist's" monopoly: Examples such as Ryanair undercutting the Irish airline, for instance, or smaller oil companies starting price wars against Rockefeller's Standard Oil.

    Further, take this case: Suppose that a supermarket is planning to open on the outskirts of a small town. Now suppose that the high street businessmen in that town are afraid that they would lose business to this supermarket and go broke. So they lobby the local government successfully and get planning permission refused for the supermarket. Now, if they were right, the supermarket would get 100% of the local business. But at the same time, if they were right, then it would only do so because all of their customers would rather shop at the supermarket, either because its prices are better, or its products are, or both. So, I presume you would say that because the supermarket got a market share of 100% you would call it a monopoly, and the high street business men surely aren't, because they each only have a small share of the market. But why should the supermarket be called a monopoly when what the businessmen have effectively done is to use force to shut out an efficient competitor in order to keep their prices and profits higher than they would otherwise be? They, surely are the monopolists, not the supermarket, but that would imply that an industry can be monopolistic even though there are a large number of firms in it. In fact, somebody on the Channel 4 news noted the other day that everybody was worried, when Morrisons bought out Safeway, that this would make the industry less competitive, but actually it made it more competitive, because Tescos had a bigger threat.

    Take another example: Suppose we have a standard case of perfect competition: A huge number of firms, and a huge number of buyers. Now, though, suppose that some of the firms realise that if they merge, they can reduce their costs without reducing quality or output (perhaps even increasing it) and so take market share from their competitors by cutting prices and undercutting their competitors. Now, plainly if they did this and merged to form a new firm, the size of their market share would increase, and so the Monopolies and Mergers Commission may well say that they are behaving monopolistically - that is, anti-competitively. But, on the other hand, it is plain that this strategy is pursued precisely to enable the merging firms do a better job than their competitors at serving the customers. So preventing the merger would be preventing one of the ways that some of these firms are able to compete against others, and so restricting their ability to compete. That would mean that competition would be restricted by preventing the merger.

    I raise these examples just to highlight the craziness of assuming that the size of a firm, the number of firms in an industry, or its market share determine whether the industry is monopolistic or not.
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    (Original post by Aeolus)
    People work to live, yes? In our current enviroment an individual has the choice to work harder to increase his standard of living. The harder he works, the bigger the reward.

    Hard work isn't just manual labour, and there is more to it than just low wages. The majority of jobs pay very well, but you have to take other factors into account such as the size of a persons family, the amount they are taxed so on and so forth. Choosing to work harder for a bigger reward entails both physical and mental hard work, the acceptance of greater responsibilities and therefore greater risk. Those who work physically hard all their lives choose not to take on the mental burden, or the risks, earn less and have a lower standard of living than those who do.

    Like i said. Why should those who took on the extra burdens and the extra responsiblities share their reward with those who didn't?
    Your implication that the poor are poor because they refuse to work hard and refuse to take on responsibility and the rich are rich because they work hard and welcome responsibility is ludicrous.
 
 
 
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