Sometimes I wonder if “force” is the underlying motive behind everything?
I know we preach the NAP and that “voluntary association” between people who trade goods and services is the key to humanities success.
But then i wonder what keeps everyone honest in that system?
And it’s not just the capitalist system or the free market system. Every system, even those that lack structure; like cavemen who kill and loot. Is the use (or the threat) of force a fundamental part of life and the universe?
I really don’t have an answer or a theory or even an idea in either direction. I’m just thinking out-loud and expanding on tiny ideas. Maybe i’ll expand more on this later.
One of the reasons I got sorely disillusioned with capitalism is the fact that many capitalists I do know will argue about things like maquiladoras or outsourced factories, saying that they’re great for impoverished people because now they have jobs.
So people n the third world are supposed to be happy putting together your flat screen T.V.s, working menial, repetitive, and sometimes dangerous jobs because it’s better than starving?
Last time I checked, true freedom wasn’t working a laborious job for 30 bucks a week thanks to the generosity of some American capitalist. It was the power and means to seek a full and happy life at any means necessary, and the economic flexibility to find a niche for yourself.
Plus the argument reeks of Western superiority.
Outsourcing factories increases the productivity of labour in the country because it has more capital to work with, increasing the marginal revenue product of labour, and therefore increase the wage rate. Nobody has ever suggested that making TVs in factories constitutes “true freedom” (whatever that’s supposed to mean) except inasmuch as it allows people in those countries to achieve their short and long term goals. Foreign investment is an important stepping stone on the road to prosperity.
If there’s anything that reeks of “Western superiority” it’s people who live comfortable lives condemning the very mechanisms that the world’s poor have of increasing their wellbeing, because those mechanisms don’t adhere to some moronic hippie standard of freedom that only wealthy Westerners can indulge in.
The reason “poor” countries are poor is because they lack the resources, skills, labor force and knowledge (or a combination of those items) that it takes to produce “wealth”. Wealth is the best available goods and services in any particular industry.
Poor countries are poor because they lack two things: #1 they can’t build or produce the top notch goods and services that first world countries can. And #2, they lack the ability to exchange for those goods and services.
What does this mean? It means that if you’re country A and you don’t have any oil, let’s say, but you have computer chip manufacturing, you can exchange and have the best of both worlds. Or if you’re country B and you have oil and computer chips, you’re self-sufficient and can remain a first world country.
3rd world countries need help to either #1 produce these goods and services or #2 find ways to leverage what they can produce to exchange for those goods and services.
Stepping out of an agrarian society (farming) and into an industrial society and eventually into a first world society doesn’t happen overnight. It happens through evolution and education of both a society’s/country’s people and their resources/production methods.
People aren’t going to be born with the ability to code computers or build complex production machines or to be top notch doctors. All of these things take education and effort and input and all of those things take time, money or both (usually both). So that process is slow. It’s hard to leapfrog from one position to the other. It is possible and growth can occur fast, but it can not be instantaneous.
For example, I’m working with a company in the Philippines. the Philippines isn’t the poorest but they aren’t rich, either. They don’t produce their own medical equipment (top notch machines like MRI’s PET/CTs and Gamma Knives) in the Philippines. They don’t know how to, they lack the education and industries to do so. So they have to purchase from other countries like the US or Germany or France. They sometimes buy brand new equipment but usually they buy used, older equipment. Relative to the entire planet, they have decent medical equipment but they don’t have a lot of first world level equipment. However, what they have today is worlds better than what they had a decade or two ago. Today, they are about 5 years behind in cancer medicine, 5 years ago they were a decade behind and 10 years ago they were, more or less, ignorant of cancer technology. They are currently limited by one thing, currency exchange rates. The goods and services that they can produce are still limited in quality and quantity so it’s harder for them to buy better equipment than it is for a place like, say, Chicago, USA.
But they slowly invest the income that they do make from their goods/services and they invest that in resources, infrastructure and in education and they now have Filipinos who are capable of installing, repairing and running the equipment, where as before, they had to bring in foreigners to do all of that work and pay a premium for that labor.
in another decade or so, they’ll perhaps have the ability to manufacture that equipment within their own country and they will no longer need to trade for it. When they achieve this, they will be closer to being on par with the rest of the planet.
This is just one sector of one industry, but this is how all emergent markets grow and come to par with the leaders of the world. They need the education, the application of such knowledge and the resources in order to do so and all of those things come with growth, which takes time.
If you don’t believe me, look at China. What was just a few short decades ago an agrarian land of poor farmers is steadily putting more people into the “middle class” than any other country, and that transformation happens through the industrialization and education of the country. No way around that.
Ludwig von Mises
Check out this awesome article from Values and Capitalism: “People-vs-Profits” is a False Dichotomy.
I wished business schools would remind themselves of this. I think b-schools students should be taught Austrian Econ, as a prerequisite
Personally, I’d replace “profits” with “incentives”. People far to often think of profits as purely monetary gains. But some people believe in gains that are not necessarily monetary in nature, such as emotional gains.
There are those that engage in supplying consumers for some sort of emotional gain and that, to them, is the incentive of doing business.
This is where the theories of economics start to diverge with the theories of ethics and philosophy; specifically with the ethics of altruism of David Hume.
Maybe it’s just me, but if we started talking about “income” and “profits” as things that go beyond just monetary gains, maybe we’d attract more individuals to the ideas of capitalism and anarcho-capitalism.
Markets are nothing more than the collective action of society and ethics are the collective belief of that society, than there’s no one to blame for unethical behavior of the market than society as a whole.
Therefore, if one wishes to clean up the market of unethical behavior, one shouldn’t punish the market with regulations. Instead, one should try to teach society to embrace and practice better ethics.— We need ethical evolution, not market regulation.
People always ask me this question and I always give the same answer. It’s simple and almost mind boggling that even some Ivy League “brains” don’t understand this.
If creators didn’t create, what would consumers have to buy?
If consumers didn’t consume, who would buy the creations of the creators?
If laborers didn’t labor, how would anything get built, shipped and maintained?
Everyone is integral to the success and sustainability of the market system. The cogs don’t just help the movement, they make up the structure. Remove one and you weaken and even collapse the entire machine of prosperity.
From innovators to mass producers to laborers and billionaires, if people didn’t participate in the Market, there would be no Market. There would be no jobs, no incomes, no progress, no society.
The less people participate in the Market, the less society benefits. The more input, regardless of who and how that input comes in, the better off society is.
The Market is the chicken and the egg. It doesn’t matter who came first, what matters is that they both remain integral to the cycle. Lose one, lose it all.
oh yeah, and concerning that picture of a farmer spending all his money on hookers not farm equipment:
an Austrian would argue that it is okay for a farmer to be doing that because markets shift towards where they should be
that is, if markets wanted tons of strippers and no food, that’s where it would go
so yeah, suck my dick haters
What’s your point? Sounds like a straw man argument.
This guy is so incredibly brain dead. “If the markets wanted strippers instead of food, that’s where it would go.” Really? You *really* think if you open the markets that somehow, people will magically suddenly forget that they need food to survive? Do you really consider society to be that fucking incapable of sustaining itself? That’s pretty much what I’m hearing right now.
people can’t understand hypotheticals
How exactly is that a hypothetical…to anything? What’s your big example? “If the market wants more strippers than it does toothpaste, that’s what’ll happen. If the market wants more strippers than cars, that’s what’ll happen.” Like what’s your point? Do you really think that most rational people will pick a stripper over brushing their own teeth? Or that it should actually matter to you what the fuck people do on their own time? JFC, Keynesians. Y’all baffle me.
>yfw there’s no such things as “rational”
It’s hilarious that people take your hypothetical and assume that’s were you think markets will go. Hint: NO ONE KNOWS WHERE MARKETS WILL GO! If we did, we would completely control our economy and limit the busts while replicating the booms. We’d have perpetual growth with relatively no effort. But we don’t because markets are organic.
If he said the market might shift from food to cocaine or from food to urine, it would still be as correct as saying the market would shift from hookers to food.
So many idiots.