Category Archives: fairness

Those Evil And Greedy Hotel Owners

My family and I recently traveled cross country and I looked for inexpensive hotels for our overnights. I discovered that the average price for a decent hotel was about $70.00 a night. So let me see. $70.00 a night equates to about $2100.00 a month for rent. Wow, what a rip off for a one-room kitchenless, unit in a so-so neighborhood next to a freeway.

So there I was, getting sleepy, in dire need of a place to lay my head, and waiting for me were these greedy hotels wanting to gouge me just because they could. Man! Greed is so ugly.

So, what I propose is a law that makes it illegal for these shady types to charge so much to people who have no other place to stay. Let’s see, the going rent payment for a family of 4 is, say, $1000.00 a month. This equates to about $32.00 a night. But since hotels only give you one room, then it ought to be at least half that. So the proper rate should be about $15.00 a night. That would be fair.

“But wait”, you say, “hotels are different than houses. What you’re saying is completely absurd.”  To this I respond, “Yes it is, very.”

But what if I were to change the discussion to loans? Suppose I said that all loans ought to look like a home mortgage. Suppose I looked at the payday-loan business down the street and started a crusade to force them to lend their money for a more “fair” rate?

In the same way that finding a place to sleep would become virtually impossible if rates were forced to be less than $15 a night, then so would getting that much needed loan to keep my lights on, or being evicted; both of which are much more expensive to remedy than the interest rate for high risk loans.

But hey, at least my do-gooderness would get a boost from “helping” the poor, even if I actually did more to hurt them, and that’s what it’s all about… isn’t it?

Advertisements

13 Comments

Filed under Economics, fairness, Money, Politics

It’s Where You Start That Determines Where You Finish

I enjoy articles on economics. The first thing I attempt to determine however is the writer’s starting point.

If a writer  starts from the premise that “government planners” can successfully control the allocation of scarce resources better than free markets, then I know that the author isn’t living in reality. He instead lives in a daycare world.  His “finish”, no matter how sophisticated his thinking, can be summed up as all us children nicely sharing our little resources like Tonka Toys.  Of course those who write from this perspective see themselves as the grownup women watching over us selfish children and our resources with a keen eye on who gets to play with what.

Many “economists” still live in such a world.  Because resources like, say, food, simply appeared on their tables at dinner time, and cars appeared in their driveways at 16, and a full government or daddy-funded education just appeared, seemingly from nothing, experience has conditioned them to feel that resources simply appear from nothing and the driving question then is not how to create more but rather how can what already exist be fairly distributed. That homes, medical care, education, or food are not a right that can be guaranteed by one man to another is utterly unfathomable to those who start with such thinking.  Such starting points determine the finish; though like all Utopian dreams, that finish must ever be in the future requiring patience from those who suffer interminably from the inevitable hardships that come with them.

On the other hand, writers whose starting point is the realization that resources are the result of risk, work, and production, not to mention human factors such as self-interest and motivation, are much more trustworthy.  Good thinking must necessarily be aligned with reality.

As for me, I’m much more confident in the economics of one whose thinking was forged in making payroll and successfully competing for business in a hostile world while simultaneously thwarting greedy lawyers, and power-hungry politicians and their bureaucrat dogs.  I’m much more inclined to think this person’s economics more insightful than those of tenured theorizers whose circumstances insulate them from the consequences of their stupid “ideas”.

5 Comments

Filed under Economics, fairness, Government, Harsh Reality, Worldview

You Will Always Be In Chains

Being in chains is a metaphor, of course.  Chains depict restraint of a physical sort, but the reality of economics depicts restraints of a different sort.  One person might be restrained from eating T-bones due to the lack of a few dollars, or a politician might be restrained from buying those last few votes because he couldn’t produce the millions required for handouts.  But regardless of circumstances, the slack eventually takes out of everyone’s chain.

But this is why economics is such a hot topic isn’t it?  No one likes restraint, especially when they see their neighbors living lives with much less restraint.  It just doesn’t seem fair.  Perhaps that’s because it isn’t.  Worse, a different sort of chain, “human nature” will keep anyone from fixing it.  Oh, not that it won’t be tried over and again, but man’s selfish nature will always intervene in his vain  attempts at instituting equality.  This truth is simple to see, and clearly demonstrable with a cursory glance at history, but while man is clearly not capable of producing a “fair” society, apparently he is exceedingly apt at self-delusion.

Every person’s chains could be loosened if the efforts to loosen them were judged by results.  But unfortunately history is generally marked by the burden of unnecessarily tight chains because man’s tendency to judge efforts according to intentions rather than results.  Failure, therefore, is gain for the “fixers” because it results in shorter chains that the “fixers” are eager to address if only the enslaved would grant them more power.  The result?  More chains.

3 Comments

Filed under Equality, fairness, Harsh Reality, Human Nature, Politics, Social Justice, Worldview

Don’t Tread On My Private Property

In our current day of “social justice”, fair has come to mean an equal distribution of resources.  But there is a barrier to this goal.  That barrier is known as private property.

For years, being a moron myself, this term, “private property”,  was confusing.  I was raised in a rural area with plenty of “private property” signs around.  But this is not what private property is; at least not solely.  There are all kinds of private property… like money for example.  The fundamental component of “private property” is ownership.  One can say “that’s mine” with the weight of law backing it up.

But the misguided ideas that drive “social justice” muddies this concept.  One of the tasks of capitalist governments is to protect private property, which is why there are laws against theft.  But what if the government is enlisted by the majority to participate in theft from the minority?  If this can happen, is anyone’s property really private, or is it more a privilege dependent on the whim of the majority?

While the tension between ownership and social justice involves many facets, here is one: The emotion based appeal of equality versus the right to acquire and accumulate private property to do with as one pleases.

Most however don’t see this tension because most don’t have what is arbitrarily deemed to be more than their fair share.  There is no reasoned defense capable of answering this emotional argument, but there is sound economical reasons to defend private property. And, there are sound reasons to deny the authority in society to participate in theft.  To not do this is a slippery slope because once the right to private property is destroyed for one, the door is opened for it to be destroyed for all.

3 Comments

Filed under Economic Science, Economics, Equality, fairness, Government, Morality, Worldview

How To Fleece The People With Maximum Efficiency

Government accomplishes more by tax rates than filling it’s coffers, which is kind of funny these days when you think about it because the government coffer is brimming over with I.O.U’s.

1 Comment

Filed under Economic Science, Economics, fairness, Government, Human Nature, Politics

Can’t We All Just Have A Utopian Style Economy?

Some time back I told a group of ten year olds that I had hidden a bag of candy.  I passed out maps that I assured them would lead to the treasure, but I purposely withheld the beginning point.  They began walking around, turning this way and that, counting their steps, as they each dutifully followed the map .  Not one of them asked for that key piece of information that would have unlocked it.  This surprised me for some reason.  In the end no one found the candy. So I ate it myself… In front of them.

There is a lesson here in economics.  Where one begins in the study of economics will determine where he ends up.

When most hear the word “economy” they think of the availability of jobs, money and so on.  But the starting point of economics is man, namely, answering the question, how will he act, good or not so great, under given circumstances?  With this answer in hand it then attempts to answer another question, how do we enlist our fellow man to participate in our own benefit?

While capitalism begins with the more negative view that man is only interested in himself, and from selfish motives will work, improvise, innovate, trade, think, risk, explore and other things that make for a good economy, communism is based on an assumption that man is more altruistic. It assumes he will do these same things with the same zeal in return for his fair share of resources, however much some wealthy, innately-benevolent leader decides that is.

That this hasn’t ever worked is a testament to the faultiness of communism’s premise.  That it will ever be attempted  is a testament to the validity of capitalism’s premise regarding man’s condition… well, that and his resilience to the truth regarding that sad condition.

Leave a comment

Filed under Economic Science, Economics, Equality, fairness, Harsh Reality, Human Nature, Morality, Work, Worldview

America Has An Unfair Economy

Rule number one in economics:

All economies are unfair.

This rule, as with most economic rules, falls under the “reality is harsh” heading.  Much blood has flowed in attempts to break this rule, and it’s obvious that we’re not anywhere near done.  Yet, after all the blood letting, there stands all those unfair economies.  So what’s going on here?

The one problem I’ll discuss here is undefined terms. In this case, the term is “fair”.  Consider a kitchen table.  If someone looks at it and asks, “What’s that”, and another answers,” Well, it’s certainly not a chair”,  the question wasn’t answered satisfactorily.  Yet, still, the answer was true.  The fact remains that one could possibly go on for days saying what the table isn’t, all the while speaking true answers, yet never answering.

The truth is that a table is a table, and a chair is not a table.  This truth is not subject to opinion.  Fair, on the other hand, is very much subjective.  We have a president claiming that some are not paying their fair share in taxes.  But he is not pointing to some objective standard as to what anyone’s fair share is. He’s only saying what he thinks it’s not.

Others say that it’s not fair that that person over there has so much more than I do.  Again, this is an appeal  to what is not fair while giving no indication as to what is fair.  But even if “fair” is specified, those specifications can only be based on subjectivity.  While a table will always be a table, what is fair for one is not always fair for another.

This is not to say that there exists no objective standard for fair in which, like a table is a table, fair is fair.  It is to say that that standard is found outside of the self.  It is in the self that such “standards” are confused with self-interest.

Leave a comment

Filed under Economics, Equality, fairness, taxation, Worldview