Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
 

Author Topic: The Political Thread  (Read 734493 times)

IndigoPrime

  • Administrator
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 7496
    • View Profile
    • http://www.craiggrannell.com
Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #14325 on: 17 June, 2018, 11:19:25 am »
Is that the Bitcoin that is now seen to have been massively manipulated and that is requiring insane amounts of energy to mine?

As for the financial sector, I'm no fan of banking (although regulation is the problem rather than the banks/bankers themselves), but we're going to be in for a massive shock when all these banks leave the UK, and the tax take tanks.

TordelBack

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 24001
  • Thunder Chops is dragged off, gnashing...
    • View Profile
Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #14326 on: 17 June, 2018, 12:07:11 pm »
...the tax take tanks.

Surely you mean "...incidences of money acquired with menaces will be reduced..."!  Tax is bad, mmmkay?  Rather depending on than armed extortion being employed to fund services, every village should get together to encourage an entrepreneur (unfettered by taxes or regulation, so far more motivated!) to set up their own local (for example) specialist oncology department, and if it's charging too much (despite everyone having loads of money now there are no taxes) or its results are judged poor by the folk of the village (and not by some kind of centralised body of expertise), simply set up another oncology centre and watch them compete for the tumours of the village on price/outcomes.  There should be no shortage of oncologists to staff it, since in the absence of subsidised university training or imposed medical standards wannabe doctors will be motivated to pay entirely for their own education in order to access the most lucrative fields, which should be easy to get into since the only people rating their qualifications and experience are the folk of the village.  Who needs taxes, the Austrian free market will settle it all!

It'll be fine.

« Last Edit: 17 June, 2018, 12:12:17 pm by TordelBack »

Professor Bear

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 6578
    • View Profile
    • Your Friends and Neighbors
Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #14327 on: 17 June, 2018, 02:51:40 pm »
I like how everyone is banging on about the Brexit Dividend like it's a real thing for the country rather than a windfall for the small number of press baron billionaires who get to avoid paying the EU's new tax rates.  The Prime Minister is on tv promising literal magic money and the BBC refuse to ask any questions.

The Legendary Shark

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 8568
  • Tip: Sharks only attack you if you're wet.
    • View Profile
    • the_sharkpool blog
Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #14328 on: 17 June, 2018, 03:11:44 pm »
Bitcoin is just one example of a cryptocurrency, it's the blockchain technology behind it that's most important. Like any currency, the external value of bitcoin can be manipulated by the centralised monetary system, which only has to buy them up and then assign its own value to them. A centralised system will do anything it can to destroy or neuter a decentralised system. Therein lies the potential great danger to authority weighed against the potential great benefit to society at large. The manipulation of bitcoin is not a consequence of the cryptocurrency itself but of the existing monopolistic financial system's attempts to quash it. It's not bitcoin that's the problem but the existing controlled markets. This is exactly the same problem current "regular" fiat currencies face. Every fiat currency in the world is manipulated by central authorities such as the Bank for International Settlements and the various central banks on a constant basis. These manipulations are undertaken for the benefit of the financial sector itself and not the economy as a whole, which manipulations lead to economic crashes and the massive overproduction of debt-based fiats which steadily and perpetually reduce the value of all currencies. The cost of produced goods and services does not rise, the value of money falls.

There is a cost to the production of any currency and so I don't see the cost of mining cryptos as a real problem. Cryptos are mined on computers but this is obviously not what all computers, or even the majority of them, are used for. One could make the argument that emails, taken in isolation, consume far more energy than bitcoin mining and so they should not be used but I doubt anyone would take that argument seriously. Email is a way of decentralising communication in the same way that cryptos are a way of decentralising currency.

*

As I've said before, it's not the idea of paying for things I'm against but being forced to pay for things I don't want, don't agree with or are morally repugnant to me. I'm happy to pay insurance for medical cover (maybe even to the NHS itself because, as a body, it has a great deal of assets, expertise and experience already in place) but I do not in any way want to fund the bombing of brown people on the other side of the world so the "elites" can carve up their resources between them. This is why I don't vote any more, for anybody, because they all believe they have a right to simply take my stuff for whatever reason they like, good, bad or indifferent, and to punish me if I disagree.

Taking away the coercive power of governments does not mean that hospitals or universities will cease to exist or be instantly transformed into predatory death and rapine factories. Oncological knowledge and research will not evaporate; technology will not cease to function or improve; crops will not vanish from the fields; roads will not crumble to dust and blow away; human beings will not revert to wearing animal skins and eating nettles.

My approach to living in society rests on the twin foundations of Private Property Rights and the Non Aggression Principle (and I like to believe that the majority of ordinary people have the same or similar fundamental beliefs), therefore I cannot in all good conscience participate in, support or condone anything that violates those foundations. Unfortunately for me, the foundations of authoritarian beliefs are that all property belongs to the state and that aggression is justified to acquire it. Statists simply have to accept these ideas or ignore them altogether.

Most of the people I know are so afraid of the state, or so brainwashed by a lifetime of propaganda and indoctrination, or so apathetic, or so unsure of their own abilities and morality, or so trusting of governments, or so distrustful of their fellow human beings, or so wary of the future that they cannot even listen to alternative ideas without flying into a rage or making the most convoluted justifications. "What about the roads," is a familiar excuse for rejecting rational thought (although the people on this thread are more willing to engage with these ideas than most, for which I am grateful).

In the run-up to any great change there is resistance - "how will the sun rise if we cease to make sacrifices to the gods?", "who will pick the cotton if we free all the slaves?", "what will become of the horses if we all use automobiles?", "what will the sailors do if we all use aeroplanes?", "what will become of the postal service if we all use email?"

 "Who will take care of the roads if we strip the state of its coercive powers?" is merely the latest question as we move (hopefully) towards a free society of personal rights and responsibilities. In every case, solutions were found and the world improved. I sincerely hope that our world is on the path to a freer, more equal global society but I understand that change on such a scale can be terrifying. That change is going to take a lot longer than I initially thought but I believe it is not only necessary but inevitable. I may be wrong about that and I may be right but the one thing I do know with absolute certainty is that the future is not built by emperors or kings or presidents or prime ministers but by ordinary individuals like you and me.

Private property and non-aggression, that's the world I want. I hope some of you will at least consider wanting that too and thinking about how to achieve it.

Frank

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 7331
    • View Profile
Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #14329 on: 17 June, 2018, 03:38:11 pm »
The Prime Minister is on tv promising literal magic money and the BBC refuse to ask any questions.

How much more money will you give the NHS and is it enough?

Is this money we were told we'd save from Brexit?

Will this extra money for the NHS actually come from increased tax and borrowing?


Marr went on to ask questions about social care. She didn't really answer any of them, but he asked the questions and followed them up.  If you want greater scrutiny, listen to what Eddie Mair & PM make of this tomorrow (5pm).



Professor Bear

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 6578
    • View Profile
    • Your Friends and Neighbors
Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #14330 on: 17 June, 2018, 05:30:13 pm »
Unless there's follow up and the duel of wits has been ended with nothing less than conclusive victory, the questions being asked were never asked.  I learned this further up the thread when we discussed PMQs.

TordelBack

  • Member
  • CALL-ME-KENNETH!
  • *****
  • Posts: 24001
  • Thunder Chops is dragged off, gnashing...
    • View Profile
Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #14331 on: 18 June, 2018, 11:40:11 am »
Taking away the coercive power of governments does not mean that hospitals or universities will cease to exist or be instantly transformed into predatory death and rapine factories. Oncological knowledge and research will not evaporate...

It seems to me that historically all these things you list have been integrally linked with the rise of the state, and latterly the super-state or international body, simply because of their coercive and redistributive powers.  How will (to pursue the pressing example) advanced medical training and equipment be funded and subsidised? 

Your idea of medical insurance is - without wanting to be rude - laughable.  Specifically, Sharky, neither you nor I could possibly afford private medical insurance that could equate to its tax-subsidised equivalent, unless what you actually mean is a 'medical tax' (here we have a 'health levy'  ::)), in which case we're right back to coercion and wondering what happens to those who don't pay...  We will get sick, we will (hopefully) get horribly old: you can't economically insure against an inevitability.  Modern medicine and its further research is a resource-hungry time-hungry people-hungry project, and it access to it depends on centralised resource redistribution.   

I really can't take on board the reductio ad absurdum argument that wondering about these things is akin to worrying about the sun not rising if the appropriate sacrifice is not performed.

A better EASIER approach would be to campaign, agitate and vote for representatives that will genuinely reform the existing system in its rotten media-strangled entirety, and then not use your tax money to bomb brown people (or feather their own nests).  This depends just as much on the thing we do share: a vision of humanity as basically good and decent, and not prone to donning leather chapes and spiky gimp masks and grabbing what they can as soon as change rears its scary head.

« Last Edit: 18 June, 2018, 11:44:05 am by TordelBack »

IndigoPrime

  • Administrator
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 7496
    • View Profile
    • http://www.craiggrannell.com
Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #14332 on: 18 June, 2018, 03:49:42 pm »
One could make the argument that emails, taken in isolation, consume far more energy than bitcoin mining
One could, but it wouldn't be in any way accurate. And it's terrifying to hear stories like this, where electricity use purely for bitcoin mining in Iceland is set to outstrip that of Iceland's homes. That is nuts. (And, yes, I realise this is an outlier, but it showcases how such a system also has massive problems.)

The Legendary Shark

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 8568
  • Tip: Sharks only attack you if you're wet.
    • View Profile
    • the_sharkpool blog
Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #14333 on: 18 June, 2018, 06:41:50 pm »

 How will (to pursue the pressing example) advanced medical training and equipment be funded and subsidised?




This is an excellent question but why ask me? This is statist thinking, as if I'm running for office and must have all the right answers in order to attract votes. I can throw out ideas, of course, but that's all they are. The insurance model is just one idea that will work in some instances but not others. I cannot say, "it will all be handled by insurance just like car insurance or house insurance" and expect that model to be imposed upon everyone because the last thing I want is to impose anything on anyone. There are many billions of people on this planet and millions of them will come up with models to fit their own societies and circumstances better than I ever could. The first thing to do is decide whether the current system is acceptable to you, if it is then there's no problem but if it isn't it's time to get our thinking caps on.

In my view, the current system is based on unacceptable foundations and must be revised. This is my view and not one I want to impose on others like some arrogant government minister. In a free world there may be two or five or nine or a million options to choose from - which is a scary thought but no scarier than having a single option imposed from above no matter how good or bad it is.

The last part of your post I love. I have no objection whatever to trying to reform the system in the way you suggest but, to me, those reforms must be a step along the way and not the ultimate goal. Take the coercion and corruption out of government and leave its organisational aspects in place and I'd be on board with that in an instant - Hell, I'd even vote for whomever I think will do the best organisational job, maybe even campaign for them. I would still, however, be calling for a stateless world society.

I think I've said it before but what I want from government (if government we must have) is very, very simple: the right to say no (providing, of course, that my saying no isn't part of an act of aggression).


JayzusB.Christ

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 6071
  • Squealing meat.
    • View Profile
Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #14334 on: 18 June, 2018, 06:52:00 pm »

 How will (to pursue the pressing example) advanced medical training and equipment be funded and subsidised?




This is an excellent question but why ask me?

To be fair, you brought it up.  You have a very specific idea of what society should be like, but if you want other people to see your point of view, you of need to address hard questions like this.
“Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest”

Frank

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 7331
    • View Profile
Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #14335 on: 18 June, 2018, 07:17:08 pm »
The first thing to do is decide whether the current (health care) system is acceptable to you, if it is then there's no problem ...

Seventy-seven per cent of the public believe the NHS should be maintained in its current form. This level of support has remained consistent over almost two decades despite widespread social, economic and political change.

Around 90 per cent of people support the founding principles of the NHS, indicating that these principles are just as relevant today as when the NHS was established.

A clear majority (66 per cent) of adults are willing to pay more of their own taxes to fund the NHS, underlining growing support among the public for tax rises to increase NHS funding.

https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/publications/what-does-public-think-about-nhs




The Legendary Shark

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 8568
  • Tip: Sharks only attack you if you're wet.
    • View Profile
    • the_sharkpool blog
Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #14336 on: 18 June, 2018, 07:23:00 pm »

 And it's terrifying to hear stories like this, where electricity use purely for bitcoin mining in Iceland is set to outstrip that of Iceland's homes.


How is this "terrifying"? The linked article is packed with ifs and excluded concepts. For example, will the bitcoin mining centres be stealing electricity or paying for it? I imagine they'll be paying for the energy they use, injecting capital into the system. And in a country with only ~340,000 people, is it really so bad to sell more energy to bitcoin mining than households? The article doesn't claim that bitcoin mining will reduce the amount of energy available to households, which would be unacceptable. The whole article is skewed and seems designed to demonise bitcoin.

The BBC supports the government and the government supports centralisation. Bitcoin represents decentralisation, a threat to government, and so the BBC is duty bound to trash it. This is not impartial reporting, as far as I can see, and contains nothing even approaching "terror."


The Legendary Shark

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 8568
  • Tip: Sharks only attack you if you're wet.
    • View Profile
    • the_sharkpool blog
Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #14337 on: 18 June, 2018, 07:51:22 pm »


To be fair, you brought it up.  You have a very specific idea of what society should be like, but if you want other people to see your point of view, you of need to address hard questions like this.


Actually, no - I have a very specific idea of what basis society should be built upon and some ideas as to how such a society might solve certain problems but the ideas I present are just that; ideas. Come up with better ones and I'll accept them. And there are better ideas out there, I'm sure of it, or at least there will be.

However, just for shits and giggles, here are a couple of ideas to apply to Tordels' question: Teaching Hospitals and R&D facilities which sell new technologies and drugs to fund themselves. Perhaps an NHS drug manufacturing company. A national lottery run by the NHS to attract partial funding. Charitable donations. An NHS backed and issued currency. NHS toys, souvenirs, collectibles, home medical kits and books. Insurance premiums. Car boot sales. An "Approved by the NHS" stamp purchased by food (eg.) manufacturers.

Virtually no thought whatsoever went into the above suggestions as they already exist in one form or another. I'm certain other people can come up with much better ideas to augment or replace the above. The possibilities are endless and do not need to rely on government coercion.


The Legendary Shark

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 8568
  • Tip: Sharks only attack you if you're wet.
    • View Profile
    • the_sharkpool blog
Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #14338 on: 18 June, 2018, 08:20:01 pm »


A clear majority (66 per cent) of adults are willing to pay more of their own taxes to fund the NHS, underlining growing support among the public for tax rises to increase NHS funding.



In which case, they should be equally willing to pay voluntarily - perhaps even moreso - for an NHS run by healthcare professionals instead of ministers looking to their next election.


Professor Bear

  • Member
  • Bionic Fingers
  • *****
  • Posts: 6578
    • View Profile
    • Your Friends and Neighbors
Re: The Political Thread
« Reply #14339 on: 18 June, 2018, 08:39:05 pm »
Minister for Health is an unelected position, and the current incumbent is independently wealthy, was parachuted into his parliamentary seat when the previous incumbent became a dame or whatever the heck the inbred title is, and is widely regarded as a shock absorber for the government ideological position of dismantling a free at point of use NHS.  It is literally impossible for him to give less fucks what people think of him.