Derek McGowan

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Everything posted by Derek McGowan

  1. How does one find one's work? If that's a problem, that's what they have guidance counselors and vocational counselors and interest inventories and aptitude tests for. it is at this point that I feel that you are using yourself and your personal story as a stand in for the entire world. Anytime you would like to make a claim which is so simple reveals that you choose to ignore the real ways that the world works. Lets not be idealistic JTS. You can work out of your house today, poll 10 people (which I have done on numerous occasions) and I guarantee that 70% of them either don't know where there true passion lies, or had to leave those passions behind as the the bills came due. Those bills are a reality of the capitalism that I so forth define and so too is the hindrance of ones passions because of those bills.
  2. It may be the wrong attitude but that doesn't mean that they should be forced to think like you either. My post was not to pass judgement, I can do that in another post. I like to stay on subject and my subject was the the slight drawbacks of a system where the accumulation of wealth is the primary goal ( the definition of capitalism I was using) and how that goal will SOMETIMES prevent individuals from doing what they really love in life. I was not using your definition of capitalism.
  3. Because you are not one who falls into this category, doesn't take away from the fact that others do. Also you seem to acknowledge the fact that others ARE greatly influenced by marketing/propaganda etc when you describe your story of the certain young female
  4. I define freedom as my ability to spend my life doing the things that I want to do. I do not define freedom as an ability to get others to do things for me or to force them to do things for me or having to do with others in any sense unless I so choose to deal with them. My opening post takes reality into mind when I say that in an environment of scarcity, there is a limited amount of resources and thus things need to be paid for, in some way, by someone. I'm not denying that and I don't think we can do anything at all about that reality until some futuristic technological advances that place which physically change the environment from one of scarcity into one of abundance. This may never happen (which, for me, would be sad) and it definitely wont happen in my lifetime. I only make my point to show where capitalism (apparently not JTS definition) has its slight drawbacks to a vision of total freedom. I suppose I do take issue with Jts definition of capitalism as a recognition of rights. For example, where does the privatization of the ocean become a recognition of rights? Why do humans have the self evident right to claim land? I fully understand the right of property over something I made but it seems that the idea of claiming land ( and its not like we are needed to shepard the land as that nature can take care of itself) is purely a way to gather up more and more resources for free more or less (these resources were not made by you) and then to use these resources for monetary gain. I don't pass judgement on someone who wants monetary gain but it is a definition of capitalism AS a way of monetary gain that I speak of when I say the word.
  5. Capitalism is not as free as I would like it to be I am not saying that capitalism is a prison, nor am I saying that it isn't more free than other systems (of course it is) and I'm sure as hell not saying that we should replace it with one of these other systems which in the end can never work. I'm saying that I see some issues with the system and I do think that it can possibly be replaced in the far future with something that is more freeing (see my attempt at a solution in my book- shameless plug!) The three points of system wide constraint/coercion that I find are as follows: (First I must say that these points of coercion/constraint are in my opinion, not being delivered down upon us by some evil, big wig, fat cat, any other individual or any shadow conspiracy group operating like the Illuminati, but are simple realities of an environment of scarcity.) First and simplest- There are many many people who do not like the ideas behind capitalism. Whether they are jealous of the wealth of others and want it for themselves, whether they have a genuine feeling that we as humans should all work together and take issue when others don't feel like working as a world team, whether they are against greed or egos or whatever. I'm not passing any judgment on how people feel but the fact is that there are hoards of people out there who do feel that way, therefore it is easy to see that a capitalistic society is something of a prison for them. Same as a capitalist in a socialistic society would feel. In fact it is one of capitalism's greatest strength in recognizing that the mentalities of individuals are as wide as the horizon. That is precisely why socialistic systems will never work. But that, by its definition, will also mean that there will be people who feel trapped by a capitalist society. Of course the capitalist will say that those individuals would be free to move away but it is never as simple as that and anyone who argues that it is is just not being honest about the world around them. Second, I can't do what I want to do- What I mean by this is that A. if I don't have the resources to follow a certain dream of mine, then I can't do it and B. (and this is for me is probably the most important thing on this entire list of issues) I more than likely don't even know what my true dream is because society funnels most of us down certain paths--those that make money. Allow me to expand. A. Let's say I have a true passion for playing video games and one, I'm not that great so I cant compete on the elite level where there is some money to be made and/or two, I play a relatively obscure game that most people ignore. Whether or not I deserve to make money at this passion is not my point (in a competitive system, of course I don't) but the fact that I can't give my full time and effort to this thing that gives me fulfillment. I have to spend 8 hours a day, more or less, doing something I'd rather not be doing in order to eat and pay my parents rent. A truly free system would allow anyone to spend ALL of their time doing whatever they so desire. B. This one really upsets me. I, as an artist, am lucky because art is a part of (or at least was) every child's early education. Therefore I was exposed to my passion by the current system and I was then able to make decisions on how my life would come to include art. Individuals whose life purpose includes history, mathematics, or science also are lucky. Musicians are lucky. These are all standard courses for all children in elementary and middle school. But that list is far from the full array of possibilities of passions that people may have. What if I'm naturally inclined to garden? That is not a subject I would get exposed to and if I live in the city, I may never get my passion brought to the surface. There are BILLIONS of people out there that have NO IDEA what their passion is. They have no idea what work would give their lives meaning and fulfillment so they go through life in something of a blah mode feeling "is this it?" of life. The problem is that there is only so much time in the world, so many resources to expose children to different subjects. We don't have a million hours to show each child a thousand different possibilities of work in life and then it is further compounded by a capitalistic society that, for the good of the child, exposes them to a relatively few occupations, mostly those that historically have been shown to make money. Regardless of whether there may not be another solution (I think there is- a futuristic one) the fact is that this is a problem. If you know what your passion is and you are kept from doing it then you know exactly what I mean. If you don't know what your passion is then trust me, life can be much much more fulfilling than what you may currently experience. Allow me to add a C. Even if you know your passion, we are constrained by the market. We are many times prevented from doing what we love full time because the market doesn't consider what we do to be valuable. Example, there are thousands of graduates from liberal arts colleges and those that hold degrees in psychology that will never find a job in their fields. Same as there are thousands of folks working honest hours as truck drivers who are only truck drivers because that's one of the few (relative few) industries that are hiring. Same with nurses. Its even worse when people have businesses, done all the right things, gave it all they got, got multiple years out of their business and suddenly the market taste goes the other way. You open a high class bar, operate it for years, receive letters of gratitude from loyal patrons, keep the place updated, but then your place just goes out of style and you are out of a job. And what about the sad fact that in a capitalistic society, you can literally be the greatest of all time in your certain craft, I mean literally the most skilled--the greatest. I think its sad that if your craft is not deemed valuable by the market then you are forced into another craft. Again, the point is not whether you deserve to be rich because of your skill, instead the point is that you are constrained/coerced into a line of work you did not choose. My third and final issue deals with capitalistic coercion- This is NOT physical coercion and because it can be overcome with will power, I consider it to be my least objectionable point to make. We are assaulted daily by the mental coercion of advertisement. Again, with enough will power you will easily realize that most of the products that "you just gotta have," you really have no need for at all. But while many of use do possess this will power, there are many who do not. They think that it is perfectly normal to want $8,000 shiny rims on their cars and $300 jeans. We are told day after day that the good life includes all of these things that cost thousands of dollars. 6 dollar cups of coffee, 100 dollar bottles of wine and 2,000 dollar mac computers when all these items can be had for much less. In fact, the pull of marketing is so strong that I almost can't blame those who are jealous of the rich and who want to have their wealth redistributed to them-- its so that they can live the life they see on the TV. So, how is this a problem of coercion and not simply a dislike for marketing. It is mental coercion because it is hard to find, follow or search for your passion. The TV says that you should be like this (and the TV says that because the producer of the commercial wants to sell more products- the selling of products is itself a product of a capitalistic society) and it is hard to see otherwise. There are boatloads of teens in my community who want to play football or be a rapper. Not because they think the game is fun, not because they like to spend their time coming up with creative rhymes but simply because they are shown on TV as being successful. Keeping up with the Joneses is breed into and feed into today's youth until the point that they are merely slaves of the mind. In fact the goal of some industries is pointedly to hypnotize and brainwash people into a culture that would then make them ripe for the picking. I'm NOT placing a moral judgment on how a business gathers its customers but I am saying that because of that hypnotism, there are scores of people who are merely following the directives of others. And that does not represent freedom, and that... is my problem. Thank you for reading (and I hope you read the whole thing before you respond so that I am not accused of something that I did not say or mean)
  6. I never said the government wasn't inefficient... in fact I said that it was...
  7. 1. When you posted the first link, it was directed at the home page, not at the money section. 2. My proposed futuristic system requires no savings, nor any of the other things that make money great in our current environment. 3. Im still not understanding your seeming double talk on the true goal being freedom and yest money being glorified to high heaven. The link provided only explains why money is useful in our current environment. But perhaps you are responding on your phone and don't have the leisure to provide a more detailed response. I know I've been there...
  8. Ayn Rand: I am not primarily an advocate of capitalism, but of egoism; and I am not primarily an advocate of egoism, but of reason. If one recognizes the supremacy of reason and applies it consistently, all the rest follows. right, so why did you say objectivism glorifies money to high heaven? Are you making fun of me?
  9. yeah, that was pretty thick. The character seems so into his own ideas of how all others think and how they are hopeless, that I began to wonder why he was even involving himself enough into the world around him to even make a speech. Then I remembered its a character from a book and the other was just trying to make a point
  10. Jts, I would say that my book would be interesting to Objectivist because it proposes a system of greater freedom then we currently have and it was written with absolute realism and reason in mind, but of course you don't have to read it : ) this is where we probably do have a difference of opinion. I thought the primary goal of Objectivism was freedom and that capitalism simply was the most successful method of implementing it. Sounds like you may be saying that the primary goal is capitalism and that system just happens to have a degree of freedom with it so ... I guess that's good too. I define freedom as an ability to DO what I would like (outside of harming others) during my life not as the ability to have OTHERS do things for me. This is how I see a capitalism, it has two components of freedom and one is not needed. 1. If I have enough money then I am free from certain pressures and I can pursue what I would like. 2. If I have enough money then I can have (through trade) or make (through wage labor forced upon others through threat of starvation) others do things I would like. In my system, we have no need for number 2 and number 1 is the most important. I shouldn't call it a system though and it is in my explanation that you may see where I'm coming from. Capitalism, socialism, etc are economic systems that have evolved in an environment of scarcity. You may want to add human nature into the mix as well but I find that human nature has also evolved in the environment of scarcity. Any system that is created with the limits of a world full of limits (scarcity) mental or otherwise, will indeed be limited in freedom. I don't propose simply replacing the system, I propose replacing THE ENVIRONMENT. The Venus project is unrealistic because it expects people to mentally change a human nature that is predicated on an environment of scarcity. I would say that you can't expect people to have a mentality of abundance unless you actually have an environment of abundance. No, that doesn't mean putting a bunch of folks together in chain gangs who must feed and clothe the world--that could only occur through force. My book puts the means of unlimited production into each and every individual's hands where they can decide on a daily basis how much or how little they want. That is ultimate freedom. When someone does not have to rely on another for things, when they don't have to rely on another for a job, when the ONLY thing keeping an association with others going is purely the individual's desire. This is getting a bit far into my reasons as to why capitalism is not as free as I would like and I plan to put that post up in detail in the next few days. I would like to describe to you in detail how my plan takes shape but I also don't want to ruin the story for dldelancey or others who would care to review the book for me. I will though communicate with you privately if you would like to discuss my ideas
  11. Dldelancey, thank you for the purchase, I would have sent you the book for free but ill take the sales anyway! Jonathan, the title is The True End of Money and The Path to Free. I can send you a copy if you'd like
  12. Hi guys I self published my book on Sept 18th of this year and I'm in need of reviews. If anyone has the time and desire to read my book and review it (perhaps on Amazon or Good Reads) I will send them a free copy. I can send it in any digital format if you have a Nook, Kindle, etc or I can send a hardcopy. Okay so what is the book about? Really it was inspired by Atlas Shrugged though it is not about Objectivism. I was writing a 4 part non fiction series on my life philosophy (just got back to completing it) when I read Atlas Shrugged and was blown away by the idea that you can write a philosophy into an entertaining novel- so I did. Took me a year and a half with the editing and the final is 734 pages long. The premise is: what would it take to get rid of all money? The crowd on OL may immediately cry Socialist Pig! But no, I even write a section of the book that explains why Socialism will never ever work. No, I don't replace capitalism with communism or anything of the sort, in fact, the money-less society never appears in the book. The book takes us through a series of worldly events that then change and prepare society enough that a conversation can take place at the end of the book as to if it is now possible to live without money. As I wrote in the Meet and Greet section of this site, I am a supporter of freedom, not necessarily a supporter of capitalism and I plan to write a post on why I think capitalism is not as free as I would like it to be (not even lassiz faire) but I'm also a realist. My solution will not happen without extreme technological advances and my book does take place in the future, reflecting that. Here is the description from the back: Not a tale of utopia, this story instead follows the ordinary lives of nine men and women, their friends and family, over a 150 year time-span as they produce, control or are influenced by two very important inventions and the law surrounding them which change the environment enough that we are finally able to ask the question- Is it time that we end capitalism? I think that its a good story that covers both sides of the debates more realistically then Ms Rand's works (though I loved both novels) and if you would like to review it for me or have additional questions, please let me know : )
  13. I like the monopoly video better because he mentioned something that I hadn't thought of and that is competition from OTHER markets. He was wrong on one minor account when he said that under free markets monopolies don't exist but then he mentioned that Standard Oil held over 90%market share which by anyone's definition was a monopoly. I've been curious up till now as to what the world would look like if Carnegie Steel, Standard Oil, and others hadn't been broken up 100+ years ago and continued to strive unencumbered up to now and if people would see a problem with monopolies then, but this video shows that those companies probably would have fallen out of favor for other industries by now especially since companies like Exxon today are so loath to enter other markets. But I do have an imagination and I feel that I possibly could come up with some monopolies that even global competition couldn't uproot and that would be regional or even local monopolies. Ones that you would have to leave the city or state in order to avoid. The electric companies (this is not the best example because a. they have their feet too far into government but I use them anyway as a familiar "assist" to birth my imaginative idea) are hard to dislodge, not so much because of their energy production, after all their are plenty of competitors on the production side, but because they own all the wires. I can hardly see 5-6-7 competitors all with lines going to every house, the streets would be a mess and probably a danger with all the wires. Could possibly be done underground to avoid the tangle but true competition, like from Tesla coils, will/would probably not happen. So the industry's infrastructure would kinda serve to prevent competition. More imaginative- what about if a smart planner/ investor owned all the streets in a local and put up tolls. The best outside market competitor would probably come from sidewalks, unless somehow the investor foresaw that possibility and made sure the streets ran right up to the homes or gardens. Very imaginative idea, very unrealistic, but I think of these things : ) Hmmm, could someone buy the perimeter of a city and build a dome over the whole town and then charge for water, air and sun? Now THATs an imaginative idea, very sci-fi. But perhaps more and more possible in the future
  14. Jts, thanks for the link. I have to say though that I just watched the insider trading one (not the other yet) and Im so let down ny his response that I had to react. What he starts off by describing as insider trading (research or finding something dropped in a subway) is definitly not what I meant by the term nor do I think it is what the AG means by the term. Research is fine, my definition of insider trading IS the conflict of interest style trading that he mentions around the 5 minute mark where he says something to the effect of "of course that's bad but it would be common law" When I asked my question I wasn't advocating for a governmental rule, I was just asking if in an free market society would a judge consider my case if my retirement fund was wiped out due to market manipulations based on insider trading. Im asking if the judge would say "yeah Mr X. what you did was over the line even though you may not have had a specific contract with Derek or though there may not be a government mandated law on the books.' Man, I... I'm really not satisfied with his answer... it almost sounded like a politician dodging the question.... thats sucks... oh well, on to the monopolies video. p.s. Im really trying to come up with something positive to say about the video and I cant : ( MAybe I should have clarified my question or the interviewer on the video should have clarified theirs
  15. 1. Should insider trading be considered illegal in an free market/objectivist society? 2. Should monopolies be considered illegal in an free market/objectivist society? (I kind of know what will be said about this one but I can see the validity in preventing monopolies, after all, wouldn't they then be comparable to a government i.e. no choice)
  16. Jonathan, I appreciate yours and ms dldelancey's remarks. Some of them were funny.. I feel though that I should not continue to argue the surface points about my statement when from both of your responses I can see that you not only understand the main point that I was trying to make but that you also agree with me. The point being that business and government are wasteful and, as monolithic wholes, have incredible inefficiencies. Private business is still preferred because (and I've said this in all of my statements) of the opt-out nature of the market versus the "yo ass is mine now sucka" nature of governmental control. All I'm saying is that we should make mention of the fact that that is the reason that business is preferable and not the idealistic notion that government is wasteful and business is not. ps. A few of your sticking points against me have no bearing on my point. There...I spoke last ha ha!
  17. Agreed.Edit. Actually I wonder how waiting for hours for food compares to waiting 6-8 weeks for something that you buy off of an infomercial...
  18. J, I dont know exactly how to make separate quotes within the same post so I will identify your questions with numbers in sequence, but again allow me to restate that the point of my post is only to suggest that people who favor reason, logic, and who double check their premises (like Mrs Rand) should clarify their statements about certain things. People easily stereotype and especially in a comparison between what appears to be simple, black and white. It is too easy for the imagination to assume and broadly color their notions. We should say more and not just that business is efficient and government is not. This is merely a seeking out of double standards... 1. it really doesn't matter what is lost when we talk of decorations (and if you didn't know, I paint, so my business is decorations!) because when speaking of efficiency, anything that does not directly increase profits is unnecessary. Again, I would not want to live in a Soviet gray world but that has nothing to do with the fact that most decorations do nothing for sales. Also just to turn your statement into a positive one for government, getting rid of government programs because they are arbitrarily called wasteful doesn't take into account what is lost in respect to people lives who depend on such services : ) 2. one real world example is water bottles. Did you noticed the change in the thickness of water bottles that occurred over the past 5-6 years? They are much thinner then they once were and the caps are smaller. The point is that the amount of plastic being used previously was wasted. Using more then what you need is wasteful from a monetary and a financial perspective. Now think about those plastic vacuum formed packages that you need tin snips or a utility knife to open. I REALLY dont think they need to be that robust. It doesn't protect the item from impact during shipping. Speaking of shipping (I work part time in retail) There are many many times that a huge box will come in with a single product inside no more then 25% the volume of the packing box. Why does ink cartridges have to come in cardboard boxes and then inside that cardboard is another metallic sealed liner? Why does it need both? I've seen stacks of plastic serving bowls that come with cardboard inserts between each to keep them from scraping each other. That's fine I guess but I've also seen plastic bags wrapped around those cardboard inserts! 3. First time I noticed this was on American Chopper. The first two seasons the guys used a third party (Justin) to paint their parts, then they moved on to another guy, then... they moved the work in house saving themselves a massive amount. Third parties charge a much higher rate than direct employees do. This is proved day in and day out in the real world. I needed my hall painted one day. The entrance hall to the house is about 30 feet long and the ceilings are 15 feet high. If I would have brought in a professional contractor, the job would have been 150-200 dollars. Instead I payed a friend's son 10 dollars an hour (a standard wage for an employee not for a contractor or a middle man) and he finished in three hours- 30 bucks! How much more does the government pay to outside contractors versus how much it would pay if the workers were on its payrolls. How much do businesses pay consultants versus either looking up the information themselves online or sending one of their own to classes to learn? On my retail job, we don't hire outside firms (such as REGIS) to do inventory, why, because the regular employees can do it on the same salary they been getting paid. The Obama care website costs 600 million because it was done by third party, if they a few guys on staff, the site could have been knocked out for much much MUCH less. Why do firms such as GE, Google and others acquire other firms? So that they can do the work in house for less of course. Even if you brought up the fact that they can then control patents, that still means they can do the work in house for less. The original Ford plant was extremely cost effective because they handled ALL portions of the car building process, from pouring the steel to blowing the glass in house. Standard Oil was so profitable because they owned 90% of the whole enterprise, from drilling to delivery. When the third party rail owners got too expensive, Rockefeller built the pipelines. 4. The fact that cashiers are a waste is being played out right now all across America. There are self check out lanes : ) Which one do you think is more efficient in the long run? A seventeen year old who doesn't show up for work 2 times a week or a machine that can operate 24 hours a day without lunch breaks and no complaints? I just listened to a finanacial radio program on the radio and they said that Bank of America is moving to a no teller system. You walk in and there are no desks, no counters, just a bunch of ATMs. They say it saves them on real estate costs as the new centers are 30 to 70% smaller then other centers. Email (and electronic and automatic system) has made the post office obsolete and a waste of money. Once cars can drive themselves, it will make all truck drivers obsolete and a waste of money. Oh and as far as the reusing of materials 5. I dont have any need to "put my money where my mouth is" because I DON'T EVEN WANT all of that automation or the Soviet gray. I like ambient music, I like talking to a teller. I haven't gone to a ATM in a year now, I'm 100% inside the branch. I like the fact that as a third party I can make my fair share for the work I have completed. I don't think it would be cool for everyone (many people I mean) to have to receive the standard wage from some penny pinching corporation. I was and still am upset with that case of the Bratz dolls where the creator couldn't sell his own creation because he made it while employed by Mattel so it is Mattel that inside makes millions, while the inventor gets his standard wage. My point is that it doesn't matter what I "like" or what anyone likes, the facts are the facts. And if money is used for something that doesn't increase profits, then from a business standpoint (and lets not forget, the purpose of a business is to make money) it is a waste. If the business has to continuously buy ball point pens because the employees lose them, then it is a waste. Again, my only point is that as a monolithic whole, private business is very wasteful just as well as government is. The good news is that business has a higher (but not guaranteed) possibility of being shut down if waste, efficiency and effectiveness fall to far
  19. I did miss that at first but I've already responded to that idea and it still doesnt effect my argument because when the statement about efficiency is made, it is in regards to the current business environment with all the government rules, regulations, and cronyism that comes with it. Healthcare is a big waste that is wrapped up in bureaucracy but when a company keeps there office lights on all night, that has nothing to do with government rules, its just wasteful. Decorations in most settings are wasteful WHEN we speak of high efficiency. When we speak of high efficiency, like the mythic kind that business gets the reputation of, most packaging is a waste, many third party (middle man) relationships are a waste. At this point, having cashier's is a waste, playing music over the pa system is a waste, most of what is thrown away should be reused therefore it is a waste as well. There are many employees who are friends or family and their salaries are a waste. I'm not saying that business owners shouldn't make any decision they want, I'm just saying that in regards to the specific statement comparing government and business efficiency, it should be honestly stated that business could do better and just because it has survived doesn't mean it is efficient or effective. There are plenty of business that have low ratings and yet squeak by year after year. Especially in a environment where you can borrow borrow and borrow your way through another year
  20. Yes, 99% is consumption but that doesnt effect my argument at all. You can create efficiently and you can consume efficiently. My post is only about a specific statement about efficiency that is bandied about and I just feel it needs to be clarified. It can and does give a mythical aura to business efficiency when that is not wholly the case.
  21. I guess I happen to high a extremely optimistic view of what the human race can achieve, so while I agree with your definition WhyNot, all that I will say for now is- we may be able to change reality.....
  22. Good point,.. only that when I hear my opening statement uttered from quite sincere people, they have all been talking about current private business in whatever why it acts in this environment. Perhaps this too should be clarified when teaching.