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  #76  
Old 06 May 12, 16:36
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I'm not interested in good or evil, but whether or not the institution and market leader is economically efficient. It's about the health of the entire industry as a whole and whether the firm innovates efficiently & allows the industry to grow and reach its potential. The inertia of successful product offerings can create appearance that a competitor is still on top of the game, better than any potential competition. Counterfactuals be counterfactuals. Microsoft is much criticized for its behavior between 1995-2000 where the general impression of tech entrepreneurs back then was the fact that the gorilla was stifling progress not only inside the company, but almost everywhere in the computer industry through its establishment edges, acquisition spree, pricing, and marketing/distribution channels. The company , its current leadership, and its financial policies are still criticized, and that's just how it is.

Not mentioning Gates in particular but lets say, the Robber Barons or financial criminals: I don't think that taking money (concentrated labor and life) with social parasite methods and 'spreading' wealth with these gains is anything worth admiring. It doesn't mean that this 'wealth' would not have be 'charitably' given w/o this cheating and access point: A possible counter factual would involve many people giving the same amount charitably instead a only a few.

In any event, I'd rather see those monies being invested in productive assets (which can potentially create even more wealth and thus charitable giving) than being instantly sprinkled on the foreheads of the 3rd world and the poor.
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  #77  
Old 06 May 12, 16:51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lakechampainer View Post
Another thing to be said for robber barons such as Carnegie and Rockefeller, is that besides giving money to places such as the Carnegie Libraries and Carnegie Institute of Technology, their mode of business was to make money, yes, but the way they did it was to continually lower costs, so that inevitably the standard of living of people improved. Same can be said of Henry Ford, granted he had some suspect politics, to say the least.
The Ford Model T succeeded in reducing costs but Ford failed to innovate, leading to its downfall in the 1920s and ellipse of motor vehicle market share by Durant's GM as Ford continued to sell the same obsolete product. CEO Alfred Sloan introduced the modern automobile business model. I believe that they used low cost Chevy brands to push Ford's economy models out of the market back in the 30s. It wasn't until the 50s when Ford started coming back and started to produce competitive product.

Counterfactuals be counterfactuals. 'lowering costs', leveraging scale and scope, production/R&D/distribution, and other arguments are familiar and have weight. But the 'sovereignty of the consumer' (which may or may not be secured) must be weighed against the human cost incurred on the production end. If the concern is a 'moral' or nationalistic argument: The weights between the two should be tipped net positive.
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  #78  
Old 06 May 12, 21:42
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Originally Posted by johns624 View Post
Wrong. The "proletariat" made the goods that the person sold.
Labor is one of many inputs that goes into creating an output. It's importance has also been blown out of proportion. The notion that labor is the single most important input (if not the only input, period) necessary to create an output (a view that has been perpetuated by the Marxist school of thought) is completely fallacious. That being said, I have no intention of downplaying it's importance; it's obvious that without it nothing will get done, but before any business, large or small, can function, many other inputs must be made available. Start up capital is obviously the most important input, as the business won't be created without it.
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  #79  
Old 06 May 12, 21:56
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Originally Posted by Destroyer25 View Post
Labor is one of many inputs that goes into creating an output. It's importance has also been blown out of proportion. The notion that labor is the single most important input (if not the only input, period) necessary to create an output (a view that has been perpetuated by the Marxist school of thought) is completely fallacious. That being said, I have no intention of downplaying it's importance; it's obvious that without it nothing will get done, but before any business, large or small, can function, many other inputs must be made available. Start up capital is obviously the most important input, as the business won't be created without it.
So how did our ancestors advance before there was money?
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  #80  
Old 06 May 12, 22:18
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Originally Posted by lakechampainer View Post
So how did our ancestors advance before there was money?
I don't understand, money has been around for a very long time.
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  #81  
Old 06 May 12, 22:33
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Yeah it pretty much came into being the moment we started digging up shiny metal.
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  #82  
Old 06 May 12, 22:38
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2 million years ago our ancestors huddled in the dark in East Africa. Over time, they developed fire, learned how to hunt animals, learned how to make use of animal skins, to grow food, to use herbs and the like for medicines, to create works of art - Before there was money. So how can capital be more important than labor, when the cultural advances that made human society occurred before there was money?
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  #83  
Old 06 May 12, 23:02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lakechampainer View Post
2 million years ago our ancestors huddled in the dark in East Africa. Over time, they developed fire, learned how to hunt animals, learned how to make use of animal skins, to grow food, to use herbs and the like for medicines, to create works of art - Before there was money. So how can capital be more important than labor, when the cultural advances that made human society occurred before there was money?
you see,labor is A commodity.without the use of someones labor,business cannot exist either.Is it the chicken or the egg?
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  #84  
Old 06 May 12, 23:42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lakechampainer View Post
2 million years ago our ancestors huddled in the dark in East Africa. Over time, they developed fire, learned how to hunt animals, learned how to make use of animal skins, to grow food, to use herbs and the like for medicines, to create works of art - Before there was money. So how can capital be more important than labor, when the cultural advances that made human society occurred before there was money?
The animal skins, herbs and food they grew, medicines they produced, land they claimed, etc. were the earliest forms of capital. Later, they were exchanged for money as a simpler, more convenient and consistent form of dealing with and transferring capital.


Philip
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  #85  
Old 07 May 12, 00:24
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dentalium_shell
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  #86  
Old 07 May 12, 01:30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philiplaos View Post
The animal skins, herbs and food they grew, medicines they produced, land they claimed, etc. were the earliest forms of capital. Later, they were exchanged for money as a simpler, more convenient and consistent form of dealing with and transferring capital.


Philip
I think the ideas of money as something used to facilitate barter and money as something used for investing ie something used now to ensure/obtain future purchasing power are being inter-mingled.

Investing implies surplus.
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  #87  
Old 07 May 12, 02:30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lakechampainer View Post
I think the ideas of money as something used to facilitate barter and money as something used for investing ie something used now to ensure/obtain future purchasing power are being inter-mingled.

Investing implies surplus.
Try thinking of money as being not only that, but also a tool for measuring wealth, the production of marketable goods and services.
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  #88  
Old 07 May 12, 03:50
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Originally Posted by johns624 View Post
I know that. I'm just explaining why people hate some rich people and how the whole "move overseas because of labor costs" argument is mostly BS.
Ummmm.....no, it's not. Actually, pretty high on the list of reasons.

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Originally Posted by lakechampainer View Post
2 million years ago our ancestors huddled in the dark in East Africa. Over time, they developed fire, learned how to hunt animals, learned how to make use of animal skins, to grow food, to use herbs and the like for medicines, to create works of art - Before there was money. So how can capital be more important than labor, when the cultural advances that made human society occurred before there was money?
Which reminds me. The UN needs to ensure that Africans give back Africa to the Australopithecus Man.

...as soon as they find one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johns624
Wrong. The "proletariat" made the goods that the person sold.
Sure. On machinery in a factory(Capital Investment) purchased by the owner, inputing raw material bought by the owner. Stocked, marketed and shipped at the expense of the owner.

...and for which the "proletariat" receives a wage. The "proletariat" is not responsible for the operation of the facility. It is not responsible for marketing, shipping or retailing the product he "creates", unless directly involved with that specific aspect of the process. If I operate a punch press, why should I profit from the shipping of that item that I punched out, when I had nothing to do with it?
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  #89  
Old 07 May 12, 04:23
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The lower class and the middle class can get along without the rich, but they can't survive without all of us.
Very true.
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Old 07 May 12, 04:31
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Originally Posted by Jannie View Post
We don’t respect the Koch brothers because they buy politicians, but we respect Bill Gates for buying bed nets for African children to help to stop malaria. The Koch brothers are doing a disservice to our democracy, Bill Gates is doing a service for mankind. There is a huge difference.
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