free market system

How Single-Payer Healthcare Kills: The Charlie Gard Case Study

If you haven’t heard, Charlie Gard’s parents announced they will no longer fight to have him treated for his illness. They have surrendered because so much time has passed, and in that time his condition has deteriorated. Had they been allowed to take him to the United States for treatment when they first wanted to, or even any time during the months that followed, he would have had a great chance. Many doctors who specialize in Charlie’s condition, including leaders in that field, wanted to treat him and said his case was promising. However, because the courts and the hospital refused to let him go, he is now past the point of no return. Time was of the essence, and the courts wasted time until it was gone.

What does this have to do with single-payer healthcare? That’s the system the U.K. has. Some would like us to follow their lead. Here is how that system has effectively killed Charlie Gard (barring a completely miraculous recovery):

Doctors earn less. Under single-payer healthcare, the government takes over. In order to make the costs manageable, doctors are paid lower salaries. Now, most doctors in America make a lot of money. This isn’t about whether they get paid “enough” to meet their expenses. It’s about whether they are paid enough to keep them in the country.

Doctors leave. The highest-skilled doctors, the leaders of the various fields, the experts. They will leave. Other countries will offer them higher salaries, better conditions. Others may leave the system, choosing to work in private practices and accept only out-of-pocket fees from wealthy patients. Others may leave the profession for something that is less demanding or better paying. Still others may never enter at all, realizing the government-regulated salaries will not make their years of school and massive debt worth it in the long run.

The system overloads. With more patients than ever and fewer doctors, plus the inefficiency of any government-run program, we encounter a shortage of medical care. This results in long wait times for routine procedures, or even just for a check-up. Patients like Charlie with time-sensitive conditions may not see the right specialist until it is too late. Just like we saw with the poor management of the VA hospitals, patients may die waiting for care.

Innovation grinds to a halt. With the leaders of medical innovation moving to countries that offer better working conditions and salaries, and with remaining doctor prioritizing efficiency and standardization in order to see as many patients as possible, medical progress will become stagnant. Hospitals in a country with single-payer healthcare cease to be state-of-the-art. They fall behind on new treatments and procedures. 

Patients leave. Or they try to. Those with complex conditions requiring skilled specialists, who can afford it, will head to other countries to find those specialists. They’re not in the local hospitals. They were driven out by bureaucracy and stagnation.

This is where Charlie Gard comes in. His parents knew that doctors in America had treated similar conditions and were willing to treat Charlie. All they asked was for permission to try. They were denied, first by the hospital, then by the courts. Why?

The hospital first said the treatment was futile. Charlie was too far gone. We know this to be false based on the reports of other doctors who examined Charlie and his scans. The treatment had a reasonable chance of working. Then they said he wouldn’t be able to survive the trip. Both of these arguments make no sense, as the alternative was to let him die. Even when doctors in America offered to send the treatment and protocol to the Great Ormond Street Hospital, where Charlie was, they still refused. They went back to claiming it was futile, and was only prolonging Charlie’s suffering. Only all medical evidence said he wasn’t in any pain or suffering in his current condition. 

Why, then, did they refuse? A few reasons:

Single-payer systems offer no incentives to save lives. Lengthy hospital stays and complicated treatments are a drain on the system. To the bureaucrats, a patient with a severe condition and a low chance of recovery looks like a waste of resources. Better to say the condition is irreversible and untreatable.

Single-payer systems offer no incentives for patient-centered care. In order to keep up with demand for care with a shortage of doctors, single-payer systems turn to a maximum-efficiency model. Patients receive standardized, one-size-fits-all care, whether or not it’s what they need. Giving Charlie Gard an experimental treatment doesn’t fit in that model.

Losing patients to other countries makes the system look bad. When patients start leaving the country to seek high-quality care, the international community is forced to recognize that the system has failed, and that other systems with less government involvement are leading medical progress. This can exacerbate the problems mentioned earlier, especially the problem of doctors leaving the system. If you are specializing in your field, and you realize that patients in your field are leaving to go elsewhere for care, where will you go? As doctors leave or lower their standards to keep up with demand, wait times increase and patient care suffers. 

Once again, patients find themselves in a system where anyone outside the very wealthy receives either substandard care or no care at all. Except now, their incomes have been slashed to pay for this poor or nonexistent care, and they are no longer given the choice to leave. Now, bureaucrats are deciding who gets life-saving treatment and who dies while waiting to see a specialist. Courts drag out appeals until time runs out. 

Your rights are gone. The government now controls your life: your income, your health, your freedom. 

Charlie Gard is a victim of government-controlled health care. Let him be the last. 

So what system do we need instead?

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anonymous asked:

If you oppose free market, I suggest you sell all the stuff made in China because China depends on a free market system. Which made China successful and prosper and you probably have all things made there and are still using it! You stupid dumb Idiot!

China is a corrupt, party-dominated kleptocracy that viciously represses internal consumption and forces wages down in an effort to maintain vast trade surpluses with the United States and other nations. It stops unionization, allows profound environmental degradation, and leaves its workers defenseless against the prevarications of its corporate powerhouses (who, of course, pay off the political leadership for these benefits). Any notion that China operates on anything close to free market principles, in an unsubsidized and uncoerced way, is simply absurd.

anonymous asked:

wait the free market allows funko pop to exist righ? so either you have to admit thats fine or that the free market isnt a good system.

Funko Pops are the most compelling argument in favor of Communism out there.

  • Capitalists: The free market is the ideal system! If a company is bad just don't support them! Government regulation will just make things worse
  • Unions: Cool, so we'll just refuse to sell our labor until we're fairly compensated.
  • Capitalists: What no not like that. Government please regulate these working class thugs so I can keep exploiting them for profit!

anonymous asked:

can you explain what trump is doing to your healthcare rn? i've tried to read about it but i can't find an actual explanation and i'm curious. thanks in advance!

that’s because health care law is one of the most complicated subjects out there and if you want to understand what’s happening you probs need to dedicate a bit of time (i actually spent like 4 whole days for 7 hours a day reading about it in december and i’m still not sure i have everything straight). 

this explanation is a good and somewhat simple one but it’s still jargon-y. you might find yourself needing to google some concepts. 

some of the biggest changes though: 

  • people would no longer have to pay a tax penalty if they’re uninsured
  • the bill would make insurance “marketplaces” sort of defunct and revert to a free market system of price regulation on premiums. this could actually lower premiums up front meaning people could pay less out of pocket for their plans
  • the tax credits (basically deductions from your income tax) that people receive from the govt to buy insurance would no longer be based on income, but rather on age. that means, rather than giving the most money back to poor people who need it to help cover costs, they’ll give more money back to older people 
  • there are no longer requirements for insurers to cover important ‘essential benefits’ (such as mental health care, preventive care, maternity care, etc.) instead, states will get the option to decide what those essential benefits are or whether they should be waived entirely 
  • medicaid, which is a program that gives subsidized insurance to the poor, was expanded under obama’s health care leg. that expansion will be slowly rolled back–basically fewer people will be eligible for subsidized/free health insurance

important to note–this is a bill that has only passed one chamber of congress. it probably won’t pass the second, at least not in its current form meaning it almost certainly won’t become law. basically no one likes it including many conservative lawmakers 

Karl Marx argued that the Free Enterprise system is evil because the common worker who is employed by private business is deprived of the true value of his work . The question that this claim immediately raises is why workers years ago would have migrated en masse from rural areas to industrial areas when they could have remained where they were and received the full value of their work? At this point Marxism will concede that the tools of production provided by the private companies  adds greater value to the labor of workers, and that is exactly why they came. But it insists that the worker is still cheated out of the true value of his work. The remedy  we are told, is the “government ownership of the means of production”. 

 The most revealing word in that phrase is “the”.  What Marx means is that he wants control of the specific means of production that are presently before his eyes i.e. the means of production that have been tried and proven within the free market; that are a product of that market. Is Marx arguing that workers would have been better off without a system that improved their lives because it has not given them even more of the value that it created? The logic of that statement is patently absurd. The  system could not have given them any of its value if it had not created that value through the competitive market. Furthermore Marx will never see any of the new means of production that the free market system comes up with in the future because he wishes to discard of the system presently. He is apparently content to allow the people to go without those potential future advantages.  If he is going to do that, why arbitrarily accept what the Free Enterprise system has furnished so far? Why not go back to an agrarian existence?

“Socialism” exists in a myriad of versions and adaptations. Social democracy works wonders in any size of the state. Also, the potential size of a public sector in a country with the work ethics and market value of the US would be enormous. With the correct implementation, the US could probably lift everyone out of poverty AND allow the working man to lead a comfortable life with any commodity he’d need.

Here’s a list of what a socialist-based(not pure socialism, US needs its free market) system offers:
1. Little or no expenses for health insurance. Your kids will ALWAYS be safe, despite your economic situation.
2. If you lose your job, social security will see you and your family through until you find another.
3. Public prisons would be actual resocializing institutions, meaning fewer career felons over time.
4. Better and more coherent infrastructure.
5. Possibility for the government to establish better measures for ensuring optimal licensing of gun owners, without having to downright ban them.

What’s the purpose of it? Capitalism would not collapse if Grenada remained revolutionary. And Reagan was right, it wasn’t a matter of direct resources that you needed from that country. He said, “Nutmeg is not the question.” I mean, that was Grenada’s biggest export, we could get perfectly good nutmeg from Africa, you don’t need Grenada’s nutmeg. So why did they invade Grenada? They invaded Grenada because they were serving notice to the people of the Caribbean, and to the people of Latin America, and to the people of the world, that you cannot drop out of your client-state free-market system. That if you tried to take an independent source, and that if you use your land, your labor, your resources, and your capital, and your markets in a different way, in a collectivist way, if you use them to benefit the needs of your people, rather than to be milked like a cow for foreign investors, if you do that, this is what’s going to happen to you.
—  Michael Parenti
The great virtue of a free market system is that it does not care what color people are; it does not care what their religion is; it only cares whether they can produce something you want to buy. It is the most effective system we have discovered to enable people who hate one another to deal with one another and help one another.

Milton Friedman 

It is a funny thing that defenders of Socialism proclaim that its failures in every case were merely a problem of application, but are thoroughly convinced that the far more successful system of Free Enterprise is perverse at its core. There is, as we know, an unwillingness among Socialists to face the fact that how a system actually stacks up against the reality of human nature is one of its most crucial aspects. And yet this unwillingness within them is in reality one sided. For the same Socialist lectures the world on how the free market must necessarily lead to certain scenarios that they find undesirable.  How do they know that it must? It is not simply because of the design of the system. The free market system has one simple aspect: voluntary exchange and contract. Every other feature of the market is dictated not by political design, but by the functioning of human nature (including greed and generosity). And so the Socialist’s claim about what Free Enterprise must necessarily do or become is actually based upon an understanding of human nature. The same human nature that he seems utterly unwilling to factor into his own endeavor to concentrate total power into the hands of a few autocrats. The same human nature that has used such power to create misery throughout history.

So how does he distrust human nature in one instance and then bestow unlimited confidence upon it in the other? Is it not the same nature? The way he does it is through elitism.  He must believe that certain human beings have a nature that is superior to others. These are to be the leaders. Those who embrace Socialism are either those who believe that men of their own type are superior to all others, or they are those who long for some superior paternal figure to oversee their life and affairs.

A free market system can’t possibly work. There is no way you can provide roads, healthcare and education through a free market. What you really need to do is construct a monolithic central bank that is constantly devaluing the currency by borrowing more and more, and institute a system so even those who haven’t been born yet will be pledged as collateral against this loan. The loan will never be paid off, enabling politicians to spend money on all sorts of useless and/or violent programs.

That’s right, a free market system based on voluntary interaction could never work, and it just so happens that the exact system that will work is the one that’s already in place. I know that a free market system will never work based on my observations of the current system, which is radically different to a free market system. How incredibly lucky we are that we have this system considering it’s the best one possible in the entire universe of possibilities. We’re just so fortunate to have found the One True Way.

The great virtue of a free market system is that it does not care what color people are; it does not care what their religion is; it only cares whether they can produce something you want to buy. It is the most effective system we have discovered to enable people who hate one another to deal with one another and help one another.
—  Milton Friedman

We have all been trained and conditioned at such a young age. All through our adolescent years and even as we grow into adulthood we continue to be groomed, sculpted and refined in our conditioning that in order to be happy we need to buy. If we have a problem or are lacking in anything to not worry, the solution can be purchased no matter how complex.

Lonely? Depressed? Hungry? Hot? Cold? Uncomfortable in some minor/major way? Don’t worry… ‘operators are standing by.’

It is not some great conspiracy, it is blatant, it is obvious, but we have been also trained to not notice or at least not care. There are many people not part of this culture and they see us and marvel at how fortunate we are. They don’t see us as subjects of manipulation but rather the cultivated lucky few who don’t know how good they got it. And maybe we don’t.

I believe the free market system is the best economic system to encourage freedom, promote liberty, inspire innovation, create wealth. Unchecked we allow ourselves to become the playthings of master manipulators where millions and millions and millions of dollars are spent to learn how to convince/persuade/entice/promote a culture where we can no longer do for ourselves. Our education is derived from the TV commercial. Our problem solving skills have been reduced to calling the 800 number.

There needs to be an awakening. We need to remember how great we can be. We need to understand that what we allow others to do for us might be a luxury enjoyed but truly is a liberty lost.

The skills of our grandparents. Those considered to be our nation’s greatest generation are dying. Eventually we will be left alone, alone with our trainers who want us to believe they hold the true secret to happiness, and it can be purchased.

Pavlov would be proud.

—  Colorado-Style
A Proposal for a New Internet-Driven, Free-Enterprise System...

          Organizations started as a form of spontaneous order.  One had to undertake a task that was too large for one’s self, so one would associate with others who could help achieve that task.  Alternatively, one would perform a task out of enjoyment or necessity that would somehow grow and evolve to the point that it required organization to perform effectively.  The former became larger as the scale and scope of economic and political activity grew.  States were required to create large infrastructural projects or to build armies.  Voluntary associations or organizations were insufficient for the task; mercenaries, for example, could fight wars but lacked the continuity and consistency provided by paid organized soldiers.  Similarly, infrastructure projects required people to perform tasks for indefinite periods of time; such a task was better accomplished through organization.  The latter became the libertarian notion of free enterprise as the driver of the capitalist system.  In this view, individuals – left to their own devices in a competitive marketplace – will provide the services needed by a society and will associate with one another when necessary to achieve this task. 

          What libertarians ignore is that such a system builds inequalities because in the absence of government control some organizations – or the individual interests they represent – grow large and impose their will on others.  Moreover, without a law (whether by public consent or enforced from above) that recognizes free enterprise as a right (or at a minimum, a license), free enterprise cannot even emerge.  The fear is as old as the Federalist Papers, where Madison railed against the dangers of association and majority influence on the nascent American nation.  But the fear is even older than that, harkening back to Adam Smith’s recommendation that governments should ban the printing of industry lists for fear of collusion.  And the fear has been a continuous current in American society through the concerns over the late 1800’s robber barons to the 1920’s concerns of Schumpeter about the ultimate concentration of power that unbridled economic activity produces (and Weber’s and Michels’ similar fear about the emergence of oligarchy from democratic origins), which in his view was the same whether the impulse was socialist or capitalist.  More recently, we see the fear in the behavior of civil libertarians who seek to protect citizens from unbridled corporate power.  The fears were shown to be real in the empire where corporations such as those in South Africa, India and elsewhere were able to build compounds that were labor prisons for all effects and purposes and, in many instances, to build armies that oppressed entire colonial societies.

          There is some truth to these fears.  Foucault spoke about how the state evolved organizations as it needed to tackle more and more functions over time, including the maintenance of a productive society to achieve the state’s needs.  To this end, as organizational scholars have noted, the state established organizational (and later, corporate) charters to engage in war, first and foremost, and to manage economic activities and the requisite infrastructure needed for such activities to thrive.  For without infrastructure, there is no transportation, and for that matter, there would be no communication or power provision for there would be no common standards for providing such services over large populations.  As Olson’s thesis on collective action suggests, individuals living in a libertarian-democratic world would encounter extraordinary difficulties to organize collective action for the provision of such public goods, especially across large numbers of people.  Without systems for transportation, power or communication to occur, it is hard to envision how the benefits of the capitalist system could be achieved. 

          Once the notion of charters was codified into an incorporation code in Victorian Britain, all individuals in principle were given the opportunity to organize.  I say “in principle” for in practice there were a set of moral and legal codes that precluded certain persons – particularly those varied from the norm in terms of their status characteristics – from owning property or establishing enterprise.  Of course, informal organizations have always existed, most notably, sects and secret societies.  What changed was that the state was now recognizing the right – or at a minimum, providing a license – for people to pursue free enterprise.  Libertarians rail against the welfare state that later developed, which was to “oppress” free enterprise through taxation, regulation and elsewhere.

          What exists in our society today is a debate between those who want to restore the freedom of enterprise whether to a degree or to its pure utopian sense and those who believe that the free enterprise creates inequalities that require the state to intervene to correct them.  What has been lost in this debate is the following:  in the case that the state is overly oppressive, how to help individuals in spite of these measures overcome their effects to achieve the full potential of the free enterprise system; and in the other, how to enable the state to correct these inequalities without requiring active state intervention, i.e., by enabling the people themselves to police and intervene to correct these inequalities.  (Some argue that the role lies in civil society, perhaps only implicitly for developed countries but certainly in an explicit manner for developing countries.)  The former requires some form of organization as does the latter.  The question is what form of organization is required.  

          Assuming for a moment, as transaction cost economists do, that state intervention increases the costs of starting business by means of complex filing and taxation requirements, then even in a world where all individuals had equal legal access to incorporation some would incorporate and others would not.  In such a world, not all individuals would have the requisite knowledge of how to incorporate, thereby granting those who by means of superior inheritance (e.g., father teaching a son how to do it), experience, or education an advantage. Such specialization of knowledge creates barriers for the generalist individual, or even for the individual who lacks such specialized skills, and thus serves to increase the transaction costs associated with starting a business.  

          Incorporation, in practice, also works to increase legitimacy, which means simultaneously that those who do not incorporate are de-legitimated.  Examples abound in our society of the pervasive influence of such de-legitimation.  An incorporated organization receives preferential treatment from the state and the media, which view such entities as the only legitimate ones for conducting business.  Informal grassroots organizations experience the pressure to incorporate in the form of a state that will prosecute for regulatory reasons, particularly taxes, as such organizations refusing to incorporate would sap revenues from the state, and in the form of a media apparatus that will provide limited coverage unless the voluntary association of people provides a legitimate corporate name that reflects their actions.  This situation is the same whether we speak of a limited liability partnership such as an LLC, a formally corporate entity such as an INC, or a non profit entity such as a 501c(3) or (4).  While the right to associate is guaranteed by the constitution in theory, the right to form associations – and furthermore, organizations – is not.  One is a right, the other a license.  The former should not be subject to government regulation, the latter by definition is.  Unfortunately, the legitimation the state provides to the corporate status through licensing results in the de-legitimation of free association and organizing as a right.

          One way for libertarians and liberals to find common ground would be for the libertarian to acknowledge that the elimination of state regulations on business is utopian, even when reducing regulations may remain a worthwhile pursuit, and for the liberal to recognize that other forms of non-state intervention could be used to correct inequality, perhaps even more effectively.  Under such circumstances, a consensus could be reached that reducing the costs of business by means of civil society solutions could be a worthwhile goal as well.  Again, it is important to remind ourselves why free enterprise as a right is important:  First, organizational scholars tell us that society as we know it would be impossible in the absence of organization for there would be no economic or political security.  Second, in a neoclassical economics sense, a limited number of organizations translates into limited competition, which leads us into the distopian world of monopoly and oligarchy that so scared Smith, Madison, Schumpeter, Weber, and Michels, among others.  And third, as if the first two reasons were not enough, our constitution warrants such a system, so a state of affairs where free enterprise can only be attained in a legitimate fashion through incorporation should not be tolerable.

          At this point, one may be tempted to suggest that this is a libertarian line of reasoning (the varying political views of the aforementioned cadre of scholars notwithstanding), so it is important to remind ourselves the important function government serves:  helping to direct public attention to those areas where economic or political security can be enhanced through collective action.   It has proven difficult to build large infrastructural systems in the absence of state intervention undoubtedly because state power has often preceded these projects historically but also – as mentioned earlier – because collective action is so difficult in the absence of third-party intervention.  There is no reason to assume, however, that the state is the only third party that can solve the collective action problem.  There have been plenty of instances in our society when in spite of all concerns to the contrary industry has organized for good to create the appropriate standards needed for large-scale collective action.  In such circumstances though, the question is always whose interests are being represented and to what effect.  That is, government can rightly make a claim to the public interest when it is democratically elected and subsequently pursues large-scale collective action in the name of those who elected it.  Industry, on the other hand, cannot make such a claim.  The local provision of electricity in the early 20th century United States worked because neighbors banded together to provide this public good.  Some would say anarchosyndicalist cooperatives in civil war Catalunya and Aragon worked to some extent because of this public consent.  The question then is how to enable such public consent to work at a larger scale without the liberal requisite of government intervention. While difficulties exist in pinpointing the exact cause of the transformation from a primitive to a modern (or some would say, post-modern) society, one can undoubtedly acknowledge that improvements in communication played a role.

          Along with effective transportation, improvements in communication enable larger groups of people to become connected whether in a virtual or real sense (which psychologically speaking, can be the same thing), thereby growing the size of markets and providing more opportunities for free enterprise to make a difference in people’s lives.  As our experience with capitalism over the last couple hundred years suggests, the larger the free enterprise system, the more goods and services exist.  The larger the possibilities for free association and the more goods and services that exist, the greater the likelihood for people to be Simmelian individuals, i.e., differentiated and unique.  To further this point, consider a person in primitive society.  His or her role in society was dictated by place of birth and position of birth.  For example, if you were born in feudal Russia, chances were you were a peasant.  But one could say with all certainty that you were a peasant if your father had been a peasant.  In a democratic social capitalist system, more opportunities for differentiation exist based on free association since you no longer need to associate only by family and class and based on production-consumption patterns since you can now define your individuality based on the larger number of goods and services available, thereby providing a wider array of choices and activities available at your convenience.

          (As an aside, these choices affect you not only as a social individual but as a biological one too because, according to extant research, your particular consumption and activity patterns influence the activation of genes from an overall predetermined gene pool.)

          One of the most fundamental changes in communication in our society has come from the implementation of mathematics via computers to build new systems such as the Internet.  By using logical rules, the routine and ordinary activities of human beings can be codified into programs (hence, the term computer programming) and beckoned to perform complex tasks at the spur of the moment.  It has become a cliche to state that the Internet has changed society in fundamental social, economic and political ways.  But it is true that the Internet in its current embodiment has reduced the transaction costs of business by creating a global communication system where programs can be  collaboratively built and shared, often at the expense of and sometimes leading to the eradication of existing systems of capital and labor.  Yet in the rush to use programming to improve the effectiveness of existing businesses, few have actually explored how programming could reduce the transaction costs of free association.  And it is true that programs have been used to build systems to help individuals connect with others and enrich their social settings, but few have actually explored how programming can be used to enable people to connect with each other for new productive ends outside of specific specialized settings.

          More specifically, programs could be used to build a system that enable individuals to organize by conducting many of the functions of legally incorporated enterprises without having to engage in actual incorporation.  While the financial costs of incorporation would not be eliminated, the system would provide a legitimate way for people to associate, while circumventing the state intervention associated with incorporation.  Systems have been developed for organizations to incorporate, pay taxes, and abide to other government regulations.  But there is currently no system in place for enabling people to connect with others, start an organization (and an industry by extension), manage budgets and track finances, and conduct marketing and advertising, product supply, and the other functions of business, all in one place.  In so doing, the system could overcome the inequalities imposed by specialized knowledge.  The system would have the potential of enabling a single person to become an entire organization, or even for a large group of people to work for the organization without requiring any one of them to be subjected to a strict hierarchy or impervious boundaries.  People could trade places in the everyday management of the organization in the same way that anarcho-syndicalists once attempted, or they could simply discontinue their involvement in the organization should another organized enterprise housed in the system catch their fancy.  The growth of the system could also provide for a ready-made network for collective action, or lobbying, to reduce the costs imposed by state intervention on free enterprise.  In fact, considering that many of our laws have resulted from everyday practices, it is possible that the evolution of such a system with the force of collective action could lead to the changing of laws of incorporation, thereby restoring the right of free association to its rightful place of legitimacy in society, while reducing the need to engage in the financial cost of incorporation. (I admit, however, that there is a complex issue at work here, as it is unclear whether Internet usage today is a right or a license, even though the Internet is a product of government policy.)

          If we look around us, we can already see the desire of people to participate in such a system.  Emergent mobilization is all around us.  People routinely organize spontaneous campaigns in favor or against the issues they care about.  However, it is my experience from conducting research on the subject that people find themselves reinventing the wheel every time.  Once the effort is off the ground, the activists have to figure out how to market and advertise it.  If they begin to receive any form of remuneration for their activities, they need to figure out how to manage their budget and conduct finances.  If they need to begin manufacturing products, they need to figure out the best source of raw materials, and the best place (and way) to sell these products.  If they want to expand their operations, they then need to figure out potential customers to target.  In the process, many activists become frustrated by the scale of the project, and put simply, quit.  These are people who are perfectly capable of managing such projects to fruition but who may lack the experience, connections, and social support to see it through.  In other words, their tolerance to risk is low and the transaction costs are so great that these activists refuse to commit to such an uncertain project.  Thus, specialized knowledge rears its ugly head: In the absence of specialized knowledge, people are less likely to undertake the required risk.  There are many individuals who have a low risk tolerance who still pursue uncertain ventures because their specialized knowledge creates the illusion of low risk.  But people may choose to give up even when their knowledge is quite specialized.  For example, an artist may be remiss to start up a new venture even when her knowledge of art is quite specialized because she may lack the specialized knowledge associated with starting up that venture and not know where to get it.  To put it simply, people are more likely to undertake risk in the presence of a system that reduces the transaction costs related to acquiring the specialized knowledge needed to create a successful organization.  In the context of such a system, people could easily find experienced people willing to help them, either free or for a fee.  They could easily connect with potential stakeholders such as possible employees or customers.  They could also receive the social support needed to undertake the requisite risk.  In other words, they could find the human and material resources needed to see the venture through.  It is often stated by economists who study entrepreneurship that information is more important to success than money; the proposed system implements this vision. Of course, such a system would not be free, except in its basic functionality.  But as we have learned from the growth of capitalism, quite diversified goods and services at competitive prices are obtained as systems of free enterprise grow.

          So while a person may not be able to afford the best specialized knowledge for building their enterprise at first, they will be able to obtain more specialized knowledge for free than they would be able to obtain in the current system of incorporation.  The system would have at its disposal experts that provide basic advice; beyond that, a veritable free market of goods and services would be available, in some cases supplied by the very people who may access the system for their own needs.  Thus, people will enter the system looking for specialized knowledge and find they too have specialized knowledge they can share, thereby fostering the growth of a competitive ecosystem of specialized knowledge.  In this way, the system has the seeds for its own growth and generates the feedback effects needed for it to become self-reinforcing.  Through reputation subsystems, the system can also police itself.  As long as the system is organized as a non profit a la Wikimedia or Mozilla Foundation rather than as at profit-driven commercial system, such a system can remain free and provide a civil society-based alternative to the current state-centered incorporation system.

About the Author:  Yosem Eduardo Companys is a PhD student in engineering at Stanford University and a coordinator for the Program on Liberation Technology at Stanford University.  He may be reached at companys[at]stanford[dot]edu.

anonymous asked:

can you elaborate a bit on why Basic Universal Income is a shit idea?

In summary, it demands a strong, central state and it bolsters the wage system, which I want to see abolished. Employers have been externalizing the cost of wages for a long time. A universal income would help justify employers exploitation of the market for their own profit. I can see universal income leading to more employer resistance to cooperation between employers and employees.

I don’t shame people fighting for more fair wages. Organize for better pay. I find liberal struggles, though, to be anti-class struggle. A universal basic wage would reinforce economic classes, reinforce the myth of social mobility that fuels so much employment in capitalism, even consumerism. Universal income will not do anything to encourage more dedicated and organized struggle against the things that cause the need for it in the first place.

Something like that. I mean, I’ve heard the fans of capitalism argue against it because it might disincentivize work. That’s a laugh. It’d make work more foundational and more elite. Likely it’d lead to more employees competing for even better pay. Employers love that shit because it’s competition that can be used to glean more surplus value from more workers.

Already, we have a routinely denigrated class of unemployed poor people who can’t work for all sorts of reasons, and denigrated because they are a burden. That won’t change. And I can’t see how it would change the amount of people who “choose” to work. Please see my earlier post about the free market is a social organizing force and how we don’t/can’t volunteer to live this way.