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  • VP-candidate Kaisch?

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    • If you're attributing rational thought to his campaign, that seems like 1 of 2 explanations with the other being mere publicity.

      I have no clue WTF he's doing.
      Dan Patrick: What was your reaction to [Urban Meyer being hired]?
      Brady Hoke: You know.....not....good.

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      • You can check how much the workers got paid. You can check the last time such projects were carried on in the US. Otherwise, I do agree that there's not much use in you and I interacting in this thread.

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        • Even if labor was cheap, the political will to spend on infrastructure isn't there.

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          • I'm at a loss to understand how there's any possible tech-vs-labour discussion here. You'd have to believe that building the world's tallest skyscraper was a low-tech affair.

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            • Hack said:
              Capitalism can't go on forever. Growth requires infinite resources, which we do not have.
              The greatest resource is not the human mind, but the body. Slave labour. Until history shows otherwise, that's what it shows. I don't discount the chance of humanity to think it's way out of the current situation, but facts are facts on that one.
              ....but the bottom line is manufacturing, and that requires raw materials.
              I simply disagree that slave labor was/is the greatest resource. I believe that individuals have had a far greater effect on history than massed human labor. One man, in the General Theory, changed the course of history. And Einstien predicted things (gravitational waves) that are only now being confirmed. Looking at the arc of history, the only person today who might support the idea that slave labor is the greatest resource is a Black Lives Matter proponent.

              In manufacturing, as "raw materials" become more scarce, the human mind develops new ways of combining capital and labor to compensate for scarcity. An example is the miniaturization of so many items, most particularly computers. (There is now research being done using single atoms in computing).

              To me, then, what is important is to nurture the individual innovator and those with the entrepreneurial vocation. A relatively free market can send the price signals that tell the innovators what to do. Research in pure science (like the moon program) gives the geniuses the raw material with which to work. Entrepreneurs only have the incentive to advance the public good in a reasonably free market.

              There is a vast difference in the thinking behind the Model T and the Yugo.

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              • I think it's important to understand how the entrepreneurs got to where they got. Behind the vast majority of them is capital. Where did it come from and how was it amassed? No doubt there are very few things in this world that are solely the outcome of one resource. But I think a sense of history makes it pretty clear what happens when you have ideas and cheap labour, and what happens when you have ideas and not cheap labour. It's also clear what happens when you lack the brains but you have the brawn. I don't think it's a matter of belief. It's just recorded history.

                That said, the tension in your statement is as follows, IMO:

                To me, then, what is important is to nurture the individual innovator


                You view man as inherently corrupt, or evil, or fallen, or however it is to be put. I understand and appreciate your argument. But you also value brainpower. If I could guess, you value individuals but not what happens when they're in groups. So how would nurturing take place?

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                • while I was writing, Hack wrote:
                  I'm at a loss to understand how there's any possible tech-vs-labour discussion here. You'd have to believe that building the world's tallest skyscraper was a low-tech affair.
                  No, to me, the use of the term "slave labor" was fairly loaded. But I am discussing the proposition that (cheap) labor and (diminishing) raw materials are the main drivers of growth. I am arguing growth is primarily a function of human (often individual) innovation. That is not bounded by scarcity.

                  The idea that there is a relatively fixed pie is absolutely essential to any Marxian analysis. Once a person accepts that nonsense, then government by the many in order to bring about "social justice" is a probability.

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                  • I don't want to get hung up on terminology -- slave/low-cost, whatever. Let me know what works for you and I'm fine to use that word.

                    Are you saying you believe there is an infinite amount of oil, copper, gas, nickel, iron, etc?

                    Comment


                    • You view man as inherently corrupt, or evil, or fallen, or however it is to be put. I understand and appreciate your argument. But you also value brainpower. If I could guess, you value individuals but not what happens when they're in groups. So how would nurturing take place?
                      Good question. Of course, there are the usual things like education and maintaining free markets, but I don't think that is what you're are asking

                      One of the most important thing that society as a whole can do is nothing. Unless the innovators are an imminent threat to health and safety, just let them be. The fundamental beauty of capitalism is that (evil) humans will "look after their own sweet ass" and benefit society as a whole in the process. That is the whole Invisible Hand idea. And I don't fear groups of "evil" humans getting together, because I view the innovator and the entrepreneur as performing separate functions that need some coordination.

                      Maybe I used the word "nurture" imprecisely. What I mean is to just leave Bill Gates alone. Don't serve him with an injunction to stop manufacturing in a residentially zoned area as he gets started. But as he grows into Microsoft, don't let him monopolize operating systems on all personal computers (because that stifles innovation).

                      Comment


                      • Are you saying you believe there is an infinite amount of oil, copper, gas, nickel, iron, etc?
                        No. But I am saying that in a relatively free market, price signals allocate resources. As whale oil becomes prohibitively expensive, there is an incentive to find a substitute. And there is a qualitative use of any raw material that is different than simply quantity. Saying there is an infinite amount of anything would be silly, but we certainly saw an increase in oil and gas when the price of oil was north of $ 100.00.

                        The least fungible thing in the world is the genius mind.

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                        • In other news -

                          Tennessee state Rep. Jeremy Durham has such a reputation as a "hound dog" around women working at the capitol that the house speaker issued a directive in April relocating Durham's office to a less-populated building across the street. Further, Durham is allowed access only to certain legislative meetings and to certain staff (i.e., no free-ranging among female staff members). After interviewing 34 people, the state attorney general said he believed that Rep. Durham's unwanted sexual approaches and commentaries were impeding legislative business. [The Tennessean, 4-7-2016]
                          #MAGA -
                          Morons Are Governing America

                          Comment


                          • We seem at the point of discussing matters of degree here, now, rather than having a fundamental difference in perception. Resoruces are finite. To what extent are they a break on growth has been a rather long and more Internetish-than-usual tangent here, and we're not going to agree but we're on the same spectrum, if I have it right. So this is where we were and might want to return to, if that works for you:

                            The statist/socialist/communist ideology depends on a populace that accepts limitations. That is why "limits on growth" is preached from the rooftops.

                            Any ideology has limits, or else it isn't much to begin with. If you can't accept any limits than there is no society in which you can exist. Ultimately it's about deciding at what point on a spectrum things should be. I think people are shouting from the rooftops about limits on growth right now because they're not getting enough of the benefits but the impacts are very clear. The zero-growth movement was nowhere 20 years ago. Real wages have stagnated, however, and now the zero-growth movement is picking up steam. Bottom line -- let people buy in, and offer a level playing field. You can only shut the majority of people out of the process for so long before they get agitated.
                            Last edited by hack; April 25th, 2016, 01:04 PM.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Ghengis Jon View Post
                              In other news -

                              Tennessee state Rep. Jeremy Durham has such a reputation as a "hound dog" around women working at the capitol that the house speaker issued a directive in April relocating Durham's office to a less-populated building across the street. Further, Durham is allowed access only to certain legislative meetings and to certain staff (i.e., no free-ranging among female staff members). After interviewing 34 people, the state attorney general said he believed that Rep. Durham's unwanted sexual approaches and commentaries were impeding legislative business. [The Tennessean, 4-7-2016]
                              Same guy proposed the anti-tranny bathroom bill in that state.

                              Comment


                              • Price of labor and land allowed Burj Khalifa to be built far, far, far cheaper than what it would've cost in NYC, Chicago or LA. Same holds true for building, upgrading a country's infrastructure.

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