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Old December 30th, 2017, 08:52 AM   #1

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A "Free Market" System is Not Sensible


A "Free Market" System is Not Sensible

Society does not necessarily always value rational things, and others are able to profit tremendously off of the stupidity/ignorance/ect. of the masses that support it. Examples of this are Musicians, actors, athletes, celebrities ect. ect. that in a rational society, are definitely not necessarily more deserving/serve higher utility function than an Engineer for instance (as our modern world is based on Science and Tech, not Rap/Justin Beiber-type Pop music, Kim Kardashian's ass, ect. ect).

Consider, a huge portion of the nation's wealth is being put into sectors of society that serve no real productive purpose/lack in value while areas of high value such as intellectual pursuits are dramatically underfunded and discouraged (in many respects). This is due to society at large sharing the same collective delusions and valuing trivial bullsh't over serious, productive endeavors. This will always incentivize and produce a non-rational society unless structures are fundamentally challenged/altered.
Lets take Professional athletes as the first example:

NBA- Out of 456 players in the league in 2017-18, 120 make $10,000,000 or more for one years worth of work and 389 make more than $1,000,000. The minimum salary for a 1st year player is over $800,000 per year. Links here:
A. http://www.espn.com/nba/salaries//page/1
B. Minimum Salary Scales under the 2017 CBA

NFL- Minimum salary for 1st year players is over $450,000 per year. 656 players make at least $1,000,000 per year or more. Links here:
A. NFL Minimum Salaries for 2017 | The Daily Spot
B. https://www.pro-football-reference.c...ers/salary.htm

MLB- 112 players make $10,000,000 or more per year. Out of 251 players total, 240 make $1,000,000 or more per year

Actors and musicians that "make it" get huge salaries and the ones that don't get salaries on par with other "common" jobs.

Now, contrast that to absolutely necessary fields such as Science & Maths, Engineering, Architecture, Construction Work, Waste Management, Medical Doctors, Teachers, Repairs, Farming, Electricians, Labor Intensive work, ect. ect. and fields that, although not necessary, should be prioritized/held in high esteem in a non-superficial, deep, passionate, engaged society (i.e. rational) such as Literature, History, Philosophy, Art, ect. ect.

Consider the process of becoming a Scientist (which, depending on the subject matter, is perhaps the chief field pushing innovation forward that makes all of our lives orders of magnitude more comfortable than our ancestors could have ever dreamed of--as well as revealing deep truths about the nature of our existence and the universe). One must first pay large sums of money to attend a school for 4-5 years, then proceed to further schooling for another 5-7 years (while attempting to live off of a stipend of $15,000-$25,000 or so per year--i.e.very poor), then must find a post-doc position for another 3-7 years or so which is typically only $20,000-$35,000 a year, by which time a person has been nearly dirt poor for a 15 years or more and then, finally, may find a research/professorship position (however there is absolutely no guarantee since the funding is so low due to the irrationality I have discussed--thus competition is fierce) or they very well may end up empty handed (no Science research job and/or professorship) even after that approaching two decade long process. Here are some of the fundamental questions involved:

Why do we treat some of the greatest minds amongst us doing work that is absolutely imperative so poorly? Why do we treat others doing necessary work (e.g. Construction Workers, sewer management, ect.) so poorly? Why are we putting people who do not contribute anything to the productivity of society and/or our expanding knowledge about ourselves/the Universe up on a pedestal (e.g. Katy Perry, Kardashians, Pro Athletes, ect. ect.)?

Do you see any problems with this, or do you believe that the Market is the best determining agent in matters such as this?

My basic argument is this:

The people doing the overwhelming bulk of the work should be quasi-proportionally related to the ones reaping the benefits (which is not at all our current model). In order to ensure this, we would still operate under a "Market" system, but simply constrain the Market by switching off of a "preference based" value to a "utility based" value structure. Practically, this would be enforced by regulatory incentives.

The argument for a "Free Market/quasi-Free Market" is basically:

"If people are stupid/ignorant and make horrible decisions as a consequence of this ("this" being the dynamic I described before), then let them be stupid/ignorant and make horrible decisions. Who are you and/or the people doing the overwhelming bulk of the work that allows society to function, pushes it forward and lets us survive to voice disapproval/complain about that? Who are "they" to promote intervening with the system in order to course correct this scheme even if people's collective ignorance/stupidity and horrible decision making is objectively running humanity off of a cliff (as well as the ecosystem at large) all while oppressing the people doing all the work?" (Note: That is not a straw-man of what is being promoted)
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Old December 30th, 2017, 09:03 AM   #2
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What's the alternative ?

Attempts at other systems have failed spectacularly.....everyone (or almost everyone) ended up worse off
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Old December 30th, 2017, 09:08 AM   #3

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Originally Posted by tomar View Post
What's the alternative ?

Attempts at other systems have failed spectacularly.....everyone (or almost everyone) ended up worse off
"Capitalism" as it is generally used, is consistent with both a "Free Market" system and various forms of "Constrained/Regulated Market" systems. I am arguing for a form of "Constrained Market" system (in the short term) as I think they still have usefulness and are feasible to implement in the current climate/Zeitgeist. However, it is important to note that the type of "Constrained Market" system I am proposing is very different than typically conceived of by people such as Sanders, Green Party, ect. ect.

Now, the economy already is "rigged", so all you would have to do is "rig" it in a different direction (as well as the imperative of getting people more interested in productive, creative, activities rather than frivolousness--note, rigging the economy would in it of itself shift peoples interests due to the incentive structure). That is, jobs that have high utility value (e.g. "Blue Collar" laborers, Architects, Scientists, ect.) objectively contribute far more to society than Justin Bieber (although the current system incentive structure would suggest that this is the other way around). The current Market system is based on preference value while I am arguing for a utility value system.

It would still be a market system, there would still be an abundance of greedy, self-interested people, anyone could still start a business, ect. ect, However, by necessity, the work they would be doing if they wanted to increase their wealth would be productive and actually benefit society rather than frivolous--e.g. Models would not be paid much at all in such a society while being a Construction worker, many "Blue Collar" intensive labor, Scientist, Architect, ect. ect. would be paid well (just nearly flip everything on its head, roughly speaking)). This is why I said such a system is feasible in the short-term given the current climate/Zeitgeist. It would essentially be like a Social Democratic society but rather than the type of "Inverse Capitalism" that Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein/Green Party, ect. promote, it would be based on a productivity/utility incentive structure.

Note: A truly "Free Market" system has never been applied (as of yet it remains theoretical). There have always been some level of constraints, however to varying degrees and different formats (which is important).
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Old December 30th, 2017, 09:48 AM   #4
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A "truly free" market does not work..... as soon as you introduce the concept of "contract" the market is no longer free..... If you dont introduce the concept of contract, then its the law of Jungle... the biggest bully with the biggest stick takes all he wants...

The are contracts, courts , a judicial system, a government which takes taxes... so we do not have a "truly free" market..

I am no fan of Justin Bieber but he actually does produce something... Food for the brain... our brains need to be fed all waking hours ,so an average of 16 hours per day... those who produce food for the brain therefore have a vast market at their disposal....
In soviet times producers of food for the brain (artists) were paid very little... they then moved at the first opportunity to places (such as the US) where they were paid much more.....

Like you I am appalled that pushing a ball or pretending to sing a song brings in millions... But that could be fixed by changing copyright and licensing laws....
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Old December 30th, 2017, 10:15 AM   #5

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Originally Posted by tomar View Post
I am no fan of Justin Bieber but he actually does produce something... Food for the brain... our brains need to be fed all waking hours ,so an average of 16 hours per day... those who produce food for the brain therefore have a vast market at their disposal....
In soviet times producers of food for the brain (artists) were paid very little... they then moved at the first opportunity to places (such as the US) where they were paid much more.....
First, I agree with most of what you said. The quoted passage is what I would like to discuss further.

I agree that Justin Bieber and such are "producing something" that has a level of value for society. This is not what I am taking issue with. Rather, what I am submitting is that you can quantify the obvious difference between the contributions of Kim Kardashian and Applied Physicists for example--or countless other examples. When the difference is patently obvious there is nothing difficult to figure out.

I'm not attempting to determine who is more productive between a Construction Worker and Waste Management for instance. Rather I am discussing different general levels concerning utility/productivity across professions. Consider the thought experiment below:

Consider for a moment if society had to start from scratch tomorrow. Now, if you want to survive there are certain necessities that are required such as food, protection, shelter, ect. This requires contributors, at minimum people who find and prepare food, construct/find some form of shelter that gives some level of protection from the environment and/or other animals, care for the young, ect. This is very rudimentary however it still requires people to step-up and work, not guys that simply goof around and wrestle with each other all day (i.e. athletes) or perpetually gawking over some hot chick's as' to the point that you give them all your resources (i.e. celebrity culture).

Now, unless you want to live in a perpetually primitive state (i.e. quasi Anarcho-Primitivism), than you require people of practical intelligence (i.e. architects, engineers, scientists, ect.) to plan and organize with workers willing and able to put such plans into motion (i.e. construction workers, "blue collar" laborers, farmers, repairs, waste management, ect.). After a certain level of advancement is achieved, then this will sufficiently free things up for other creative/intellectual work (i.e. artists, other intellectual pursuits that lack practical application but nevertheless are highly enriching, ect.). Even then, society does not require much of what goes on in Celebrity culture and the like (e.g. think of ET network, reality TV, ect. ect.) which serves no purpose to society other than being harmful.

Note, our Modern World only feels disconnected from the thought experiment described above, however this remains our situation--we are just starting from a framework that is already in place rather than scratch. Now, is it a scientific fact that describing some courses of action for society rather than others is more rational?--No. However, that doesn't mean that it is entirely arbitrary either and anyone with even the most rudimentary Philosophical sophistication would comprehend that. We need to (at least) start incentivizing people to use their Frontal Lobes (if not demanding it)--you know, behave like Homo Sapiens rather than Bonobo Apes (the latter being quite seriously how our current society is largely structured around/product of and this is how people largely behave in a "Free Market" as well as many versions of "Constrained Markets" that don't fundamentally challenge the underlying dynamics at work)


Therefore, in the system I am proposing, one still can paly Professional Basketball for a living as it produces entertainment value, however then they are going to be the ones making $30,000 a year or so since it is an extreme luxury that is only possible due to the productive/utility oriented careers of others (e.g. Construction Workers, Farmes, Architects, Teachers, Engineers, ect. ect.)
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Old December 30th, 2017, 12:20 PM   #6
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There's the idea of the "sharing economy" that will occur based on automation and artificial intelligence (AI). Goods and services will be available to all. Many goods can be shared rather than owned.Raw materials will be recycled automatically and replenished. Local communities will control and allocate goods and services to households through "town meeting" style government and citizen committees. People who don't like this system do not have to participate. They can form their own communities on any basis they choose provided they don't interfere in the affairs of the sharing economy.

Last edited by stevev; December 30th, 2017 at 02:20 PM.
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Old December 30th, 2017, 12:50 PM   #7

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Quote:
Originally Posted by xMathFanx View Post
Therefore, in the system I am proposing, one still can paly Professional Basketball for a living as it produces entertainment value, however then they are going to be the ones making $30,000 a year or so since it is an extreme luxury that is only possible due to the productive/utility oriented careers of others (e.g. Construction Workers, Farmes, Architects, Teachers, Engineers, ect. ect.)
So the owners of the sporting teams only have to pay peanuts to the players and get to keep the remainder of the $billions that are generated annually? How do these athletes live after they retire in their thirties with their bodies broken beyond repair? Shouldn't they deserve recompense for the fact that their next fifty years are full of medical complications and their quality of life is severely compromised? Some can find decent work after retiring from professional sport but not many. The majority of professional athletes only have a very short window of time to generate enough income to last them the rest of their lives.

Last edited by Dan Howard; December 30th, 2017 at 01:23 PM.
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Old December 30th, 2017, 01:32 PM   #8
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Some of the things attributed to the free market here are actually the result of unfree market practices. For instance, if you subscribe to cable TV but don't watch sports programming, some of your subscriptions fees go to pay for sports channels anyway, and some of that money finds its way into player saleries. If you watch sports programming and buy products that are advertised during the games, like beer, some of the money you pay for beer finds its way into player saleries, whether you want it to or not, or whether you think about it or not. And if you buy beer but don't follow sports, you're still paying athlete's saleries. When people are paying for things they don't use or even want, that's an unfree market.
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Old December 30th, 2017, 02:26 PM   #9
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharing_economy
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Old December 31st, 2017, 04:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomar View Post
What's the alternative ?

Attempts at other systems have failed spectacularly.....everyone (or almost everyone) ended up worse off
Another person that doesn't say that the Global Financial Crisis was a spectacular failure. The market is a failure also.
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