• DingoJones
    2.6k
    So no, there no moral right for that store to claim payment from me, the claim is economic and legal.Benkei

    This is what I was asking about. Why are you denying morality can be a part of it like economics and legality?
    Im not following how your responses answered that.

    Also, when we are talking markets are you intending to claim there is no moral aspect to how it works?
  • Benkei
    5.9k
    At most you can claim you followed the rules and "playing by the rules" is still moral. But the rules are not aimed at moral outcomes. To have a moral claim to a specific outcome, the system would have to take morality in consideration. Since it doesn't, a claim cannot extend beyond "I followed the rules" (eg. I at least acted morally).
  • DingoJones
    2.6k


    Some of those rules overlap with morality, so I do not agree that playing by the rules is the most you can morally claim. The fact there are rules in no way entails that there is no morality.
    As to the goal of the system…a free market place aims at a fair (a moral goal) exchange of goods and services. Greedy assholes try to game that system and do their best to make it unfair but this is the fault of greedy assholes not the system itself. After all, if greedy assholes can act immorally in a system then surely good folks can act morally in that same system.
  • Benkei
    5.9k
    As to the goal of the system…a free market place aims at a fair (a moral goal) exchange of goods and services.DingoJones

    But this is simply not true. The market aims at an efficient exchange goods. They were developed for convenience not for moral reasons "let's meet in the town square each week to barter goods" instead of having to visit ten different people and having to travel all the time.
  • DingoJones
    2.6k


    Efficiency is ONE of the goals of the market. Again, efficiency is not mutually exclusive with morality (fair exchange of goods.) Its both.
    Additionally, the markets development is not the same as the markets goals. You subtly shifted some language there.
    You have not shown that markets do not aim for a fair exchange. Who would want a market that didnt aim for fair exchange? Greedy assholes, people who don’t let pesky morality interfere in their money making, yes. Thats a people problem, not a market problem.
  • Benkei
    5.9k
    I already demonstrated a clear example where there's a fair exchange in the market but nonetheless there's no fair outcome. I'm not shifting language though, I'm demonstrating how markets came about and this was for reasons of efficiency and convenience.

    The idea of a fair exchange of goods is really plucked out of thin air and I stand by my comment that at most we can say we"played by the rules" but that says nothing about the morality of market outcomes.

    Markets are not concerned with fairness at all. We needed regulation to avoid worker exploitation, we needed regulation to combat pollution, we needed regulation to avoid anti-competitive behaviour. Now we need regulations around ESG to avoid the world burning and to hopefully avoid a biodiversity collapse. Why? Because the market mechanism in no way shape or form is concerned with moral outcomes. It never has and it never will.

    The fact that people infer morality or a certain impartiality to the market, that whatever the market produces is good and correct is a pox on all our houses.
  • NOS4A2
    6.2k


    I am dense, I guess. I can’t see how voluntary, consensual cooperation, whether in the market or elsewhere, is not moral behavior. Moral people purchase things in such a manner because against all other forms of exchange (robbery, theft, extortion, forced labor, etc.) it is the moral one.

    Your moral behavior seems an infinite regression because it doesn’t end, or at least ends where a vast number of improvements could still be made, and thus never be moral enough. Or it must satisfy some “moral outcome”, or be considered “morally optimal”, which it never does.

    The consensual and voluntary exchange is a just transfer of holdings from one person to another, and thus moral behavior. So long as the property is transferred in such a manner, no one else has any moral right to it because they would have to engage in an unjust transfer in order to attain it.
  • Xtrix
    4k
    Anti-social types love to blather on about markets and free trade — they’re simply merchants who lower everything to the level of transaction, because that’s all they know and thus how they see the world. Then they raise transactions among two people to moral heights.

    But they always— always — ignore externalities. That’s not an accident. We’re supposed to forget about the outside world, the community, or other people altogether. What matters is ME and MY transactions.

    So it goes for this sick, merchant worldview.

    I’ll say it as I’ve said a hundred times: the quicker these poor saps die out, the better. For the sake of future generations.
  • Agent Smith
    7.4k
    Greedy assholes — DingoJones


    Radix omnium malorum est cupiditas

    May not be that simple though. What's the origin of avarice? What evolutionary purpose did it serve? Is it a relic of our once solitary lifestyles which now finds itself at odds with social existence? Do we wait for evolution to weed out the offending (selfish) genes? Can the mind override genetic programming i.e. can we defy human nature comprising quite a few antisocial traits? Que sais-je?
  • Benkei
    5.9k
    I can’t see how voluntary, consensual cooperation, whether in the market or elsewhere, is not moral behavior.NOS4A2

    You're not reading what I wrote. I'm not saying market actors act immoral but they cannot claim a moral right to market outcomes, because the market does not take into consideration the morality of a specific market transaction.

    Just like playing a game of Yathzee has no moral effect (but it would still be immoral to cheat) so does a market transaction not have a moral effect because moral outcomes are not taken into account. Moral outcomes are not incorporated in the price mechanism.

    An example, you're a carpenter and so is your neighbour. You build exactly the same chair. I need a chair, you ask 65 USD, the neighbour asks 70 USD. All things equal, I buy yours. The reason the neighbour asks more is because unlike you she doesn't have a spouse bringing in income but has to take care of her kids, which means she needs a slightly higher margin. Me not buying the chair means the kids go hungry this week. The moral outcome might be worth the extra 5 bucks to me but since in everyday life such circumstances aren't known, I'm not capable of making the choice. So morally, we have a suboptimal outcome in almost all market transactions even though I acted morally (since I didn't know better).

    Your moral behavior seems an infinite regression because it doesn’t end, or at least ends where a vast number of improvements could still be made, and thus never be moral enough. Or it must satisfy some “moral outcome”, or be considered “morally optimal”, which it never does.NOS4A2

    Oh, so you do understand? So it's not that you can't see it, it's that you won't.
  • NOS4A2
    6.2k


    I’m reading what you wrote. We’re talking past each other. I’m arguing about moral behavior; you’re arguing about moral outcomes.

    Like I said, I think moral outcomes are illusory in the sense that they are never moral enough, an infinite regress, so one needn’t concern himself with such thoughts. Had you known the woman’s kids might go hungry you might buy the more expensive chair. She spends the money on booze instead. She gets drunk and kills a family in an accident. Regardless of the outcome you acted morally.
  • Isaac
    8.4k
    Regardless of the outcome you acted morally.NOS4A2

    Then morality is just an arbitrary set of rules.

    If the outcome isn't relevant, then why act that way. You might as well say it's 'moral' to put a pineapple on your head.

    We don't know outcomes with certainty, but the whole point of moral behaviour is to have a guess. Otherwise, why?
  • dclements
    493
    To be honest I think I got a little lost in this discussion, although this is what usually happens - it's either that or it goes dead by now.

    The only thing I think I can add at the moment is say that the other day I watched a movie called "The Brainwashing of My Dad".

    The Brainwashing of My Dad
    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3771626/

    I don't know if what it talks about in the movie directly causes wealthy people wanting to start "class warfare" on the poor but I pretty certain that it may indirectly be a reason for i since in the movie it talks about right-wing think tanks are able to help the conservative make more people think the way they do and it helps them push their agenda -which of course includes destroying/dismantling any and all social programs.
  • Isaac
    8.4k
    If you have more links/sources I'm happy to look into them as well but I will admit it might take some time the more I have.dclements

    I should imagine you've better things to do with your time! Personally, a company with that many flagrant derelictions of its duty of care has lost, for me, it's place in decent society. I highlighted it, because sometime we can forget the role of ostracisation in maintaining decent standards of community behaviour.
  • baker
    4.9k
    It’s nothing other than dressed up justification for greed, the hatred of democracy and, generally, human beings. Who knows how or why they acquired this sick outlook — I suspect early experiences and heavy brainwashing.Xtrix

    On the contrary. They simply see that their strategy works: using it, they get the upper hand, they win, they get what they want.

    And they don't hate human beings in general. They are kind and generous to their own kind, to their ingroup, and they have no qualms about destroying the outgroup.

    Not worth getting too worked up about. Leave them to their pathologies.Xtrix

    "Leaving them to their pathologies" is precisely what makes their strategy so effective. Letting them do what they do is convicing them that they're not doing anything wrong. And so they continue, and grow ever stronger.
  • baker
    4.9k
    Anti-social types love to blather on about markets and free trade — they’re simply merchants who lower everything to the level of transaction, because that’s all they know and thus how they see the world. Then they raise transactions among two people to moral heights.

    But they always— always — ignore externalities. That’s not an accident. We’re supposed to forget about the outside world, the community, or other people altogether. What matters is ME and MY transactions.

    So it goes for this sick, merchant worldview.

    I’ll say it as I’ve said a hundred times: the quicker these poor saps die out, the better. For the sake of future generations.
    Xtrix

    But they don't die out: they stick together, they're solidary with one another. They're just not solidary with outsiders.
  • Xtrix
    4k
    They simply see that their strategy worksbaker
    they don't hate human beings in generalbaker
    Letting them do what they do is convicing them that they're not doing anything wrong.baker
    they're solidary with one anotherbaker

    I have no idea who you’re talking about. I’m talking about anti-social types — specifically, NOS.

    But feel free to continue playing the contrarian about something you haven’t read. As usual. :ok:
  • Benkei
    5.9k
    I’m reading what you wrote. We’re talking past each other. I’m arguing about moral behavior; you’re arguing about moral outcomes.

    Like I said, I think moral outcomes are illusory in the sense that they are never moral enough, an infinite regress, so one needn’t concern himself with such thoughts. Had you known the woman’s kids might go hungry you might buy the more expensive chair. She spends the money on booze instead. She gets drunk and kills a family in an accident. Regardless of the outcome you acted morally.
    NOS4A2

    The difference is that you claim a moral right to the outcomes merely because you followed the rules. My point is that merely following the rules does not result in such a right if that outcome isn't moral. I subsequently put forward that since the market mechanism (or actually the price mechanism) doesn't take into account moral considerations, it will result by definition in immoral outcomes.

    Your example above and point about the regress are valid points but then I never claimed acting morally and taking responsibility for the consequences of our choices is easy.
  • Pie
    1k
    But they always— always — ignore externalities. That’s not an accident. We’re supposed to forget about the outside world, the community, or other people altogether. What matters is ME and MY transactions.Xtrix

    :up: .
  • Tzeentch
    1.9k
    Governments have been trying to solve socio-economic issues for ages, and they always fail. While not necessarily fixing the problems, the free exchange of goods and ideas has done more to improve the lot of the common man than any attempt by governments.

    I don't think opponents of government intervention are not in favor of improving the lives of their fellow man, they simply see governments as a flawed means of getting there. In fact, you could say that the opponents believe that seeking to solve many such issues is inherently in vain and causes more harm than good.

    This characterization to classify people who generally are not in favor of government intervention as selfish is just naive and arrogant.

    Proponents of government intervention tend to look at issues very one-sidedly, pointing at one group as the clear victim and thereby justifying their actions, not understanding that government intervention almost always creates new victims elsewhere.

    There is no free lunch.
  • Benkei
    5.9k
    Always nice to see people rant about governments without acknowledging what they have managed:

    1. prohibited slavery
    2. prohibited child labour
    3. gender equality
    4. welfare
    5. healthcare
    6. labour laws
    7. environmental laws
    8. independent courts
    9. infrastructure
    10. accessible educations
    11. anti-trust legislation
    12. police
    13. fire departments
    14. etc.

    I could go on but I thought of one every second just now, each institution or law program improving socio-economic circumstances of a lot of people and to the extent it cost money it improved social justice. I don't really care about the motivation of people who are against governmental action toute court, because it's based on a total lack of historic perspective and only driven by ideology.
  • Tzeentch
    1.9k
    For a lot of those it is debatable whether they were achieved by government meddling, or whether their results were at all desirable.

    Anyway, my point was never that governments shouldn't do anything.

    But if we're going to keep score, shall we also list the many evils governments have perpetrated?
  • Isaac
    8.4k
    the free exchange of goods and ideas has done more to improve the lot of the common man than any attempt by governments.Tzeentch

    For a lot of those it is debatable whether they were achieved by government meddling the free exchange of goods and ideas, or whether their results were at all desirable.
  • Tzeentch
    1.9k
    Sure. But one is the result of the voluntary exchange and association, the other of coercion.

    I'd say people who seek to coerce have a much larger burden to defend their actions than people who interact voluntarily.
  • Isaac
    8.4k
    one is the result of the voluntary exchange and association, the other of coercion.Tzeentch

    No it isn't. The free market is not voluntary because agents can abuse monopolies and governments are not coercive because agents can either vote or move.
  • Tzeentch
    1.9k
    governments are not coercive because agents can either vote or move.Isaac

    :snicker:
  • Isaac
    8.4k


    In Thailand it is now impossible to get insurance without your provider being ultimately Black Rock. They own every single insurance provider in Thailand.

    If you don't like the Thai government's laws, your only choice is vote or move.

    If you don't like the Thai 'free market' insurance deals, your only choice is move.

    Explain to me the difference.
  • Tzeentch
    1.9k
    In Thailand it is now impossible to get insurance without your provider being ultimately Black Rock. They own every single insurance provider in Thailand.Isaac

    Monopolies and large, centralized power whether in the hands of governments or cooperations is mostly bad. I think at least we can agree on that.

    However, Black Rock cannot force you to buy its products, or stop you from getting together with other people who are fed up with their business practices and start something new.

    you don't like the Thai government's laws, your only choice is vote or move.

    If you don't like the Thai 'free market' insurance deals, your only choice is move.

    Explain to me the difference.
    Isaac

    The Thai government forces me through threat of violence to comply with its wishes and buy its services. Black Rock doesn't.

    Further, the fact that my family could move to make the schoolyard bully stop taking my lunch money does not change the coercive nature of his act. Neither does whether people vote on whether he gets to take my lunch money. For one, why does anyone get to vote on that, and second, if my voting power is not enough to protect my interests, voting does nothing to relieve the coercion I am subjected to.
  • Isaac
    8.4k
    However, Black Rock cannot force you to buy its products, ...Tzeentch

    No, but they can make your life extremely difficult if you don't. Just like governments can.

    ...or stop you from getting together with other people who are fed up with their business practices and start something new.Tzeentch

    Indeed, just like there's no restriction on you setting up your own government and vying for power.

    The Thai government forces me through threat of violence to comply with its wishes and buy its services. Black Rock doesn't.Tzeentch

    OK, so if the Thai government used other means - theft, coercion, bullying, grooming, punitive treatment... You'd be OK.

    When was the last time you know of that the Thai government used violence to enforce its laws? What about the UK government?
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