Thursday, October 22, 2009

Leftists: enslaved in a false reality by their own limited thinking

A while back, I pointed out that my troll had no imagination: because he can't see the possibilities of a free market, therefore it's not possible in his mind for a free market to deliver certain goods and services. Similarly, Cafehayek's frequent commenter "muirgeo" (an unapologetically overt socialist) has a vivid imagination when it comes to "greedy capitalists" but no imagination when it comes to the possibilities that can and do proceed from free markets. In fact, he's known for the absurd and paradoxical viewpoint of blaming everything on free markets but also denying they exist.

He recently made a comment typical of socialists' misunderstanding and misuse of the word "force." I left this reply, but it seems to have gotten stuck in a moderation filter:
"Everytime you go to a store that uses credit cards the price of the products you buy all have increases in them relflected in the fee charged to the store."

You're still not being forced. Go somewhere that accepts only cash, or will give you a discount for cash. I've gone to such businesses, and I've helped manage one.

People who drive large vehicles need more fuel, which increases demand, so by your logic, they're "forcing" the resulting higher prices on us. But again, nobody is being truly forced.

"This sort of thing kills small merchants and makes even libertarian minded people not as independent as they think they are."

Again, small merchants are not being "forced" into accepting credit cards. If their profit margin is that small, then they'd better go with cash and possibly check -- or make their operations more efficient so they can afford credit card fees.

Why did "we" (that business is none of your business, BTW, but it's a good example) finally start accepting American Express cards? Because they finally offered us a good rate, in fact a surprisingly decent sub-3%. But your ignorant belief is that merchants are somehow hostage to credit card companies, which is clearly false.

Your use of "independent" is absurd. You're talking about pure self-sufficiency, the lack of trade. That's as idiotic an implication as you've ever made here.

Credit cards may have higher fees, but they have distinct advantages that are worth some, if not all of the fees:

1. Credit cards are very fast, for both sides. Haven't you ever stood in line behind an elderly person who fumbled with bills and/or counted out a lot of pennies?

2. Credit cards prevent cashiers from making errors in returning change, or stealing by pocketing the cash and surreptitiously voiding the transaction. A lot of NYC eateries have posted signs advising that if you didn't get a receipt, tell a manager and your meal is free.

3. Credit cards prevent counterfeiting with no recourse. If a store accepts a fake C-note, that's all she wrote. (I once identified someone via security tapes, and he was likely the one passing counterfeit bills all around town, but the police couldn't do anything. They have to be able to prove he knew the bills were fake.) It's true a credit card can be stolen, but merchants won't lose money on the sale, and law enforcement will at least have some way to track it. The bank will eat the loss because it's overall worth the fees they receive.

The Maverick gas station chain once offered a discount for cash payments. Guess who put a stop to it? The Utah state government, because it was "anti-competitive practice."

"billion dollar bonuses"

Show me who received such a sizeable bonus. And even if it happened, so what? What's it to you? Why are you so jealous, so covetous of what other people earned? Go out and do it yourself, or better yet, pull your head out of that orifice and show us "greedy capitalist" how to do it.

If you'd open your eyes, you'd see we ARE working a lot less for what we produce. Only a century ago, a large portion of our population worked from at least dawn to dusk, hoping to harvest enough to keep the house. Today, in 50-60 hours a week, I can accomplish what would have taken ten people maybe as recently as 25 years ago. That's why I have so many more material goods and can purchase many more material services than a middle class fellow of my age in 1983.

People still feel "poor" today because, first, they're taxed to hell and back in all different forms. It would be a far different and better economy if they could actually keep and spend what they earn. And after that, Americans tend to blow their money on a house they can't afford, that new car they shouldn't have purchased, cable/satellite TV packages, and especially the latest electronic gadgets like cell phones and MP3 players.

"If you are a working class person and you think that 400 people having $1.5 trillion dollars of wealth doesn't effect how hard you need to work in some way then you are a fool or more liekly ignorant of the details of how this all works."

Your imagination is so deficient. You cling to this myth that they're hiding the money. In fact, the money flows right back into the economy. Who do you think lends money for mortgages and auto loans? Not the poor and middle classes, but "the rich." Who do you think saves the trillions of dollars that businesses need for investment capital?

So go ahead, wipe out the wealth that "the rich" have, and you'll be scratching the ground for potatoes like your ancestors.

If anyone here is a "serf," you are -- enslaved in a false reality by your own limited thinking.


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