Does collective ownership = public good?

In terms of history, when China didn’t have a market, millions of people starved to death. But when Deng Xiaoping gradually began creating a market in China, millions of people were lifted out of poverty.

Admittedly, correlation doesn’t necessarily mean causation. So from my perspective the most fundamental economic question is what difference a market makes.

To me it seems like markets continually improve the distribution of influence. If you create something that is useful to consumers, then they will give you more influence. The more influence you have, the more resources you can use.

Aspects of this should be somewhat intuitive. If I say, let’s give a lot more influence to criminals, I’m pretty sure that you would disagree. And I’m sure you’d strongly agree if I said that Hitler had far too much influence.

Each economic system isn’t equally effective at distributing influence. The goal should be to safely test and compare each system in order to figure out which one is the most beneficial.

Even if we don’t reach an agreement on any of this, I certainly appreciate the opportunity to try and articulate my perspective, so thanks.

I think you have articulated your thoughts extremely well. I’m glad you added a bit more today. I was just about finished formulating a response. Your reply lets me know I am on the right track.

I can safely say that we both agree that markets are effective at improving lives overall. I think we both agree that fundamentally they should be explored as the best available option for change.

Where we may diverge, and I’m not sure we do, is I think markets have a natural tendency towards imbalance. Tragedy of the commons type imbalance. Unless there are active measures taken to prevent that. Market equilibrium is a myth to me. undue influence, escalating inequality, irrational exuberance shared by large and small participants all lead to crisis conditions like in 2008.

I think what you have described would work if not for these recurring symptoms. My goal is to test if a democratic economy can function with restraints on undue influence. This hasn’t really been possible until now. To do this you need smart currencies and decentralized regulation that is transparent to all participants. Until crypto became a reality the mechanisms just weren’t there.

I look forward to sharing how I intend to do this in the coming weeks. One mechanism is a smart token with a dynamic bonding curve. Here is an article describing how that will work.

In 2008 the economy crashed. If we think of the economy as a car, then your argument is that the car crashed because the market was behind the wheel.

But the “minor detail” that you’re overlooking is that the US, like nearly every country in the world, is a mixed economy. In the private sector we have a market but in the public sector we do not. Instead we have a not-market. Whatever you want to call it, it isn’t a market. Taxpayers aren’t free to divide their own money between public education and national defense.

So since the US is a mixed economy, the market and the not-market are BOTH behind the steering wheel. And maybe you are correct that the car crashed because of the market, but it is also entirely possible that the car crashed because of the not-market.

You gave “irrational exuberance” as one of the reasons that you believe the market is solely responsible for the car crashing. In other words, you believe that people have a tendency to behave irrationally in markets. But how do people behave in not-markets? Do they behave entirely rationally?

Voters are purely rational when they elect politicians and politicians are purely rational when they decide how to regulate the economy?

If it truly is the case that people behave more rationally in not-markets than in markets, then why even have markets?

I think you have it entirely backwards. People behave far more rationally in markets than in not-markets. Therefore, the car didn’t crash because of the market, it crashed because of the not-market.

My main point is that it would behoove us to safely test and compare the rationality of markets and not-markets. Let’s figure out whether books or Youtube videos are more rationally ranked by markets or not-markets.

I do not think markets were the reason the economy crashed. I believe people were the reason the economy crashed. To me, markets are not causes but mechanisms used by people. I do not blame the mechanism. That would be like blaming the car for the crash, to use your metaphor.

To me markets are cars. Some are designed well. Others are flawed even before people get behind the wheel. As far as the people behind the wheel, sometimes they behave rationally and at others not all. Just like their fellow non-driving pedestrians.

Where we primarily disagree is you seem to feel that markets solve problems. They do not in my opinion. Properly designed and driven by the people using them, they can accomplish great good. But reckless belief in and irrational use of markets results in crashes that impact entire economies.

Believers in perfect markets recklessly advocated their deregulation and left it to the people using the market mechanisms to behave rationally. But that rational invisible hand is a myth. Markets as currently designed tend more to irrational excesses that build over time to inevitable crashes. It is not the market as a mechanism that is at fault. It is the behavior of the people in the market. Especially if a minority can exert excessive influence due to market inequality. That is what happened in 2008. If necessary I will go into the details of this, but real estate financial practices and a number of real estate backed derivatives were used in a way that yielded high short term profits but were doomed to crash as reality set in.

You want to make government spending controlled by markets? Fine with me. Design the market so it functions well and manage it rigorously for abuses of influence and I would vote for that in a heartbeat. But go into that design with a belief in perfect markets and what will probably result is a government that moves between boom and bust. Thinking about the infrastructure and military ramifications of that is unnerving.

Do you understand my opinion of markets now? If you think I’m not for them then I’m not getting my message across.

And if you or another builds a test of book and YouTube video ranking I will wholeheartedly participate.

One last thing. Hopefully this clarifies my view.

Markets are cars.
People drive the cars.
Economies are the environment markets move in.

In 2008 the market crashed damaging the economy. People were driving the market. People caused the crash.

How people behave in markets is significantly influenced by not-markets. In the US the majority voted for alcohol to be illegal, and then people in the market adjusted their behavior accordingly. To blame Al Capone on the market is a big mistake.

In the US the majority has voted for politicians who want to increase home ownership. People in the market adjust their behavior accordingly. To blame the lending crises on the market is a big mistake.

Imagine that democracy is the dumbest thing. Is this difficult for you to imagine? If so, maybe this will help…

Mankind can hardly be too often reminded, that there was once a man named Socrates, between whom and the legal authorities and public opinion of his time, there took place a memorable collision. Born in an age and country abounding in individual greatness, this man has been handed down to us by those who best knew both him and the age, as the most virtuous man in it; while we know him as the head and prototype of all subsequent teachers of virtue, the source equally of the lofty inspiration of Plato and the judicious utilitarianism of Aristotle, " i maëstri di color che sanno ," the two headsprings of ethical as of all other philosophy. This acknowledged master of all the eminent thinkers who have since lived—whose fame, still growing after more than two thousand years, all but outweighs the whole remainder of the names which make his native city illustrious—was put to death by his countrymen, after a judicial conviction, for impiety and immorality. Impiety, in denying the gods recognised by the State; indeed his accuser asserted (see the Apologia ) that he believed in no gods at all. Immorality, in being, by his doctrines and instructions, a “corrupter of youth.” Of these charges the tribunal, there is every ground for believing, honestly found him guilty, and condemned the man who probably of all then born had deserved best of mankind, to be put to death as a criminal. - J.S. Mill, On Liberty

Socrates was murdered by democracy. The majority of voters decided that he was guilty and should be executed.

  1. democracy is the dumbest thing ever
  2. our government is based on democracy
  3. therefore?

Democracy is tyranny of the majority, and the majority really hasn’t read J.S. Mill or Adam Smith…

It is thus that the private interests and passions of individuals naturally dispose them to turn their stocks towards the employments which in ordinary cases are most advantageous to the society. But if from this natural preference they should turn too much of it towards those employments, the fall of profit in them and the rise of it in all others immediately dispose them to alter this faulty distribution. Without any intervention of law, therefore, the private interests and passions of men naturally lead them to divide and distribute the stock of every society among all the different employments carried on in it as nearly as possible in the proportion which is most agreeable to the interest of the whole society. — Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations

That passage describes how the Invisible Hand works.

X = the amount of benefit you derive from a person’s behavior
Y = the amount of money you spend on it

The disparity between X and Y is the single biggest cause of economic problems. We can’t expect beneficial behavior to be maximized when people essentially lie about the amount of benefit that they derive from each other’s behavior.

I see you planting flowers and picking up trash in a public park. Do I derive any benefit from your behavior? If not, then that’s that. But if so, then the amount of money I spend on your behavior should accurately reflect how beneficial it is to me. Except, the thing is, I get the benefit of your behavior whether or not I pay you. But when multiple people have the same mindset, then the park will be far less beautiful/beneficial than we truly want it to be.

Therefore taxes, fine, but this doesn’t somehow negate the necessity of knowing how much benefit I derive from your behavior of beautifying the park. And if too many people end up beautifying the park? Then they will receive less taxes, and they will seek out and find more beneficial behavior.

You seem to feel that not-markets are the source of negative economic consequences. We just disagree about that. I feel that people’s behavior in and out of markets is what results in the negative events and circumstances we see globally.

To go back to your analogy. Pedestrians can cause car accidents, but the vast majority of the time it is the people behind the wheel who cause the accidents. If you are willing to agree that markets are mechanisms like cars. And not-markets manifest in a variety of ways much like walking, cycling, jogging. Then we can get to what drives all of this. Specifically the people.

Of course the market didn’t cause the economic crisis in 2008. People did. People misusing markets. People outside of markets making short sighted decisions. But, most of the economic damage happened due to bad behavior in the market. Sorry you may not want to acknowledge this but it is true.

Markets can be poorly designed or specifically designed to enable exploitation.
Markets can be extremely well designed.
Human behavior in the market is what drives outcomes. Just like with cars, a poor design and bad driver will almost certainly result in accidents. Even a well designed car can be driven recklessly with fatal consequences. (2008)

Next, I guess we’re moving to democracy. This one is simple. Democracy is a mechanism just like markets. It can be driven intelligently by people, poorly by idiots, for exploitation by the corrupt. You don’t need to explain yourself further on this subject. I have knowledge of the things you mention in your reply. And I’m sure you remember from the idea meritocracy video that I am probably not an advocate of 1p 1v democracy.

You may find that my imagination is not very limited.

I just did a quick review of this thread. I think, all in all, I have achieved what I set out on this little discourse to accomplish. Just a note for you. You have an intellectual aggression that at times comes across as condescension. Perhaps you have heard this before. A different manner of speaking and considering the ideas of others may benefit you in driving the social changes you advocate…Overall I have enjoyed the discussion.

really enjoyed reading this. thanks for your considered participation in a solid dialogue and inquiry.
it’s pretty clear to me that both free market and democracy systems have benefitted humanity - that’s why they are features of the dominant social, political and economic entities. and they are also just fancy ways of describing behaviors, ways and rules that apply in nature and have been scaled into larger human group functionality. most of what we call ‘free markets’ or ‘democracy’ (just like ‘religion’) actually refer to a broad spectrum of configurations in reality and in concept - i.e.: the ideas themselves are variable, the examples in current and historical society vary tremendously, and, given the pace of technological change, which drives much social change, the inherited systems and rule sets just haven’t kept pace. the ol jalopy cant fly in the new conditions - ie.: the US political system inhibited tyranny when representation occurred with communications at the speed of horse drawn messages, same for free markets. now that messages move at the speed of light and intelligences can be aggregated and automated… well, democracy and free markets need to adapt with new rules and much quicker and more attuned referees.

so for me the question isnt at all about whether democracy or freemarkets are good or bad, they are natural patterns that suit our decisioning and resource allocation requirements - but now the ‘forest’ has grown bigger, communication and interactions between various lifeforms have grown more complex, dynamic, and more pervasively interconnected. the potential and the activation of much higher orders of biointensivity, collective intelligence, and life itself is accelerating.
we are and have always been in hybrid systems: ‘capitalist socialist’ more accurately describes every nation on earth, with only modest variations. same for our free&managed economies. and these in all cases are the most functional and successful (even if they dont fit into any rigorously and ideologically or mathematically pure form, the latter pure theoriesnare just ‘easier’ to understand, thus attractive to those who confound ‘God’ with ‘power’, ‘simplicity’ or ‘binary’, mutts are in most instances more vital and variable - beyond breed and race).

so the questions is
how do we optimize conditions for free-ish democracy and markets to be more effective?
and more important still:
what do we want to create with all our emerging superpowers?
is the goal greater biontensivity and harmony, happy people, intergalactic proliferation? all this and more?

Glad you enjoyed it. This is a short description of what I am building.

The S8R Community Platform is a platform ecosystem owned by the user community. It has tools to enable every person to earn ownership and profit percentages. An ad network is being developed to compensate users for their attention. Any person with valuable skills or knowledge will be able to quickly become an online tutor. Smart token technology enables the platform to fairly distribute equity and prevent large outside investors from buying a disproportionate percentage of the ecosystem.

Ownership and revenue are distributed to the community based on tokens earned for joining, referring new members, and participating in community actions. The establishment of a community economy as an alternative to an investor economy is a core platform goal.