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January 22, 2010

Comments

evagrius

"I was defending individuals' freedom of choice to exchange in ways they find mutually beneficial."

There's the rub. "Mutually beneficial" is a complex phrase.

It depends on who gets what benefit and what type of benefit- long term, short term etc;

Quite often the benefits and the consequences are actually hidden from both parties or, as quite often the case, partially hidden/ revealed to only one of the parties.

This is where ethics or morality comes in but, in modern economic thought, those concerns are individual and a private choice.

david beasley

What a gal! z, don't sell the farm. We will get by somehow. Dr. G might take real offence at my working his blog, you know. As well as others. Backlash from the American Christian political sector is a real fear of mine. Odd about the chains forged to a seminary. American $. No one held a gun to my head when I signed each semester. But then old old Brother Paul mentioned being a slave to his Lord. And there's the mystery. Just nothing about family values, home mortgage, easy plastic medical, clothing, transportation, and food debt. Failure of nerve. Hostile American Christians towards the word "pacifism" in time of "duty calls"... etc. Baptists mentality towards all other than themselves... and them saved. Saved at the bank. Big church. I guess I am hysterical at your financial proposal. It has been a long creepy haul thrugh the corridors of christian academia.

david beasley

evagrius/Doug,
not to intrude
but I see Doug speaking of a historical French trapper CEO in his canoe on the Ohio River trading with the indigenous folk in beads and steel knives and iron pots and such for beaver pelts type venture and everybody being happy. The French are happy, the top hat industry is happy, the Native Americans are happy. Apply that simple formula to today's Wall Street reaching across the oceans and voila! Everybody benefits except the beavers. Well, while history teaches us that some things went wrong, somethings unseen intruded into the formula like swine fever, small px, competition for the Spainish gold and the French beaver and the English tax revenue and natural greed and nationalism and such. Then too that's what begot America as the USA after the revolution and the initial first century of the 300 year Native American Homeland Security War. Sort of like Wall Street reaching out today in the less than perfect paradigm of free trade. Like when America insisted on Japan and the entire Pacific Oceanic nations doing trade or else.

evagrius

David- I think you've got a good point.

I'm not much of a student of economics but I have heard of something interesting concerning this.

"Free markets" depend on seller and buyer having equal access to information. Obviously that isn't true when the seller is a large corporation and the buyer a single individual, ( it may not even be true if both are corporations), or vice versa.

There's a phenomenon that three economists, ( who got the Nobel in economics for it), called asymmetric information.

This is the major problem in free markets.

The other is what the article in Georgia pointed out.

Marxists excused their actions claiming the history will resolve them. Capitalists do the same thing claiming the free market will resolve problems.

From the Georgian view, both are wrong.

zero

both are wrong indeed. look at how often the transactions between individuals and any sort of business includes a "gotcha", with the business doing the getting in more ways than just getting dollars. sometimes it seems like one needs to have an attorney follow them around for every transaction one undertakes, no matter how "simple". mulder's trust no one rings true. and when caught business says it's up to the buyer to know! oh, let's blame the victim. current case in point; toyota. rather than just say there could be a problem they blamed floormats (which can't move without feet moving them) or the drivers. only after people died does toyota say it could be the gas pedal. how i'd love to see a business just say, yes, we were wrong, we screwed up. even when whistleblowers come forward business trashes them and makes it about them instead of the wrong doing. individuals don't have a chance! it's everywhere too. not just a few bad apples. so there.

david. start your own church. people do it all the time. so can you. make it a very special ministry. there are those who would benefit from your stewardship and you would benefit from living what you set out to do. working toward that goal beats unemployment. and when you have this going let me know and i'll make a contribution to your church and not you. you didn't ask, i offered. so there.

david beasley

spirituality:
A church planting would be ok with me. God might surprize my near stiff neck self. I really fight not to agree with Mark Twain's latter point-of-view about The Damned Human Race and Letters to Earth.

economics:
There certainly is always a tension within deals. People just don't get along. I feel the heat between Peter and John in the end of the Gospels. You know? In CPE I was taught the fact of "triangulation" where folk of every persuasion simply form alliances within triangles of say A. Buyer, B. Seller, C. Middleman. Sooner or later one shafts the other in the back like both Machiavelli & Sun Tzu, The Book of War, say is the simple way to get things done and many buy into their advice apparently.

zero

after posting, david, i was thinking (it hurts to, you know....). there's a "church" here in town that isn't traditional at all. they meet in the local school on sunday am. the focus of the church is to actually do what jesus said we should do. if you are even remotely interested in finding out more about this way of church, i would be happy to get you contact information and tell the pastor about your interest and the two of you could talk.

people aren't very good to each other and i blame that on the every-man-for-himself mentality of a system based on economics that produces winners and losers. call it whatever you want, the outcome is the same. and lots of people cheat to come out a winner. and some, most in fact, never win.

david beasley

At my first United Methodist Church as a student pastor we had at the parsonage a pie tin nailed to the deck railing in front of our breakfast table window. One morning the sparrows and wrens and titmouses -- the little birds -- were feeding when a big red tailed hawk landed on the pie tin trying to grasp the tin and nothing else. Just came into to check it out. He was so cool and even comical I did not even get mad about the seeds scattering everywhere by a raptor who did not eat my little birds that day... under no delusion, I've seen several raptors snatch doves and sparrows off telephone wires leaving tufts of floating feathers and negative space in just a blink of the eye. He lived nearby because I'd seen him circling on hot air waves up in the sky. He just seemed to be curious about us and looked me and Amy up and down through the window as we were opened mouth golly astonished. That's the kind of church I would like to have. The kind of commentary about what to think about reality and the way we respond to all the confusion rather than what to be a hypocrit about. [email protected] is us. I'd like to chat with the minister you speak of.

david beasley

zero,
I think I'd call it The Church of the Outlawed & Not So Straight Shooters*

*Who Know the Meaning of the Tree of Shame... Sort of...maybe

Maybe not. One does have to concede to some conventions.

zero

hahahahaaaaa......
i'm laughing out loud sooooo hard, david, i can barely type!

indeed, indeed. a person can't be too far out there if one wants to attract any of the masses. you'll have to tone it down just a wee bit so people will know you are on the up and up. after that, well.....

that said. i shall see what i can manage on this end and offer the email address to the pastor. maybe contact will lead to something positive for you to work in your chosen path.

for the birds. i have lots of them around here besides the ducks and geese. i love them all, even the ones that are deemed intrusive. after all. they get hungry too.
one spring day i was watching the ducks and geese from the porch. spied a particular "lump" that didn't have a fowl shape at all. since i couldn't figure it out i got the binoculars and took a closer look. an owl at water's edge! imagine that. what happened next took me completely by surprise. the owl abruptly when vertical and then zoomed in over the surface of the water, snatched a fish in his talons, flew up and then banked sharply into the woods next to the lake. i was gobsmacked for the remainder of the day and have never forgotten witnessing that moment.

Doug

Free markets are not dependent upon equal access to knowledge. That's hogwash. Should that be a nice goal? Yes, of course. But free markets are dependent upon people not being coerced or defrauded. Wal-Mart does not coerce people to buy its products and services. It may defraud, which is why there are laws against it (or should be).

No free market business forces anybody to do anything or buy anything they offer for sale. Government, on the other hand, gives us no choice, points a gun at us (metaphorically at least) and says, "Do it or else!"

Doug

Zero, as for Toyota, you're missing the obvious point: gas pedals only "stick" when the car is in "D" ("drive" mode). It doesn't work in neutral. Whether or not Toyota did anything wrong, made a mistake, was negligent, or whatever, the point is, any driver who received a driver's license should know that a car won't continue accelerating in neutral—that's the whole point of "neutral."

I'm not "blaming the victims," but pointing out that the "problem" with the sticking pedals is not as clear and well-cut as you'd like it to be. You want to blame Toyota, and they very well may be at fault in a serious way, but keep in mind that only a couple of deaths have occurred, could have been prevented by a driver's basic driving knowledge, regardless of Toyota's negligence/sin/evil.

zero

oh, doug. get over it. it's not about blaming the victim, it's about how business doesn't do right by consumers. your refusal to see this as the point being made is a stubborn refusal to see economics in anything other than a positive light and that's just wrong in and of itself.

Doug

Zero, this has nothing to do with economics "in a positive light." I was pointing out that the victims were not victims of Toyota "not doing right by consumers" but because they had insufficient ability to operate a motor vehicle's basic functions. Whether or not Toyota made faulty mechanisms isn't part of my point.

As for "doing right by consumers," you seem to have an idealized idea of what that means. Toyota is a company which has provided millions of people with reliable transportation, in most cases in far better quality than its competitors. It does right by just about everyone, though of course it makes mistakes.

zero

doug you are so full of nonsense you don't even understand you are full of nonsense.

whether people can drive a car or not adequately enough to suit you isn't the point. the point is the drivers should have to put a car in neutral. the gas pedal should not be defective in the first place.

Doug

Zero, I never said the gas pedal shouldn't be defective, I'm saying that BASIC driving skills could have prevented a fatality. It isn't about somebody's skills being "adequate enough to suit me" because BASIC DRIVING SKILLS are what was necessary to prevent this.

I also never said Toyota was not responsible for correcting the error, nor did i say they should not be held responsible for what happened. But lives did not have to be lost for this defect to be known and fixed.

david beasley

Doug,
sympathy for the merely hysterical who lose logic and "basic driving skills" might help you very much. Try this as a plan from a hospital chaplain whose area was ER for 3 years: Ask to work in a large hospital for a month in the ER and speak with families of the dead and dying about lack of "basic driving skills" as opposed to the hysteria or simple lack of rational that comes with malfunctioning automobile equipement doing highway speeds in traffci which killed their loved ones. If you survive the family's reaction -- and there will be one to your attitude -- you might come out a bit near whole in the understanding of human nature department.

Doug

David,

There's a world of difference discussing things in a forum versus a response and discussion in-person with the family. You can attribute in your mind what my reactions would be with the family, but it is certainly not the case that I would be having a discussion about "basic driving skills" with the family. The context of the discussion is important.

I'm sure none of you believe it, but most of my family (esp. my in-laws) see me as rather sensitive and caring toward many of those around us in need. I'm not Mother Theresa, to be sure, but I stand by my comments about driving skills here. I wouldn't say the same things in context of the family. And no, I don't think that's hypocritical, it's just plain context.

david beasley


Doug,
"me as rather sensitive and caring toward many of those around us in need" is probably you. But the the brain work you present us is then not you, because you, like the greatest of all logicians, Sherlock Holmes, becomes very cold through the analytical process which might be likened to a computer making decisions for humans. Remember "Data" the robot guy who questioned humanistic arguments? Sir Conan Doyle, the medical doctor who created Sherlock's scapal sharp logic, killed him off because Doyle simply did not like his cold inhuman fictive character. Remember judeo/christian biblical laws/punishment versus grace/faith? Even that NT upsidedown awareness (Jesus asks us to put on some heavy booty to climb Mount Analog, eh...rather than logical ascents like painting by number rather than by passion)is not a very easy step forward for humankind or individuals who seek applied black and white substance for existential reality. Well, excuse the attitude that I actually think I know what I am talking about.

zero

yeah. what david said.

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