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Zeitgeist, Occupy... and the Liberty movement?

I'm not claiming to understand the entire motivation of the Occupy or the Zeitgest movements although from what I understand they are not all that different from each other. When it comes to civil liberties and social policy like abolition, gay marriage, abortion, etc. they don't seem so different from any of us on their differing opinions.I also feel like many of them many of them favor a Ron Paul non-interventionalist strategy of foreign policy.

It seems that most of them also understand that monetary policy in the US is immoral. That is they can understand the scheme that is the Federal Reserve and can get behind abolishing it.

What they don't seem to understand though is that free market capitalism is not the cause of this countries problems. They see a desire to acquire wealth as immoral and that people should be limited as to what they can earn in order to try and provide for the suffering that exists. They feel motivation to work, and achieve, and invent, comes from within a person and that rewards are just a secondary consideration, and therefore wealth does nothing to hamper human progress and achievement.

So how do you make them understand that the free market economy in itself is not the cause of corruption rather it is the corrupt abusing power to manipulate the free market in order to profit that is the problem? It seems like this one issue is all that is keeping the Liberty movement from exploding with supporters. Anyone agree?

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Yeah...

the two sovereignties do indeed fight with each other for dominance (duel). I grappled with that when composing my reply about the two words.

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~wobbles but doesn't fall down~

Choose easy targets.

I have been successful in "converting" only one of these people to the ideas of free market capitalism. That was because we worked together, emailed each other all day debating these topics, and over the course of a few months, my logic finally won out. However, if you don't have that kind of time, my suggestion is to pick easier targets. There are people out there who are much more open to liberty than the Occupy and Zietgeist crowd. I agree with the fellow who said that they don't think rationally. It just takes more time than it is worth to continue to try to educate those who aren't open to the education. They are more likely to vote Democrat and believe in socialism. Our movement is going through the Republican party, and as much as many of them resist us, my opinion is that they are still more open to our ideas of liberty than OWS or Zietgeist.

Free market capitalism isn't right for America because it works better. It's right because it's free (and it works better).

You cannot

"So how do you make them understand" - you cannot. They do not think rationally, they think from the heart. In that respect, they are similar to religious people. For the latter, no rational argument is possible if miracles can overrule. For the former, no happiness is possible when they see their former classmates live much better than they do. Working hard "like Chinese" is not their ideal for a free society.

But there is one method that can be used. It is the same method that works wonder among our own parrots in the Libertarian movement - peer pressure. The attack should be directed at their false morality - "sacrifice" of individual for another entity: a neighbor, a society, a collective.

I'm

on occupy's website quite a bit. THere are a select few who understand monetary policy...but i would say the vast majority don't have a firm grasp...and actually prefer government stimulus because they think it helps the people.

A lot of them think that the crisis of 2008 was perpetuated by the "free markets"....or capitalism....as you have that famous line by the idiot Greenspan talking about how capitalism had failed (meanwhile it had nothing to do with capitalism...and everything to do with the intervention via manipulation of interest rates and special housing programs that actively encouraged over investing in the housing market).

They're bible, from what i've read, is the "Shock Doctrine"....i just got finished reading it....it was really tough to get through but i managed it. Really paints Friedman and libertarians as horrible people that actively pursue shocks in the world to implement our evil schemes.

I think what it would take to change their minds is information...but provided in a calm way...you get arguing with them and nothing gets accomplished and you usually end up making them stick to their beliefs even more.

Very good assessment

of Occupy. What I have gathered from my dealings with them is that they are more grass roots than we are. In other words, they only formed from a single main complaint, not a platform of complaints, principles and proposals.

Because of this, most of them indeed are uneducated to the inner workings of our fiat currency. Same goes for many other issues but that's their main complaint as a group.

I've found that if you keep asking what they want and how to get it, but interject how things really work along the way, they usually come to the point of asking more questions than they can answer. That's when you get an open mic to explain as much as they can comprehend. Word of advice, don't use propagandized terms like free-market, capitalism, Libertarian, or similar ones. Just rephrase them as 'privately', 'the people buying and selling', 'not-corporate/government decided', etc. It's amazing when you get done and find that they are the first to use those terms that they formerly would have sheyed away from.

Lol

"free-market, capitalism, Libertarian,"

I hear ya....those words are kryptonite on that website and word choice is crucial to getting anywhere with them.

It definitely takes patience to deal with them...but i think it's worth it...I've noticed a few warm up to me and dig into some of our ideas once they figured out I wasn't some evil libertarian trying to destroy the world.

They don't understand...

the nature of money, especially sound money, and the nature of the FED's crimes. And since most of them weren't taught critical thinking skills, and their heads have been filled with propaganda all of their lives, it is a long hard road to get them to the point they are able to shake off the delusion.

In the meantime it requires a lot of love and patience....

.
~wobbles but doesn't fall down~

jrd3820's picture

I absolutely agree

That free market principles are one of the few things that stops others from jumping on board.

The free market scares weak people. How do you make them understand? Make sure you understand it pretty well yourself, buy them some coffee, and be prepared to combat every "what if" or "what about x,y,z" scenario they come up with.

They also always say "well look where capitalism has gotten us so far (silly liberals think this is free market capitalism)," explain to them that we are not living in the age of a free market.

It is not impossible, it can be hard but it is not impossible. Flipping liberals is so easy until it comes to the free market... then they just get scared and confused and they want to feel safe and warm. That is why coffee helps.

The Free Market isn't the answer to a lot of people because

It seems to put profits above people.

Things might be different if corporations were illegal but they aren't in this "free market"

Why would people undertake an endeavor to LOSE money???

.. or to LOSE value as a result of their efforts?

That's ridiculous on its face and every moron understands it.

Endeavors and processes that LOSE value rather than ADD value is the realm of government and government subsidized endeavors.

Profit at any cost is not the same as making a profit.

Please reread what I wrote. I never said I was against profits.

Don't the people want to profit?

Isn't that the the main reason people cooperate in the first place, to profit in some way from it. The whole fixation with the "profits" of businesses to me is misdirected. In a free market, a transaction is voluntary and neither party will make the transaction unless they feel they will profit from the trade. In a free market if a business is making monetary profits, it has done so by providing a product or service that the people who consumed it valued higher than the money they had to exchange for that product or service, in other words they profited from. In a free market every trade is quid pro quo, this for that, and it is voluntary so you only make the trade if you feel you will profit from it. Is that not a win-win situation? So if you are profiting society in general, how exactly is that putting profits above people?

Ask them that.

We don't have a free market. It's more like free market fascism

Corporations were never meant to make large profits. They had to be approved by congress, allowed for only a certain amount of time, and had to benefit society somehow.

Either way, right now we don't have a free market, we have corporations that pay no taxes, ruin the environment, and rob us blind.

So....

Your original statement said that the free market isn't the answer for some people because it "seems to put profits above people." I never said that we currently have a free market, but I am saying it is the answer and explained why. There's nothing wrong with corporations in a free market, they will only have large profits if they provide products/services that are highly demanded by the public. Technology is as free a market as we have and Apple has made large profits but is also one of the best places to work according to their employee's.

What products/services do Haliburton, Monsanto, and Goldman Sacs

provide, that everyone is clamoring for?

Corporations have all the rights as people except can never go to jail.

They are above the law.

And as far as Apple being a great place to work...go ask the Chinese that work for them.

Or just Google it. I'll even help you out.

Type in key word, "Apple factory + China + Suicide.

Again

You are naming the problems we have now in this environment that we seem to both agree is not a free market, and again I am saying that free market is the solution. Corporations may have rights but they take action through people, and if those people representing a corporation commit crime then they can go to jail. What unfair advantage does a corporation have in a free market? How would they be above the law in a free market?

And yeah China doesn't have a free market either if you weren't aware. I wasn't talking about contracted manufacturing overseas, and there are numerous other examples that could be made of corporations that do honest business and treat workers well. I could have made a better example than Apple I suppose but they have been regularly listed on best companies to work for, for here in the U.S.

Look up what a corporation is at it's root and it's history.

Corporations do not belong in any free market. They used to be illegal.

And in response to what you wrote above...no, they don't go to jail. In fact, they are explicitly protected from it.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/bp-pleads-manslaugh...

Also, China has more of a free market than a lot of "democracies". Ask ANY businessman who does business there. They are NOT the communist country that you think it is. They have rich and poor just like we do.

As far as companies treating employees well, you are more likely to be treated fair by a boss you know and can speak to rather than a board of directors who could care less if you get to keep your pension or not.

Regardless, the free market is not *THE* solution to it all, but...

If your idea of a free market include a divorce between Government and Business then thats a really good start.

I don't need to

I know what a corporation is and the history of a corporation makes no difference to our conversation.
I asked you two different questions so you could illustrate what advantage a corporation has over other business entities in a free market, and you didn't answer either.
And yes, people committing crimes while working for corporations do go to jail, hard to see how you could believe otherwise. Individuals don't always go to jail when they should either.
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505125_162-28244805/top-10-ceos-...

If corporations didn't treat employees well in a free market, they would lose employees to businesses that do. If corporations didn't provide products or services that are demanded by consumers at prices consumers are willing to pay in a free market, then they would lose business to competitors who do and have to change accordingly or go bankrupt. Without the government helping them limit competition with regulations and entry barriers etc., corporations survival depends on consumers. You are not forced to purchase products or services from corporations in a free market.
The free market may not be *the* solution to it ALL, but I do believe it is the solution to most of our economic problems. Would the free market be problem free? Of course not, but I believe it is the best system known to man compared to any other.
Of course my idea of a free market includes a divorce between government and business.

You are living in fantasy land

by giving the "free market" too much credit.

What you're saying is all based on theories and not real life situations.

You are just plain wrong about some of this stuff.

The info is out there if you are open minded enough to look.

Corporations

are, by their very nature, a tie between banks and the operations of a business. The banks have gotten laws passed that MANDATE a corporation to operated based on short term profit ONLY.

As a result of this, the banks have used this corporate power with their lobbying power (the fact that they simply have all the money they want) to buy government controls to keep the free market from operating in specific industries.

This is not a function of the free market. It is a bastardization of it that has been placed there by profit seeking banks.

So you're both correct because to get rid of the government ties to corporations is to get rid of the corporate status, bring accountability back local and allow the 'fantasy' free market system to work once again.

I don't agree

Corporations do not have to involve a bank, let alone be a tie between banks and the operations of a business. A group of people who want to invest together to start a business is all that is needed for a corporation. I have never heard of laws that mandate a corporation to operate based on short term profit only (you'd have to prove that to me) but at any rate that obviously is not operating in a free market. Using government controls to alter the market IS what is happening and is the opposite of free market.

I still stand by my statement that there is nothing wrong with corporations and/or profits in a free market, and that the freer the markets are the better off we would be.

While you're technically correct

in practice, however, it is virtually impossible. The legal and staffing mandates alone virtually guarantee that nearly a million dollars be spent to start any non-tiny corporation. This then guarantees that it is funded by either one or more very wealthy individuals or a sanctioned investment of some type. Via the SEC, the banks have total control over all SEC sanctioned investments. Through "part D", they limit direct investors to those who have $300k in liquid assets and an income of 'I think' half a mil. They mandate a licensed broker handle the deal. They mandate the structure of the board of directors and the tie between financial shareholders and voting shareholders - they are not the same. In short, they've got 'em by the brass.

In reply to the legal mandate of short term profit, I refer you to the "Benefit Corporation" description in Wiki.

"Benefit corporation
Main article: Benefit corporation

A benefit corporation is a class of corporation required by law to create general benefit for society as well as for shareholders. Benefit Corporations must create a material positive impact on society, and consider how their decisions affect their employees, community, and the environment. Moreover, they must publicly report on their social and environmental performances using established third-party standards.[32]

The B corporation label is a third party certification and a corporation with this label should not be confused as a Benefit corporation.

The chartering of Benefit Corporations is an attempt to reclaim the original purpose for which corporations were chartered in early America. Then, states chartered corporations to achieve a specific public purpose, such as building bridges or roads. Their legitimacy stemmed from their delegated charter, although they could still earn profits while fulfilling it.[citation needed]

Over time, however, corporations came to be chartered without any public purpose, while being legally bound to the singular purpose of profit-maximization for its shareholders. Advocates of Benefit Corporations assert that this singular focus has resulted in a variety of societal ills, including the thwarting of democracy, diminished social good, and negative environmental impacts.[33]

In April 2010, Maryland became the first U.S. state to pass Benefit Corporation legislation. Hawaii, Virginia, California, Vermont, and New Jersey soon followed. Additionally, as of November 2011, Benefit Corporation legislation had been introduced or partially passed in Colorado, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.[34]

Benefit Corporation laws address concerns held by entrepreneurs who wish to raise growth capital but fear losing control of the social or environmental mission of their business. In addition, the laws provide companies the ability to consider factors other than the highest purchase offer at the time of sale, in spite of the ruling on Revlon, Inc. v. MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings, Inc.. Chartering as a Benefit Corporation also allows companies to distinguish themselves as businesses with a social conscience, and as one that aspires to a standard they consider higher than mere profit-maximization for shareholders.[35]"

This is a new type of corporation being tested in a few states (not mine!) that ALLOWS owners to circumvent the legal profit mandate. You can find this at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporation#Benefit_corporation

If you haven't heard of the laws mandating profits, you haven't tried to start your own business. That was 'slap-in-the-face' 101 in my venture!

So, yes, there's nothing wrong with BUSINESSES making lots of profits but corporations do cross the line of total non-accountability.

I think you misunderstand

Ok so here's your original comment about corporations being mandated to operate on short term profit only:

"The banks have gotten laws passed that MANDATE a corporation to operated based on short term profit ONLY."

To which I said:
"I have never heard of laws that mandate a corporation to operate based on short term profit only (you'd have to prove that to me) but at any rate that obviously is not operating in a free market."

To which you replied:
"In reply to the legal mandate of short term profit, I refer you to the "Benefit Corporation" description in Wiki."

So it seems you are trying to make the case that a Benefit Corporation mandates that the business be operated solely to maximize short term profit. How you derive at this conclusion, I have no clue whatsoever. None of what you posted gives any evidence to come to that conclusion. A Benefit Company actually is mandating that you DON'T operate solely on the basis of profit and that you take into consideration how your "decisions affect employees, community, and the environment."

From your comment:
"Benefit Corporations must create a material positive impact on society, and consider how their decisions affect their employees, community, and the environment."

http://www.forbes.com/sites/annefield/2012/05/25/benefit-cor...
"The goal is to give companies legal protection to take certain steps that benefit their non-financial objectives, even if it’s not so good for the bottom line. And for shareholders, it ensures that companies won’t drift from their non money-making mission."

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/business/jan-june12/bcorps_02...

Do you get it now?

It's all irrelevant to my argument anyway as these are not examples of free market corporations or free market failure.

Tis true!

When Craigslist incorporated as a for-profit corporation and sold shares, the shares were split between the two owners of Craigslist and the rest sold to eBay. Craigslist has a history of engaging in philanthropy with a portion of their profits. eBay then sued Craigslist for breach of contract for not maximizing shareholder profits.

eBay won the case and Craigslist has been forced to reduce their philanthropy in order to maximize shareholder profit. And this not an exceptional instance. It is common practice. When a company incorporates as a for-profit corporation and sells shares then the law and courts hold the company must then maximize profits for the shareholders.

The eBay/Craigslist case is a simple one compared to the typical case. Corporations are often forced to fire employees, ditch product lines, cease research and capital upgrades projects, etc.. and to sometimes even liquidate and shut their doors all in the name of maximizing profits.

Here is the Delaware Court of Chancery ruling opinion on the eBay case by Chancellor William B. Chandler, III:

http://www.delawarelitigation.com/uploads/file/int51%281%29.pdf

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~wobbles but doesn't fall down~

Tis not true!

The lawsuit you have provided is not about forcing Craigslist to "reduce their philanthropy in order to maximize profit." It was about actions Craigslist took to dilute ebay's share and control of the company when they were unable to get them to sell their share, because ebay had also invested in a competitor.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/10/craigslist-ebay-law...
http://www.businessinsider.com/ebay-wins-craigslist-lawsuit-...
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/d67057d6-bc6a-11df-a42b-00144feab4...

Look all businesses try to maximize profit. If the people or person operating a business isn't trying to maximize profit then I assume the owners of that business will not be happy and take action accordingly to try and make it so.

Look up the debate on shareholder vs stakeholder primacy

These are competing interpretations of current law on this matter. The net effect of both is that a company is mandated (by the legal structure of shareholder's wielding power over the board) to do everything in their power to work 'for the sole purpose of stock price' or 'for the long term purpose of the long term stock health'. The nutshell is that both CAN be interpreted to mean short term stock price in reference to any specific board action. As such, lawsuits can and do get won against the board all the time for wasting too much money on non-profit-now things.

The 'Benefit' company example was to show you that a new form of corporate governance is being tested in some states that legally allows a board of directors to do things like R&D, philanthropy, pay-it-forward/back, etc. without the fear of getting sued by its stockholders. In other words, it's SO RADICAL a departure from current law that they had to make a legal type of incorporation just to ensure it's safe for board members to use.

If you're looking for an actual law that says "corporations must place profit first" you have to go to the individual states' incorporation steps. In there, you'll find how you must offer stock this way and follow those rules for pricing it and appoint a certain number (min) of board members and create a mission statement and state the corporations reason for existence. In many states, it actually mandates that the mission statement includes a statement that shareholder profit and value is the first/top/sole goal. Other states leave it in the grey language they require.

Huh

So what you're saying is that you believe I am wrong but apparently don't know why or you by yourself are not informed enough to make any direct refutations of my statements. Because just saying that I give the "free market" too much credit and that I am plain wrong about some stuff is nothing but making hollow claims. WHAT am I plain wrong about? WHY can't you answer my questions if I am wrong?

I think you have answered by not answering.

And yes the info IS out there if you are open minded enough to look.

Look, it's hard to discuss this with you when

you say "I don't agree" when someone states a FACT.

What exactly is it that YOU know, that our Founders didn't about corporations?

I don't have time to research links for you.

If you are curious, open others knowledge or ideas then you'll go look.

So far, you have proven you aren't.

What are you talking about

What FACT was stated that I said I didn't agree with?

It seems to me you have been brainwashed into believing inanimate objects can be bad things, like corporations. A corporation is as good as the people running it, or as bad as the people running it. You really need to take your own advice and seek out knowledge yourself. Talking about me personally and not addressing the subject is just more misdirection to get away from the fact you can't answer my questions or refute what I've stated.

You can start here:
http://archive.mises.org/4269/in-defense-of-the-corporation/

but here are numerous articles in defense of the free market on virtually every issue
http://mises.org/daily/List/

I mean the fact alone that u call a corp an "inanimate object"

How should I respond to that?? I DO get what you are saying, but you seem to have a problem acknowledging facts that can be easily looked up.

It's like two people trying to have a conversation about geography, where one of the guys thinks the earth is flat.

This isn't my first rodeo, so I don't need to know anymore about your "free market", especially when it involves giving *Special rights* to one group over another, like corporations.

but, Thank You for the links anyway.