Tuesday, May 29, 2012

408: The Utopia of the Free Market - Money

"The market economy is a tool. That way I look at it. Like a pair of scissors is a tool. Is a pair of scissors moral or immoral? A pair of scissors is instrumental. When we use the thing in the right way, it can contribute to human happiness."
- end quote

Words of the top economist Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel prize winner and advisor of Clinton and now Obama in an interview February 2010. This also applies to money as element in the market. Money is only a means to simplify the exchange of goods.

If you have a surplus of apples and want to exchange it for a quantity of milk, but you have no immediate use of the milk, it is handy to have a medium of exchange, that represents the value of the quantity of milk. Then you can  exchange it later for milk.

Tho this may be a simplified explanation of how money came in to use, it is basically correct and leads me to the main question of today: Is money still a means to simplify exchange of goods?

Or has it become , especially in our modern market societies, an independent power? I guess you are already smiling , as this is in your opinion certainly a rhetorical question. But for Karl Marx (1818 - 1883) it was a scientific discovery.

In "Atlas Shrugged" (1957) Ayn Rand makes her character Franscisco d'Anconia give an eulogy on money, when someone at the party said that money is the root of all evil.

"So you think that money is the root of all evil?" said Francisco d'Anconia. "Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can't exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them." (p. 380)

"(…) money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver. It will give you the means for the satisfaction of your desires, but it will not provide you with desires."(p. 381)

Here Rand comes into a head-on collision with Marx. She has read Marx's early text on "The Power of Money" (1844). She even copies part of his texts into the eulogy on money after editing it to fit her purpose.

Marx quotes Shakespeare:
“Gold? Yellow, glittering, precious gold? 
No, Gods, I am no idle votarist! ...
Thus much of this will make black white, foul fair,
Wrong right, base noble, old young, coward valiant.

This yellow slave
Will knit and break religions, bless the accursed;
Make the hoar leprosy adored, place thieves
And give them title, knee and approbation
With senators on the bench: This is it
That makes the wappen’d widow wed again;"

As Marx concludes…money is not just an innocent tool.
"That which is for me through the medium of money – that for which I can pay (i.e., which money can buy) – that am I myself, the possessor of the money. The extent of the power of money is the extent of my power. 

Money’s properties are my – the possessor’s – properties and essential powers. Thus, what I am and am capable of is by no means determined by my individuality. I am ugly, but I can buy for myself the most beautifulof women. 

Therefore I am not ugly, for the effect of ugliness – its deterrent power – is nullified by money. I, according to my individual characteristics, am lame, but money furnishes me with twenty-four feet. 

Therefore I am not lame. I am bad, dishonest, unscrupulous, stupid; but money is honoured, and hence its possessor. Money is the supreme good, therefore its possessor is good."
- end quote

Quintessential are his words :"Thus, what I am and am capable of is by no means determined by my individuality." Money is not a means, money is power and in fact alienates us from our humanity.

"Money, then, appears as this distorting power both against the individual and against the bonds of society, etc., which claim to be entities in themselves. It transforms fidelity into infidelity, love into hate, hate into love, virtue into vice, vice into virtue, servant into master, master into servant, idiocy into intelligence, and intelligence into idiocy."
- end quote

What Marx says is what I said in my previous lecture; our individuality is not defined by self-interest,  like Ayn Rand wants us to believe. We are also driven by other values in life. Like Marx says:

- quote
"Assume man to be man and his relationship to the world to be a human one: then you can exchange love only for love, trust for trust, etc. 

If you want to enjoy art, you must be an artistically cultivated person; if you want to exercise influence over other people, you must be a person with a stimulating and encouraging effect on other people. 

Every one of your relations to man and to nature must be a specific expression,corresponding to the object of your will, of your real individual life."
- end quote

The Discussion

[13:22] herman Bergson: Thank you.....
[13:23] Debbie Dee (framdor): more!!!!
[13:23] herman Bergson: But I just picked up a really special quote....
[13:23] herman Bergson: You should hear that one...
[13:24] herman Bergson: It is Fransisco with his eulogy on money....and so super Randian........
[13:24] herman Bergson: But I think it completes the picture....
[13:24] herman Bergson: I'll give it to you in full..
[13:24] herman Bergson: "If you ask me to name the proudest distinction of Americans, I would ?
choose—because it contains all
the others—the fact that they were the people who created the phrase 'to make money.’ No other
language or nation had ever used these words before; men had always thought of wealth as a static
quantity—to be seized, begged, inherited, shared, looted or obtained as a favor. Americans were the ?
to understand that wealth has to be created. The words 'to make money' hold the essence of human
morality." (p. 384)
[13:25] herman Bergson: Just that statement :"The words 'to make money' hold the essence of human
[13:25] Debbie Dee (framdor): well i never....
[13:25] Femtasia Rexen: saving that one for later
[13:26] Debbie Dee (framdor): making money (printing it) holds the essence of morality? How wierd
[13:26] herman Bergson: But there is no American among us today if I am not mistaken :-)
[13:26] Femtasia Rexen: there will be later
[13:26] herman Bergson: Yes debbie....that is the essence of today....
[13:26] Femtasia Rexen: cant wait to share that one with him
[13:27] herman Bergson: and the idea that we are NOT only driven by self-interest or greed
[13:27] herman Bergson: That we also have other values which define our humanity
[13:27] Debbie Dee (framdor): The effect of money is much wider than "value" of goods and services
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: moneey is not everything
[13:27] Alarice von Doobie (alarice.beaumont): isn't that illusive? not driven by greed?
[13:27] herman Bergson: Yes...money is power....
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: as i said before, can you set a price on love or even a life?
[13:28] herman Bergson: Hedgefunds can dsrupt the economy of a country...
[13:28] Debbie Dee (framdor): and youth, and beauty, as we see from Shakespeare
[13:28] Alarice von Doobie (alarice.beaumont): money is not everything if you have enough :-) makes ?
you sleep better
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: money isnt everything there is so much more
[13:28] herman Bergson: Let me give you an example....
[13:28] herman Bergson: Europe....in crisis with its euro
[13:28] herman Bergson: There is talk of issuing Euro-bonds....
[13:29] Alarice von Doobie (alarice.beaumont): yes... listening to a discussion in tv right now
[13:29] herman Bergson: it means that the collective debt of all euro countries is put in one ?
[13:29] herman Bergson: The new French president says...let's do it....
[13:29] herman Bergson: The German prime minister says..over my dead body....
[13:30] herman Bergson: now here comes the catch....
[13:30] herman Bergson: what is the effect of issuing Euro bonds...
[13:30] Debbie Dee (framdor): more debt
[13:30] herman Bergson: it means that all euro countries can lend money from the financial market ?
for 3.5% interest...
[13:30] herman Bergson: at this moment...
[13:31] herman Bergson: Germany gets its money almost for free…. 0.61%
[13:31] herman Bergson: the Netherlands too 1.8%
[13:31] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): italy for over 6% i think
[13:31] herman Bergson: but Spain and Italy...6.8% or more...
[13:31] herman Bergson: there you see....
[13:32] herman Bergson: The French say…let's put solidarity first in Europe
[13:32] herman Bergson: Germany and the Netherlands say...let's put our individual interest first..
[13:32] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): how much is France paying now?
[13:32] Lizzy Pleides: you can't always reward those who have a bad economy
[13:32] herman Bergson: Well Beertje...that is a bit tricky indeed....lol
[13:33] herman Bergson: The French aren't isn such a good position either....
[13:33] Alarice von Doobie (alarice.beaumont): I'm not sure that is the point.. the germans don't ?
want to pay when the other don't make any efforts to reform their ill economy
[13:33] herman Bergson: but that is not the point...
[13:33] herman Bergson: yes Alarice....true....
[13:33] herman Bergson: We have to pay for the bad behavior of Greece,Italy and Spain and only may ?
hope they will improve their behavior
[13:34] Fred123 Aiten: Herman, could I ask what might seem a stupid question.? What was the purpose ?
of setting up the Euro in the first place?
[13:34] Annie Brightstar (anniebrightstar): It is easy to be generous with someone else's money
[13:34] Alarice von Doobie (alarice.beaumont): well... in that case hope is just not enough
[13:34] Alarice von Doobie (alarice.beaumont): it 's obvious that the greek aren't willing
[13:34] herman Bergson: lol Good question Fred....
[13:34] Alarice von Doobie (alarice.beaumont): should be easy to get the taxes.....
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: europe thought they could do as USA and create a similar system like they do ?
with the dollar
[13:35] herman Bergson: What I understand of it , it removed the fluctuations of national valuta ...
[13:35] herman Bergson: or what do you cal l it...
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: but USA is one country with same culture all over European countries have way ?
dofferent cultures
[13:35] herman Bergson: Ilack the economic vocabulary....
[13:35] Alarice von Doobie (alarice.beaumont): yes... think the idea wasn't too bad - counter part ?
to the states.. more independence from the us dollar
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: a common currency can thus mean trouble and indeed
[13:36] herman Bergson: I guess the idea was federalist  and emulating the US dollar
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:36] Fred123 Aiten: fluctuations in a country's currency help it recover from recession
[13:36] herman Bergson: But let me give you an other example which illustrates the idea that we do ?
not live only for money....
[13:36] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): There was the ERM
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: european countries are much more individual and independent then USAs states
[13:37] Fred123 Aiten: unless all countries are at the same point in the economic curve it will ?
never work
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: thats why a common currency in europe will spell trouble i think
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: cause all countries think different
[13:37] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Britain was in the ERM but not the euro
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: no common system
[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): sorry I have to go
[13:37] Lizzy Pleides: TC Beertje
[13:37] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Bye Beertje
[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): have a goodnight
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: cu beertje
[13:37] herman Bergson: Yes Bekiita....that is the whole point....all countries think ?
different....that is...are driven still by self-interest
[13:37] Alarice von Doobie (alarice.beaumont): bye Beertje
[13:37] Debbie Dee (framdor): bye
[13:38] Annie Brightstar (anniebrightstar): Goodbye Beertje
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: yes plus as i say way different cultures compared to the starts in the US
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: states
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: wich are more similar
[13:39] herman Bergson: Maybe yes Bejiita...
[13:39] herman Bergson: But to give you some hope for the future....
[13:39] Fred123 Aiten: what Greece needs now is a reduction in their exchange rate that will ?
increase exports and decrease imports. But with the Euro they cannot do this
[13:40] Debbie Dee (framdor): I miss the point of it all. the free market world is indebted to china ?
and the third worlds. the economy slows down - so more money is borrowed (via bonds) to get out of ?
[13:40] herman Bergson: Some farmer who produces a very special wine...expensive....was asked why ?
not produce more....
[13:40] herman Bergson: that would bring more money...
[13:40] Alarice von Doobie (alarice.beaumont): oh they can... if they just lower their wages and all ?
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: a prob with greece i took up before also is that they lack all kind of ?
industry besides tourism and selling some foods
[13:40] Alarice von Doobie (alarice.beaumont): Can you believe how much they raised their salaries ?
and their prices since they are having the euro?
[13:40] herman Bergson: He said no.....because it wont bring a better wine.....only worse
[13:40] Lizzy Pleides: i hope greece will go out of the €, to be honest
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: no cars or machine or general product manufacture at all
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: that can power the greek economy
[13:41] herman Bergson: There is another solution Lizzy....
[13:41] Lizzy Pleides: ..and which?
[13:41] Alarice von Doobie (alarice.beaumont): lower down their salaries and their prices.... in ?
comparison with german for example
[13:42] herman Bergson: Greece has to pay very thing in euros to the other countries in Europe, but ?
cna introduce the Drachme for only internal use...
[13:42] Femtasia Rexen: hmmm
[13:42] herman Bergson: I read that in my newspaper this morning
[13:42] herman Bergson: I wonder who understands this all anymore?!
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: its a mess indeed
[13:43] Debbie Dee (framdor): well, clearly not the economists.
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: make my head spin
[13:43] herman Bergson: But at least I guess Marx was right....
[13:43] Annie Brightstar (anniebrightstar): I would be surprised if that would work Herman
[13:43] Lizzy Pleides: do you think they will be honest from now to tomorrow? what about the ?
subventions they got for nothing?
[13:43] herman Bergson: Money is way beyond being just a tool to simplify the exchange of goods....
[13:43] Penelope Apparatchik (penelope.grau): Jeffrey Sachs, maybe?
[13:44] herman Bergson: Money is pure politics....
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: and power
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: and its used in the wrong way
[13:44] herman Bergson: And in that sense I think that capitalism has lost its ....well everything ?
[13:44] Debbie Dee (framdor): Why are there so many expensive first world weapons in every poor ?
african trouble spot?
[13:45] Debbie Dee (framdor): who pays?
[13:45] Penelope Apparatchik (penelope.grau): but are there really?
[13:45] Qwark Allen: the starving population
[13:45] Penelope Apparatchik (penelope.grau): aren't they all just $15/ piece as replicas from ?
[13:45] herman Bergson: Rich countries like China and others are buying Africa at the moment....
[13:46] Alarice von Doobie (alarice.beaumont): Hey Qwark :-)
[13:46] Debbie Dee (framdor): nope. they are from america, uk and europe. I live in south africa
[13:46] Qwark Allen: ? ˜*•. ˜”*°•.˜”*°•   Helloooooo!  •°*”˜.•°*”˜ .•*˜   ?
[13:46] Qwark Allen: Hey!
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: big companies come there take the resources for themselves while murdering ?
the locals
[13:46] herman Bergson: They buy all fertile areas in african countries....
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: really terrible
[13:46] herman Bergson: Yes Bejiita....
[13:46] Penelope Apparatchik (penelope.grau): yes but who was that russian just convicted for arms ?
trafficking, by the american prosecutors?
[13:47] herman Bergson: Just because the economy must grow....share holders must be paid
[13:47] Debbie Dee (framdor): so - who is in debt to who, and whose economic policies stink? Greece ?
is minor....
[13:47] Alarice von Doobie (alarice.beaumont): i don't believe that the economy always have to ?
[13:47] herman Bergson: Tax evasion in Greece is legendary...
[13:48] Qwark Allen: i remember years ago, oil had a rise of prices cause of a nigerian internal ?
[13:48] herman Bergson: corrution in healthcare too....you always need to bring an extra envelop
[13:48] Debbie Dee (framdor): Growth at any cost is the current plan - and it is insanity.
[13:48] Qwark Allen: everything nowadays is related
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: yes they just sant MORE MORE MOOOOOOREEE!
[13:48] Fred123 Aiten: surely as the population is growing then the economy must grow or we will all ?
be worse off.
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: for infinity
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: totally crazy
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: want
[13:48] herman Bergson: Well fred that is one option....
[13:49] Debbie Dee (framdor): Fred, we are worse off. except for a very small minority of very rich ?
[13:49] Penelope Apparatchik (penelope.grau): isn't it really all just anthropology, Herman?
[13:49] herman Bergson: but when all wealth is in the hands of a few then redistribution of wealth is ?
also a good option...without the need to grow
[13:49] Fred123 Aiten: I agree the wealth should be spread more fairly
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:49] Fred123 Aiten: but I still think we have to grow
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: but the rich ones want to keep all for themselves
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: not sharing
[13:50] herman Bergson: Yes Bejiita....a weird phenomenon...
[13:50] Bejiita Imako: even they have 100s billon of dollars at one person sometimes
[13:50] Debbie Dee (framdor): growth = more consumption - in a resource constrained environment.
[13:50] Bejiita Imako: what to do with so much money?
[13:50] Femtasia Rexen: who says life has to be fair
[13:50] Penelope Apparatchik (penelope.grau): it's not fair
[13:50] herman Bergson: UNless you have so much that you really don't know what to do with it except ?
giving it away...like Bill Gates with his charity organizations
[13:51] Fred123 Aiten: but if the population is growing then total consumption will have to grow
[13:51] Fred123 Aiten: we need more food for all the additional people
[13:51] Debbie Dee (framdor): Human values - morality - suggest we should be fair to each other
[13:51] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Yes Debbie
[13:51] herman Bergson: Yes Debbie......
[13:51] Penelope Apparatchik (penelope.grau): only within our own tribe, though
[13:51] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): That saying about 'live is not fair' raises alarm bells to me
[13:51] Femtasia Rexen: our values and morality are being eroded but that is another topic
[13:51] herman Bergson: and still cherishth ebelief that we are not only driven by self-interest...
[13:52] herman Bergson: and that this basic idea of the free market is a utopia
[13:52] Penelope Apparatchik (penelope.grau): yeah tell that to Alan Greenspan
[13:52] Debbie Dee (framdor): nothing utopian about it at all!
[13:52] herman Bergson: Wel...I think you are ready now for the revolution...:-)
[13:52] Femtasia Rexen: haha
[13:52] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): hahaha
[13:52] Alarice von Doobie (alarice.beaumont): lol
[13:52] herman Bergson: SO, tahnk you for your participation again....
[13:52] Bejiita Imako: hahaha yes lets start NOW!
[13:52] Penelope Apparatchik (penelope.grau): why, the last few just made things worse
[13:53] Penelope Apparatchik (penelope.grau): far worse
[13:53] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): It might start here
[13:53] Debbie Dee (framdor): yay herman - lead us to fairness
[13:53] herman Bergson: Class dismissed.... ^_^
[13:53] Femtasia Rexen: thank you so much for a through provoking lesson
[13:53] Alarice von Doobie (alarice.beaumont): thanks Herman :-)
[13:53] Lizzy Pleides: Thank you Professor
[13:53] Femtasia Rexen: oops thought
[13:53] Fred123 Aiten: many thanks Herman
[13:53] herman Bergson: Well Debbie ...I hope to come up with at least some answers to that
[13:53] Alarice von Doobie (alarice.beaumont): very good lecture
[13:53] Debbie Dee (framdor): great Herman , tyvm ;)
[13:53] Qwark Allen: ¸¸.?´ ¯¨?.¸¸`?**  **?´ ¸¸.?¨¯`? H E R MA N ?´ ¯¨?.¸¸`?**   **?´ ¸¸.?¨¯`
[13:53] Qwark Allen: ty
[13:54] herman Bergson: Nice to see you Qwark...
[13:54] Alarice von Doobie (alarice.beaumont): hope to make it next tuesday again :-)
[13:54] Qwark Allen: glad i come in the end
[13:54] Qwark Allen: :-)))
[13:54] herman Bergson: Didnt see you come in..sorry
[13:54] Alarice von Doobie (alarice.beaumont): bye everyone :-))
[13:54] Qwark Allen: its ok, i was very silent
[13:54] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Bye everyone
[13:54] Qwark Allen: :-)))
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: cu soon all
[13:54] Femtasia Rexen: thank you everyone, see you next week
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: nice as always
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: ?
[13:56] Debbie Dee (framdor): hey fred, it can't keep expanding
[13:57] Fred123 Aiten: I agree but unless the population stops expanding then it has to
[13:57] Fred123 Aiten: or else many people will die
[13:57] Debbie Dee (framdor): The population is already starting to show signs of dying off.
[13:57] Lizzy Pleides: it was interesting again Herman
[13:58] herman Bergson: yes.....preparing for the lecture is too....
[13:59] Debbie Dee (framdor): Fred, I agree. but the whole system is hitting a wall.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

407: The Utopia of the Free Market - Jeremy Bentham

Economics as an academic discipline, or even as a concept, was not possible in traditional societies, based as they were on either tradition or authoritarian rule.  

Not until the market system came into existence did “economics” make any sense, since until that time land, labor, and capital had no modern meanings. 

With Adam Smith we got a theoretical basis: Society is a group of people, where everybody is born with his or her own set of skills and acts based on self-interest. 

These skills are used to gain an income. The more skillful you are the higher your income can become.

Everybody is absolutely free to do with his income as he pleases. Any attempt to order the individual to spend his money on well defined targets is an infringement on personal freedom.

This means that every institution in society should be contract based. Those who pay for it, will benefit from it. 

Nobody is obliged to pay. Such an obligation is regarded as TAKING money from a free person and spending it against his will on issues he doesn't agree to.

A free market helps to select those who are good at different enterprises and those who are not. Any attempt to interfere with this process will disrupt the market.

Or… summarized…Amen  to liberalism ^_^ 

Adam Smith (1723 - 1790) believed in a virtuous self-interest which results in invisible cooperation. The whole system is based on a specific belief in the nature of man. What drives a man: self-interest and in the negative sense, the vice of greed.

This self-interest will automatically contribute to the public benefit, if you let it have its way in the free market. And here we run into the paradox of the free market.

For what we call the free market is nowadays controlled by tons of regulations. For example, in Europe we have this famous "Brussels speaks".

 Just think of the enormous agricultural subsidies, which prevents developing countries to compete in our market.  Free market… ???

The paradox is that there has emerged a whole "monitoring industry". Only in the Netherlands there is paid more than 800 million Euro a year on monitoring, inspection and enforcement.

The philosophy of Jeremy Bentham (1748 - 1832) and his ethics of utilitarianism fits perfectly with the economic approach of neoliberalism. 

The homo economics with his rational choice mode was already a basic part of his philosophy. The same model as you find in the works of Ayn Rand.

"Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do. 

On the one hand the standard of right and wrong, on the other the chain of causes and effects, are fastened to their throne. 

They govern us in all we do, in all we say, in all we think…"
— Jeremy Bentham , The Principles of Morals and Legislation (1789) Ch I, p 1"

Initially Bentham invented even a special pain/pleasure calculus, so that it was possible to evaluate the amount of pleasure and pain. 

Later he replaced the calculus  by money as criterium. But this method could only be used by fully rational persons.

Here we encounter the black side of almost every ideology. The Utopia of the Free Market is based on the assumption that our self-interest eventually will work for the public welfare, because our rational dealing with demand and supply.

But we are not just that perfect rationally acting being. We are not just that homo economics and Bentham had his own ideas about that observation. In 1791 he published a small booklet "The Panopticum" 

The Panopticon is a type of institutional building designed by Bentham. The concept of the design is to allow an observer to observe (-opticon) all (pan-) inmates of an institution without them being able to tell whether or not they are being watched.

Bentham conceived the basic plan as being equally applicable to hospitals, schools, poorhouses, daycares, and madhouses, but he devoted most of his efforts to developing a design for a Panopticon prison, and it is his prison which is most widely understood by the term.

It was invoked by Michel Foucault  in "Surveiller et Punir (Discipline and Punish)" (1975)) as metaphor for modern "disciplinary" societies and their pervasive inclination to observe and normalise.

Just look around you, just as Bentham assumed, day after day we have to be disciplined to be(come) true believers in the free market and the invisible hand that guides us all.

That such a campaign was needed and apparently now still remains necessary, lets see clearly that man is more, was more, and wants to be more than a  rational homo economicus.

The Discussion

[13:28] herman Bergson: Thank you.....
[13:28] Qwark Allen: ::::::::: * E * X * C * E * L * L * E * N * T  * ::::::::::
[13:28] herman Bergson: The floor is yours..^_^
[13:28] Clerisse Beeswing: strange
[13:28] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): I didn't know that stuff about Bentham....
[13:28] Debbie Dee (framdor): Very interesting - thanks prof.
[13:29] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): this looks like Big brother is watching you...
[13:29] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): But utilitarianism seems a good thing to me
[13:29] herman Bergson: Yes merlin it was till 1975 and foucault's publication...
[13:29] Debbie Dee (framdor): I would like to read more on Benthams calculus
[13:29] Clerisse Beeswing: sound like that movie with jim curry
[13:30] herman Bergson: That is only fun Debbie....
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: interesting thing for sure
[13:30] herman Bergson: the formula was...
[13:31] Debbie Dee (framdor): A calculus of pleasure and pain ?
[13:31] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): I doubt if its maths
[13:31] herman Bergson: Intensity X Duration X %Closeness X%Certainty
[13:31] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): oh .. .sort-of maths then :P
[13:31] Debbie Dee (framdor): Probably some math...
[13:31] herman Bergson: complete nonsense
[13:31] Clerisse Beeswing: sounds like it
[13:32] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Still not calculus as I know it
[13:32] herman Bergson: later he changed it into money...
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: x = times?
[13:32] Mick Nerido: we all tend to do what will give us pleasure and avoid pain...
[13:32] Debbie Dee (framdor): lol - not calculus at all.
[13:32] herman Bergson: You mean propositional calculus??
[13:32] herman Bergson: first order logic?
[13:33] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Differential and Integral.. as in Newton
[13:33] herman Bergson: no no...it was calculating a value...
[13:33] Debbie Dee (framdor): No. I was referring to your lecture.
[13:33] Qwark Allen: omg
[13:33] herman Bergson: way over my head Merlin ^_^
[13:33] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): ok :)
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: saved the formula will try to make one in visual c++
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: hehë
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: asa fun thing
[13:33] Qwark Allen: nice bej
[13:33] Bejiita Imako:
[13:33] Debbie Dee (framdor): wtg bej lol
[13:34] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): we're going off-topic again
[13:34] Clerisse Beeswing: lost me at calculus
[13:34] herman Bergson: Bentham ended up with saying that if that pleasure is worth 5 pounds and that pleasure is worth 5 pound then they are equal pleasures
[13:34] Femtasia Rexen: haha
[13:34] herman Bergson: Ye Merlin...
[13:34] herman Bergson: for the most important topic today is...
[13:34] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Well the health service do calculations like that now
[13:34] Qwark Allen: ehhehehe
[13:35] Qwark Allen: ehehhe
[13:35] Qwark Allen: to much
[13:35] Clerisse Beeswing: I believe that too
[13:35] herman Bergson: that every ideology seems to need some (re)education program for the population...
[13:35] herman Bergson: and Betham was close to that idea...
[13:35] Clerisse Beeswing: if this many people had this many disease will leave this many people
[13:35] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Oh yes Herman.. .We are ALWAYS learning... (not) :P
[13:35] herman Bergson: we ahve te be educated to be rational self-intersted human beings...
[13:36] Debbie Dee (framdor): It is almost like someone picks a policy, and makes people follow it. How is this "free"?
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: hmm indeed
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: in a way
[13:36] herman Bergson: Yes Debbie....
[13:36] Clerisse Beeswing: in a way indeed. someone do turn polices around
[13:36] herman Bergson: at the roots of that policy is a view of man....
[13:36] Qwark Allen: somehow that his ideas doesn't seem from a free mind / market point of view
[13:37] Qwark Allen: everything was kind of controlled to what he believe should be the way
[13:37] herman Bergson: and liberalism and neoliberalism and Objectivism have such a view...
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: but from his own views and interests
[13:37] herman Bergson: Well Qwark...
[13:37] herman Bergson: the point is...
[13:37] herman Bergson: where DO our ideas about society come from???
[13:38] Clerisse Beeswing: people higher up then me
[13:38] Debbie Dee (framdor): from leaders who distill them from the zeitgeist,
[13:38] herman Bergson: What we know is the relation between Money and power...
[13:38] herman Bergson: No Debbie I don't believe that...
[13:38] Debbie Dee (framdor): ok
[13:38] herman Bergson: I still believe in the greedy individual...
[13:38] herman Bergson: greed of money and greed of power
[13:39] Femtasia Rexen nods
[13:39] Clerisse Beeswing: true
[13:39] herman Bergson: but the real question is....
[13:39] herman Bergson: Why are we greedy (by nature) and can't we share equally???
[13:39] Femtasia Rexen: we are all afraid
[13:39] Femtasia Rexen: haha
[13:39] Clerisse Beeswing: true fem
[13:39] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Well there is Death to consider
[13:40] herman Bergson: Yes....terror is a good weapon of the greedy...
[13:40] Debbie Dee (framdor): Good question. maybe because we are stuck in a body isolated from others, and feel our own fear and pain so vividly
[13:40] Qwark Allen: i understand his point of view, but i see a future society based on those ideas, with people dressing light blue clothing, and other dark blue
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: hmm interesting question herman indeed
[13:40] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Building riches against poverty in old age etc
[13:40] Femtasia Rexen: and dying before we get there
[13:40] Femtasia Rexen: so someone else gets the money
[13:40] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Sometimes yes Fem
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: even though people have they still want more and more and more for themselves at the cost of others
[13:41] herman Bergson: Yes Qwark..I know what you are point ing at...
[13:41] herman Bergson: but communism isn't a solution at al...
[13:41] Clerisse Beeswing: has we grow so does our mind and want
[13:41] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Oh Clerisse?
[13:41] herman Bergson: there you too see a system of first (re)education the population...
[13:42] herman Bergson: Yes Clerisse we have to grow wiser...
[13:42] Debbie Dee (framdor): The destruction of the commons caused by greed should make us want to be more fair.
[13:42] Clerisse Beeswing: yes I guess the more we learn we will see good to bad and learn
[13:42] herman Bergson: Yes Debbie.....
[13:42] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): it's still the survival of the fittest
[13:43] Debbie Dee (framdor): I guess we are a lot less intelligent than we think ;)
[13:43] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): oh yes Debbie..so true
[13:43] herman Bergson: I have thought about that myself Debbie :-)
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:43] herman Bergson: Quite an intelligent remark ^_*
[13:43] Debbie Dee (framdor): he he
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: the prob is the greedy ones don't care at all about the others just for themselves
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: even if all people around suffered they wouldn't care
[13:44] Clerisse Beeswing: true
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: thats why it looks like this in the world
[13:44] herman Bergson: Yes Bejiita....that is the sick observation indeed
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: yes :(
[13:45] Clerisse Beeswing: but that is why there is people who think on their own who can help the greedy understand
[13:45] Debbie Dee (framdor): Why are we speaking about them? we all participate willingly.
[13:45] herman Bergson: No Debbie....the situation is so complex....
[13:46] herman Bergson: What understanding do we have of the operations of the financial markets?
[13:46] Clerisse Beeswing: any talk about money brings out the best and worst in some
[13:46] herman Bergson: Yet they manipulate our governments, banks etc
[13:46] Debbie Dee (framdor): None, but we can see destruction of the commons clearly.
[13:46] herman Bergson: yes we can indeed Debbie...
[13:47] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Can you clarify Commons Debbie?
[13:47] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Common land etc?
[13:47] herman Bergson: Let me try first Merlin...
[13:47] Debbie Dee (framdor): Commons was well covered by herman earlier.
[13:47] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): ok
[13:47] Qwark Allen: the name should be changed from free market, to manipulated market by the greedy
[13:47] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:47] herman Bergson: The basic idea of commons is in my opinion 'solidarity' and 'sharing' the resources of this planet
[13:47] Bejiita Imako: thats the true name for it for sure
[13:48] herman Bergson: correct me if I am wrong Debbie
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: all speeding in the wrong direction
[13:48] Qwark Allen: yes :-)
[13:48] Debbie Dee (framdor): Good explanation herman.
[13:48] herman Bergson: thank you Debbie...
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:48] herman Bergson: From there we can go on then...
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: thats how i define commons too as "the commin stuff "
[13:49] herman Bergson: What Debbie means by commons , means, that we are loosing that
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: that now the greedy ones want for themselves without sharing
[13:49] herman Bergson: all is part of the greed of individuals...
[13:49] herman Bergson: oh...to give you an example....
[13:49] herman Bergson: in the newpaper of today....
[13:49] herman Bergson: WHO OWNS THE SEA????
[13:50] Debbie Dee (framdor): lol - good question - we do.
[13:50] Bejiita Imako: eeeh Own the sea? thats insane
[13:50] Qwark Allen: the fishies?
[13:50] Bejiita Imako: well some people try to own the moon now
[13:50] herman Bergson: Well..Chine , Japan and the Phillipines are fighting over enormous areas of sea...
[13:50] Qwark Allen: yes, cause of natural resources there
[13:50] Clerisse Beeswing: europe too
[13:51] herman Bergson: they draw their borders ..well...with a ruler I guess on the map and say...this is mine...
[13:51] Debbie Dee (framdor): But the sea is earth, and we all live here - it is OUR COMMON sea
[13:51] herman Bergson: reason....there is oil there
[13:51] herman Bergson: but WHO OWNS THIS EARTH....???
[13:51] herman Bergson: not us...
[13:51] herman Bergson: but look what they are doing...
[13:51] herman Bergson: reason...
[13:51] Qwark Allen: for me, the same ones that rule the markets
[13:51] herman Bergson: profit..
[13:51] herman Bergson: greed
[13:51] herman Bergson: self enrichment...
[13:52] Debbie Dee (framdor): we all do, even the poor. or no - one.
[13:52] Bejiita Imako: some think they can own the universe i think
[13:52] Bejiita Imako: haha
[13:52] Qwark Allen: how many of you don`t have a TV home?
[13:52] Qwark Allen: seems i`m the only one then
[13:52] Qwark Allen: °͜° l ☺ ☻ ☺ l °͜°
[13:52] Qwark Allen: lol
[13:52] Femtasia Rexen: me too
[13:52] herman Bergson: I wished everyone on this earth had one at his home Qwark..
[13:52] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Me... sort-of
[13:52] herman Bergson: and internet
[13:52] Debbie Dee (framdor): lol qwark
[13:52] Clerisse Beeswing: me too everyone should have one
[13:53] Qwark Allen: internet is a gd thing, TV not so sure
[13:53] Clerisse Beeswing: internet and tv are almost the same qwark
[13:53] herman Bergson: Those are the new channels to democracy on a globalscale
[13:53] Qwark Allen: look at those countries, where there is no free will or choice
[13:53] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): no no Clerisse
[13:53] herman Bergson: like Adam Smith already said...
[13:53] Qwark Allen: only government propaganda
[13:53] Debbie Dee (framdor): I would choose the internet over tv. better choice of programs ;)
[13:53] Bejiita Imako: i have computer connected to home theatre system really smooth but a bit clicking back and forth now
[13:53] herman Bergson: quitessentail is EDUCATION
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: watching eurovision semi at same time
[13:54] Clerisse Beeswing: hmm okay gotta think about it
[13:54] bergfrau Apfelbaum: ***** APPPPPPPLLLLAAAUUUSSSSEEEEEEE***********
[13:54] herman Bergson: Ok..I think you are educated enough for today...
[13:54] Qwark Allen: ::::::::: * E * X * C * E * L * L * E * N * T  * ::::::::::
[13:54] Qwark Allen: ¸¸.´ ¯¨.¸¸`**   **´ ¸¸.¨¯` H E R MA N ´ ¯¨.¸¸`**   **´ ¸¸.¨¯`
[13:54] Qwark Allen: thank you
[13:54] Bejiita Imako: YAY! (yay!)
[13:54] bergfrau Apfelbaum: very interesting!! herman & class
[13:54] herman Bergson: Thank you all for your participation....
[13:54] Clerisse Beeswing: thank you professor
[13:54] bergfrau Apfelbaum:I possess only ONE mountain :-) --> in SL
[13:55] Bejiita Imako: awesome and interesting
[13:55] Femtasia Rexen: very interesting, thank you
[13:55] Bejiita Imako:
[13:55] bergfrau Apfelbaum: smile
[13:55] herman Bergson: class dismissed...^_^
[13:55] Qwark Allen: as usual herman
[13:55] Qwark Allen: :-)))
[13:55] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman:)
[13:55] Mick Nerido: thanks herman, sorry i fell asleep...
[13:55] Qwark Allen: thank you
[13:55] Fred123 Aiten: many thanks herman
[13:55] Debbie Dee (framdor): awesome thanks Prof Herman ;)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

406: The Utopia of the Free Market - unveiled

"...every individual necessarily labours to render the annual revenue of the society as great as he can. He generally, indeed, neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it. 

By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he intends only his own security; and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, 

and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by AN INVISIBLE HAND [caps by h B] to promote an end which was no part of his intention. Nor is it always the worse for the society that it was no part of it.

 By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it. I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good." -end quote

In this passage from Book IV, Chapter 2, Adam Smith, explains one of the central mechanisms how a market society works. Every individual works for an income to buy products, keeping his own safety and benefit in mind. 

This is not bad nor wrong because thus he   - tho it is not his intention - often serves the public interest. 

Adam Smith was a deeply religious man, he saw the "invisible hand" as the mechanism by which a beneficent God controls a universe in which human happiness is maximized. 

Here you are confronted with the deepest roots of the Utopia of the Free Market: the belief that what happens in the market is regulated by some kind of "natural" conditions or laws (God?): the basic beliefs of liberalism.

Chapter 7 of Book I is fascinating reading. Just its title to begin with: "Of the Natural and Market Prize of Commodities". You see?! There exists a natural prize of products.

"When the price of any commodity is neither more nor less than what is sufficient to pay the rent of the land, the wages of the labour, 

and the profits of the stock employed in raising, preparing, and bringing it to market, according to their natural rates, the commodity is then sold for what may be called its natural price."
-end quote

In that chapter he describes the causes of fluctuations in prizes. For instance,

the increased competition among manufacturers and increased supply would reduce the price of a product to its production costs plus a small margin, the "natural price".

Smith was convinced that, although people often were driven by selfishness and greed, competition in the free market  will benefit the community as a whole.

Contrary to how Rand, Greenspan and Friedman  interpret Adam Smith, 
he did not propagate a social system in which citizens act selfish, he just described the reality: people act in self-interest. 

And second, Smith did not claimed that any form of self-interest contributed to the public interest. In his opinion self-interest is not always good but he did not think it was necessarily bad. 

Adam Smith criticized those who act solely out of greed and warned that "All for ourselves and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind." (Book III, Chap. 4)

Smith was by no means an advocate of laissez faire, he does not claim that the free market can solve all economic problems. For example, with respect to regulation, he says:

"Whenever the legislature attempts to regulate the differences between masters and their workmen, its counsellors are always the masters. 

When the regulation, therefore, is in favour of the workmen, it is always just and equitable; but it is sometimes otherwise when in favour of the masters. (Book 1, Chap. 10).

Nowhere in "The Wealth of Nations" you can catch Adam Smith on an absolute belief in the Free Market, like you find with Rand, Greenspan and neo-liberals.

They just inflated some aspects of his economic theory and abused these for their Utopia, sometimes also called "The American Dream".

The Discussion

[13:23] herman Bergson: Thank you..
[13:23] herman Bergson: listens to the silence...
[13:23] Alarice von Doobie (alarice.beaumont): wow... really a lot to think about
[13:23] Kime Babenco: ;-)
[13:24] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): at least he is more balanced
[13:24] herman Bergson: I hear you think indeed....
[13:24] Bejiita Imako: aaa yes
[13:24] Ampfan Walkenberg: very interesting
[13:24] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): not completely clear on his view of the worker s and the masters
[13:24] Debbie Dee (framdor): Ok, the cost model in the natural prize neglects the true cost of energy and materials
[13:24] Alarice von Doobie (alarice.beaumont): i think he really is right about the workers and the masters.. hasn't much changed since
[13:24] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): what counsellors
[13:24] herman Bergson: The basic idea is that Smith is the first one who describes the working of the market based on supply and demand
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: yes seems so
[13:25] herman Bergson: Indeed Alarice!
[13:25] Kime Babenco: I guess Adam Smith's thinking about a god who wnated maximum human happiness… that one really failed
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: the natural prize id say is created by this
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: supply and demand
[13:25] Debbie Dee (framdor): In a free market system, the result is pillaging of the commons for free.
[13:25] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): Yes-ah!
[13:25] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): that is good supply and demand
[13:25] Alarice von Doobie (alarice.beaumont): yes... but one doesn't really find this
[13:25] herman Bergson: Noo Bejiita...and yes Kime I guess you are right
[13:25] Kime Babenco: Market price...
[13:25] Alarice von Doobie (alarice.beaumont): too many other factors come with it
[13:26] Bejiita Imako: however many companies seems also to compete each other out of buisness ex many retail stores here for electronics
[13:26] herman Bergson: Wait....
[13:26] herman Bergson: Here is the catch.....
[13:26] Debbie Dee (framdor): The problem is that the cost model is still wrong - who pays for fukushima?
[13:26] Kime Babenco: What about fixed prices... For example.. if you like to take a plane or bus or train... Fixed price ... Full is full
[13:26] herman Bergson: The neo-liberals refer to Smith's his economic theory....
[13:27] herman Bergson: But what they overlook is that Smith was an observer.....of HIS time....
[13:27] Debbie Dee (framdor): and who pays to clean up the open cast coal mines
[13:27] herman Bergson: real markets...small factories and workshops etc…
[13:28] Merlin (merlin.saxondale): Yeah ..just like Jesus was talking about his time too
[13:28] herman Bergson: Just imagine what Adam Smith would think of our world...where markets are manipulated by commercials and advertisements…
[13:28] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): hah
[13:28] Kime Babenco: of course
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:28] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): very different
[13:28] herman Bergson: where banks are not boring banks but playing russian roulette with our savings
[13:29] Bejiita Imako: indeed thats not a good thing
[13:29] Debbie Dee (framdor): and the prize is always too low - no costs relating to environment or depletion
[13:29] herman Bergson: But the Objectivists...the Greenspans and Friedmans and Hayeks adore the free market reffering to Smith...
[13:29] Debbie Dee (framdor): And constant pressure to consume more cheap junk
[13:29] herman Bergson: Believing in that INVISIBLE HAND themselves
[13:30] Alarice von Doobie (alarice.beaumont): but Smith probably saw it differently.... he wouldn't agree to it now I suppose...
[13:30] Alarice von Doobie (alarice.beaumont): ?!
[13:30] herman Bergson: Keep in mind our theme....the UTOPIA of the free market
[13:30] Kime Babenco: It was as well mentioned there became larger companies in stead of smaller... So was said lower prices... which is not at all correct ! Maybe a higher salary for the CEO
[13:30] herman Bergson: I think Smith would go crazy now, Alarice....
[13:30] Debbie Dee (framdor): well, the utopia is a nightmare.
[13:31] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): me too
[13:31] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): but some refer to him often as a basis for their business decisions
[13:31] herman Bergson: Yes...it is a nightmare....
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: indeed
[13:31] herman Bergson: They talk about billions today....
[13:31] herman Bergson: anything goes...
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: dreaming of the impossible trying to realize it in practize and it ends in disaster
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: cause it doesnt work for real
[13:32] herman Bergson: loosing billions..what is the problem....and so on
[13:32] Mick Nerido: where will it end?
[13:32] herman Bergson: Well Mick...I asked that myself....
[13:32] Alarice von Doobie (alarice.beaumont): yes... it would probably stress him to see how what he described developed over the time!
[13:32] Kime Babenco: Why do prices always rice ? They say a shortage for a while..., but when that is over, the prices don't fall again...
[13:32] herman Bergson: But that isn't in fact such a big question at all....
[13:32] Alarice von Doobie (alarice.beaumont): and I don't think anyone knows the solution at all
[13:33] herman Bergson: It is pretty common practice that a country goes bankrupt....
[13:33] herman Bergson: First one was Spain in 1557
[13:33] herman Bergson: and Spain is still there ^_^
[13:33] herman Bergson: Argentina...six times...
[13:33] herman Bergson: France too
[13:33] Velvet (velvet.braham): Greece is having a hard time now
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: six times?
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: hmm yes
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: but looking good at all for greece
[13:34] herman Bergson: Germany two times...1923 and 1945....now the richest economy in europe
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: not
[13:34] Mick Nerido: It's like a RL monopoly game...
[13:34] herman Bergson: Yes Mick….
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: sort of indeed
[13:34] Velvet (velvet.braham): but in RL when you default on a loan, your property is repossessed
[13:34] Fred123 Aiten: why are we worried about Greece then?
[13:34] herman Bergson: Go straight to the jail.....
[13:34] Velvet (velvet.braham): you can't really do that with a country
[13:34] Kime Babenco: Countries and companies can go bankrupt, and start again... Try as a person ! They will find you...
13:34] herman Bergson: I am not....:-)
[13:35] herman Bergson: I htink they are best of leaving the euro-zone...
[13:35] herman Bergson: go bankruopt...
[13:35] herman Bergson: devaluation of 50 to 70% percent so the best export country in Europe
[13:35] Fred123 Aiten: Then we will never get back the money we have lent them
[13:35] herman Bergson: They'll get rich
[13:36] Kime Babenco: What countries did you had in mind ?
[13:36] Alarice von Doobie (alarice.beaumont): better then giving them more and more ....
[13:36] herman Bergson: Don't know about that Fred..but do you really miss it? :-))
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: why Greece have a such hard time is also cause they haven't any industry only whine and cheese and such no real production
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: no car industry ect
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: that can make the economy spin
[13:37] herman Bergson: and because the country is corrupt in many layers
[13:37] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): what will it really do to all other economies if they do that herman
[13:37] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): i hear it will be chaos
[13:37] Alarice von Doobie (alarice.beaumont): oh...that is right.. but the problem is their attitude... and that needs. a looonnngg time to get changed
[13:37] herman Bergson: I think..not much Gemma....
[13:37] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): hope not
[13:37] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): not so sure
[13:37] Bejiita Imako: greek food os great but you cant power a countrys economy with that you need a real industry and they dont have that at all
[13:38] Kime Babenco: There you say... corruption is not very attractive to companies to settle down there... So what will they export (even at low price) ? Retsina and olives ?
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: never seen "made in greece" in a product
[13:38] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): oh i have
[13:38] Mick Nerido: the country is the same after bankrupt, just the money is worth less
[13:38] Kime Babenco: Neither me
[13:38] Alarice von Doobie (alarice.beaumont): oh there are Bejiita
[13:38] herman Bergson: Yes Kime
[13:38] Alarice von Doobie (alarice.beaumont): olive oil, olives :-)
[13:38] Alarice von Doobie (alarice.beaumont): not really much tho
[13:38] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): Yes-ah!
[13:38] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): oh
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: beside feta cheese and olives, no cars or such products
[13:38] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): pottery
[13:38] Velvet (velvet.braham): the problem with Greece is that they lied about their stats when entering the Eurozone
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: or machinery
[13:38] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): laces
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: in general
[13:38] herman Bergson: Well..let's return to the main subject....
[13:39] Velvet (velvet.braham): it devalues everyone
[13:39] herman Bergson: The idea of the Free Market...
[13:39] Kime Babenco: Because all demonstrations and strikes they are keeping the tourists away as well
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: that too the tourist industry seem their biggest income
[13:39] herman Bergson: For Adam Smith the idea was based on a deep belief in God and his invisible hand...
[13:40] Kime Babenco: I am not sure biggest , but certainly important... You know China already bought a lot there ?
[13:40] Alarice von Doobie (alarice.beaumont): well.. he didn't count in the human greed
[13:40] herman Bergson: Rand and Greenspan generalized his ideas out of context and made self-interest a virtue....
[13:40] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): stil doing that
[13:40] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): along with many economists here
[13:41] Debbie Dee (framdor): agreed.
[13:41] herman Bergson: Smith observed that man acts on self-interest.....and he believed that at the end all would turn out well because of that invisible hand in the market
[13:41] Velvet (velvet.braham): I suppose that the counter-argument is that self interest is also in the best interest of the economy
[13:41] herman Bergson: Yes Velvet...
[13:41] Debbie Dee (framdor): but it is not since self interest is greed these days.
[13:41] Velvet (velvet.braham): So if I want to work hard and do well, that also benefits the economy
[13:41] Kime Babenco: Maybe they should bring the ex leaders of such countries like Greece, bring to justice in The Hague
[13:42] Kime Babenco: THough it will not solve a lot
[13:42] Debbie Dee (framdor): along with george bush
[13:42] Velvet (velvet.braham): I can't argue with that. The more money I make, the more I spend.
[13:42] herman Bergson: but the hot issue is....how much government regulation should there be to channel this drive of self-interest...
[13:42] Fred123 Aiten: only providing you spend your money Kime
[13:42] herman Bergson: That is the debate of today...
[13:42] Qwark Allen: ::::::::: * E * X * C * E * L * L * E * N * T  * ::::::::::
[13:42] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): :-)
[13:42] Bejiita Imako:
[13:42] Bejiita Imako: very interesting
[13:43] Mick Nerido: Economic models work for a time and then fail as things change
[13:43] herman Bergson: the most extreme form of control we have seen in communism…..conclusion..doesn't work...
[13:43] Debbie Dee (framdor): Since there is no invisible hand, we need some new leaders with altruistic objectives
[13:43] Velvet (velvet.braham): So, the "invisible hand" works as long as the majority of people have a good work ethic.
[13:43] herman Bergson: at th eother and the Tea party ideas.....
[13:43] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): we saw an example of non regulations this week with jp morgan bank loosing 2,000,000,000 of their money
[13:43] Kime Babenco: Therefore those are not models, just fashion apearances
[13:43] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): maybe more
[13:43] herman Bergson: Yes Gemma.....
[13:43] Alarice von Doobie (alarice.beaumont): yeah.. incredible again
[13:44] Qwark Allen: omg´
[13:44] herman Bergson: Whose money Gemma?????
[13:44] Velvet (velvet.braham): mine. I have money in that bank.
[13:44] herman Bergson: That is the scary question
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: aaw thats no good
[13:44] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): they keep saying it was "their money " not depositers
[13:44] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): however
[13:44] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): they wer in the bail out a ffew years back
[13:44] Debbie Dee (framdor): money is created from debt.
[13:45] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): byte the government!!!!
[13:45] Velvet (velvet.braham): but my money is protected, unless too many people withdraw at once
[13:45] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): OUR money
[13:45] Fred123 Aiten: if they lost 2 billion who gained it?
[13:45] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): bad trades
[13:45] Velvet (velvet.braham): they made poor investments
[13:45] Debbie Dee (framdor): lol. it is only printed....
[13:45] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): Yes-ah!
[13:45] Kime Babenco: By printing or pressing from machines
[13:45] herman Bergson: yes Fred...the other side of the medal :-)
[13:45] Velvet (velvet.braham): Debbie, not even printed!
[13:45] Qwark Allen: withdraw money is what greeks are doing now
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: yes its we that provide the bank with money so their loosing our money then not theirs
[13:45] Velvet (velvet.braham): money exists only as numbers in the computers of the federal reserve
[13:45] Qwark Allen: 894 mills in o ne day, 2 days ago
[13:46] Velvet (velvet.braham): At least here in the US
[13:46] Debbie Dee (framdor): So where does 2.4 trillion dollars of quantitative easing come in ?
[13:46] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): it is moves like this that banks sshould nto be able to do
[13:46] herman Bergson: Well.....enough to think about for the weekend...and check your bank accounts
[13:46] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): Yes-ah!
[13:46] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): lol
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[13:46] Velvet (velvet.braham): they are shuffling game pieces around a board
[13:46] herman Bergson: Thank you all for your participation....
[13:46] Debbie Dee (framdor): lol thanks for the tip herman
[13:46] Kime Babenco: If you liive for hundred years, that's 3,333 billion seconds
[13:46] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:46] herman Bergson: Class dismissed
[13:47] Gemma Allen (gemma.cleanslate): 80-89-s party today
[13:47] Velvet (velvet.braham): Thank you everyone!
[13:47] Fred123 Aiten: Thank you herman
[13:47] Debbie Dee (framdor): Thanks Herman - excellent topic.
[13:47] Kime Babenco: Thanks Herman!
[13:47] Qwark Allen: ¸¸.´ ¯¨.¸¸`** **´ ¸¸.¨¯` H E R MA N ´ ¯¨.¸¸`** **´ ¸¸.¨¯`
[13:47] Qwark Allen: TY
[13:47] herman Bergson: My pleasure ^_^