WHY is it said that the root of all evil is a love of money?

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Re: WHY is it said that the root of all evil is a love of mo

Postby tzor on Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:14 pm

Funkyterrance wrote:Wait is this all a reference to that "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's" passage?


The problem is it is no longer Caesar's money. So basically I have to give to the Federal Reserve what is the Federal Reserve's and the Federal Government can go take a hike?
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Re: WHY is it said that the root of all evil is a love of mo

Postby Funkyterrance on Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:04 pm

BigBallinStalin wrote:
[1] That's an empirical claim. Here, as of we now, we don't know if that's a fact, but with the rise of wealth, we've seen significantly less people living in absolute poverty. This rise heavily involves money, which is the root of all evil, yet somehow its use (and some people's love of it) lifts billions of people out of poverty.

[2] In many cases, people who pursue their own interests actually benefit others. Adam Smith called this the Invisible Hand. It's about the benefits derived from voluntary trade--even if one party is only interested in helping himself. It's a story about profit and loss incentives, and how even the most selfish person still behaves in a manner which results in an outcome that a more altruistic person would've done. The Invisible Hand is one of the roots of the concept of spontaneous order.

[3] When people speak in these terms, I think they forget about the benefits of self-interest through voluntary exchanges. If I want your avatar for $20 because I FREAKING LOVE IT and because ME ME ME, and if you agree to the offer, then we're both better off. The outcome was mutually beneficial, and in our economy of two people, the selfish ME ME ME has actually contributed to our 2-person Common Good, without intending to.


Ok, BBS, you saw weakness in facets of my argument and you struck. :)
But I think that the truth in my argument is that there is no correlation between the benefit of the common good and the intent of the wealthy person. While you say it doesn't matter, I think it does. The average wealthy person has the goal of gaining more wealth or at least remaining as comfortable as possible with what he/she has. Btw, I know enough very wealthy people to know this is true most of the time. The source of this gain is more or less inconsequential since money itself is a good way to distance oneself from where it came from. Money looks the same whether you earned it through labor or stole it from a child right?
As far as the common people thriving on the droppings of the rich I am unsure of its universal accuracy. If I eat an apple and throw the core in the woods I rest assured that some animal will probably get a nice meal out of it and feel relatively good about my action. However, if I change the oil in my car and throw the filter into the woods because I didn't feel like taking it to the recycling center I can pretty much assume that I did something shitty and selfish.
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Re: WHY is it said that the root of all evil is a love of mo

Postby BigBallinStalin on Tue Oct 30, 2012 5:05 pm

"But I think that the truth in my argument is that there is no correlation between the benefit of the common good and the intent of the wealthy person. While you say it doesn't matter, I think it does."

Intentions matter, but good intentions can lead to bad outcomes, thus it depends on the means and consequences.

Think: well-intended socialists who wish to centrally plan for an entire economy of 80 million people without using prices caused by the market. (i.e. Soviet Union, 70 years of inefficiency and high social costs imposed by a very authoritarian state).

Do the intentions of the wealthy matter? As I keep saying, it depends on the means and consequences of their exchange. To be clear, I've been saying that intentions Alone do not matter; the means and consequences do however. (see voluntary v. involuntary exchange part).


"Money looks the same whether you earned it through labor or stole it from a child right? "

The source of the gain hinges on the consequences and means, which completely differ in both cases.

Theft:
If you involuntarily extract money (means), you create a zero-sum exchange (consequence).

Trade (through labor or whatever):
If you voluntary exchange goods (one trading money, the other trading X), then you have a mutually beneficial exchange. (Because both parties value the good that they wish to trade for).

Money 'looks the same' superficially, but that doesn't matter without considering consequences and means.


s far as the common people thriving on the droppings of the rich I am unsure of its universal accuracy. If I eat an apple and throw the core in the woods I rest assured that some animal will probably get a nice meal out of it and feel relatively good about my action. However, if I change the oil in my car and throw the filter into the woods because I didn't feel like taking it to the recycling center I can pretty much assume that I did something shitty and selfish.


I have no idea how you imposing negligible negative externalities (i.e. polluting) somehow equate to the rich guy and common people thriving on droppings, which is another depiction that is completely inaccurate (too normative).
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Re: WHY is it said that the root of all evil is a love of mo

Postby Funkyterrance on Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:18 pm

BigBallinStalin wrote:"But I think that the truth in my argument is that there is no correlation between the benefit of the common good and the intent of the wealthy person. While you say it doesn't matter, I think it does."

Intentions matter, but good intentions can lead to bad outcomes, thus it depends on the means and consequences.

Think: well-intended socialists who wish to centrally plan for an entire economy of 80 million people without using prices caused by the market. (i.e. Soviet Union, 70 years of inefficiency and high social costs imposed by a very authoritarian state).

Do the intentions of the wealthy matter? As I keep saying, it depends on the means and consequences of their exchange. To be clear, I've been saying that intentions Alone do not matter; the means and consequences do however. (see voluntary v. involuntary exchange part).


"Money looks the same whether you earned it through labor or stole it from a child right? "

The source of the gain hinges on the consequences and means, which completely differ in both cases.

Theft:
If you involuntarily extract money (means), you create a zero-sum exchange (consequence).

Trade (through labor or whatever):
If you voluntary exchange goods (one trading money, the other trading X), then you have a mutually beneficial exchange. (Because both parties value the good that they wish to trade for).

Money 'looks the same' superficially, but that doesn't matter without considering consequences and means.


s far as the common people thriving on the droppings of the rich I am unsure of its universal accuracy. If I eat an apple and throw the core in the woods I rest assured that some animal will probably get a nice meal out of it and feel relatively good about my action. However, if I change the oil in my car and throw the filter into the woods because I didn't feel like taking it to the recycling center I can pretty much assume that I did something shitty and selfish.


I have no idea how you imposing negligible negative externalities (i.e. polluting) somehow equate to the rich guy and common people thriving on droppings, which is another depiction that is completely inaccurate (too normative).


Ok, my internet which was taken out by the storm is back you crapheads. :P

BBS, I can agree that outcomes are important. A well intending individual can do harm as you have proven with previous posts. But...
Given both a well intending individual and a self-interested individual the probability of a well meaning individual creating a good outcome is better. An individual who acts solely on the basis of what will make he/she more comfortable doesn't necessarily have more insight into what is the most beneficial outcome so we won't assume it. We will assume there are two scenarios:
A- A wealthy person has the intentions of bettering the common good.

B- A wealthy person has the intentions of bettering themselves (AKA, gaining more wealth).

While scenario B may create good outcomes, it would be by pure coincidence. Scenario A would have just as much chance of creating a good outcome only it would have the benefit of making choices solely on the basis of the goodness of the outcome.
A wealthy person who is merely interested in wealth itself could invest in something that could likely be very evil for the collective but be advantageous for him/herself. It could be argued that the person from scenario A is not in love with wealth but using the wealth advantageously towards a good outcome. Conversely the person from scenario B is in love with wealth itself and therefore much more likely to choose an outcome that is not-so-good. The person from scenario A is more flexible and therefore has the advantage since their driving force is not merely to opt for the choice that gives them more wealth. Hence, the apple core/oil filter scenario. The person who throws the apple core is making that choice because it's definitely mutually beneficial (Scenario a). The person who throws the oil filter could very well be the person from scenario B but never the person from scenario A.
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