Voluntary Exchange

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Is this a voluntary or an involuntary exchange?

1.-voluntary
18
17%
1.-involuntary
3
3%
2.-voluntary
3
3%
2.-involuntary
18
17%
3.-voluntary
4
4%
3.-involuntary
18
17%
4.-voluntary
4
4%
4.-involuntary
17
16%
5.-voluntary
4
4%
5.-involuntary
17
16%
 
Total votes : 106

Voluntary Exchange

Postby BigBallinStalin on Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:37 pm

1. A Story of Two Gentlemen
Bubba and Hotep wish to exchange goods with each other. Bubba brings some beer, and Hotep brings a book titled “Social Commentaries of the Unhelpful Kind.” Bubba offers a price of 10 beers, and since Hotep values the 10 beers more than his perceived benefits of the book, he agrees to the exchange.

This is an example of voluntary exchange—on the individual basis. However, some of us implicitly think that the word “voluntary” acquires the same meaning when mixed in the company of words like “government,” “common good,” and “national interest.”


2. Bandits
Suppose a group of bandits—like the Mafia—come into your town, wave their guns around, and offer their security services in exchange for $100 per month. Since it is ‘an offer you can’t refuse’, you accept the exchange. Is this a voluntary or an involuntary exchange?


3. The King
Suppose you reside in a highly esteemed city of King Shekel’s humble empire. The municipal government provides and/or funds basic services like justice, policing, ‘national’ defense, etc. Regardless of how much of these services you use--if at all, you are levied $100 per month. Is this a voluntary or an involuntary exchange?


4. The Liberal Democracy
Suppose you live in a particular boundary over which a democratic government was formed some time before you were born (e.g. the US, GER, JPN, S Korea, France, etc.). Regardless of your voting habits and your proportional use of government-provided goods and services, you are taxed at a $100 per month. Is this a voluntary or an involuntary exchange?


5. The Liberal Democracy
You live in a liberal democracy, but you are unwillingly drafted into the armed services. Is this a voluntary or an involuntary exchange?


Is this a voluntary or an involuntary exchange?
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
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Re: Voluntary Exchange

Postby Funkyterrance on Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:43 pm

1.Yes
2.No
3.Yes, if you choose to continue to live there.
4." "
5.Yes, if you willingly lived there up until you were drafted.
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Re: Voluntary Exchange

Postby Crazyirishman on Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:53 pm

1. Yes
2. No
3. Yes
4. Yes
5. Yes

These scenarios seem similar to those that Socrates/Plato talks about in Crito.
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Re: Voluntary Exchange

Postby saxitoxin on Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:58 pm

Funkyterrance wrote:1.Yes
2.No
3.Yes, if you choose to continue to live there.
4." "
5.Yes, if you willingly lived there up until you were drafted.


What if, in cases 3, 4, 5, you were not free to move elsewhere? There aren't many countries in the world that will just let someone move in, no questions asked. For instance, nietzsche couldn't just move to the U.S. without proving he knew how to harvest the fall cabbage crop or play eclectic, psychedelic guitar.

Also, the mere act of moving usually entails some significant expense. If your freedom to engage in an exchange is contingent on your ability to pay a direct - or, in this case, indirect - financial penalty then wouldn't it be involuntary?
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Re: Voluntary Exchange

Postby _sabotage_ on Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:06 pm

Yes.
No, extortion.
No, same as above, king pays 10% of taxes to local collector, who hires thugs at 3% to collect it, services are rendered through collector's cousin who hires the pretty girls in the village to boink, services rendered are negligible and no recourse is provided since the system is as it was set up to be.
No, same as above but now the negligible services have been taken away due to complaints of corruption about cousin so king solves the problem by taking out the corrupting step of offering services for the money.
No, Mohammad Ali lost some of his best years.
Last edited by _sabotage_ on Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Voluntary Exchange

Postby Funkyterrance on Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:18 pm

saxitoxin wrote:
Funkyterrance wrote:1.Yes
2.No
3.Yes, if you choose to continue to live there.
4." "
5.Yes, if you willingly lived there up until you were drafted.


What if, in cases 3, 4, 5, you were not free to move elsewhere? There aren't many countries in the world that will just let someone move in, no questions asked. For instance, nietzsche couldn't just move to the U.S. without proving he knew how to harvest the fall cabbage crop or play eclectic, psychedelic guitar.

Also, the mere act of moving usually entails some significant expense. If your freedom to engage in an exchange is contingent on your ability to pay a direct - or, in this case, indirect - financial penalty then wouldn't it be involuntary?

Hehe.
I thought it was implicit that it would be the reverse if you were not free to move but if it wasn't, well, there you have it. O:)
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Re: Voluntary Exchange

Postby TA1LGUNN3R on Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:26 pm

Funkyterrance wrote:1.Yes
2.No
3.Yes, if you choose to continue to live there.
4." "
5.Yes, if you willingly lived there up until you were drafted.


You're assuming a framework where the king or liberal democracy have unquestioned rights to your land or personhood, which is therefore not voluntary by definition. If, in cases of 4 and 5, they are truly democratic gov'ts, imposing taxes or conscription upon you is counter to a gov't of free individuals, i.e. their threat of force (which I assume is there should one not yield) makes the situation not voluntary and is, in fact, authoritarian.

-TG
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Re: Voluntary Exchange

Postby Haggis_McMutton on Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:32 pm

I call false dichotomy.

There seem to be various degrees of voluntariness based on the existence of alternate choices and the cost incurred in taking those choices.

It's, of course, very hard to come up with exact percentages, but here's how I'd rank these from most voluntary to least:

1, 3, 4, 5, 2
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Re: Voluntary Exchange

Postby saxitoxin on Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:43 pm

Haggis_McMutton wrote:I call false dichotomy.

There seem to be various degrees of voluntariness based on the existence of alternate choices and the cost incurred in taking those choices.

It's, of course, very hard to come up with exact percentages, but here's how I'd rank these from most voluntary to least:

1, 3, 4, 5, 2


I SAY YOUR FALSE DICHOTOMY IS A FALSE DICHOTOMY!!!

"Voluntary" is an absolutism. Either something is a voluntary act or it is an involuntary act. If it's an involuntary act, it can have varying degrees of involuntariness (i.e. slavery, servitude, compromise, contract commitment, etc.). There cannot be varying degrees of volunteerism.

"Death" is an absolutism. Either something is dead or it is alive. If it's alive, it can have varying degrees of life (i.e. vitality, coma, etc.). There cannot be varying degrees of death.

For scenario 4 to be voluntary it requires we recognize some form of primogeniture - that legal rights can be expanded or restrained through process of inheritance and that they are transferred with the blood. If we recognize primogeniture then there is no consistent argument against monarchy, the hereditary nobility or god-beings.
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Re: Voluntary Exchange

Postby Funkyterrance on Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:53 pm

TA1LGUNN3R wrote:
Funkyterrance wrote:1.Yes
2.No
3.Yes, if you choose to continue to live there.
4." "
5.Yes, if you willingly lived there up until you were drafted.


You're assuming a framework where the king or liberal democracy have unquestioned rights to your land or personhood, which is therefore not voluntary by definition. If, in cases of 4 and 5, they are truly democratic gov'ts, imposing taxes or conscription upon you is counter to a gov't of free individuals, i.e. their threat of force (which I assume is there should one not yield) makes the situation not voluntary and is, in fact, authoritarian.

-TG

Since the questions were not very explicit in the first place I did the best with the information I had. If the questions become more specific I may change my answers. How can you answer those questions as they are without assuming one thing or another? Besides, I consider a condition in which you are free to leave yet decide to remain as inherently voluntary.
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Re: Voluntary Exchange

Postby _sabotage_ on Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:57 pm

You have shed yourself of responsibility Funky. Each act is a choice, but you saying that you have no choice in your acts. If there is no choice, such as a tree falls on your head, it by definition wasn't voluntary.
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Re: Voluntary Exchange

Postby DoomYoshi on Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:01 pm

So, I will drop the bomb. Note: I don't actually care about the answer.

Question: How can any individual who lives in a physical world, and therefore subject to physical laws, be said to have a choice in anything? I mean this in two senses: the deterministic one and the fatalistic one. Being in a situation to make a choice is itself an involuntary exchange.

Or: if God knows everything that will happen, how can humans be said to have free choice?
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Re: Voluntary Exchange

Postby TA1LGUNN3R on Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:10 pm

The questions aren't ambiguous. The definitions of each scenario are implied by their names. A king= absolute ruler, so choosing between submission, exile/imprisonment, or death is still a confrontation against one's will. A democracy is a gov't composed of the people of the area, with laws enacted by them. If they use majority rule to impose their will onto a minority, it's not much different than the absolute king and is involuntary.

Sure, some may be less extreme than others, as Haggis pointed out, but it's still an involuntary exchange enforced by some threat.

-TG
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Re: Voluntary Exchange

Postby BigBallinStalin on Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:10 pm

Funkyterrance wrote:
TA1LGUNN3R wrote:
Funkyterrance wrote:1.Yes
2.No
3.Yes, if you choose to continue to live there.
4." "
5.Yes, if you willingly lived there up until you were drafted.


You're assuming a framework where the king or liberal democracy have unquestioned rights to your land or personhood, which is therefore not voluntary by definition. If, in cases of 4 and 5, they are truly democratic gov'ts, imposing taxes or conscription upon you is counter to a gov't of free individuals, i.e. their threat of force (which I assume is there should one not yield) makes the situation not voluntary and is, in fact, authoritarian.

-TG

Since the questions were not very explicit in the first place I did the best with the information I had. If the questions become more specific I may change my answers. How can you answer those questions as they are without assuming one thing or another? Besides, I consider a condition in which you are free to leave yet decide to remain as inherently voluntary.


Then please list your assumptions which you imposed on the examples (nothing wrong with that). I'm wondering what assumptions you used in order to justify your choices.
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Re: Voluntary Exchange

Postby TA1LGUNN3R on Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:12 pm

_sabotage_ wrote:You have shed yourself of responsibility Funky. Each act is a choice, but you saying that you have no choice in your acts. If there is no choice, such as a tree falls on your head, it by definition wasn't voluntary.


The tree falling on your head doesn't comply with the scenarios presented; one is a happenstance occurrence between a person and non-sentient organism. I think BBS was interested in events between people and the results therefrom.

-TG
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Re: Voluntary Exchange

Postby BigBallinStalin on Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:12 pm

DoomYoshi wrote:So, I will drop the bomb. Note: I don't actually care about the answer.

Question: How can any individual who lives in a physical world, and therefore subject to physical laws, be said to have a choice in anything? I mean this in two senses: the deterministic one and the fatalistic one. Being in a situation to make a choice is itself an involuntary exchange.

Or: if God knows everything that will happen, how can humans be said to have free choice?


Whoa, dude. This isn't a debate on Free Will v. Determinism. We examine the exchange, and deem if the exchange is voluntary or involuntary.


(@ DY and others--Haggis, TG).
Answer: You're thinking that "physical laws" are the only laws which involve human interaction, but this isn't the case for the social sciences. We're examining several examples of exchanges, and each exchange involves concepts such as property rights, contract law, and in some cases explicit v. implicit consent--which can differ in each example.
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Re: Voluntary Exchange

Postby notyou2 on Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:24 pm

I thought this thread was about voluntary exchange of bodily fluids.

Man you let me down BBS.
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Re: Voluntary Exchange

Postby DoomYoshi on Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:30 pm

BigBallinStalin wrote:
DoomYoshi wrote:So, I will drop the bomb. Note: I don't actually care about the answer.

Question: How can any individual who lives in a physical world, and therefore subject to physical laws, be said to have a choice in anything? I mean this in two senses: the deterministic one and the fatalistic one. Being in a situation to make a choice is itself an involuntary exchange.

Or: if God knows everything that will happen, how can humans be said to have free choice?


Whoa, dude. This isn't a debate on Free Will v. Determinism. We examine the exchange, and deem if the exchange is voluntary or involuntary.


(@ DY and others--Haggis, TG).
Answer: You're thinking that "physical laws" are the only laws which involve human interaction, but this isn't the case for the social sciences. We're examining several examples of exchanges, and each exchange involves concepts such as property rights, contract law, and in some cases explicit v. implicit consent--which can differ in each example.


For an exchange to be voluntary, does that not demand that the participants both have free will?
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Re: Voluntary Exchange

Postby BigBallinStalin on Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:31 pm

Haggis_McMutton wrote:I call false dichotomy.

There seem to be various degrees of voluntariness based on the existence of alternate choices and the cost incurred in taking those choices.

It's, of course, very hard to come up with exact percentages, but here's how I'd rank these from most voluntary to least:

1, 3, 4, 5, 2


voluntary exchange
Let's say I want to join a gym. They offer access to their facilities in exchange for $30 per month. The formal laws (codified) are written on some billboard (e.g. don't run around the pool; wear protective footwear whilst in the weight room; etc.). The informal laws are implicitly understood and usually don't need to be written (e.g. don't enter the building while screaming ferociously, and other variously understood laws within the Golden "Don't Be a Dick" Rule).

I'm generally aware of what kind of behavior they expect in a gym, and since I value the gym membership more than $30 per month, then I voluntarily agree to the exchange.


involuntary exchange
If an exchange involves coercion, i.e. made under duress by threat of physical violence, if one other party has not previously agreed upon the exchange, thus not upon the previous rules, then this is an involuntary exchange.

So, with this in mind, what contract did you sign when you were born into a liberal democracy?
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Re: Voluntary Exchange

Postby thegreekdog on Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:36 pm

BigBallinStalin wrote:1. A Story of Two Gentlemen
Bubba and Hotep wish to exchange goods with each other. Bubba brings some beer, and Hotep brings a book titled “Social Commentaries of the Unhelpful Kind.” Bubba offers a price of 10 beers, and since Hotep values the 10 beers more than his perceived benefits of the book, he agrees to the exchange.

This is an example of voluntary exchange—on the individual basis. However, some of us implicitly think that the word “voluntary” acquires the same meaning when mixed in the company of words like “government,” “common good,” and “national interest.”


2. Bandits
Suppose a group of bandits—like the Mafia—come into your town, wave their guns around, and offer their security services in exchange for $100 per month. Since it is ‘an offer you can’t refuse’, you accept the exchange. Is this a voluntary or an involuntary exchange?


3. The King
Suppose you reside in a highly esteemed city of King Shekel’s humble empire. The municipal government provides and/or funds basic services like justice, policing, ‘national’ defense, etc. Regardless of how much of these services you use--if at all, you are levied $100 per month. Is this a voluntary or an involuntary exchange?


4. The Liberal Democracy
Suppose you live in a particular boundary over which a democratic government was formed some time before you were born (e.g. the US, GER, JPN, S Korea, France, etc.). Regardless of your voting habits and your proportional use of government-provided goods and services, you are taxed at a $100 per month. Is this a voluntary or an involuntary exchange?


5. The Liberal Democracy
You live in a liberal democracy, but you are unwillingly drafted into the armed services. Is this a voluntary or an involuntary exchange?


Is this a voluntary or an involuntary exchange?
1. Voluntary
2. Involuntary, unless free to leave
3. Involuntary, unless free to leave
4. Involuntary, unless free to leave
5. Involuntary, unless free to leave


Correct answers above.
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Re: Voluntary Exchange

Postby BigBallinStalin on Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:40 pm

DoomYoshi wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:
DoomYoshi wrote:So, I will drop the bomb. Note: I don't actually care about the answer.

Question: How can any individual who lives in a physical world, and therefore subject to physical laws, be said to have a choice in anything? I mean this in two senses: the deterministic one and the fatalistic one. Being in a situation to make a choice is itself an involuntary exchange.

Or: if God knows everything that will happen, how can humans be said to have free choice?


Whoa, dude. This isn't a debate on Free Will v. Determinism. We examine the exchange, and deem if the exchange is voluntary or involuntary.


(@ DY and others--Haggis, TG).
Answer: You're thinking that "physical laws" are the only laws which involve human interaction, but this isn't the case for the social sciences. We're examining several examples of exchanges, and each exchange involves concepts such as property rights, contract law, and in some cases explicit v. implicit consent--which can differ in each example.


For an exchange to be voluntary, does that not demand that the participants both have free will?


Recall the long drawn-out "Free Will v. Determinism" thread with natty dread, me, and others. Natty and I, the "free willers," did concede that determinism may be correct in a particular circumstance: determinism may hold true across everything, so that it encompasses our perceivable system. However, it would fail to explain 'the finer details', such as the choices one faces when making or rejected an exchange. In other words, determinism isn't useful ITT, e.g., why did he choose X but not Y? "Cuz determinism + [insert long chain of events from which 'determinism theory' predicts]."

So, in this thread, we're assuming that either party makes choices involving different prices within a framework of formal and informal rules. If you wish to expound upon your philosophical point, please start a new thread, and I'll respond there. If we find something very relevant to this thread, then we'll put it here. But, I want this one to stay focused, so please respond in a new thread.
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Re: Voluntary Exchange

Postby BigBallinStalin on Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:46 pm

TA1LGUNN3R wrote:
_sabotage_ wrote:You have shed yourself of responsibility Funky. Each act is a choice, but you saying that you have no choice in your acts. If there is no choice, such as a tree falls on your head, it by definition wasn't voluntary.


The tree falling on your head doesn't comply with the scenarios presented; one is a happenstance occurrence between a person and non-sentient organism. I think BBS was interested in events between people and the results therefrom.

-TG


True, but sabotage's analogy may still be correct. For example, the government itself is a non-decision-making entity, thus in this sense must be a "non-sentient organism."
(One of the problems with an exchange involving the Individual and the Government is this: who exactly is the government? Whose contract did I explicitly or implicitly agreed to--and when?)
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Re: Voluntary Exchange

Postby Haggis_McMutton on Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:14 pm

saxitoxin wrote:"Voluntary" is an absolutism. Either something is a voluntary act or it is an involuntary act. If it's an involuntary act, it can have varying degrees of involuntariness (i.e. slavery, servitude, compromise, contract commitment, etc.). There cannot be varying degrees of volunteerism.

"Death" is an absolutism. Either something is dead or it is alive. If it's alive, it can have varying degrees of life (i.e. vitality, coma, etc.). There cannot be varying degrees of death.


By this standard aren't we left with very few things (if any) as being voluntary?

Buying your kid a McDonalds - voluntary?
Well if you factor in the cost you would incur if you didn't buy it i.e. your kid having a tantrum in the middle of the store, then there is some element of coercion - involuntary

Going on holiday to Paris - voluntary?
Maybe you really wanna just stay home and engage into a sleep/eat/watch TV marathon, but what about the fact that the neighbors went to Vienna last summer? Will staying home be interpreted by all your friends as financial troubles ? Not to mention what the wife is going to say when you mention your vacation plans to her. - again some elements of coercion are present

And so on and so forth. Our decisions almost always have some external factors constraining them and by the strictest definition are therefore not voluntary.
So then, to maintain the dichotomy you have to draw some arbitrary line. Like if this decision is influenced 90% by internal factors and 10% by external ones it's voluntary. This arbitrary line seems unsatisfactory to me.

BigBallinStalin wrote:voluntary exchange
Let's say I want to join a gym. They offer access to their facilities in exchange for $30 per month. The formal laws (codified) are written on some billboard (e.g. don't run around the pool; wear protective footwear whilst in the weight room; etc.). The informal laws are implicitly understood and usually don't need to be written (e.g. don't enter the building while screaming ferociously, and other variously understood laws within the Golden "Don't Be a Dick" Rule).

I'm generally aware of what kind of behavior they expect in a gym, and since I value the gym membership more than $30 per month, then I voluntarily agree to the exchange.


involuntary exchange
If an exchange involves coercion, i.e. made under duress by threat of physical violence, if one other party has not previously agreed upon the exchange, thus not upon the previous rules, then this is an involuntary exchange.

So, with this in mind, what contract did you sign when you were born into a liberal democracy?


I agree that paying taxes is more involuntary than signing up for a gym. I just don't agree that the fact that a contract is involved in the first case and a gun isn't pointed at your head then that means it is 100% voluntary.
What if your girlfriend says to get your fat ass in the gym or she's dumping you. is that not a form of coercion ?
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Re: Voluntary Exchange

Postby saxitoxin on Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:26 pm

Haggis_McMutton wrote:Buying your kid a McDonalds - voluntary?
Well if you factor in the cost you would incur if you didn't buy it i.e. your kid having a tantrum in the middle of the store, then there is some element of coercion - involuntary

Going on holiday to Paris - voluntary?
Maybe you really wanna just stay home and engage into a sleep/eat/watch TV marathon, but what about the fact that the neighbors went to Vienna last summer? Will staying home be interpreted by all your friends as financial troubles ? Not to mention what the wife is going to say when you mention your vacation plans to her. - again some elements of coercion are present


Firstly, the negatives in these scenarios all involve horizontal transfers of subjectively valued (non-) commodities (emotions). BBS' scenario presumes vertical transfers of objectively valued commodities (material). Your scenarios are way out-of-bounds for this exercise.

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Secondly, I would never buy Hans-Joachim a restaurant franchise, unless it were an Arby's.
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Re: Voluntary Exchange

Postby Funkyterrance on Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:36 pm

Haggis_McMutton wrote:What if your girlfriend says to get your fat ass in the gym or she's dumping you. is that not a form of coercion ?

You've always got the option to tell her to f*ck off, therefore it's voluntary. As the OP describes, either it's worth it to you to go to the gym and remain her bf or it's not and you cut her loose. You voluntarily go one way or the other.
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