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Occupy your brain

Discussion in 'News and Current Events' started by ItchyScratchy, Nov 7, 2011.

  1. ItchyScratchy Member

    /discuss
    • Like Like x 2
  2. You looking for an argument?
    hmmm...

    Sorry, I got nothing. :)
  3. The motivation behind those in Wall Street who are there to make money is not stupidity - it's desire for power, as I believe we have all come to know.

    While the money system works, and works well, as a conveniently portable method of universal value exchange, a substitute for goods, etc, and thus a guarantee of a return of roughly equal worth, it is unfortunately very susceptible to manipulation and corruption, as we have seen: Because money's value of exchange is in the item itself (without needing any guarantee of legitimate ownership), and it offers a great deal of value in a small and easy to carry item, it can be stolen by sleight of hand or taken by force and all its value taken and retained permanently until traded away by the thief.

    It also represents power, because it has become universally accepted as the only legitimate method of trade, and thus the only way one can guarantee one's ability to have shelter, food, healthcare, and other necessities. There is no other guarantee to these resources anymore in Western culture. This means that if one's access to money is taken away, so is everything else, especially security. This makes having a job for which you get paid paramount to personal security. It also means that anyone who is in a position to control how much money is accessible to the majority of the population, or how much of a given resource, especially a basic need like food or shelter, they can get with that money, has a tremendous amount of power - if you can cause people to have less money for their work, and have to pay more to survive, you can force them to work more, especially if you can also find a way to make it important to their pride and self-esteem to do so.

    This has been the game on Wall Street and many other powerful places for a long time. The name of the game is Monopoly (yes, the same one we played as kids), because in order to truly exert that kind of control, you have to ensure that the people have no choice but to put up with your changes and keep relying on them. If Grocery Store A doubles all its prices, it will not necessarily make more money if there is a Grocery Store B around the block which does not - people will react instead by looking for another place to buy food, and head to Grocery Store B.

    If, however, you can arrange for Grocery Store A to be the only grocery store people can get to, know about, or trust (it can be quite effective to convince people that Grocery Store A is somehow inherently superior and they will only be disappointed if they go elsewhere, as well - the advertising game); if you can force Grocery Store B to go out of business somehow, or instead, buy it and increase its prices as well... And there are no other well-known alternatives, then you have established full control over the people and their only choices are to pay you more for the same product... or go hungry.

    This is the power of the game of Monopoly, and it has become a very hotly protected game indeed, especially where monopolies are established and then challenged - rumour has it that this is particularly true in the cosmetics industry - and there are a fair few known practices developed specifically for the long-term protection of company monopolies, some of which are noted here:
    http://tutor2u.net/economics/content/topics/monopoly/barriers_to_entry.htm

    As well as individual companies using tricks like Limit Pricing to push new competitors out of a market, other powers have attempted to influence the laws of the countries in which they operate to give them even further advantages to protect their monopolies and make more profit - note, for example, the current battle between major Internet Service Providers in Canada (and perhaps elsewhere? I know it's happening here) and the general public, in which the large companies are fighting to make service plans that allow "Unlimited" Bandwidth illegal, arguing in part their right to demand at least some limit based on the fact that they own the cables and built-in infrastructure through which these services can be offered, and unlimited bandwidth plans... I don't know, cause slowdowns or take up data on "their" wiring more than they would if they were paid for by mass - even in huge amounts?
    The case seems pretty feeble to me, and it seems far more likely that this is simply a move to more thoroughly control the market by making the more appealing offers their smaller competitors are willing to provide to the public actually illegal, and thus put them out of business.

    Legislation on wage increases compared to product prices may also have been heavily influenced by corporate interests, by sponsoring the political parties which plan to increase wages by the smallest margin, at each election - thus ensuring both that their businesses save on wage costs, and that the general population has to depend even more on work for its survival as the costs of shelter, food, healthcare, and luxuries keeps rising - thus increasing competition for jobs even with bad conditions and pay, and ensuring the availability of workers for the indefinite future, as workers will be ever more careful to avoid being fired, the more badly they feel they need the money they are paid.

    It's easy to see, then, that power over finance, over money, grants a phenomenal amount of power of all kinds, power to manipulate and control, to those who hold it - especially when it is legal and legitimate to have influence and control over the flow of wages and costs without actually contributing "real worth" in the form of goods and services, to the population.

    The question is what to do about it.

    There is a lot of controversy about this, as many people are convinced that trade is not only inconvenient, but impossible, without money - some even hold that it would be impossible to motivate people to work without making the availability of every resource and service dependent on money.

    I disagree, and for many reasons, but this post has already become long enough, so I won't go into those here until someone invites me to. Partly to put off the boring work of compiling research. ;P I do have some ideas, though - and almost every single one stolen shamelessly from someone else. Thankfully, ideas aren't copyrighted. Yet. :)
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Ditto!
  5. Anonymous Member

    that's an oddly passive way to describe the Legal Tender laws.
  6. Please, feel free to expand on Legal Tender laws. I don't know a great deal about the legal details of this shift, but would certainly be happy to learn more.

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