Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Insights and Ruminations on Political Economy

  So continuing on the same theme as the previous post, I realize now that to undertake to relate all the phenomenon of our daily experiences to social laws means that I must undertake to produce a synthesis of political economy.
  Now some people believed that rich people made poor people promise to work until their physical bodies were worn out and they gave up the ghost. The money that was paid to these workers would be disproportionately smaller than the output produced and sold and this is how profits were made. Consequently, poor people would not be able to purchase the produced output and depressions would result. The enraged workers of the world would then revolt and redistribute property on an equal basis with enough property for all to meet their needs.
  But there are problems with this theory. Although I would say that it is consistent with some possible universe, and that the story is a probable enough one, the story needs modifications. (1) The story is not consistent with our daily experience for we know that in modern America income inequality is growing and wages have either stagnated or declined. This implies that people cannot purchase as much output as they used too. Yet real GDP has increased and indeed profits have been growing, for we see that new sectors of the economy have sprouted from seemingly nowhere over the last 30 years; Walmart & Telecommunications of every kind for instance. (2) The poor cannot always make a revolution especially given the assumption that they are oppressed. For it may happen that they become oppressed to such a degree that they will lack the labor power needed to squash the opposing forces of mechanized armies. Only under the conditions where the workers are both poor and not starving-to-the-point-death is a revolution possible. (3) It is not obvious that the workers would want to give equal amounts of property to everyone after they revolt. The reason is because the act of getting all property to be the same for everyone is extremely difficult and what is difficult is improbable. Yet what is not improbable occurs more often, so it seems that the people will not likely choose to equalize property. What makes it so improbable? First, property is heterogeneous and so everyone needs equal amounts of every type of property (or at least everyone needs each different proportion of each types of property to be equal with everyone else's). The second difficulty arises from the fact that the total output of a country must be evenly divisible for the total population; for one cannot have 1.5 cows or bathrooms. This requires mathematical precision and mathematical precision is difficult to attain. Additionally, if total output is either too big or too small for such a division then it follows that some resources must not be used and so, resources cannot be fully optimized. Thirdly, the usefulness of some property is not linearly related to its physical substance, for instance, having a third drop of dye will not add exactly 1/3 more value to something that must have only "this much" dye to take on a specific shade.
   But this latter point creates a doubt, for when people talk about dividing all property equally, then perhaps this is possible if it is interpreted to mean "all property should be so divided such that no one has a practical advantage". And so even if someone had say, 1 more cow than someone else, on a piece of land that can only take 2 cows, then clearly even though there is inequality in society, there will not be practical inequality. However not all property is like this, for some property is mathematically related to its utility at least some time. So I say we must have a better story.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Some Ideas on Economics

  Economics is basically the secret of everyday life and everyday life is very complex. So to master economics is to master complexity. No wonder then that people should want to study it.
  So what ideas can I enunciate about economics? For brevity I would like to list them:

1. Everyone is either has all their needs satisfied, some of their needs satisfied, or none of their needs satisfied.

2. If some people are payed wages before other people, and no one worker in one industry is actually the same  person as another worker in another industry, then it follows that some people are payed after other people and that everyone has different needs indexed to time.

3. If choice does not exist then competition does not exist.

4. If markets are centralized then there is no more division of labor based on region (this one's a little iffy).

5. People don't consume all their wages before everyone else is paid, or else there would be no exchange.

I hope this is a good preliminary to any future thoughts on the subject.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Against Common Sense: Younger People Are Not More Liberal

  Now it is a common notion that the younger a person is, the more he tends to be liberal in his politics. So the corollary is in fact, that older people are more conservative. And seeing as that statement has the logical force of a biconditional, it follows that if one part of the statement is wrong, then so is the other. And I think that the atomic sentence "the younger is the more liberal" is the false one.
  How can this be? Firstly, if the above common notion is true, then one encounters a problem in the case that someone turns 50 -will he be equally liberal and conservative? But secondly, life expectancy was lower in the past, and equivalently the probability of reaching old age was lower than our own. So (all things being equal) there were more young people around in the past. And yet we see that the past was significantly more conservative than today such that anyone is not only conservative but reactionary who wants to turn back social mores to 1500AD.
   Finally, then this is a contradiction and as such it makes it false that younger people are more liberal than older people and false that older people are more conservative than younger ones.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Common Sense Politics

  Although a philosopher or philosophizer should take common sense as his lodestar, sometimes one feels the need to do exactly the opposite and preach against common sense -for common sense is not infallible.
  This is true especially of politics, for instance, in the popular opinion that the majority should rule. It seems that it is a common opinion that the people should rule, that is, that the people should rule just in the case that a majority of them agree to do a set of things. But there is a problem here, which is that a second common notion, namely the notion that the truth is always found in the median (as a midpoint between two extremes), contradicts the other common notion that the people should rule all the time. And I say this chiefly because the reason why the people should rule all the time is that a majority of the populace is somehow more intelligent than the few. And  yet, how could the majority be always more capable of reaching truth than the few, when it is agreed that the truth is always in the median opinion? For a majority of the people has the nature of a mode or (at best) an average. But the median is a separate measure most of the time, in the abstract sense that the normal distribution (where the median is equal to the mode) is only 1 out of 3 possibilities while the median is separate from the mode in the other two distributions.  So therefore, if the truth is found in the median opinion, then how could the truth reside in the majority opinion? Clearly there is an inconsistency here.
  Of course this problem might be solved if one subscribed to the median-voter theorem but I don't think that most people do, and to the extent that they don't, they seem mistaken about a key issue in their political philosophy. Interestingly enough, the inconsistency I discussed now, is even more fatal to the idea that exactly one person should rule (autocracy), so although it seemingly corrupts the idea of democracy it does likewise with monarchy.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Why the Catholic Church is against contraception

The reason why the Catholic Church is against contraception is because contraception introduces a willful impediment to the creation of children, which is the very end of marriage. Just as the seed has a purpose to become a tree, a marriage has the purpose of making children, to deny this is to destroy the nature of marriage and to substitute it for mere partnership.

But why doesn't this principle make all non-creative sex evil? I suspect that the answer, as in almost all things Catholic, lies in aristotle especially his On the Generation of Animals. I'll have to read that and continue my analysis in another post.

One should also note that contraception dissolves the meaning and perhaps the existence for the most part, of men and women. This is because if all men and women (as a matter of course) get married, and then use contraception, then since contraception is anti-marriage, by a simple application of modus tollens, it seems that contraception would dissolve the natures of men and women.

But why won't this principle dissolve all males and females, and indeed how can marriage be the end of all males and females, if some monks and nuns exist? Well it seems that both questions share the same answer. It is the case that all human acts are voluntary and what is voluntary happens most of the time but not all the time. So there is some time, it seems, where a human male, does not have to marry and yet is still a male.

And that concludes this post.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Problems Solved

   The aforesaid problems have solutions and these solutions lie in the idea of moderation. If for instance, the intellectual does not want to become a fanatic, he must moderate his zeal for truth, and the same holds for the other personalities.
  This solution however seems to shed light on morality itself and what it means to be "moderate".  Moderation is not just the mean between two extremes but it is primarily the degree that one holds a personality trait, such that following it doesn't lead one to betray that personality. And here it is important to say that "betray" means "logically contradict"; for all morality is reasonable, so if an action is unreasonable, then neither can it be moral.
  It may be advanced as a theorem of praexology that no one wants to betray their personality. I suppose that this may be proved by the fact that the personality is often confounded with that which the person values most; a sexual man is called sensual, and such. However, it often happens that a personality can be betrayed, so that "no one wants to betray their personality" is not a mere tautology. Usually, it appears that some value, which is necessary for other values, has all or the lion's share of the personality imputed to it since it is a means that is useful for attaining the end or "that which the person values most". In this instance, it is the this former value which receives the name of "personality" and gives it its name; the love of freedom makes a man value power and therefore is he named "a freedom lover", or a man who lets the love of logic lead him to a certain philosophy is more a lover of logic than a lover of philosophy. The rule that "no one wants to betray their own personality" is especially applicable to this construction of "personality".And praxeologically, this construction is the most convenient since it is stated in terms of the means-ends framework of the science of action.
  So I believe that it is as evident that people don't want to betray their personalities as it is to say that people don't want to to have the cost of their means increased; no one wants the value of their tractors or capital inflated if they want to make use of them -the market abhors a spread between the future and present value of a good and it abhors it even more when this spread is increased. Similarly so when the personality is betrayed. Therefore, the same law that makes a necessary rise in interest rates painful and an unnecessary rise in the same unbearable, also guarantees that a personality trait that leads to its own betrayal and downfall is no trait worth keeping (ceteris paribus).
  And this leads to the final implication, that moderating a personality means to find a trait that most easily serves your highest values.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Other Problems Considered

  To continue my previous theme, the next several problems I want to investigate are called the problems of the investigator, the intellectual, and the loyal man.
  The investigator is a person who enjoys trying to solve puzzles. Assume that he wants to gather as much information as possible about a certain puzzle. But due to some external factors, he never collects enough information. Assuming that he must make a decision the investigator must then due the exact opposite of what a careful researcher should, and draw conclusions from his insufficient evidence. So we see that the researcher must become a loud-mouth. But one could object that this is per accident and not per se. But even per se the investigator can become a loud-mouth. For instance, after a review of the Cuban health statistics, such a person could become an outspoken opponent of capitalistic health service. The investigative personality easily transforms from the realm of unbiased observation to the realm of polemical action.
 The intellectual is simply someone who prides himself on living and acting in accord with what he thinks is correct. But the intellectual may easily discover theorems and conclusions that go beyond the understandings of his fellows. If that happens, then the intellectual who acts in accord with these conclusions must act in an unusual way; he will be a radical to his friends and a monster to his enemies. As such, then, the radical intellectual is seen as a strange fanatic and his fanaticism may do damage to himself and others. As such then, the quest for truth per se, the calm and level-headed analysis and synthesis of propositions, can lead to wide-eyed fanaticism.
  The loyal man, must be considered as a man who does anything for his friends. Yet this loyal man, can become the biggest backstabber. For instance, in politics, if a man loves his friends then he can very well act against the interests of his other constituents or aquaintances that he meets in the other party. If he will do anything for his friends, then he can certainly go so far as to use the confidence entrusted to him by anyone less than his friends, to gain political office and as soon as he gains that office so soon will he retract the lukewarm promises that he had made. So out of loyalty a man can appear to be conniving and false in his relations with others.
  The great riddle continues, if you don't want to have a bad reputation then you must cultivate a lack of loyalty, and if you want to avoid rash judgment then you must forget cool-headed inquiry. How do we solve the problem? I'll leave that for another post though I already have a hypothesis.