Monthly Archives: June 2013

We Might As Well Face It… The World Needs Slaves

What image comes to mind when you hear the word “slave”?  A black person picking cotton on a Southern plantation?  Well that image is history.  The 21st century slave looks much different in America.  That whole idea of “owning” slaves is passé.  It’s way too messy–and an HR nightmare too; not to mention very expensive. No, the only similarities between nineteenth century and modern-day slavery is the Democrat Party’s support of it.

Have you ever heard speak of those who are “doing work that American’s won’t do”? This usually refers to  migrant farm workers… kind of like cotton pickers on old plantations. I’ve heard many use those very words, including President Bush and my own Senator, John McCain. Hearing those words for the first time made my head cock like a sheep dog seeing a three-headed man for the first time. What an odd statement.

Well, translated, “doing work that American’s won’t do” = “doing work that corporations would rather not pay free market wages for”; or put differently, “Slave labor”.

Would you pick lettuce for two hundred grand a year… with benefits? I would… and I’m an American. So the question isn’t whether or not Americans will do that job, but rather can illegals, read the modern equivalent of slaves, be imported to do it for a price that makes Americans happy with their salad… and their “compassion”?

The next question, that even the economic moron understands is: “What would paying lettuce-pickers  $200,000 a year do to the price of lettuce?” But buried in that question is an assertion, which is: “I want my salad for the price I’m use to paying, and I’m willing to enslave the less fortunate to get it”, or, put differently, “we might as well face it, the world needs slavery”.

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Similar Posts:

1. You Will Always Be In Chains

2. Economics = Blackmail 

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Free The Slave? Not So Fast!

The prominence of slavery was a reality for all but the tiny slice of recorded history we call the present.  But mankind appears to have rejected this practice  in modern Western Civilization, which, given the stock from which I come myself, probably saves me from being one… which is good.

But fortunately for us lazies and unfortunates another kind of slave has emerged.   This new slave is cheap, works hard day and night, never complains, and separates us by leaps and bounds from the toils, cares, and harsh realities that were ever present in the lives of our ancestors.  But, best of all, this slave is willing to be enslaved, and needs no crusader on his behalf… until lately.

The slave of which I speak is “energy”.  This slave looks like a washing machine, a dishwasher, air conditioner, automobile and so on. And for those who in the past needed armies of slaves for building pyramids and harvesting crops and so on, those armies now look like bulldozers, cranes, and combines.

Also, we generally associate slavery with back-breaking labor.  But this slave does much more than that. It will take us 2000 miles in a few hours, or pump blood through our bodies while another heart is installed, and much more. Let’s see our mental image of a slave do that!

There’s an old Chinese proverb that supposedly goes like this: “If you want to know about water, don’t ask a fish”. Everyone alive today has benefited so much from this slave, and in so many ways,  we now take “him” for granted.  It’s almost as if this slave is as sure to us as tomorrow’s sunrise, and as plentiful and certain too.

Perhaps life immersed in a world filled with the benefits of energy explains why so many, who daily depend on this willing slave for life as we know it, also believe that it can be done away with, and life as only we few humans in history have experienced it, will continue unchanged.

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Filed under Economics, Harsh Reality, Politics, Words, Work, Worldview

A Penny Too Far

Would you buy a 100 million dollar house if you liked it? How about a 100 dollar house… if you liked it? Since most of us can’t afford the former, and will never see the latter, the house we end up buying, if we buy a house, will necessarily be somewhere between these two extremes.

Whether it be houses, cars, milk or bread, there must, therefore, exist an exact price beyond which we will forgo our desire and keep our money.

Granted, while it does seem odd that one penny could break a deal on a transaction involving hundreds of thousands of dollars, like say a house, in reality one penny could. We can follow this logic by asking the question: “Would I still buy this house if it were one penny more? OK then, how about two penny’s more?” Simply repeat until the house is “too expensive”.

For this reason marketers grapple with each penny in the final price of something. They know that that penny may become one penny too much for someone, or some.

Corporations, from necessity, must constantly make decisions based on this fact. They must attempt to squeeze the most return for the buyer and themselves out of each penny. While such decisions can appear to have a slimy greedy feel to them when examined out of context, each of us make similar decisions daily without even realizing it. We could spend an hour walking to the store, which is safer; or we could spend 15 minutes driving to the store with higher risk of harm or death, to save 45 minutes, for example.

In the final analysis the lines are precise. Whether or not we extract resources, buy that thing, indeed every decision we make in an economy ultimately comes down to a line that exists between “not one cent more” and “that’s one penny too far”.

 

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Filed under Economics, Human Nature, Money, Supply And Demand

Was Hitler A Radical Right Wing Extremist, Or A Leftist?

To answer the question one needs to define the terms. What does it mean to be a leftist, or right winger?  Confusion on these terms lead many to embrace more laws and government intrusion in the name of liberty.  Taking ten minutes to watch this little explication will be ten minutes well spent for the sake of clarity.

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and more:

http://suyts.wordpress.com/2013/06/19/shock-news-nazism-is-short-for-national-socialists/

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Filed under Government, Morality, Politics, Worldview

Static Snapshots Reveal Nothing About Economics.

A young man went to a grocery store one night to buy food.  He left with a loaf of bread and a stack of bologna, because, well, that was all he could afford.  He then went home to his apartment which was furnished with aluminum lawn furniture.  His bed was a cushion from an outdoor lounge chair as well.  He kept it on the floor of his closet where he slept.  He worked at night, you see, and couldn’t afford curtains.  Needless to say, he was poor.

But this true story is only a snapshot.  To examine only this snapshot tells us virtually nothing except for those “present” circumstances.   In this case for example, the young man had done poorly in school.  But his poor performance had nothing to do with any of the usual culprits that are trotted out.  It was because he thought it more important to “hang out” with his friends.  By his own later-in-life admission, his meager circumstances were not the result of something so vague as rich white men’s greed, but of his own laziness.

The story also says nothing of his future.  In time this person managed to get his act together and buckle down.  He went to school, read, and worked hard.  In time his fortunes changed.  He learned a skill that paid well, got married, had children, and is now living a comfortable middle-class life.

This is why snapshots aren’t worth much beyond fueling emotional “causes”.  Life, economies, fortunes, circumstances; they are all dynamic, not static.  The vast majority of young people fortunate enough to live in free-market systems begin their lives with very modest means, which actually build character.  Left alone, with equal opportunity and the right mindset, they will find their way out of those circumstances if they are willing to make sacrifices, work hard, roll with the punches that are certainly coming their way, and live ethically… and the sooner one starts the better.

The young man in this story, if you haven’t guessed, is me.  I suppose I could have blamed my circumstances on social injustice, or the 1%, or some other shadowy boogie man meant to send me cowering into the arms of the socialist.  But my real enemy resided in my own skin.  It still does.

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Filed under Economics, Harsh Reality, Human Nature, Morality, Work, Worldview

“Words Are Wise Men’s Counters… But They Are The Money Of Fools”

In the post before last I excerpted a passage from “The Road To Serfdom” concerning the redefining of “words”. Below is a short video that builds on that idea.  It also explains how the words “social justice” are “money of fools”.

H/T Right From Yaad.

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Also check out this series on social justice:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

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Filed under Economics, Equality, Harsh Reality, Morality, Politics, Social Justice, Words, Worldview

The Anatomy Of Debt

Living in a debt based economy has a way of obscuring reality, perhaps especially when it comes to the basics of debt.  So to get back to those basics, and right to the point, let’s look at 3 basic components of all debt:

  1. Something of value
  2. The lender’s past
  3. The borrower’s future

“The past” you ask? How can debt involve the past?  Well, let’s say you hit me up for ten bucks.  That ten spot doesn’t just pop into existence because you need it.  No, In order for me to have it, it had to be earned at some point in the past.  If I now lend it to you, with interest, I am in effect delaying the benefit of my past effort so that you may use it as a present benefit.  Of course I don’t forgo that benefit for free, I charge you interest.

This loan, in essence, was a transaction.  I exchanged, or sold, a piece of my past for a piece of your future, with a profit margin.  This is debt in a nutshell and there are perfectly logical and good reasons, both for the lender and the borrower, to engage in such transactions.

The purchase of knowledge, (education) a modest home and transportation are excellent reasons a lender might “invest” in someone’s future.  And the borrower, who uses the benefits of his future early, enables himself to profit from earning more for longer.

These kinds of transactions take place across the spectrum of scale everyday.  Even government gets in on the action, only it plays out much differently there.  While its transactions still have these three components, they become mixed up.  The politician confiscates the pasts of some, sells the futures of others, invests that capital into his own political future through vote buying schemes, and then calls the whole thing compassion.

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Related posts:

On Political Motivations

On Fractional Reserve Banking

On Saving/Borrowing

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Filed under Banking, Economics, Government, Politics