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Thread: Ocupy Wall Street?

  1. #201  
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by harold
    Bulldozers don't take out political advertisements.
    If they were to start, say via a newfangled computer chip and app, they would not have any right of free speech.

    Nothing that is bought and sold has any legitimate Constitutional rights, in a sane world. The pretense that it does is a cover for something - probably something that benefits by being covered up.
    The point is, the bulldozer is not who took out the ad. It's the person who owns the bulldozer who takes out the ad, and he has a perfect right to do so. You don't like people who own bulldozers, so you seek to limit their rights.
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    Quote Originally Posted by harold
    The point is, the bulldozer is not who took out the ad. It's the person who owns the bulldozer who takes out the ad, and he has a perfect right to do so.
    That depends. The way I set it up it's the bulldozer who takes out the ad, having contracted with an advertising company. Software can do that - does, actually.
    Quote Originally Posted by harold
    You don't like people who own bulldozers, so you seek to limit their rights.
    Who ever said a person owned the bulldozer? Most bulldozers are owned by corporations or governments. There's at least a few bulldozers owned by dogs and cats, probably a couple owned by pension funds and private clubs. There's one near my house that's owned by the local landfill. It's an interesting question whether one bulldozer can own another one, as corporations can, or even itself - I'll look into the matter, if you're interested.

    Corporations are things - entities that can be bought and sold. They cannot be arrested or jailed. They cannot marry, bury, or baptize. They were invented in the first place to displace the responsibilities and risks of ownership away from people - that's their designed role.
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    Can the Brady Campaign, the ACLU, the National Rifle Association, and the Democratic Leadership Council marry, be arrested, or be baptized? These are all 501(c)4 nonprofit organizations and have the right to engage in political activities. Do you feel they should not?
    Category:501(c)(4) nonprofit organizations - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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    Quote Originally Posted by harold
    Can the Brady Campaign, the ACLU, the National Rifle Association, and the Democratic Leadership Council marry, be arrested, or be baptized? These are all 501(c)4 nonprofit organizations and have the right to engage in political activities. Do you feel they should not?
    They are organizations of people. All of political activity is - or should be - organizations of people. The owners executives of major corporations are welcome to form or join organizations of people, and make their political voices heard like everyone else. No one is complaining about that.
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    Hmm...but: "They cannot be arrested or jailed. They cannot marry, bury, or baptize. " So those non profits should by your thinking make their "political voice" heard either.

    --
    I can't think of anything more foolish than having the job creators muted in out political process--that's a recipe for disaster.

    My only issue in current US law it those corporate contributions are anonymous.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JoReba View Post
    Go ahead and explain in realistic terms how wealth and power can be kept apart. Please make it very clear how this can happen. You might start with how to make "vanity" a crime.

    Lol.
    You're invoking the fallacy of perfect results. It's like if I said crime should be kept at a minimum and someone chimes in and asks me "how can crime every be perfectly eradicated?" The answer is that it can't, but there are practical measures that can be brought to bear that can keep it to a minimum.

    Until 1978, it was illegal for corporations to buy TV spots to influence political matters. They were expected to stay out of it because it was the exclusive domain of people. Then that rule was reversed. We've been sliding downhill ever since. But nothing said we *had* to reverse it. We could have left it how it was. If corporations couldn't buy TV spots to influence political matters, their power to lobby congress would be seriously crippled. Problem - solved (or as close as it gets.)

    If we broke up the 5 networks into smaller bits, separately owned and always in competition with each other, it would be harder for a small number of wealthy people to control the news. As it stands, all 5 networks are owned by conglomerates with interests and investment in other industries, which have thereby become nearly immune to critical press, because the press arm of the conglomerate would be harming the industry arm of the same conglomerate. (Kind of like a person using their right arm to attack their left arm - unlikely to happen.)
    It looks like you want to be the referee for who has freedom of the press and who does not. If a corporation is not "people" with freedom of the press, then why should unions or special interest groups like the Sierra Club, NAACP, National Rifle Association, etc. be able to buy campaign ads or otherwise influence elections? The news media are corporations and they probably influence public opinion more than any others. I don't think you want too much government regulation of the news media. That's too fascist for my taste.
    Yes. That actually would be fair. Both groups, corporations and special interest groups both should be denied the right to buy TV time. All of these lobbying groups damage the nation when they use this ability, not just corporations, and I would like to see all of them stopped without exception.

    Groups like Sierra Club, NAACP, NRA,... etc could survive merely on the basis of their membership separately and independently deciding to spend their money on individual campaign donations. What's the limit now? $200.00 per person? That adds up real quick.

    Also, when one of the above group writes to a Senator asking them to address an issue, it's already understood that the group's membership is going to individually vote according to how responsive the Senator was. There's no good reason to go an extra step and allow these groups to buy TV spots. They're already powerful enough without it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Can the Brady Campaign, the ACLU, the National Rifle Association, and the Democratic Leadership Council marry, be arrested, or be baptized? These are all 501(c)4 nonprofit organizations and have the right to engage in political activities. Do you feel they should not?
    Category:501(c)(4) nonprofit organizations - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Yes I do feel they should not, at least not to the point of buying time on TV. The activities I mentioned above, like coordinating the individual decisions of their members should still be allowed, because those members are not employees, but free thinking individuals who have the right to leave and/or disobey the edicts of the group without consequence whenever they want.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Hmm...but: "They cannot be arrested or jailed. They cannot marry, bury, or baptize. " So those non profits should by your thinking make their "political voice" heard either.
    Yes. They should not.

    --
    I can't think of anything more foolish than having the job creators muted in out political process--that's a recipe for disaster.

    My only issue in current US law it those corporate contributions are anonymous.
    If the investors who own the corporation's stock want to make their voices heard, then let them. But not a dime should be allowed to be spent out of the Corporation's own official budget.

    Same goes for Sierra Club. Sierra Club shouldn't be allowed to spend its official budget on that stuff either. (If you open one door, you inevitably end up opening both anyway. Corporations will just start "Sierra Club" enterprises of their own and fund them...... or wait.... that's what they already do right now...)
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Yes. That actually would be fair. Both groups, corporations and special interest groups both should be denied the right to buy TV time. All of these lobbying groups damage the nation when they use this ability, not just corporations, and I would like to see all of them stopped without exception.

    Groups like Sierra Club, NAACP, NRA,... etc could survive merely on the basis of their membership separately and independently deciding to spend their money on individual campaign donations. What's the limit now? $200.00 per person? That adds up real quick.
    Neither of you guys have addressed my concerns about the news media. These people buy ink by the barrel. They shape your opinion without you even realizing it. Even if they never wrote a single editorial, they get to decide what is news and what is not news. They have a huge megaphone that drowns everybody else out, and you are worried because some people want to pool their resources and buy a TV advertisement.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Hmm...but: "They cannot be arrested or jailed. They cannot marry, bury, or baptize. " So those non profits should by your thinking make their "political voice" heard either.
    ? They are organizations of people, specifically to represent people's political views. Why would I argue that political organizations of people be excluded from politics? That seems more than a little absurd.

    It took a Constitutional prohibition to specifically exclude religious organizations from the political arena, and it's still a battle being fought in practice. They can marry, bury, and baptize, btw: these are not sufficient, or necessary, either.
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    ? They are organizations of people, specifically to represent people's political views. Why would I argue that political organizations of people be excluded from politics? That seems more than a little absurd.
    Why would pretend they are purely political organizations--as if Remington and Ruger don't heavily support the NRA. Those organizations have asset which can be bought and sold like corporations as well.

    They can marry,
    Actually they can only do so at the behest and approval of the Government--non of the authority for marriage comes from any church.

    The country was largely founded by wealthy land owners; what precedent makes you think the wealthy as individuals and the corporations that own shouldn't have lots of influence?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Yes. That actually would be fair. Both groups, corporations and special interest groups both should be denied the right to buy TV time. All of these lobbying groups damage the nation when they use this ability, not just corporations, and I would like to see all of them stopped without exception.

    Groups like Sierra Club, NAACP, NRA,... etc could survive merely on the basis of their membership separately and independently deciding to spend their money on individual campaign donations. What's the limit now? $200.00 per person? That adds up real quick.
    Neither of you guys have addressed my concerns about the news media. These people buy ink by the barrel. They shape your opinion without you even realizing it. Even if they never wrote a single editorial, they get to decide what is news and what is not news. They have a huge megaphone that drowns everybody else out, and you are worried because some people want to pool their resources and buy a TV advertisement.
    I wouldn't worry about them if they were decentralized, and if it were totally illegal to put press and any other industry under the same roof. I mean, if every press company had to be exclusively press. No merging with a defense contractor, or toy making company, or store chain or .... etc. That should be classified as a vertical monopoly and subject to anti-trust laws.

    Right now, press is dangerous because they'll all biased horribly by the other companies that own them, or which they own.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    ? They are organizations of people, specifically to represent people's political views. Why would I argue that political organizations of people be excluded from politics? That seems more than a little absurd.
    Why would pretend they are purely political organizations--as if Remington and Ruger don't heavily support the NRA. Those organizations have asset which can be bought and sold like corporations as well.

    They can marry,
    Actually they can only do so at the behest and approval of the Government--non of the authority for marriage comes from any church.

    The country was largely founded by wealthy land owners; what precedent makes you think the wealthy as individuals and the corporations that own shouldn't have lots of influence?
    Back in that time, the only form of press was print. Unlike broadcast media, nothing stopped a totally unlimited number of separate agencies from entering the print market. At present, there are simply not enough broadcast channels available for everyone to have access to speak their mind. It's a fundamental physical limitation that naturally creates (and perpetuates) a concentration of power that wasn't possible at the start of the country.

    Add to that the childishly limited nature of a corporation's personality. They're required by law to only under take actions that are calculated to improve their investor's returns. It would be illegal for them to do anything out of conscience. They're the ultimate sociopaths. A classic selfish child that cannot think of anything beyond their own needs. In effect, their intelligence as a combined body is sub human when it comes to political matters, in much the same way as how a dog's intelligence is sub human. That's not a reflection on the individuals themselves, of course.
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    Back in that time, the only form of press was print. Unlike broadcast media, nothing stopped a totally unlimited number of separate agencies from entering the print market.
    Those are opportunities are much more available today. Heck anyone with a cell-phone and half respectable writing ability are doing so through social networks, blogs etc. And we as a people are increasingly turning away from the media giants for our news--and one recent study those under 25 would prefer to go without TV than Internet. I share that view, I only watch about 1-2 hours of TV per week--no more than about an hour is News.

    . It would be illegal for them to do anything out of conscience.
    Perhaps unwise, but usually not illegal, depending on what it is. Like about half the American population I invest--so it's a tough cell claiming that corporations aren't groups of people and aren't in some ways entitled to political influence. My concerns are the anonymous nature of the direct donations/influence and the globalization which is effectively putting large corporations above any nation's laws while the US rejects in large part the very type of internationalization of laws that might establish their boundaries. We in a position where a Chinese company could heavy influence an American election for example--and that's horribly wrong.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Why would pretend they are purely political organizations-
    They are organizations of people dedicated to political action and devoted to the expression of political views and the exertion of political influence. What am I "pretending" about them?
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Like about half the American population I invest--so it's a tough cell claiming that corporations aren't groups of people and aren't in some ways entitled to political influence.
    You buy a share of a corporation, that makes it a person? A bunch of people buy a share that makes it a group of people? My bulldozer comparison is beginning to look less humorous.

    It's common for an investment group to buy shares of a racehorse. Does that make a racehorse a person?
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    The country was largely founded by wealthy land owners; what precedent makes you think the wealthy as individuals and the corporations that own shouldn't have lots of influence?
    Uh, wow. Lessee. I have never claimed that the wealthy should not have lots of influence. They are people, and they are entitled to as much political voice as anyone else - and with money comes respect, attention, deference. Earned wealth is evidence of at least minimal competence, after all.

    As far as historical precedent, the wealthy landowners you speak of commonly banned things like the modern corporation as crimes and frauds - they were viewed presumptively as we now view Ponzi schemes and the like, unless demonstrated otherwise. For the first few decades of this country in most communities a modern style corporation had to get permission to form, had to justify its existence by describing the public benefit of the project it was formed to undertake and the reason it could not be done by liable and accountable persons, and dissolve itself upon completion of said project.
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    You buy a share of a corporation, that makes it a person? A bunch of people buy a share that makes it a group of people? My bulldozer comparison is beginning to look less humorous.

    It's common for an investment group to buy shares of a racehorse. Does that make a racehorse a person?
    I didnt' understand your bulldozer comment or this one.

    Corporations are groups of people....entitled to act as an entity by law. The stuff owned by the corporate, isn't much different than the stuff owned by an individual--that stuff in neither case has rights; those rights come from the people in them.

    --
    And in this long thread I still don't see what you problem is with them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Corporations are groups of people....entitled to act as an entity by law
    No, they aren't. Where did you get such a goofy notion? There is no group of people called General Motors - you can buy General Motors, and you will not receive ownership of a group of people. If every employee and contractor of GM quits on you the day after you buy it, you will still own all of General Motors, everything that you bought, without a single human being on the premises. And you can then leave the corporation to your dog in your will, set up a software program to manage its affairs, jump off a bridge, and deprive GM of any direct human involvement whatsoever.

    You can buy a corporation that has no employees and no assets whatsoever, not even a mail box rented in its name - it's a piece of paper with a legal existence as a corporation. I've seen this done - a licensed moving company bought for its license, without a single truck or employee to its name. It was owned by a bank.
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    The stuff owned by the corporate, isn't much different than the stuff owned by an individual--that stuff in neither case has rights;
    The corporation itself is "stuff", and other corporations can own it. Pension funds can own it. Governments can own it. In a capitalist economy, any pile of capital can own a corporation - and most piles of capital can incorporate.

    Corporation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    highlights: History of Corporations (United States)
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    Where did you get such a goofy notion?
    You mean other than the definition of the word.....you know corpus....meaning body of people? Which carries onto simple dictionary definitions such as "A company or group of people authorized to act as a single entity (legally a person) and recognized as such in law."



    you can buy General Motors, and you will not receive ownership of a group of people.
    You will have a "share of General Motors; that is part of the "corporate" (actually a bad example because ALL Americans have part of GM right now...but anyhow). The Corporation being a type of person with many legal rights and responsibilities parallel to individuals as selling, buying, entering into contracts....and yes make political decisions, contributions. The whole point, and why the Courts view them in some ways as people, because they are distinct from its individual members.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    You mean other than the definition of the word.....you know corpus....meaning body of people? Which carries onto simple dictionary definitions such as "A company or group of people authorized to act as a single entity (legally a person) and recognized as such in law."
    Well it certainly wasn't from looking around at any actual corporations, reading anything about the history or formation of corporations, or any other informative investigation, so it stands to reason it had to be from some misread and bogus source.
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    The whole point, and why the Courts view them in some ways as people, because they are distinct from its individual members.
    They are not only distinct from any "individual members", but fully exist in the complete absence of any "individual members", and have nothing to do with the presence or nature of any "individual members",

    because in fact no one is an "individual member" of a modern corporation. There is no such thing as becoming a "member" of a modern corporation, individual or otherwise. You can join a country club, the Sierra Club, a softball team, or a church, but you can't join a corporation. That is because a corporation is not a group of people, or made up of a group of people, or an organization that has members that are people.

    It's a thing. You can sell it, buy it, inherit it, take it apart, throw it away, move it to Dubai, use it as collateral for a loan.

    The courts view them in some ways as people for a variety of reasons, most of them connected with the fact that a capitalistic economy treats piles of money as in some ways people. This is not because a pile of money is seen as distinct from its individual human members.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Back in that time, the only form of press was print. Unlike broadcast media, nothing stopped a totally unlimited number of separate agencies from entering the print market.
    Those are opportunities are much more available today. Heck anyone with a cell-phone and half respectable writing ability are doing so through social networks, blogs etc. And we as a people are increasingly turning away from the media giants for our news--and one recent study those under 25 would prefer to go without TV than Internet. I share that view, I only watch about 1-2 hours of TV per week--no more than about an hour is News.
    The trouble is that blogs are kind of like yellow press. TV news is seen as possessing a different level of credibility. Maybe that's a failing on the part of the public, wanting to believe what they're told by the big shots, instead of putting the same scrutiny on them that they apply to small entities.



    . It would be illegal for them to do anything out of conscience.
    Perhaps unwise, but usually not illegal, depending on what it is. Like about half the American population I invest--so it's a tough cell claiming that corporations aren't groups of people and aren't in some ways entitled to political influence. My concerns are the anonymous nature of the direct donations/influence and the globalization which is effectively putting large corporations above any nation's laws while the US rejects in large part the very type of internationalization of laws that might establish their boundaries. We in a position where a Chinese company could heavy influence an American election for example--and that's horribly wrong.
    We definitely have that common ground. Nothing stops foreign entities from owning stock in American corporations, then standing behind that corporation's "person hood" (and by implication that corporation's status as an American citizen), and exerting an influence on our elections far greater than most American citizens are able to have themselves.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Where did you get such a goofy notion?
    You mean other than the definition of the word.....you know corpus....meaning body of people? Which carries onto simple dictionary definitions such as "A company or group of people authorized to act as a single entity (legally a person) and recognized as such in law."



    you can buy General Motors, and you will not receive ownership of a group of people.
    You will have a "share of General Motors; that is part of the "corporate" (actually a bad example because ALL Americans have part of GM right now...but anyhow). The Corporation being a type of person with many legal rights and responsibilities parallel to individuals as selling, buying, entering into contracts....and yes make political decisions, contributions. The whole point, and why the Courts view them in some ways as people, because they are distinct from its individual members.
    I'm confused as to which group of people that comprise the corporation deserves the person hood (and free speech). Is it the stock holders, or the employees? The employees, when acting as agents of the corporation are not under conditions of free will. Their livelihood depends on strict obedience to the edicts of the organization, so they can't be considered to be genuinely expressing their own personal viewpoints when they speak, nor when they use the company's treasury to express viewpoints.

    What likely happens when these TV spots are purchased, is the PR department has some focus groups, and determines professionally what message would benefit the company the most. It's not exactly the same thing as holding a genuine opinion and expressing it, any more than an advertisement for a product can be seen as an objective evaluation of that product's value.


    So, are we to understand that the corporation is expressing the collective views of the stockholders when it buys TV spots? What actual human being's views are being expressed here?
    Last edited by kojax; January 6th, 2012 at 01:58 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    The employees, when acting as agents of the corporation are not under conditions of free will. Their livelihood depends on strict obedience to the edicts of the organization, so they can't be considered to be genuinely expressing their own personal viewpoints when they speak, nor when they use the company's treasury to express viewpoints.
    Not only their livelihood: they are bound by law to act in the financial interests of the shareholders. A corporate executive that failed to employ the corporation's political influence for the monetary profit of the company shareholders would be liable to civil suit and possibly criminal penalty.
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    m confused as to which group of people that comprise the corporation deserves the person hood (and free speech). Is it the stock holders, or the employees?
    All three: the corporation, the employees and the stock holders.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    m confused as to which group of people that comprise the corporation deserves the person hood (and free speech). Is it the stock holders, or the employees?
    All three: the corporation, the employees and the stock holders.
    A better question then: who is getting free speech?

    The employees certainly aren't. They're under mandate to only say positive things about their company on the TV spots. One could argue the investors are having their opinion expressed, but I doubt they believe everything the corporation is saying as a matter of belief. All anyone actually believes is that the outcome sought by the TV spot would be profitable to the company. The "opinions" expressed are not actually any human being's opinion. They're just propaganda directed toward a purpose.
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    All three: the corporation, the employees and the stock holders.
    Employees and stockholders do not "comprise" the corporation.

    A corporation is not comprised of people. If it were, it could not be bought and sold.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    m confused as to which group of people that comprise the corporation deserves the person hood (and free speech). Is it the stock holders, or the employees?
    All three: the corporation, the employees and the stock holders.
    A better question then: who is getting free speech?
    It is a better question. But all three clearly get free speech at least in some capacity in the eyes of the law. The investor is obvious. The employee still has free speech in most matters but only whistleable comments are protected in terms of his job. The corporation can advertise, and carry out commerce, both of which are forms of free speech.
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    But all three clearly get free speech at least in some capacity in the eyes of the law.
    A recent development, much to be regretted. - - -
    The corporation can advertise, and carry out commerce, both of which are forms of free speech.
    Commerce is not a form of speech.

    Advertising never used to be granted Constitutional level rights - one could not, for example, state demonstrable falsehoods in an ad.
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    Occupy? Take a look at Africa. Ask yourself why we in the west live so damn good. Ask yourself what the bottom-line is. That is all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stander-j View Post
    Occupy? Take a look at Africa. Ask yourself why we in the west live so damn good. Ask yourself what the bottom-line is. That is all.
    You're going to have to explain this. How is the west's bottom line related to Africa?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by stander-j View Post
    Occupy? Take a look at Africa. Ask yourself why we in the west live so damn good. Ask yourself what the bottom-line is. That is all.
    You're going to have to explain this. How is the west's bottom line related to Africa?
    Colonialism sowed the seeds and now neocolonialism provides western society with the riches raped from Africa. To say just Africa would be a fallacy. In general it is the third-world countries which are continually pillaged for resources and wealth. And quite frankly, it is this imposition that the underdeveloped (which tend to be the third-world countries) countries are faced with that provide us with such a nice situation. What I am suggesting is until Occupy appeals to those oppressed by our lifestyle it is nothing but a crude and empty shell. While Occupy claims to appeal to the disenfranchised, it is a bold faced lie. Occupy appeals to western-society, and while there may be sentiments suggesting there is a desire to liberate the truly poor it would never actually happen. In order for that to occur western-society would have to take further financial hits, and so it is my opinion that the bottom-line for Western Society is for wealth and representation to be redistributed with more equality - but only within Western-Society.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stander-j View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by stander-j View Post
    Occupy? Take a look at Africa. Ask yourself why we in the west live so damn good. Ask yourself what the bottom-line is. That is all.
    You're going to have to explain this. How is the west's bottom line related to Africa?
    Colonialism sowed the seeds and now neocolonialism provides western society with the riches raped from Africa.
    What do we get from Africa? Most of the stuff I see in the store is from China.

    To say just Africa would be a fallacy. In general it is the third-world countries which are continually pillaged for resources and wealth.
    In what way is it "pillaged"?
    While Occupy claims to appeal to the disenfranchised, it is a bold faced lie.
    I'll go along with you on that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by stander-j View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by stander-j View Post
    Occupy? Take a look at Africa. Ask yourself why we in the west live so damn good. Ask yourself what the bottom-line is. That is all.
    You're going to have to explain this. How is the west's bottom line related to Africa?
    Colonialism sowed the seeds and now neocolonialism provides western society with the riches raped from Africa.
    What do we get from Africa? Most of the stuff I see in the store is from China.

    To say just Africa would be a fallacy. In general it is the third-world countries which are continually pillaged for resources and wealth.
    In what way is it "pillaged"?
    While Occupy claims to appeal to the disenfranchised, it is a bold faced lie.
    I'll go along with you on that.

    It's a lot more complex than you might imagine... It begins with colonialism, I have a couple minute video which may help in explaining that part:

    Colonialism in 10 Minutes: The Scramble For Africa - YouTube

    Now when we get into the later colonial phase you have the Cold War. What you do not hear is the effects it had on neutral (third-world) countries. Now I don't have any sources I can link you to online, so I won't get into that out of the respect of how this forum works. What I can recommend is a book called: The Wretched of the Earth, by Frantz Fannon (I will get into it however, if you'll suspsend disbelief, or at least are willing to pick the book up or do further research yourself).

    But basically, after European (and therefore further on Western Society as a whole) influence in Africa, you a situation where deals are made between Western Society, and their puppets in Third-World, Undeveloped, Countries where Western-Society easily takes advantages of the resources taken from under-developed countries, in exchange for arms, and support in both military, and internationally. I might add, the goods may come from China.. Where do the contents come from??
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    While can fully understand the exploitation of the African goods, and the West gets a lot of copper, oil , gold and coffee for example, the alternative would be no trade at all which would be even worse.

    Much of the problems in Africa are they don't have strong governments who'll drive good deals with international corporations and than have the system so it gets down to the people. Yep it's very difficult problem, as I even saw it in Iraq as Marsh Arab villages, which are among the poorest peoples on earth, live in on some of the richest land on earth--they could almost read at night from the hundreds of oil well gas burn offs as international firms extract black gold from under their feet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    While can fully understand the exploitation of the African goods, and the West gets a lot of copper, oil , gold and coffee for example, the alternative would be no trade at all which would be even worse.

    Much of the problems in Africa are they don't have strong governments who'll drive good deals with international corporations and than have the system so it gets down to the people. Yep it's very difficult problem, as I even saw it in Iraq as Marsh Arab villages, which are among the poorest peoples on earth, live in on some of the richest land on earth--they could almost read at night from the hundreds of oil well gas burn offs as international firms extract black gold from under their feet.
    Again, I can't apply online sources, but that isn't entirely truthful - the problem is mainly due to Western sponsored violence, and corrupt government which capitalizes off the peoples' suffering, and then finally neocolonialism commerce. It may sound like poor government, but it isn't. Because once a new government comes into place, it is faced with the same influences the previous one was faced with. What it bears down to is underdeveloped countries are forced to either exploit their populations, or try to solve their problems alone - which would most likely result in failure.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stander-j View Post
    try to solve their problems alone - which would most likely result in failure.
    That's racist!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by stander-j View Post
    try to solve their problems alone - which would most likely result in failure.
    That's racist!!!
    ...How? All I'm saying is that it's relatively difficult for an underdeveloped country to try and better itself when it has been shunned by the west, or when the west coerces it into less profitable agreements.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    All three: the corporation, the employees and the stock holders.
    Employees and stockholders do not "comprise" the corporation.

    A corporation is not comprised of people. If it were, it could not be bought and sold.
    They can be bought and sold. Approaching the stockholders of a corporation you want to purchase is just like approaching the owners of any other business, except there are more of them. Indeed it's slightly easier than buying an ordinary business because you only have to get 51% of the stock to declare ownership.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    m confused as to which group of people that comprise the corporation deserves the person hood (and free speech). Is it the stock holders, or the employees?
    All three: the corporation, the employees and the stock holders.
    A better question then: who is getting free speech?
    It is a better question. But all three clearly get free speech at least in some capacity in the eyes of the law. The investor is obvious. The employee still has free speech in most matters but only whistleable comments are protected in terms of his job. The corporation can advertise, and carry out commerce, both of which are forms of free speech.
    I'd have to differ on the employee getting "free speech". It's only "free" if you discount the possibility of losing one's job. If we allow that kind of "freedom" to be considered valid, then we'd also have to consider sexual harassment situations to constitute a free and voluntary exchange between consenting adults.

    It might be considered a vehicle for the investors to express themselves in a way, because at least the political spending is expressing the investors' desire to see legislation made that is favorable to their own pocketbooks. However if you try to extend that logic to employees, the argument breaks down again, because one area where a corporation might choose to spend money politically is to attempt to erode employment laws, or increase their ability to move factories abroad, both of which would certainly not be attempts to benefit their current employees.

    Quote Originally Posted by stander-j View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by stander-j View Post
    Occupy? Take a look at Africa. Ask yourself why we in the west live so damn good. Ask yourself what the bottom-line is. That is all.
    You're going to have to explain this. How is the west's bottom line related to Africa?
    Colonialism sowed the seeds and now neocolonialism provides western society with the riches raped from Africa. To say just Africa would be a fallacy. In general it is the third-world countries which are continually pillaged for resources and wealth. And quite frankly, it is this imposition that the underdeveloped (which tend to be the third-world countries) countries are faced with that provide us with such a nice situation. What I am suggesting is until Occupy appeals to those oppressed by our lifestyle it is nothing but a crude and empty shell. While Occupy claims to appeal to the disenfranchised, it is a bold faced lie. Occupy appeals to western-society, and while there may be sentiments suggesting there is a desire to liberate the truly poor it would never actually happen. In order for that to occur western-society would have to take further financial hits, and so it is my opinion that the bottom-line for Western Society is for wealth and representation to be redistributed with more equality - but only within Western-Society.
    Interesting point. Systems of oppression often break down when the oppressors make the mistake of turning on their own. The fall of Haile Salassie in Ethiopia, for example, was traced back to one of his military commanders getting excessively greedy and pillaging a fund that was meant to provide funeral services for fallen soldiers in his military (probably among other oppression to them), which in turn precipitated a conspiracy among the lower ranking officers to overthrow him.

    I guess American corporations are making a similar mistake. They're screwing over the political base that had been providing them with a foundation to work from for over half a century.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    While can fully understand the exploitation of the African goods, and the West gets a lot of copper, oil , gold and coffee for example, the alternative would be no trade at all which would be even worse.
    That's the fundamental fallacy behind the whole problem. It's not actually worse in the long term, only the short term. In the long term, a relevant industry will absolutely always emerge if there is a demand (just look at the drug trade if you don't believe me.)

    In the short term, trading away vital resources to a foreign power may seem better than going without fertilizer for your fields, if you don't already (at this very moment in history) have a good fertilizer industry developed in your own country. But just think how much better it would be to suffer for a short while as that industry assembles itself, and then get the jobs both from making and utilizing that product within your own borders instead of just the jobs from utilizing it when you import it.




    Much of the problems in Africa are they don't have strong governments who'll drive good deals with international corporations and than have the system so it gets down to the people. Yep it's very difficult problem, as I even saw it in Iraq as Marsh Arab villages, which are among the poorest peoples on earth, live in on some of the richest land on earth--they could almost read at night from the hundreds of oil well gas burn offs as international firms extract black gold from under their feet.
    That's not fundamentally different from what corporate America does in the USA to Americans. It's just more extreme. I mean like in the sense of how maiming someone isn't fundamentally different from beating them up. Sure they're different, but not in the sense of different types of problem.

    The reason so much money goes to one guy at the top of a corporation is because he's being payed to exploit all the people below him. The easiest way to rise is to show that you're a hatchet man who can make "tough decisions" (but not tough on other upper management.) Also, these days, it's getting to be more and more about having connections in Washington, especially for those companies which depend heavily on government contracts.

    For example, Dick Cheney as CEO of Halliburton. Clearly the man was chosen because of his contacts not his skills. He had recently served as Secretary of Defense under Bush Sr., and naturally Halliburton specializes in military contracts, so.... he could definitely find them work to do. But he was also an imbecile. He let a friend talk him into buying Dresser (which became part of KBR) without really checking them out, and seeing that they were facing billions of dollars in asbestos litigation.

    With the acquisition of Dresser Industries in 1998, the Kellogg-Brown & Root division (in 2002 renamed to KBR) was formed by merging Halliburton's Brown & Root (acquired 1962) subsidiary and the M.W. Kellogg division of Dresser (which Dresser had merged with in 1988). KBR is a major international construction company, which is a highly volatile undertaking subject to wild fluctuations in revenue and profit. Asbestos-related litigation from the Kellogg acquisition caused the company to book more than US$4.0 billion in losses from 2002 through 2004.
    Were they paying him 8 million a year for quality? I think not. They were paying to be "connected", so they could walk all over other people (such as the American tax payer.)
    Last edited by kojax; January 10th, 2012 at 05:36 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    in fact FEMA is a relatively tiny organization with less than 3000 full time employees and another 5000 or so part time on-call employees. FEMA is most of all, a coordinating element; they aren't' designed to do any heavy lifting.
    And coordinating is what they failed to do at Katrina. Exactly. It was an uncoordinated clusterfuck starting weeks before landfall, and dramatically exposed when the levee broke.

    So we aren't talking about big government here - we're talking about bad government. FEMA didn't fail so badly and dramatically during Katrina because they were some kind of huge, moribund, unwieldy Federal agency of the kind that never works - although W&Co had immured FEMA in the Patriot Act bureaucracy, that probably could have been handled by the competently staffed and competently organized agency FEMA was in 1998.

    FEMA failed during Katrina, after succeeding in '98 and other times, because it had since been ruined by incompetent reorganization and restaffing in the early 2000s. In this FEMA followed a path already worn in and soon to become a sort of chute, for the W&Co administration and its areas of responsibility - and so we come to the thread topic, the protests against the beneficiaries of this incompetence. Blackwater made good money during Katrina. So did Halliburton. Cheney saw personally to the health of the oil industry in the nearby Gulf, and its dibs on Federal help - he was on the scene. The royal visitor the 9th Ward got was a flyover by W on his way back to Washington from a Party fundraiser, followed by a visit in which this grandson of Nazi collaborators and CEO of the emergency response that had not happened stood on a podium overlooking the flooded homes and still floating bodies

    and made jokes about partying and drinking too much in his youthful visits to New Orleans.

    And this pattern is visible throughout - when the Justice Department and Financial regulators and Mineral exploitation and contracting oversight agencies failed, the Republican benefactors of the administration got away with cheating the Tribes and scamming the Trade Zones and colluding at corporate frauds and rigging the mortgage market and rigging the military contracting and pissing all over any attempt at banking regulation and so forth. They made hundreds of billions of dollars. They got to keep that money, because Federal tax rates had been specially lowered for them and offshore banking abetted and the enforcement of accounting rules suspended. They did not go to jail, because they were not prosecuted unless absolutely nothing else could be done.

    Still aren't.

    So the OWS folks are nothing if not justified, in almost any form of protest they choose to their purpose.
    The reason FEMA help for Katrina in New Orleans was so slow was because of the fat, 400 lb. shrieking severely ethnic women on TV wearing wet tee shirts on CNN.

    How can anyone "help" that ... ? LOl.

    It takes a couple of Army Tanks to "help" something like that! Lol.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    A corporation is not comprised of people. If it were, it could not be bought and sold.

    They can be bought and sold. Approaching the stockholders of a corporation you want to purchase is just like approaching the owners of any other business, except there are more of them. Indeed it's slightly easier than buying an ordinary business because you only have to get 51% of the stock to declare ownership.
    So they are not comprised of people.

    To put a point on it, the stockholders are not necessarily people either, and you don't necessarily need to approach them - offering a price that triggers the sell option in the mutual fund's managing software will do the job without a human being lifting a finger.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Much of the problems in Africa are they don't have strong governments who'll drive good deals with international corporations and than have the system so it gets down to the people. Yep it's very difficult problem, as I even saw it in Iraq as Marsh Arab villages, which are among the poorest peoples on earth, live in on some of the richest land on earth--they could almost read at night from the hundreds of oil well gas burn offs as international firms extract black gold from under their feet.
    Their governments were attacked and destroyed by corporate interests backed by supportive governmental powers, specifically to prevent them from "driving good deals". Attempts at creating governments strong enough and representative enough to "drive good deals" with the likes of United Fruit or British Petroleum or Dole or Monsanto or Exxon or the Dutch East India Company (ranging the years) were and are met with extreme violence and the ugliest of suppressive measures if bribery fails. This is still happening - in Colombia, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, The coltan regions of Africa, the various 'Stans, etc.
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    Pretty much its old goverment out dated being rapped and pilaged(democracy).Whats bad is the 1% is not reinvesting in the ways it should and putting it back into there on pockets.Hospitals with 20 year old equiptment and the private owner see's it as a liquid asset is not rite,thats people live's.The top 1% is cashing out instead of building or refitting factories with better ergonomics.They are very smart, flood the United States with drugs to lower IQ,open the boarders for third world countries to flood in.Its so bad tho now people are putting there hands and feet upon the gears to stop it.I'm all about people self gain until it starts affecting my way of life.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bryan View Post
    Pretty much its old goverment out dated being rapped and pilaged(democracy).Whats bad is the 1% is not reinvesting in the ways it should and putting it back into there on pockets.Hospitals with 20 year old equiptment and the private owner see's it as a liquid asset is not rite,thats people live's.The top 1% is cashing out instead of building or refitting factories with better ergonomics.They are very smart, flood the United States with drugs to lower IQ,open the boarders for third world countries to flood in.Its so bad tho now people are putting there hands and feet upon the gears to stop it.I'm all about people self gain until it starts affecting my way of life.

    Why isn't the 1% not reinvesting their money to expand business?
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    Why isn't the 1% not reinvesting their money to expand business?
    Some are...the December showed 24% of businesses plan to make capital outlays. Small Business Economic Trends Survey - NFIB Optimism Index

    Recoveries are slow. If you make stuff for example, you arent' going to make more until your inventories drop..and that might even be delayed by a desire to pay less for inventory space. It also won't necessarily translate into more jobs--but perhaps different kinds of few jobs as machines continue to replace workers. Nor will those jobs be American as businesses find that can outsource things they need do to companies overseas, or workers just as educated willing to do things for much less $.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    A corporation is not comprised of people. If it were, it could not be bought and sold.

    They can be bought and sold. Approaching the stockholders of a corporation you want to purchase is just like approaching the owners of any other business, except there are more of them. Indeed it's slightly easier than buying an ordinary business because you only have to get 51% of the stock to declare ownership.
    So they are not comprised of people.

    To put a point on it, the stockholders are not necessarily people either, and you don't necessarily need to approach them - offering a price that triggers the sell option in the mutual fund's managing software will do the job without a human being lifting a finger.
    The fact remains that an inanimate object does not walk into a newspaper or tv office to take out a political ad. A PERSON does, and that PERSON is acting on behalf of the company's investors (PEOPLE). For some reason, you feel that you have a right to be the gatekeeper to allow or disallow that PERSON from buying the advertisement. That's not freedom of the press.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barbi View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bryan View Post
    Pretty much its old goverment out dated being rapped and pilaged(democracy).Whats bad is the 1% is not reinvesting in the ways it should and putting it back into there on pockets.Hospitals with 20 year old equiptment and the private owner see's it as a liquid asset is not rite,thats people live's.The top 1% is cashing out instead of building or refitting factories with better ergonomics.They are very smart, flood the United States with drugs to lower IQ,open the boarders for third world countries to flood in.Its so bad tho now people are putting there hands and feet upon the gears to stop it.I'm all about people self gain until it starts affecting my way of life.

    Why isn't the 1% not reinvesting their money to expand business?
    Maybe it's because they don't feel they will make a profit. Do you think they should do it out of the goodness of their hearts?
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    Whatever the outcome will be Americans and the world will feel the ripple for generations. There will be no quick fixes to this.We are way beyound the point of return.The capitalist american society is all about money and thats it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by harold
    The fact remains that an inanimate object does not walk into a newspaper or tv office to take out a political ad. A PERSON does, and that PERSON is acting on behalf of the company's investors (PEOPLE).
    The corporation hired the person. They act on behalf of the terms of their contract, for pay - no "investors" are even informed, necessarily, and of course need not be people themselves.

    No one is stopping any person - even one who owns a corporation or two, or a corporation that in turn holds controlling interests in fifty other corporations - from speaking their political mind. It's the corporations they own, the buildings they own, the bulldozers they own, etc, that we are saying have no Constitutional rights.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    A corporation is not comprised of people. If it were, it could not be bought and sold.

    They can be bought and sold. Approaching the stockholders of a corporation you want to purchase is just like approaching the owners of any other business, except there are more of them. Indeed it's slightly easier than buying an ordinary business because you only have to get 51% of the stock to declare ownership.
    So they are not comprised of people.

    To put a point on it, the stockholders are not necessarily people either, and you don't necessarily need to approach them - offering a price that triggers the sell option in the mutual fund's managing software will do the job without a human being lifting a finger.
    The fact remains that an inanimate object does not walk into a newspaper or tv office to take out a political ad. A PERSON does, and that PERSON is acting on behalf of the company's investors (PEOPLE). For some reason, you feel that you have a right to be the gatekeeper to allow or disallow that PERSON from buying the advertisement. That's not freedom of the press.

    Next you'll tell me corporations ought to have the right require their employees to observer religious rituaals and/or pray to a specific god every morning as a condition of employment. That would be an exactly equivalent example. The corporation is excercising its right to freedom of religious affiliation, including the right to require its employees to affiliate with that religion as well while they're on the clock.

    Honestly how is it different?

    Suppose Corporation X orders an employee named Jimbob to go into the local TV network and take out an ad proclaiming how awful the present Senator has been while in office. What if Jimbob personally disagrees? Maybe Jimbob thinks the Senator has been doing an excellent job and deserves reelection. Too bad. He's on the clock, and is therefore not entitled to speak his mind on the matter (at least not by way of spending company funds to do so.)

    Or maybe a better example. Suppose a bill is up in congress that would allow Jimbob's Job functions to be taken over by a worker in India. If the bill doesn't pass, Jimbob keeps his job. If it does pass, he likely loses his job or at least suffers a pay cut. Corporation X orders him to go into the local TV network and take out an ad proclaiming what a wonderful bill this is, and telling people to write to their senators and tell them to vote for it. Where in this process did Jimbob get his freedom of speech?
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    Bad example, Kojax. If Jimbob doesn't like the business his company is in, he is free to seek employment elsewhere. It's like a right-to-life person working in an abortion clinic. They don't get to shut down the operation.
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    Corporation X orders him to go into the local TV network and take out an ad proclaiming what a wonderful bill this is, and telling people to write to their senators and tell them to vote for it. Where in this process did Jimbob get his freedom of speech?
    Since the ad is clearly one of the corporation's freedom of speech rights, than it's not an issue. The employer has broken no law if he refuses so of course in the eyes of the government he can not only refuse, but announce his complaint the world if he wants, but neither is his job protected.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Bad example, Kojax. If Jimbob doesn't like the business his company is in, he is free to seek employment elsewhere. It's like a right-to-life person working in an abortion clinic. They don't get to shut down the operation.
    And if the boss's secretary doesn't want to sleep with him, she can do the same. Let's get rid of sexual harassment laws while we're at it.

    Same argument. Finding new employment is a hassle, and the threat of needing new employment is a threat that adequately constricts a person's freedom so that they can be considered to be under conditions of duress.

    We allow abortion clinics to coerce their employees into performing abortions because there is no inherent right involved or affected. Similarly I'm not arguing that it's some horrible injustice for Jimbob to be required to spend corporate money spreading an idea he does not believe. I'm just pointing out that's it's not an excercise if "Free speech" in any plausible sense. What you're arguing for is like in the Old South, when slave masters were allowed to count their slaves' votes as their own. Essentially the corporation is attempting to piggy back itself on Jimbob's rights by requiring him to excercise that right in a specific way.
    Last edited by kojax; January 12th, 2012 at 10:19 AM.
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  51. #251  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Corporation X orders him to go into the local TV network and take out an ad proclaiming what a wonderful bill this is, and telling people to write to their senators and tell them to vote for it. Where in this process did Jimbob get his freedom of speech?
    Since the ad is clearly one of the corporation's freedom of speech rights, than it's not an issue. The employer has broken no law if he refuses so of course in the eyes of the government he can not only refuse, but announce his complaint the world if he wants, but neither is his job protected.
    And if the corporation wants him to face east and pray to Allah in order to appeal to Muslim clientelle, is that just an example of the corporate "person" exerting its right to choose its religion?

    Freedom can't be defined as the freedom to coerce another person into doing something. It's only freedom when it is 100% personal to the individual.
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    And if the corporation wants him to face east and pray to Allah in order to appeal to Muslim clientelle, is that just an example of the corporate "person" exerting its right to choose its religion?
    It's a false comparison. The corporation has no right to force a religion, and religious discrimination is specifically against the constitution (and supporting federal and state regulations)--but they do have the right to advertise.

    Now obviously the government can regulate businesses, including corporations, but why should they unless there's a specific reason to restrict something for the common good? (e.g., millions dying of lung cancer which eventually led to smoking ad restrictions).
    Last edited by Lynx_Fox; January 12th, 2012 at 11:23 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    [
    And if the boss's secretary doesn't want to sleep with him, she can do the same. Let's get rid of sexual harassment laws while we're at it.

    Same argument. Finding new employment is a hassle, and the threat of needing new employment is a threat that adequately constricts a person's freedom so that they can be considered to be under conditions of duress.

    We allow abortion clinics to coerce their employees into performing abortions because there is no inherent right involved or affected.
    Doesn't somebody have a right to morally object to abortion? Some people have religious objections. That's the first amendment.

    Similarly I'm not arguing that it's some horrible injustice for Jimbob to be required to spend corporate money spreading an idea he does not believe. I'm just pointing out that's it's not an excercise if "Free speech" in any plausible sense. What you're arguing for is like in the Old South, when slave masters were allowed to count their slaves' votes as their own. Essentially the corporation is attempting to piggy back itself on Jimbob's rights by requiring him to excercise that right in a specific way.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    The corporation has no right to force a religion,
    If a corporation were a person, it would absolutely have the right to a religion, and express that religion in its normal manner - which would be requiring its employees, debtors, and contractors, to carry out its religious wishes and duties, its only means of having or doing much of anything.
    Quote Originally Posted by harold
    Doesn't somebody have a right to morally object to abortion? Some people have religious objections. That's the first amendment.
    Corporations do not have religions, or morals - unless, see last, you wish to grant them that fiction as well.
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Corporation X orders him to go into the local TV network and take out an ad proclaiming what a wonderful bill this is, and telling people to write to their senators and tell them to vote for it. Where in this process did Jimbob get his freedom of speech?

    Since the ad is clearly one of the corporation's freedom of speech rights, than it's not an issue.
    It is if you are resting the corporation's freedom of speech on the persons involved - the ad buyer, writer, investor, etc. If you giving Constitutional rights to things, then of course only those things are of concern, and the oppression of the actual people involved is thereby justified. Which?

    The plain and simple fact is that corporations are not people or groups of people. If you give them the free speech rights of actual human beings and citizens of the US, they will not magically acquire the accountability or responsibility or limitations physical and otherwise of actual human beings. They will instead run your country in their interests, which are short term profits, and use their control of the media to prevent serious interference or even objection.
    Last edited by iceaura; January 12th, 2012 at 11:37 PM.
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    Ice, you keep arguing against a position that no is arguing for here and making yourself look like you only want to explore the false dichotomy of full freedom of speech as a person, OR no freedom of speech as not a person. If only things were that simple. Corporates act in ways similar to individuals in many ways, while being denied to act as individuals in others. I still don't see what your objection is to the idea of corporations being recognized as persons, with some of the same rights, and protection from state interference, a principle which goes all the way back to the early 19th century by some the very founders of our legal system such as John Marshall who said: " "The great object of an incorporation is to bestow the character and properties of individuality on a collective and changing body of men."
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Ice, you keep arguing against a position that no is arguing for here and making yourself look like you only want to explore the false dichotomy of full freedom of speech as a person, OR no freedom of speech as not a person.
    We are talking about Constitutional rights. There is nothing false about a dichotomy between powerful nonhuman things and actual human beings, in the assignation of Constitutional rights.

    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    I still don't see what your objection is to the idea of corporations being recognized as persons,
    I know that. Neither do a lot of other people. And that is a real and present danger.

    Corporations lack the automatic limits or inherent responsibilities of people. They are essentially immortal, unlimited in size and extent, and without morals, ethics, guilt, conscience, loyalty, empathy, or any motive except financial gain for themselves. They exist to profit, at the expense of anything and everything. As persons, they are stone cold psychopaths - and they control most of the wealth, most of the land, most of the means of production, and most of the media in the US.

    Lining up the full power of the US government behind them, putting the military and police and courts and everything at their service and dedicated to their defense, is a really bad idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Corporates act in ways similar to individuals in many ways, while being denied to act as individuals in others
    The issue is Constitutional rights. You can't bestow any one of them partially, and you can't deny any of them to persons at all. A Constitutional right imposes an obligation on the society, of protection and recognition and deference. A corporation with freedom of speech is like a bonfire with freedom of assembly - destructive to human concerns and civilization.
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    I'd have to agree with Ice on this one, it's easy for a CEO to make a decision that's great for a corporation while being terrible for the people its going to affect. At the end of the day - it isn't the CEO that's accountable, it's the corporation. Meaning as a higher up in a corporation (where my duty is to fullfill the bottom-line, which is profit) I can make decisions which I know are not ethical, but will be good for business, because I won't be the one getting in trouble: The coporation will be getting into 'trouble'. The problem is a corporation can't be held accountable the same way an actual human can be accountable. They can fine a corporation, but they can't put it in prison. If the fine = less than the increase in profits, then why not do something that is not ethical?

    On top of that, you have people representing the corporation rubbing shoulders with politicians... Lobbying, and paying politicians off to make deals that are better for the coporation than they are for the people the politician is supposed to represent. Is this where you're coming from Ice?

    I think I'd agree with corporations no longer being defined as people to a certain extent. That extent being that boards, CFOs, CEOs etc. should be held accountable for the criminal actions a corporation is responsible for.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by harold
    Doesn't somebody have a right to morally object to abortion? Some people have religious objections. That's the first amendment.
    Corporations do not have religions, or morals - unless, see last, you wish to grant them that fiction as well.
    A person working for a hospital or clinic certainly does have a right to practice a religion which forbids abortion; therefore they cannot be forced to perform or assist in abortions. On the other hand the doctors who work in the clinic and the officers of the corporation which runs the clinic have a (legal) right to perform abortions. So there is only one conclusion to be drawn - the person who practices such a religion does not have a right to a job in the clinic.

    Quote Originally Posted by stander-j
    At the end of the day - it isn't the CEO that's accountable, it's the corporation. Meaning as a higher up in a corporation (where my duty is to fullfill the bottom-line, which is profit) I can make decisions which I know are not ethical, but will be good for business, because I won't be the one getting in trouble: The coporation will be getting into 'trouble'.
    Working for a corporation does not give the employees or officers of the corporation any immunity from criminal prosecution. For example, the US Justice Department is considering criminal charges for the BP oil spill.
    US eyes first BP criminal charges over Gulf oil spill, report - Telegraph
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  59. #259  
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    Working for a corporation does not give the employees or officers of the corporation any immunity from criminal prosecution. For example, the US Justice Department is considering criminal charges for the BP oil spill.
    US eyes first BP criminal charges over Gulf oil spill, report - Telegraph
    Yeah alright, fair enough. You are right, governments aren't as lenient for the corporations as they have been in the past - but what else other than something as big as BP has resulted in criminal charges to specific people for corporate crimes? I'm also wondering though, will these charges actually be carried through? I will say though both those questions are just speculative, so again. I will yield on the "corporate employees practically have complete immunity aspect", but you also get stuff like this:

    allAfrica.com: Nigeria: Shell Funded Killings, Clashes in Niger Delta, Says Report

    Inside Africa's PlayStation War

    Which does go unpunished. In my opinion it would definitely not be a bad thing to see some legislation passed that specifically defines what employees of a corporation will be held accountable for if unethical business practice occurs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stander-j View Post
    Working for a corporation does not give the employees or officers of the corporation any immunity from criminal prosecution. For example, the US Justice Department is considering criminal charges for the BP oil spill.
    US eyes first BP criminal charges over Gulf oil spill, report - Telegraph
    Yeah alright, fair enough. You are right, governments aren't as lenient for the corporations as they have been in the past - but what else other than something as big as BP has resulted in criminal charges to specific people for corporate crimes? I'm also wondering though, will these charges actually be carried through? I will say though both those questions are just speculative, so again. I will yield on the "corporate employees practically have complete immunity aspect", but you also get stuff like this:

    allAfrica.com: Nigeria: Shell Funded Killings, Clashes in Niger Delta, Says Report

    Inside Africa's PlayStation War

    Which does go unpunished. In my opinion it would definitely not be a bad thing to see some legislation passed that specifically defines what employees of a corporation will be held accountable for if unethical business practice occurs.
    If you are so inclined, I guess you will blame the international corporations for everything that goes on in these countries. I have read those articles, and it looks to me like the companies are just trying to buy products, and in order to do that they have to deal with some unsavory characters. Shell is *alleged* to be paying protection money to some marauding militias. Is it their fault that Nigeria is so lawless that they have to pay bribes to do business? The Rwandan military has taken over tantalum mines in Congo. So, who else are the corporations supposed to buy the tantalum from?
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    If you are so inclined, I guess you will blame the international corporations for everything that goes on in these countries. I have read those articles, and it looks to me like the companies are just trying to buy products, and in order to do that they have to deal with some unsavory characters. Shell is *alleged* to be paying protection money to some marauding militias. Is it their fault that Nigeria is so lawless that they have to pay bribes to do business? The Rwandan military has taken over tantalum mines in Congo. So, who else are the corporations supposed to buy the tantalum from?
    I've stated previously somewhere in here my absolute thoughts about not specifically coporations being the source of all the problems inside these, among many other countries, but rather a type of entity that assists neocolonial efforts. Almost every problem in underdeveloped countries, at least in Africa, can trace its root issues back to colonialism. Especially the Central African countries. While the Congo does contain the majority of the coltan reserves in the world, it certainly isn't the only source, it's just cheaper when you the stuff smuggled into Rwanda which to this day has no evidence of actually containing coltan reserves - at least coltan reserves in that quantity.
    Coltan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    In regards to Shell, it's not exactly something they haven't been accused of before:

    Wiwa family lawsuits against Royal Dutch Shell - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I don't blame corporations for every world problem. I blame them for making unethical deals, and I blame governments for not holding them accountable as often as they should. Is this not a reasonable statement?
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  62. #262  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    And if the corporation wants him to face east and pray to Allah in order to appeal to Muslim clientelle, is that just an example of the corporate "person" exerting its right to choose its religion?
    It's a false comparison. The corporation has no right to force a religion, and religious discrimination is specifically against the constitution (and supporting federal and state regulations)--but they do have the right to advertise.
    Effectively it sounds like you're saying that one right applies individually and the other can be applied at the group level.

    A corporation cannot command its employees to exercise their right to free religion a certain way (by "freely" choosing the religion the corporation wants them to choose.) But, it can command its its employees to exercise their right to free speech a certain way (by "freely" choosing to say the things the corporation wants them to say).

    Is that about right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    [
    And if the boss's secretary doesn't want to sleep with him, she can do the same. Let's get rid of sexual harassment laws while we're at it.

    Same argument. Finding new employment is a hassle, and the threat of needing new employment is a threat that adequately constricts a person's freedom so that they can be considered to be under conditions of duress.

    We allow abortion clinics to coerce their employees into performing abortions because there is no inherent right involved or affected.
    Doesn't somebody have a right to morally object to abortion? Some people have religious objections. That's the first amendment.
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by harold
    Doesn't somebody have a right to morally object to abortion? Some people have religious objections. That's the first amendment.
    Corporations do not have religions, or morals - unless, see last, you wish to grant them that fiction as well.
    A person working for a hospital or clinic certainly does have a right to practice a religion which forbids abortion; therefore they cannot be forced to perform or assist in abortions. On the other hand the doctors who work in the clinic and the officers of the corporation which runs the clinic have a (legal) right to perform abortions. So there is only one conclusion to be drawn - the person who practices such a religion does not have a right to a job in the clinic.
    This is an interesting aspect of constitutional law. There have also been churches that tried to get around Marijuana laws by making it a point of belief that Marijuana must be smoked. In the 1800's, the Mormons attempted to contest anti-polygamy laws on a similar basis, that their religion entitled them to break those laws.

    From what I can understand of the quagmire, the ultimate conclusion has been that the specific actions you wish to undertake as part of a religious observance are not protected, only the affiliation that would give rise to those actions. So you can belong to an Islamic Mosque that teaches that it is right to wage violent jihad on those around you if you want, but you don't thereby gain the right to wage violent jihad.

    Similarly, belonging to a religion that teaches against working on Sunday does not entitle you to demand that your employer never give you a Sunday shift. It just means that, so long as you are willing to violate your beliefs and work on Sunday anyway, the fact you belonged to a religion that taught against working on Sunday would not be a valid reason to refuse to hire you.



    Similarly I'm not arguing that it's some horrible injustice for Jimbob to be required to spend corporate money spreading an idea he does not believe. I'm just pointing out that's it's not an excercise if "Free speech" in any plausible sense. What you're arguing for is like in the Old South, when slave masters were allowed to count their slaves' votes as their own. Essentially the corporation is attempting to piggy back itself on Jimbob's rights by requiring him to excercise that right in a specific way.
    There is a difference between slavery and getting paid for your work.
    Yes.... that is true. I was hoping we wouldn't get distracted by the slave issue, which is a whole different issue altogether. The reason I cited it is because it's something that actually occurred in American history that slave owners claimed their slaves' votes (at least a fraction of their slaves were permitted to count for voting purposes.)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-Fifths_Compromise

    Suppose corporations went that extra step and started mandating how their employees were to vote in the elections. Would that still be a valid case of the corporation exercising this power of "corporate personhood"?
    Last edited by kojax; January 13th, 2012 at 11:06 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by harold
    Working for a corporation does not give the employees or officers of the corporation any immunity from criminal prosecution.
    The corporation, on the other hand, does have a great deal of immunity (impunity might be a better word) - simply because it cannot be jailed, extradited, etc.

    Because it isn't actually a person.

    Consider the fate of a couple of human beings who had done what BP and Halliburton did in the Gulf of Mexico; for starters: burning 11 people to death through negligence, after knowingly filing false papers with the government claiming to have eliminated said risk, and bribing officials to relax rules in their favor.

    A major reason the government is "considering" criminal prosecution of BP officials, rather than simply arresting and prosecuting them, is that it is difficult to establish the actual responsibility of a person acting for or within a corporation. The guilt of the corporation itself is wholly obvious and unchallenged, but that doesn't mean there is a guilty person anywhere on the scene.

    The people pointing to "investors" and "employees" and so forth as "comprising the corporation", the people resting their claim of free speech rights for corporations on the people associated with a corporation, go missing when it's time to hand out responsibility and blame. Why can't we round up the investors in BP, its employees, its contractors, and so forth, and try them for manslaughter?
    Quote Originally Posted by harold
    I have read those articles, and it looks to me like the companies are just trying to buy products, and in order to do that they have to deal with some unsavory characters.
    They don't have to buy products from unsavory characters. It's their money - if they choose to buy only from savory characters, that will be the market.
    Quote Originally Posted by harold
    Shell is *alleged* to be paying protection money to some marauding militias. Is it their fault that Nigeria is so lawless that they have to pay bribes to do business?
    Yes. They and a couple of other large government-backed corporations - not that many, really, over the past couple of hundred years - have consistently destroyed all attempts to establish law and other attributes of sound government in Nigeria.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    The guilt of the corporation itself is wholly obvious and unchallenged, but that doesn't mean there is a guilty person anywhere on the scene.
    Is it? How can a pile of legal papers or some buildings be guilty? That's about as rational as cursing a table leg you just stubbed your toe on.
    The people pointing to "investors" and "employees" and so forth as "comprising the corporation", the people resting their claim of free speech rights for corporations on the people associated with a corporation, go missing when it's time to hand out responsibility and blame. Why can't we round up the investors in BP, its employees, its contractors, and so forth, and try them for manslaughter?
    Because you have to identify the person who actually broke the law. If a law was broken, then some person broke it.
    Quote Originally Posted by harold
    I have read those articles, and it looks to me like the companies are just trying to buy products, and in order to do that they have to deal with some unsavory characters.
    They don't have to buy products from unsavory characters. It's their money - if they choose to buy only from savory characters, that will be the market.
    Quote Originally Posted by harold
    Shell is *alleged* to be paying protection money to some marauding militias. Is it their fault that Nigeria is so lawless that they have to pay bribes to do business?
    Yes. They and a couple of other large government-backed corporations - not that many, really, over the past couple of hundred years - have consistently destroyed all attempts to establish law and other attributes of sound government in Nigeria.
    Okay, so it's not the Nigerians' or Rwandan's fault if the Nigerians and Rwandans are corrupt. Let's put all the blame on someone else, or rather some thing else.
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    They don't have to buy products from unsavory characters. It's their money - if they choose to buy only from savory characters, that will be the market.
    If only the world were so Utopian. The reality is even the best intended company has a responsibility to conduct it's business in the most stable and secure means possible, and that all too often might mean making the Hobsian decision to deal with the lesser of unsavories who's got the guns and power to secure and enforce what ever deal is struck.
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  66. #266  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    They don't have to buy products from unsavory characters. It's their money - if they choose to buy only from savory characters, that will be the market.
    If only the world were so Utopian. The reality is even the best intended company has a responsibility to conduct it's business in the most stable and secure means possible, and that all too often might mean making the Hobsian decision to deal with the lesser of unsavories who's got the guns and power to secure and enforce what ever deal is struck.
    The thing is though, if you as an actual person were to make such deals for self profit you would be responsible and therefore accountable. So why should it be any different for a corporation?
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    The thing is though, if you as an actual person were to make such deals for self profit you would be responsible and therefore accountable. So why should it be any different for a corporation?
    Responsible for what? Making the best deal with one of the only people/strongman/ thug who can secure the place well enough to minimize your losses if things go to hell? The corporation is doing what it's supposed to be doing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    The reality is even the best intended company has a responsibility to conduct it's business in the most stable and secure means possible,
    Yet another illustration of the difference between a human being and a thing - a person who does this kind of business can be thrown in jail.

    It's called organized crime, when people do it - no matter how "stable" and "secure" the criminal dealings are.
    Quote Originally Posted by harold
    Because you have to identify the person who actually broke the law. If a law was broken, then some person broke it.
    Well then we won't be granting free speech rights to anyone but a person actually speaking, then, either. Fair enough?
    Quote Originally Posted by harold
    Okay, so it's not the Nigerians' or Rwandan's fault if the Nigerians and Rwandans are corrupt.
    Now you're catching on - basic principle of law: no collective guilt. Only the corrupt are corrupt. That would include the people who take bribes - and the people who pay them.

    Now: are your corporations there, doing the bribing of the corrupt, destroying the government and society of Nigeria for profit, people or not?
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    Yet another illustration of the difference between a human being and a thing - a person who does this kind of business can be thrown in jail.
    What are you talking about? If, for example a man in little China has to pay off some thug out of fear for his business, he's not the one who goes to jail, the thug is. Doing business in 3rd world countries is much the same thing.

    Harald was using sarcasm. Ultimately, despite the crappy situations outsiders put people in, it's the people themselves who are most responsible for making their own lives better.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    If, for example a man in little China has to pay off some thug out of fear for his business, he's not the one who goes to jail, the thug is. Doing business in 3rd world countries is much the same thing.
    Except that the incoming corporations are the thugs. The Shell Oil Company is not trapped in some neighborhood forced at gunpoint to pay bribes - Shell can always just take its money elsewhere. It's the governments and people of Nigeria that have been trapped for centuries now, coerced into corrupt arrangements with foreign corporations and destroyed if resistant. Naturally this setup benefits the worst of them the most, creates kleptocracy if any government at all, but that is hardly the locals's fault.

    And yes, it's the thugs who should go to jail - although paying bribes is as illegal as demanding them.

    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Harald was using sarcasm. Ultimately, despite the crappy situations outsiders put people in, it's the people themselves who are most responsible for making their own lives better.
    Harold was trying to blame the Nigerians for the mess created by centuries of colonial rule over them.

    Sure, the Nigerians are the only ones responsible for - or even capable of - making their own lives better. But that does not make them responsible for being wrecked in the first place, and then prevented from digging out, by for the profit of foreign government backed foreign corporations.
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    Harold was trying to blame the Nigerians for the mess created by centuries of colonial rule over them.
    No he wasn't. It was a comment about the current conditions. They haven't been a colony for a long time.

    But that does not make them responsible for being wrecked in the first place, and then prevented from digging out, by for the profit of foreign government backed foreign corporations.
    So now it's not evil corporations---it's evil guberments.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    The guilt of the corporation itself is wholly obvious and unchallenged, but that doesn't mean there is a guilty person anywhere on the scene.
    Is it? How can a pile of legal papers or some buildings be guilty? That's about as rational as cursing a table leg you just stubbed your toe on.
    The people pointing to "investors" and "employees" and so forth as "comprising the corporation", the people resting their claim of free speech rights for corporations on the people associated with a corporation, go missing when it's time to hand out responsibility and blame. Why can't we round up the investors in BP, its employees, its contractors, and so forth, and try them for manslaughter?
    Because you have to identify the person who actually broke the law. If a law was broken, then some person broke it.

    So... they get to act collectively as a single "person" when it benefits them, but it's just a collection of individuals in any situation where "person hood" would not benefit them. I think I can see where this is going........

    Why not be consistent, and require them to act as individuals in both senses?

    Quote Originally Posted by harold
    I have read those articles, and it looks to me like the companies are just trying to buy products, and in order to do that they have to deal with some unsavory characters.
    They don't have to buy products from unsavory characters. It's their money - if they choose to buy only from savory characters, that will be the market.
    Quote Originally Posted by harold
    Shell is *alleged* to be paying protection money to some marauding militias. Is it their fault that Nigeria is so lawless that they have to pay bribes to do business?
    Yes. They and a couple of other large government-backed corporations - not that many, really, over the past couple of hundred years - have consistently destroyed all attempts to establish law and other attributes of sound government in Nigeria.
    Okay, so it's not the Nigerians' or Rwandan's fault if the Nigerians and Rwandans are corrupt. Let's put all the blame on someone else, or rather some thing else.
    I don't think it's their fault in a legal sense, any more than its our fault as consumers when we buy products that we know are being made by unfair labor practices, or an environmentally unsound process or .... etc. It's a sad state of affairs, because nothing will change if we keep going like this.

    Probably the first step if we really want to improve anything would be to do to all of these corporations what was first done to the tobacco industry before it started to fall in popularity: Mandate informative labeling of their products. We should require that all products have a label giving a description of the conditions, both political, and for the workers who made it. (Perhaps color coded to save space.) They should at the very least have to have the workers' wage written on the packaging somewhere so American consumers can make an informed decision.

    Corporations would resist that tooth and nail, because they know what an informed public might do to them if they really saw the extent of things. Then you get to see their true colors, deceptive advertising and all. Political advertising especially allows for the telling of lies by calling them "opinions", naturally nobody actually holds the opinion. It's just got to be plausible enough that a person *could* hold it.
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    Probably the first step if we really want to improve anything would be to do to all of these corporations what was first done to the tobacco industry before it started to fall in popularity: Mandate informative labeling of their products. We should require that all products have a label giving a description of the conditions, both political, and for the workers who made it. (Perhaps color coded to save space.) They should at the very least have to have the workers' wage written on the packaging somewhere so American consumers can make an informed decision.
    I agree with you in large part, but you're views aren't blinded by the idealizm of Ice, who thinks that just doing business with the only people who can secure things for your business (a thug) is automatically wrong.

    If we try to enforce business practices overseas, history shows they just move, even if only on paper, to a nation which is less draconian in their regulations (think of the hundreds of Libarian oil tankers as an excellent example.) If there is a solution, it's probably going to have to be enforced by international laws with US companies subject to international courts etc. And that is something the American people completely reject.

    Your informed public is being done in part by media and organizations that look at particular subjects. Unfortunately single events are sometimes show wildly out of proportion as well--prior to the accident in the gulf, BP was rated as one of the most environmentally friendly oil companies in the world. It's possible it still should be. But of course it screwed up resulting in a bad accident--the ones making the most critical errors in judgment died on the platform. The investors all suffered by the chunk of lower profits.
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    Maybe the hole in the left's agenda is that instead of trying to get the government to regulate everything, we should be putting more faith in the consumer. An informed consumer public could effectively "legislate" on their own by choosing to buy from or not buy from entities that do things they disapprove of. I think that's something both the left and right could agree on, and fight for together.

    However, the idea that consumers effectively "vote", and that the free market is thereby an extension of democracy only works if those consumers have the necessary information. Otherwise their decisions are not decisions at all. It's like if there is a vending machine in front of you with buttons, and one button is labeled "coffee" and another is labeled "soda", but when you push the coffee button the machine dispenses soda (because the buttons are mislabeled). Does that mean you chose to buy soda? Mislabeled buttons means a consumer is merely choosing between 2 (or more) fictional outcomes. That's not power.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post

    I agree with you in large part, but you're views aren't blinded by the idealizm of Ice, who thinks that just doing business with the only people who can secure things for your business (a thug) is automatically wrong.
    There is a line. Receiving stolen goods is still a crime, and a business that deals too favorably with the mafia can still be charged with enterprise corruption. The problem with that line is that most of us cross it to some degree or another with or without knowing it.

    It's sort of like the question of whether clients of a pimp who practices force prostitution on his girls should be charged with rape. I do think they should if they're aware, but awareness is really hard to prove in court.


    If we try to enforce business practices overseas, history shows they just move, even if only on paper, to a nation which is less draconian in their regulations (think of the hundreds of Libarian oil tankers as an excellent example.) If there is a solution, it's probably going to have to be enforced by international laws with US companies subject to international courts etc. And that is something the American people completely reject.

    Y.
    The only way it would work is if the demand for the product were cut off (or access to that demand were cut off). That's why I'm so highly in favor of tariffs because that's exactly what a tariff is meant to achieve.

    However, this whole concept of informed consumers choosing for themselves is starting to intrigue me....
    Last edited by kojax; January 14th, 2012 at 12:05 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    The thing is though, if you as an actual person were to make such deals for self profit you would be responsible and therefore accountable. So why should it be any different for a corporation?
    Responsible for what? Making the best deal with one of the only people/strongman/ thug who can secure the place well enough to minimize your losses if things go to hell? The corporation is doing what it's supposed to be doing.

    Okay, let's say you are a small-business owner - you want to expand your business and so you want to buy the store next to you (we're pretending the stores are part of the same building) so that you can increase your store size. Or you just just keep throwing your trash on the other person's property, because you don't want to pay for garbage collection or something. The owner refuses to sell, or allow you to buyout his lease or whatever - or he's getting annoyed and threatens to call the police if you don't stop throwing trash on his property. Now you really want this, badly - or you just hate the idea of paying for garbage collection. So you hire a couple of guys to go and intimidate/extort this other store owner until he complies. If you were to get caught in practicing this, it would be unethical and you would be accountable. Seems to me its rather similar to the problem in Nigeria.

    A woman getting rubbed out for protesting the destruction of her farmland so that the oil company can expand? Nigerians protesting the damages of their land, which is caused by the oil company? Sounds like these thugs aren't just capable security guards... They're gangsters who are extorting others Nigerians into shutting their mouths, and fighting for who gets the 'protection' money. Sometimes these Gangsters happen to be the Nigerian government. It isn't protection of assets, it's just plain old profitable criminal behaviour in regards to ALL involved parties.

    And yes, there is an air of Shell having to pay for 'protection' in order to protect their infrastructure. However, why don't they just hire military security forces.. They exist, and they aren't difficult to attain. Eventually the gangs will learn that Shell money is out of the question, and they'll move on.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Maybe the hole in the left's agenda is that instead of trying to get the government to regulate everything, we should be putting more faith in the consumer. An informed consumer public could effectively "legislate" on their own by choosing to buy from or not buy from entities that do things they disapprove of. I think that's something both the left and right could agree on, and fight for together.
    It's impossible - so farfetched as to be ludicrous. Nobody has the time or resources to be informed like that, corporate controlled markets don't work like that, and corporations are very good at controlling information in the first place.

    Consumers need the stuff they buy, also - if every piece of clothing one can afford is manufactured by child labor, the option of boycotting clothing is not there.

    Look at how many people right here are, apparently, completely uninformed about the role of foreign corporations in creating the African kleptocracies. Even something as basic and large scale and historically obvious as that is hard to establish.
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Harold was trying to blame the Nigerians for the mess created by centuries of colonial rule over them.

    No he wasn't. It was a comment about the current conditions. They haven't been a colony for a long time
    The current situation is a mess created by the colonial powers over centuries as enforced and maintained by their heirs the multinational corporations, and Harold is trying to blame the Nigerians for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    I agree with you in large part, but you're views aren't blinded by the idealizm of Ice, who thinks that just doing business with the only people who can secure things for your business (a thug) is automatically wrong.
    Now we have ordinary morality, simple decency and common sense, the standard rule of law, labeled "idealism".

    If a corporation cannot make money without destroying the local governments and abusing the residents of its targeted arena and setting up psychopathic scum in criminal lordship, then too bad - no money will be made until the situation has changed for the better. At least, that would be the judgment on any actual person attempting to make money by such means.

    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    But of course it screwed up resulting in a bad accident--the ones making the most critical errors in judgment died on the platform
    BP didn't screw up at all - they knew exactly what they were doing, and had been doing it for years. They simply adopted risky policies, including getting them approved by manipulating the governments involved, eyes wide open. And the guys on the platform had nothing to do with that.

    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    But that does not make them responsible for being wrecked in the first place, and then prevented from digging out, by for the profit of foreign government backed foreign corporations.

    So now it's not evil corporations---it's evil guberments.
    What? How does a corporation's evil doings become less evil by its getting support from some pet government and its army?

    When United Fruit called in the US military to Honduras, to get rid of an inconvenient government there and replace it with some handpicked thugs, it did not become less evil or responsible for less harm.

    This is getting bizarre. How ridiculous are you guys willing to be, how many pretzels of logic are you willing to bend into, before you simply own up to obvious physical reality? The Nigerians didn't even draw the boundaries of their own country.
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    The Nigerians didn't even draw the boundaries of their own country.
    They didnt' have any stable boundary before colonialism, so it's rather pointless comparison. What they did get is one of the wealthiest chunks of land in Africa.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Maybe the hole in the left's agenda is that instead of trying to get the government to regulate everything, we should be putting more faith in the consumer. An informed consumer public could effectively "legislate" on their own by choosing to buy from or not buy from entities that do things they disapprove of. I think that's something both the left and right could agree on, and fight for together.
    It's impossible - so farfetched as to be ludicrous. Nobody has the time or resources to be informed like that, corporate controlled markets don't work like that, and corporations are very good at controlling information in the first place.

    Consumers need the stuff they buy, also - if every piece of clothing one can afford is manufactured by child labor, the option of boycotting clothing is not there.
    What I'm suggesting is putting that stuff on the label. The label for every product should state, in USD, what wage the workers were making per hour who made it (American products just as much as foreign ones). It would be nice if all nations were rated by some panel or agency, perhaps set up at the UN, in terms of their humans rights history and/or the oppressiveness of their government. Maybe another panel/agency could be set up that rates corporations in terms of their overall ethics. Oh, and maybe there could be a fourth rating that describes the home country's environmental policies.

    So that's 4 things. If they color coded it (blue = really good, red = really bad), then all the label would really have to have on it is 4 colored dots and the address of a website that can tell you what the dots mean if you're curious.

    We're collectively doing things that are morally wrong to other people because we don't know better. I can't see how this kind of labeling differs substantially from the required Surgeon General warnings that are placed on cigarette packs. It's a way of enabling decent minded individuals to express their conscience.


    Look at how many people right here are, apparently, completely uninformed about the role of foreign corporations in creating the African kleptocracies. Even something as basic and large scale and historically obvious as that is hard to establish.
    Good point. We'd have to choose the rating agency very carefully.
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    They are rated by the UN in numerous reports. Most consumers don't care...if it saves them a dime.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    They are rated by the UN in numerous reports. Most consumers don't care...if it saves them a dime.
    Well that's good news. It means half the problem is already solved. The other half is putting that data on the label. Consumers don't have time to run that kind of data down on their own.

    They're entitled to have it done for them anyway. It's their right as a consumer to be given all the important information about their product so they can make an informed decision. (Especially since the labeling is not materially difficult to do.) Every food item in the store tells you the number of calories. It should also be required to tell you - on the package - a general approximation of how much CO2 was released to make it, and some measure of the degree of insult to the human condition. That way you know how fat your conscience is getting.

    The only reason any company would refuse to do this is because they are deliberately trying to deceive those consumers.

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Consumers need the stuff they buy, also - if every piece of clothing one can afford is manufactured by child labor, the option of boycotting clothing is not there.
    Don't you see how this would play out? New companies and products would enter the market once having a nicer color becomes a form of competition. At present, bad companies are hard to pick out in the store, because it doesn't exactly say on the label who's bad and who's good. Also at present, companies like BP are willing to pay billions for good PR. You see what a good combination those two things are? They'd be willing to sacrifice for a nice label too. There's just no benefit for them in doing that right now. None at all. All the companies are claiming to be socially conscious.

    There's no objective criteria, and the claims of goodness are too subjective to be easily compared. Until consumers can objectively compare, no buying decisions are going to be affected, and therefore no profits are affected.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Harold was trying to blame the Nigerians for the mess created by centuries of colonial rule over them.
    Why do you say the mess was created by centuries of colonial rule? They were a mess before colonial rule. Long after the end of colonial rule, they are a bigger mess than ever. How much longer will you blame colonialism? The US, Canada, and Australia were also colonies, and are not the same kind of mess.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Harold was trying to blame the Nigerians for the mess created by centuries of colonial rule over them.
    Why do you say the mess was created by centuries of colonial rule? They were a mess before colonial rule. Long after the end of colonial rule, they are a bigger mess than ever. How much longer will you blame colonialism? The US, Canada, and Australia were also colonies, and are not the same kind of mess.
    I'd say the Kingdoms of Songhai, Benin, Igbo, and Oyo were very well organized - and I'd say there was a great deal of order in the modern day Nigerian area before colonialism.. Oh wait.. If you mean before Colonialism but after the Atlantic Slave Trade - where the Western Coast of Africa had literally been robbed all its people, then you'd be right. Then again, you could attribute that to Europe.

    http://www.diaspora.uiuc.edu/news0910/news0910-2.pdf
    Last edited by stander-j; January 15th, 2012 at 02:18 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stander-j View Post
    If you mean before Colonialism but after the Atlantic Slave Trade - where the Western Coast of Africa had literally been robbed all its people, then you'd be right. Then again, you could attribute that to Europe.
    You could, but I wouldn't. The Europeans may have bought slaves, but the Africans sold them. After procuring them in a rather unpleasant fashion. The African slave trade continues to this day, in spite of the Europeans efforts to stamp it out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by stander-j View Post
    If you mean before Colonialism but after the Atlantic Slave Trade - where the Western Coast of Africa had literally been robbed all its people, then you'd be right. Then again, you could attribute that to Europe.
    You could, but I wouldn't. The Europeans may have bought slaves, but the Africans sold them. After procuring them in a rather unpleasant fashion. The African slave trade continues to this day, in spite of the Europeans efforts to stamp it out.
    After procuring them in an unpleasant fashion? War between two different empires is always unpleasant, yes. But you're making it sound as though African clans would go out in raiding parties solely for the sake of enslaving, which isn't how it happened at all. Prisoners of War were taken after battle, and subsequently sold.

    As for European efforts to stamp out slavery, last time I checked slavery only ended in the first place because of the need to develop markets outside of Europe and America, to which manufactured goods could be sold. During colonialism Africans who were colonized were more-or-less no more than slaves as well, the fact that it was "illegal" never mattered then did it? And if Europe has tried so hard to stamp slavery out, I find it hard to understand how products made by people, sometimes children, who are physically abused for pennies a day make their way into the European market. I find it difficult to believe Sony products made by Chinese factory workers, who threatened to commit suicide if not treated better, found its way into the European markets as well.

    You're right, the African Slave Trade does go on to this very day... In more ways than one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    The Nigerians didn't even draw the boundaries of their own country.

    They didnt' have any stable boundary before colonialism, so it's rather pointless comparison.
    Don't be silly - of course they did. They had nations and homelands, treaties, rulers and governments, wars and armies, the whole human kit. Their former boundaries can be found to this day, and mapped. They'd had them for thousands of years.
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    What they did get is one of the wealthiest chunks of land in Africa.
    "They", whoever you are talking about, never got it - still don't have it. They cannot, for example, force Shell to clean up its oil spills, or pay taxes, or obey local regulations on its business.
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    What I'm suggesting is putting that stuff on the label. The label for every product should state, in USD, what wage the workers were making per hour who made it (American products just as much as foreign ones). It would be nice if all nations were rated by some panel or agency, perhaps set up at the UN, in terms of their humans rights history and/or the oppressiveness of their government
    Like I said - ludicrously far fetched, essentially impossible.

    Look at the battle to get rBGH labels on milk in the US - and that was for locally produced, one step manufactured stuff, the simplest and easiest case imaginable.

    Quote Originally Posted by harold
    How much longer will you blame colonialism?
    Until the mess it made and its political heirs continue to make has been cleaned up.
    Quote Originally Posted by harold
    The US, Canada, and Australia were also colonies, and are not the same kind of mess.
    The comparable aboriginal lands in the US are or were until very recently quite similar messes.

    The white tribes in the US etc prove the case - they won their revolutionary wars, installed their own governments. If Thomas Jefferson and George Washington and all that faction had been captured by British or French or Spanish or Cherokee mercenaries and sold to tea plantations in China, the Dutch and French and so forth had divvied up the land according to European political negotiations and installed exploitative corporations in dominant economic positions throughout America, and such practices had dominated the US geopolitical scene for three hundred years, what would you expect for local conditions in Virginia now?
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    Until the mess it made and its political heirs continue to make has been cleaned up.
    So it returns to the utopian fantasy land it was before colonialism (NOT). When in reality is was in almost constant flux, violent warfare and is in fact much more peaceful since colonialism than it ever was before. But no matter, the crutches of colonialism and slavery were kicked out generations ago--it's almost ludicrous to attribute anything going on now to that past. It's just an excuse by the people who won't take charge of their own affairs with hollow rhetorical backing of bleeding hearts.

    Now don't get me wrong, I absolutely recognize the difficulties Western influence can bring to regions in the quest for the cheapest resources, but the important question is: What's your practical solution?
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    Quote Originally Posted by stander-j View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by stander-j View Post
    If you mean before Colonialism but after the Atlantic Slave Trade - where the Western Coast of Africa had literally been robbed all its people, then you'd be right. Then again, you could attribute that to Europe.
    You could, but I wouldn't. The Europeans may have bought slaves, but the Africans sold them. After procuring them in a rather unpleasant fashion. The African slave trade continues to this day, in spite of the Europeans efforts to stamp it out.
    After procuring them in an unpleasant fashion? War between two different empires is always unpleasant, yes. But you're making it sound as though African clans would go out in raiding parties solely for the sake of enslaving, which isn't how it happened at all. Prisoners of War were taken after battle, and subsequently sold.
    One of the chief criticisms of the European slave trade was that it encouraged more slave raiding. Otherwise the Europeans could claim that they were just "rescuing" prisoners of war who would otherwise be killed.
    You may have heard of the triangular trade. Slaves from Africa to American plantations. Sugar and other plantation products to New England or Europe, and manufactured goods to Africa. The manufactured goods were for barter with the various kings of tribes on the Guinea coast, for slaves, which were mostly captured in the interior.

    As for European efforts to stamp out slavery, last time I checked slavery only ended in the first place because of the need to develop markets outside of Europe and America, to which manufactured goods could be sold.
    No, it was the abolition movement. The Europeans became morally opposed to slavery. They blockaded the Guinea coast to capture any slave ships. Slavery continued in Zanzibar until 1873 when the British managed to close the slave market there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stander-j View Post
    Oh wait.. If you mean before Colonialism but after the Atlantic Slave Trade - where the Western Coast of Africa had literally been robbed all its people, then you'd be right. Then again, you could attribute that to Europe.

    http://www.diaspora.uiuc.edu/news0910/news0910-2.pdf
    You mean the same time period when the Barbary Pirates of Tripoli and Algiers were busy depopulating the coast of Italy?

    Corsairs captured thousands of ships, and long stretches of coast in Spain and Italy were almost completely abandoned by their inhabitants, discouraging settlement until the 19th century. From the 16th to 19th century, corsairs captured an estimated 800,000 to 1.25 million people as slaves.[2] Some corsairs were European outcasts such as John Ward, Zymen Danseker and Henry Mainwaring.[3]Hayreddin Barbarossa and Oruç Reis, the Barbarossa brothers, who took control of Algiers on behalf of the Ottomans in the early 16th century, were also famous corsairs. The European pirates brought state-of-the-art sailing and shipbuilding techniques to the Barbary Coast around 1600, which enabled the corsairs to extend their activities into the Atlantic Ocean,[3] and the impact of Barbary raids peaked in the early to mid-17th century.



    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by stander-j View Post

    As for European efforts to stamp out slavery, last time I checked slavery only ended in the first place because of the need to develop markets outside of Europe and America, to which manufactured goods could be sold.
    No, it was the abolition movement. The Europeans became morally opposed to slavery. They blockaded the Guinea coast to capture any slave ships. Slavery continued in Zanzibar until 1873 when the British managed to close the slave market there.
    Also the industrial revolution. Slaves are the least skilled of all possible forms of labor, which makes them somewhat incompatible with automated operations like a textile mill. Once automated farming methods had become widespread in the USA, slavery in the South even became pointless. The slave owners just held on because they didn't want to give up their investments, or the practice probably could have ended earlier than it did.




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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by stander-j View Post
    Oh wait.. If you mean before Colonialism but after the Atlantic Slave Trade - where the Western Coast of Africa had literally been robbed all its people, then you'd be right. Then again, you could attribute that to Europe.

    http://www.diaspora.uiuc.edu/news0910/news0910-2.pdf
    You mean the same time period when the Barbary Pirates of Tripoli and Algiers were busy depopulating the coast of Italy?

    ^^^^ I don't know what you're trying to suggest... If you're suggesting Africans were robbing Europe of its peoples too, then consider the following: Barbary Pirates, who according to this citation were european - as well as both living in, and probably sanctioned by, the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Empire was arguably European as well, and that whole debacle is clearly attributed to them - not Africans.

    Corsairs captured thousands of ships, and long stretches of coast in Spain and Italy were almost completely abandoned by their inhabitants, discouraging settlement until the 19th century. From the 16th to 19th century, corsairs captured an estimated 800,000 to 1.25 million people as slaves.[2] Some corsairs were European outcasts such as John Ward, Zymen Danseker and Henry Mainwaring.[3]Hayreddin Barbarossa and Oruç Reis, the Barbarossa brothers, who took control of Algiers on behalf of the Ottomans in the early 16th century, were also famous corsairs. The European pirates brought state-of-the-art sailing and shipbuilding techniques to the Barbary Coast around 1600, which enabled the corsairs to extend their activities into the Atlantic Ocean,[3] and the impact of Barbary raids peaked in the early to mid-17th century.



    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by stander-j View Post

    As for European efforts to stamp out slavery, last time I checked slavery only ended in the first place because of the need to develop markets outside of Europe and America, to which manufactured goods could be sold.
    No, it was the abolition movement. The Europeans became morally opposed to slavery. They blockaded the Guinea coast to capture any slave ships. Slavery continued in Zanzibar until 1873 when the British managed to close the slave market there.
    Also the industrial revolution. Slaves are the least skilled of all possible forms of labor, which makes them somewhat incompatible with automated operations like a textile mill. Once automated farming methods had become widespread in the USA, slavery in the South even became pointless. The slave owners just held on because they didn't want to give up their investments, or the practice probably could have ended earlier than it did.
    Why do people think the abolition of Slave Trade was a moral thing? And how does Triangle trade provide adequate oversea markets when the millions that once inhabited the area are now suddenly providing the raw materials for the manufacturing process across the pond? Triangular trade is only sustainable if the principle of three trading partners remains intact, did you think African Kingdoms associated with selling slaves kept all the goods for themselves? Or did they use trading routes to supply peoples with goods they previously attained through the Trans-Saharan Trade Network (Which at this point was gradually declining, for some reason)? Hence, a surplus of goods due to both the industrial revolution, and a lack of adequate markets.

    There was nothing moral about it, however, if you cast a veil of morality over the key problems you provide sentiments for reconciliation - plus you get the added bonus of possibly creating new 'friends' overseas to trade with now that slavery becomes an inefficient and obsolete production method. Another point about this is this: As an MP how explain your support for the abolition of Slavery? By telling constituents it's better for business, or by caving to the moralists and the growing movement - and therefore looking good, in exchange for the minor paycuts that were associated with slavery. Don't you think its odd that the abolition of slavery, in the British Empire, happened around the point that harboured in the concept of New Imperialism? Almost as if there was a type of realisation that it's much easier to annex African States, take resources out of the continent, which Africans will provide the work for, and then sell the manufactured goods back to them at a mark-up price...

    It's noteworthy to also mention despite the fact African Kingdoms sold their enemies into slavery, it was not a practice that was devised as the primary purpose for warfare. If an African Kingdom was at war with another African Kingdom, it was a nice way to supplement a Kingdom's income. Prior to the AST these POWs were taken as slaves for the kingdom itself. The difference however was that African slaves within Africa were not slaves in the context of the type across the Atlantic.. These slaves were, for lack of a better word, rehabilited/indoctrinated into the kingdom's society. Meaning they could both buy, or earn, their way out of 'slavery' by allowing themselves to be adopted by the host Kingdom as a member of its society. They were also allowed to own their own land, and were in command of their own sexuality and rights to procreation. They also were reimbursed for their work.

    The majority of the times that Africans participated in raiding parties was when it was instigated by the European Slavers themselves ie: a joint venture. So no, it wasn't as though Africans would just go out on their own whimsy and make a raid - at least it wasn't a typical thing to do this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Until the mess it made and itspolitical heirs continue to make has been cleaned up.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    So it returns to theutopian fantasy land it was before colonialism (NOT). When in reality is was inalmost constant flux, violent warfare and is in fact much more peaceful sincecolonialism than it ever was before. But no matter, the crutches of colonialismand slavery were kicked out generations ago--it's almost ludicrous to attributeanything going on now to that past. It's just an excuse by the people who won'ttake charge of their own affairs with hollow rhetorical backing of bleedinghearts.

    Now don't get me wrong, I absolutely recognize thedifficulties Western influence can bring to regions in the quest for thecheapest resources, but the important question is: What's your practicalsolution?


    http://www.gendercide.org/case_rwanda.html

    ^ 8 Million Edit: NOT 8 Million... 8 Hundred thousand.. I suspected that number was off.

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/war/congo-1.htm

    ^ 6 Million and counting

    http://www.flashpoints.info/CB-Sudan.html

    ^Relentless Civil War

    http://books.google.ca/books?id=u8dMfvsFftEC&pg=PA5&lpg=PA5&dq=what+the+c old+war+meant+for+africa&source=bl&ots=upIzCYH8Zy& sig=g02gEgMkr5qczV4s3PpmO_RpVxk&hl=en&sa=X&ei=mqoU T8KPN8Ph0QG7-virAw&ved=0CDMQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=what the cold war meant for africa&f=false

    ^Effects of Cold War on Africa.

    What are your sources for Africa prior to european contactbeing in a constant state of violence? Because I have a number of sources that state otherwise - in the West, stability followed a trend between the goldfields and the more popular trade routes. As trade and gold production shifted,so did power. In otherwords, powerful states capable of standing up to the"super-powered" states only would arise once the"super-powered" states were already in their decline - due to shiftsin trade and then political instability. Constant warfare on a mass scale wasalmost unheard of, as a result most of the African Kingdoms had proven to berather well structured, organized, and quite stable.

    In the North, throughout the ages, you had the FatimidDynasty, the Nubian/Egyptian/Ptolemaic Dynasties. During the Old Kingdom, theMiddle Kingdom, and New Kingdom of Egypt you had the intermediate periods whichwere times of strife. Not really when the Dynasties had been established, andpower shifted to Macedonian influence rather peacefully at the end – and againpeacefully to the Romans. Later on when the Coptics would gain influence, youwould have times of peace - as the Coptics fell out of favour in place ofIslam, again peace reigned supreme.

    Eastern Africa was a trading hub of city-states known as theSwahili City-States. They didn't fight one another very often. They could belooked at in a similar light to that of the Classical Era city-states ofGreece. There were three main cities that commanded the majority of theinfluence, and as a result the smaller city-states survived peacefully within thetriumvirate sphere of influence.

    After the colonial phase in Africa, an interesting situationwas created where the Europeans both had a caste of African Bourgeoisie, aswell as lucrative opportunities after the resources of Africa had been fully realised.Once African Colonies began to fight for independence it became a trend for theAfrican Bourgeoisie to actually be influence by Euro-Centric sentiments, atfirst just stifling the movement. Afterwards however, when releasing themselves from accountability, European countries would decide to parcel lands intoarbitrary borders to create countries (usually done to lump together severalgroups of peoples who have systematically been taught to hate each otherthrough a regime built off divided rule).

    Usually the first thing to occur is civil war, WesternCountries then back whomever can provide the West a better deal - and then theythrow money at the newly installed government - African Bourgeoisie learn toanswer to their Western Counterparts, and the resources (therefore the wealth)are taken from the country and manufactured into goods which will then eitherbe sold back to Africa at mark-up prices, or sold within Western Society. Ifthis doesn't happen. The West just bring in the IMF, and shun the country,leading it into a perpetual state of stagnation which will eventually lead to acivil war - or a state where governments will practically beg corporations makedevelopments in their country, meaning corporations pretty much have theproverbial tiger by its toe.

    I won't address anything about solutions, this is just explaining why it isn't exactly 'Hollow Rhetoric'.

    Last edited by stander-j; January 16th, 2012 at 06:23 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    Until the mess it made and its political heirs continue to make has been cleaned up.

    So it returns to the utopian fantasy land it was before colonialism (NOT).
    No. That's another of your fantasies of my posting, and as usual completely without reasonable support.

    You said there were no boundaries, nations, etc, in that part of the world before the creation of Nigeria and three centuries of bloody mess by colonial conquest and oppression. You were completely, obviously, flagrantly, and inexcusably in error. There were.

    Quote Originally Posted by lynx
    But no matter, the crutches of colonialism and slavery were kicked out generations ago--it's almost ludicrous to attribute anything going on now to that past. It's just an excuse by the people who won't take charge of their own affairs with hollow rhetorical backing of bleeding hearts.
    Your fantasy of a world in which the corporate colonial powers somehow evaporated out of Africa in the distant past and left the locals to manage their own affairs ever since is very strange - some science fiction book you read as child?

    The oil and coltan and diamond and now increasingly the agribusiness corporations are operating on the colonial exploitation model right now. The fact that they have found different means of destroying local political resistance and preventing people from "taking charge of their own affairs" is a significant discussion, but one of means rather than ends.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Also the industrial revolution. Slaves are the least skilled of all possible forms of labor, which makes them somewhat incompatible with automated operations like a textile mill. Once automated farming methods had become widespread in the USA, slavery in the South even became pointless. The slave owners just held on because they didn't want to give up their investments, or the practice probably could have ended earlier than it did.
    1) the Civil War came early, the industrial revolution in farming etc later. 2) Slavery is perfectly well suited to 19th and 20th century industrial production, mining, etc - as Hitler proved, and Stalin later, and the Chinese quite recently. Captured black men (by the police, as "vagrants" etc) were used for steel mills and other such labor in the south up until WWII, uneducated and poorly motivated serfs of various kinds in all manner of jobs (canal digging, railroad track laying, etc) likewise. The cotton gin simply reduces the number of slaves you have to buy, is all. Slaves can run machinery perfectly well.

    They used Irish immigrants and similar folk for the mid1800s levees and the like in New Orleans because they were cheaper - the loss rate from subtropical disease was high, the Irish paid only for hours worked - not because the work or the Irish peasantry was more skilled. The slaves were reserved for the more skilled, less dangerous work.
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    It's not so much that slaves lack education, as it is that you have to stand over them with a whip in order to get them to use it. A slave operating a machine has a vested interest in seeing the machine shut down so he/she can go home and rest for the day. There's going to be a lot of deliberate ignorance involved in keeping that machine up and running.

    Also Hitler only proved that slavery can be effective if you don't even bother to feed your slaves. I don't know enough about the gulags in Russia to say whether they were well fed and cared for or not. Stalin was busy feeding his empire by starving off the Ukrainians who produced it, so probably he had an excess of food available for that (typical Communist disconnect of resources).

    The issue with understanding slavery as "free" labor is it's only "free" if you discount the price of food and other necessities. Otherwise it still costs something, and sometimes a worker making a small wage can actually use frugality to make their own subsistence cheaper than a slave's subsistence. - Making a low paid worker the cheaper option. Now, especially if we're talking about dangerous work - like building a levee - then paid workers are way better because when they die the employer simply hires a new one. They're not out the cost of a slave.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stander-j View Post
    Why do people think the abolition of Slave Trade was a moral thing?
    I don't understand the question. Most people now think the slave trade was immoral, so abolition of it would be a moral thing.
    And how does Triangle trade provide adequate oversea markets when the millions that once inhabited the area are now suddenly providing the raw materials for the manufacturing process across the pond?
    Many slaves were taken over the years, but the slave trade lasted for centuries, and the slaves were taken from a large area. I have never heard that the area was ever severely depopulated. Do you have information to indicate that it was?
    Triangular trade is only sustainable if the principle of three trading partners remains intact, did you think African Kingdoms associated with selling slaves kept all the goods for themselves?
    Yes. If someone traded for merchandise, I assume they intended to use said merchandise.
    Or did they use trading routes to supply peoples with goods they previously attained through the Trans-Saharan Trade Network (Which at this point was gradually declining, for some reason)? Hence, a surplus of goods due to both the industrial revolution, and a lack of adequate markets.
    No, I don't think there was ever a surplus of goods.
    There was nothing moral about it, however, if you cast a veil of morality over the key problems you provide sentiments for reconciliation - plus you get the added bonus of possibly creating new 'friends' overseas to trade with now that slavery becomes an inefficient and obsolete production method.
    I don't understand what you are saying.
    Another point about this is this: As an MP how explain your support for the abolition of Slavery? By telling constituents it's better for business, or by caving to the moralists and the growing movement - and therefore looking good, in exchange for the minor paycuts that were associated with slavery.
    By this time, England no longer had any slave-holding colonies, so I don't think the English people were concerned with "paycuts" due to abolition. I think the MPs would support abolition for the same reason they would today - the people they represented were morally opposed to slavery.
    Don't you think its odd that the abolition of slavery, in the British Empire, happened around the point that harboured in the concept of New Imperialism? Almost as if there was a type of realisation that it's much easier to annex African States, take resources out of the continent, which Africans will provide the work for, and then sell the manufactured goods back to them at a mark-up price...
    No, I don't think it's odd. It was a continuation of the same practices of the British Empire before abolition of slavery.
    It's noteworthy to also mention despite the fact African Kingdoms sold their enemies into slavery, it was not a practice that was devised as the primary purpose for warfare. If an African Kingdom was at war with another African Kingdom, it was a nice way to supplement a Kingdom's income. Prior to the AST these POWs were taken as slaves for the kingdom itself. The difference however was that African slaves within Africa were not slaves in the context of the type across the Atlantic.. These slaves were, for lack of a better word, rehabilited/indoctrinated into the kingdom's society. Meaning they could both buy, or earn, their way out of 'slavery' by allowing themselves to be adopted by the host Kingdom as a member of its society. They were also allowed to own their own land, and were in command of their own sexuality and rights to procreation. They also were reimbursed for their work.

    The majority of the times that Africans participated in raiding parties was when it was instigated by the European Slavers themselves ie: a joint venture. So no, it wasn't as though Africans would just go out on their own whimsy and make a raid - at least it wasn't a typical thing to do this.
    Ah, yes. The good kind of slavery.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    It's not so much that slaves lack education, as it is that you have to stand over them with a whip in order to get them to use it. A slave operating a machine has a vested interest in seeing the machine shut down so he/she can go home and rest for the day. There's going to be a lot of deliberate ignorance involved in keeping that machine up and running.
    I'm not sure you quite understand how slavery works. A slave who fails to keep their machine running is not then allowed to go "home" (?) and rest for the day - a frugal and competent factory owner would bed them down next to the machine in the first place - and allowing one's machine to break would be grounds for a beating, food deprivation, etc.

    It is just as easy to stand over a hundred slaves with a whip as one slave. Industrial revolution factory production would have been ideal for slavery - not as much intelligence or initiative needed as in farming, easier physical control, etc - and US Steel among others proved that in the Jim Crow era, by pressing "criminals" via the local police and courts.

    Rich people are not reliable sources of reason and good will and community benefit. They really don't know, often, how the "other half" lives. They inherently believe that Smith's invisible hand is just and fair. Some are evil, many are clueless, none can be entrusted with political power unchecked.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by stander-j View Post
    Why do people think the abolition of Slave Trade was a moral thing?
    I don't understand the question. Most people now think the slave trade was immoral, so abolition of it would be a moral thing.
    And how does Triangle trade provide adequate oversea markets when the millions that once inhabited the area are now suddenly providing the raw materials for the manufacturing process across the pond?
    Many slaves were taken over the years, but the slave trade lasted for centuries, and the slaves were taken from a large area. I have never heard that the area was ever severely depopulated. Do you have information to indicate that it was?
    Triangular trade is only sustainable if the principle of three trading partners remains intact, did you think African Kingdoms associated with selling slaves kept all the goods for themselves?
    Yes. If someone traded for merchandise, I assume they intended to use said merchandise.
    Or did they use trading routes to supply peoples with goods they previously attained through the Trans-Saharan Trade Network (Which at this point was gradually declining, for some reason)? Hence, a surplus of goods due to both the industrial revolution, and a lack of adequate markets.
    No, I don't think there was ever a surplus of goods.
    There was nothing moral about it, however, if you cast a veil of morality over the key problems you provide sentiments for reconciliation - plus you get the added bonus of possibly creating new 'friends' overseas to trade with now that slavery becomes an inefficient and obsolete production method.
    I don't understand what you are saying.
    Another point about this is this: As an MP how explain your support for the abolition of Slavery? By telling constituents it's better for business, or by caving to the moralists and the growing movement - and therefore looking good, in exchange for the minor paycuts that were associated with slavery.
    By this time, England no longer had any slave-holding colonies, so I don't think the English people were concerned with "paycuts" due to abolition. I think the MPs would support abolition for the same reason they would today - the people they represented were morally opposed to slavery.
    Don't you think its odd that the abolition of slavery, in the British Empire, happened around the point that harboured in the concept of New Imperialism? Almost as if there was a type of realisation that it's much easier to annex African States, take resources out of the continent, which Africans will provide the work for, and then sell the manufactured goods back to them at a mark-up price...
    No, I don't think it's odd. It was a continuation of the same practices of the British Empire before abolition of slavery.
    It's noteworthy to also mention despite the fact African Kingdoms sold their enemies into slavery, it was not a practice that was devised as the primary purpose for warfare. If an African Kingdom was at war with another African Kingdom, it was a nice way to supplement a Kingdom's income. Prior to the AST these POWs were taken as slaves for the kingdom itself. The difference however was that African slaves within Africa were not slaves in the context of the type across the Atlantic.. These slaves were, for lack of a better word, rehabilited/indoctrinated into the kingdom's society. Meaning they could both buy, or earn, their way out of 'slavery' by allowing themselves to be adopted by the host Kingdom as a member of its society. They were also allowed to own their own land, and were in command of their own sexuality and rights to procreation. They also were reimbursed for their work.

    The majority of the times that Africans participated in raiding parties was when it was instigated by the European Slavers themselves ie: a joint venture. So no, it wasn't as though Africans would just go out on their own whimsy and make a raid - at least it wasn't a typical thing to do this.
    Ah, yes. The good kind of slavery.
    Read 'Main Points of the Act'. How can colonies or territories without slave labour exist, if it was still sanctioned for the East Indies Company? And how could the British have had to compensate slave owners if none of them existed within the empire? Slavery Abolition Act 1833 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    New Imperialism didn't really exist until after the French invaded Algeria - that is the point where expansion was associated with "the White Man's Burden". Though yes, the major distinction is differentiate between older waves of colonialism. New Imperialism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    As for depopulation, let's put it this way: between 1750 and 1850 the African continent's population grew by five million. North America grew by 24 Million, Europe grew by 100 million, Asia grew by 300 million, Latin America approximately doubled in population (from 16 million, to about 36 million). All over the world populations were seeing exponential growth, Africa on the other hand had pretty much the same population for 100 years. Most Historian would agree areas in Western, and Central Africa, had been completely wiped out. Namely the coasts in modern day Western Africa went from being one of the more populated areas to being completely abandoned, or depopulated.

    Those who traded in slavery, especially kingdoms, did use the goods themselves. But not all of them - a lot of the goods were also resold in other areas of Africa. It was cheaper to by from kingdoms than it was from the Berbers, because as the goods travelled through Trans-Saharan Trade Networks the price gradually increased as merchants swapped goods with other merchants. Gradually trade shifted in Western Africa so that people were buying the same goods they could always buy, except now from kingdoms and from the slave trade instead of from the Berbers.

    What I was saying about 'casting a veil of morality' over the abolition of slavery was that if abolition appears to be moral, it adds a useful tool during the colonial phase in the world. "No we put a stop to slavery because it was immoral, now we're here to help you. Adopt our religion and we'll help you, friend." Plus, if MPs gave their true reasons as to why slavery was abolished, they would never be a politician again - so by just telling people it was a moral issue and that's why parliament caved you also protect your job. Plus, now the British see how well things are going for the French in Algeria, they decide maybe subjugating entire territories is a way more profitable/effective method.

    People see slave trade as immoral, yes. In the early 1800s the British Empire didn't really care though - the ones in charge cared about staying on top.. It was more about keeping the status quo while in competition with other empires. The Moralists didn't win the victory for the blacks, the economy did. The Moralists got the credit because it made the British Empire look better.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    It's not so much that slaves lack education, as it is that you have to stand over them with a whip in order to get them to use it. A slave operating a machine has a vested interest in seeing the machine shut down so he/she can go home and rest for the day. There's going to be a lot of deliberate ignorance involved in keeping that machine up and running.
    I'm not sure you quite understand how slavery works. A slave who fails to keep their machine running is not then allowed to go "home" (?) and rest for the day - a frugal and competent factory owner would bed them down next to the machine in the first place - and allowing one's machine to break would be grounds for a beating, food deprivation, etc.

    It is just as easy to stand over a hundred slaves with a whip as one slave. Industrial revolution factory production would have been ideal for slavery - not as much intelligence or initiative needed as in farming, easier physical control, etc - and US Steel among others proved that in the Jim Crow era, by pressing "criminals" via the local police and courts.
    I don't know why you think it takes less intelligence or initiative to us a machine rather than do pre-industrial farm work. Slaves were there to do the grunt work, not plan the layout of the field. The trouble with machines is the manifold problems a machine can have, which require the operator to know how to correct that problem so the machine can resume operation. Slaves will naturally have a slow learning curve, because they know they can "play dumb" and be allowed to spend a longer amount of time learning. (Especially since their racist master thinks they're dumb anyway.) You don't punish a wage worker for having a breakdown unless it takes them too long to fix it or something, because breakdowns are incredibly frequent events. If the overseer flogged every slave who had it happen, they'd be busy with that whip most of the day. And who does the fixing? Other slaves? What incentive do those slaves have to get the job done quickly rather than stand around and pretend it's too hard for them?

    The problem with slavery is epistemology. It's too hard to know whether they're obeying you or not sometimes. With wage earners, there's more self starting happening. The worker has some hope to move ahead, or at least solidify their place in the company by proving themselves, so they put in some of the work of their own accord. That's still not perfect. Wage earners still need some supervision. It would be even better to be a society of all entrepreneurs, with no wage workers or slaves at all because then people would come even closer to their top performance, but maybe that's a few 100 years away.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    I don't know why you think it takes less intelligence or initiative to us a machine rather than do pre-industrial farm work.
    I've done both.
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    If the overseer flogged every slave who had it happen, they'd be busy with that whip most of the day. And who does the fixing? Other slaves? What incentive do those slaves have to get the job done quickly rather than stand around and pretend it's too hard for them?
    You don't have to make an example of very many slaves for the others to get the message - good example or bad example.
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    The trouble with machines is the manifold problems a machine can have, which require the operator to know how to correct that problem so the machine can resume operation. Slaves will naturally have a slow learning curve, because they know they can "play dumb" and be allowed to spend a longer amount of time learning.
    One of the standard speculations - because it has a fair amount of suggestive circumstance behind it - is that a slave under Eli Whitney's supervision invented the cotton gin.

    Again: the early 20th century factories and steel mills and the like, in the south, used not only slave labor but temporary and wild caught slave labor - prisoners from the local jails. They made plenty of profit.

    The English Navy of the empire days - the most competently manned in the world at the time - used pressed men from the city streets.
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    One thing that's coming out of this discussion is that wealthy people in a society with highly concentrated wealth don't make good consumers. It seems like a good thing at first that they save rather than spend, but that's only due to the failure of some principles that work in micro-economics to translate well when applied to macro-economics.

    In a macro economy, money is a "IOU" which society owes itself. It's not beneficial to let too much of that accrue, because then there starts to be some doubt as to whether it will actually be redeemable for goods and services if the holders of those IOU's aren't careful to redeem them slowly enough for the economy to produce the needed amounts of wealth. In micro economics, money saved by any given household is an IOU that is redeemed by an entity that's so large no such doubt could ever exist (it's redeemed by society at large.) However, the Earth appears to be alone in the universe at this point in time, so there is no larger entity against which the World economy could redeem its IOU's.

    Poor people almost always redeem their paychecks immediately, causing resources to be produced on a daily basis to meet that demand. If rich people were saving up goods and services, like grain, or automobiles, the effect on society's productivity would be the same as giving that money to poor people instead, but this usually isn't the case if there's too much savings happening. Instead they'll buy real estate or gold, which causes nothing to be produced at all because there's no such thing as a "real estate producing industry". You can improve existing real estate, just like you can work gold into jewelry, but most of the improvements will depreciate in value over time rather than appreciating, making the improvements useless as a form of investment. Only the real estate itself is a valuable investment.

    If a minimal amount of savings were happening, with the rest of the money supply going into consumption, then those rich people would be investing in improving factories and stuff like that (capital investments), but a capital investment only works out if there's demand for the product. As more and more of the money supply gets tied up in investments, less is available for consumption, and capital investment becomes a bad idea.

    .... and my point is: Standerj may actually be right. The move from slavery to low wage free workers could have been a good economic move, because the slave owners were rich people, and therefore motivated more toward saving their income rather than spending it, which would lower consumption and decrease the productivity of the economy.

    ..... another point is: consolidation on the 1% is probably the main driver behind this recession.
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