| Tuesday, April 11, 2006
| MONEY IS THE CAUSE OF POVERTY - REPOST
|This was one of my first posts. I like it so much I have to repost it (I didn't write it.) There are also 16 new links in the blogs I look at section.
THE MONEY TRICK
If all the money in the world was divided out equally, it wouldn't do any good! In six months' time it would be all back in the same hands again.'
`Of course,' said everybody.
`But he was saying the other day about money being no good at all!' observed Easton. `Don't you remember he said money was the principal cause of poverty?'
`So it is the principal cause of poverty,' said Owen, who entered at that moment.
`Hooray!' shouted Philpot, `The Professor has arrived and will now proceed to say a few remarks.'
As Owen, sat down in his usual place, Philpot rose solemnly to his feet, and, looking round the company, said: `Gentlemen, with your kind permission, as soon as the Professor has finished dinner he will deliver his well-known lecture, entitled,"Money the Principal Cause of being hard up", proving money isn't any good to anybody. Philpot resumed his seat amid cheers.
`Come on' cried Philpot, putting his hand on Owen's shoulder.`Prove that money is the cause of poverty.'
`It's one thing to say it and another to prove it,' sneered Crass.
`Money IS the real cause of poverty,' said Owen. `Money is the cause of poverty because it is the device by which those who are too lazy to work are enabled to rob the workers of the fruits of their labours.'
`Prove it,' said Crass.`All right,' he replied. `I'll show you how the Great Money Trick is worked.'
Owen opened his dinner basket and took from it several slices of bread and placed them in a heap on a clean piece of paper, and, having borrowed the pocket knives they used to cut and eat their dinners with from Easton, Harlow and Philpot, he addressed them as follows:
`These pieces of bread represent the raw materials which exist naturally in and on the earth for the use of mankind; they were not made by any human being, but were created for the benefit and sustenance of all, the same as were the air and the light of the sun.
`Now,' continued Owen, `I am a capitalist; or, rather, I represent the landlord and capitalist class. That is to say, all these raw materials belong to me. It does not matter for our present argument how I obtained possession of them, or whether I have any real right to them; the only thing that matters now is the admitted fact that all the raw materials which are necessary for the production of the necessaries of life are now the property of the Landlord and Capitalist class. I am that class: all these raw materials belong to me.'
`Good enough!' agreed Philpot.
`Now you three represent the Working class: you have nothing - and for my part, although I have all these raw materials, they are of no use to me - what I need is the things that can be made out of these raw materials by Work: but as I am too lazy to work myself, I have invented the Money Trick to make you work FOR me. But first I must explain that I possess something else beside the raw materials. These three knives represent - all the machinery of production; the factories, tools, railways, and so forth, without which the necessaries of life cannot be produced in abundance. And these three coins' - taking three from his pocket - `represent my Money Capital.'
`But before we go any further,' said Owen, interrupting himself, `it is most important that you remember that I am not supposed to be merely "a" capitalist. I represent the whole Capitalist Class. You are not supposed to be just three workers - you represent the whole Working Class.'
`All right, all right,' said Crass, impatiently.Owen proceeded to cut up one of the slices of bread into a number of little square blocks. `These represent the things which are produced by labour, aided by machinery, from the raw materials. We will suppose that three of these blocks represent - a week's work. We will suppose that a week's work is worth - one pound: and we will suppose that each of these coins is a £1.
`Now this is the way the trick works -' Owen now addressed himself to the working classes as represented byPhilpot, Harlow and Easton.
`You say that you are all in need of employment, and as I am the kind-hearted capitalist class I am going to invest all my money in various industries, so as to give you Plenty of Work. I shall pay each of you one pound per week, and a week's work is - you must each produce three of these square blocks. For doing this work you will each receive your wages; the money will be your own, to do as you like with, and the things you produce will of course be mine, to do as I like with. You will each take one of these machines and as soon as you have done a week's work, you shall have your money.
'The Working Classes accordingly set to work, and the Capitalist class sat down and watched them. As soon as they had finished, they passed the nine little blocks to Owen, who placed them on a piece of paper by his side and paid the workers their wages.
`These blocks represent the necessaries of life. You can't live without some of these things, but as they belong to me, you will haveto buy them from me: my price for these blocks is - one pound each.
'As the working classes were in need of the necessaries of life and as they could not eat, drink or wear the useless money, they were compelled to agree to the kind Capitalist's terms. They each bought back and at once consumed one-third of the produce of their labour.The capitalist class also devoured two of the square blocks, and so the net result of the week's work was that the kind capitalist had consumed two pounds worth of the things produced by the labour of the others, and reckoning the squares at their market value of one pound each, he had more than doubled his capital, for he still possessed the three pounds in money and in addition four pounds worth of goods. As for the working classes, Philpot, Harlow and Easton, having each consumed the pound's worth of necessaries they had bought with their wages, they were again in precisely the same condition as when they started work - they had nothing.
This process was repeated several times: for each week's work the producers were paid their wages. They kept on working and spending all their earnings. The kind-hearted capitalist consumed twice as much as any one of them and his pile of wealth continually increased. In a little while - reckoning the little squares at their market value of one pound each - he was worth about one hundred pounds, and the working classes were still in the same condition as when they began, and were still tearing into their work as if their lives depended upon it.
After a while the rest of the crowd began to laugh, and their merriment increased when the kind-hearted capitalist, just after having sold a pound's worth of necessaries to each of his workers,suddenly took their tools - the Machinery of Production - the knives away from them, and informed them that as owing to Over Production all his store-houses were glutted with the necessaries of life, he had decided to close down the works.
`Well, what are we to do now?.
''That's not my business,' replied the kind-hearted capitalist. `I've paid you your wages, and provided you with Plenty of Work for a longtime past. I have no more work for you to do at present. Come round again in a few months' time and I'll see what I can do for you.' `But what about the necessaries of life?' demanded Harlow. `We must have something to eat.' `Of course you must,' replied the capitalist, affably; `and I shall be very pleased to sell you some.' `But we haven't got any money!'
`Well, you can't expect me to give you my goods for nothing! You didn't work for me for nothing, you know. I paid you for your work and you should have saved something: you should have been thrifty like me. Look how I have got on by being thrifty!
'The unemployed looked blankly at each other, but the rest of the crowd only laughed; and then the three unemployed began to abuse the kind-hearted Capitalist, demanding that he should give them some of the necessaries of life that he had piled up in his warehouses, or to be allowed to work and produce some more for their own needs; and even threatened to take some of the things by force if he did not comply with their demands. But the kind-hearted Capitalist told them not to be insolent, and spoke to them about honesty, and said if they were not careful he would have their faces battered in for them by the police, or if necessary he would call out the military and have them shot down like dogs, the same as he had done before at Featherstone and Belfast.
`Of course,' continued the kind-hearted capitalist, `if it were not for foreign competition I should be able to sell these things that you have made, and then I should be able to give you Plenty of Work again:but until I have sold them to somebody or other, or until I have used them myself, you will have to remain idle.'
`Well, this takes the bloody biscuit, don't it?' said Harlow.
ABRIDGED AND ADAPTED FROM 'THE RAGGED TROUSERED PHILANTHROPISTS' By Robert Tressel (1911).
|posted by michael the tubthumper @ 3:20 am
The starving poor, weighing 300 lbs a piece, often own computers, mobile phones, DVD players, and other technology that didn't even exist in 1911. Hell, even the underclass of Mexico is allowed to mooch off a cutting edge health care system in the States, obtaining treatments that didn't exist in 1911. Certainly the poor are getting poorer, and money is the cause of this fact. /sarcasm
Seriously, marginalism rendered the labor theory of value obsolete. Since Jevons, Menger, and Walras, economists now use something from mathematics called *calculus* in their analyses. (Maybe socialist boneheads in Europe still share Bishop Berkeley's skepticism of calculus.) Anyway, after Bohm Bawerk's decisive critique, Ricardian theories of price along with Marxist theories of exploitation have been stone dead.
We shouldn't let precise, clear thinking get in the way of an exciting, cosmic, revolutionary story. Let us liquidate society's most brilliant and innovative people. That'll alleviate poverty!
jason i am starting think you are a fantastic comedian.
can you really believe this stuff?
the US "cutting edge" health system is behind those of cuba and plenty of other places. venezuela offered to send you doctors at Katrina. your health system is good for those who can afford to pay but allows those who can't to die.
also, there are some of "the poor" who do have all those things you mentioned. it helps to keep them pacified and they are propagandised so heavliy into thinking that these are the things that can improve their lives.
Most don't. sweatshop workers in indonesia and elsehere are not stuffing their faces and sitting back watching MLB.
I wouldn't place too much faith in economists. There is an old joke about two ecomonists standing at a board with lots of equations on and one says to the other "i find this model works best if you leave the people out." the sort of economics that are now being pursued brought about the great depression.
i would also utterly disagree that the landowing and capitalist class are the worlds most innovative people.
most of the inventions you mentioned such as computers mobiles phones, and also jet planes and a whole host of other things were paid for and developed with PUBLIC FUNDING. They were then sold off for a fraction of the cost to those who as always were willing to be parasitic upon the population for their own benefit.
you america-centric view of the world
"after Bohm Bawerk's decisive critique, Ricardian theories of price along with Marxist theories of exploitation have been stone dead."
ummmm according to you
i am no expert on this, but I would say people still believe in Marx's critique of capitalism. the fact that you don't doesn't quite make it "stone dead" As far as what i know about bawerk, he argued that the profits the capitalist class gets are compensation for the financial risks they take. that is fine, except they, in 2006, have managed to shift the risk of business on to the working class. one only needs to look at US politics to see this in action.
if you are in doubt poverty exists, i would advise you to check out Africa and latin america. they are hardly full of 300 pound ipod users
we might have built up some safety nets here in the US or Western Europe, but that hardly means the capitalist economy expansions,particularly in latin america, have done anything other than kill thousands upon thousands of people. the shift to the left we are seeing now is a result of that.
maybe i am missing it, but i don't see putting subjective value on certain things even is in oppostion to marxism.
the last bit of my comment got cut off but i was more or less goin to say what graeme did...
your american-centric view of the world neatly misses out the crippling poverty that is brought about by the system that allows the richest in so many countries to get fat off other peoples work.
and if you mention welfare then i might point out that corporate welfare and corporate fraud far outweigh welfare and welfare fraud.
finally, i checked your blog out a few weeks ago. it says you enjoy winding up hippies. seems rather puerile to me and i am not a hippy so it looks like your wasting your time
i like the new graphic!
and jason, c'mon now, MEXICANS MOOCHING? methinks you may be a bigot or something
i guess you haven't looked in the places i have looked. the starving poor i see don't weigh 300 lbs nor do they have dvd players. some even have jobs but need help to feed their families and give their families health care.
ah, i'm done talking to you
Michael, be thankful you have a guy like Jason around on your blog...it helps put things in perspective and supplies one hell of a laugh every now and then. I wish I had a guy like him at my place.
someone put a rather good response at the post 'plays films and cartoonss'
2 posts down
What Graeme said and Micheal said....Poverty is a REAL thing...and great post- I am glad that you reposted it ...thanks...
Once again, I'm throwing caution to the wind and extending my invitation to Jason to have a nice walk through Pine Ridge or Rosebud. And that's right in "your" own border!
So come on down Jason! We'll get some good old frybread (cooked, of course, with gubment provided lard, which, incidentally partly causes the obesity and diabetes). I'll suggest that you get an extry helpin' of wozape, just cuz you sound like you need some extra sweetness on your pallette! And we'll both feel swell and gay knowing we've made friends with some Injuns! Trail of Broken Treaties Begone!
Then, I'll give you a personal tour of what government sponsored radioactive waste does to an ENTIRE nation that suffers from 85% unemployment, mongoloid babies, and a tainted aquifer! Each and every time a glimpse of self-sufficiency gallops near, someone's got to go and ruin it (all the while repeating ad nauseum "get a fucking job you bum!").
Are you up for the challenge buddy? Lookout, there's some puddles of elbow sweat a'gatherin' on yer armchair...
Same story, different century...
Federal law in the United States gives everyone the right to medical treatment in the emergency room, regardless of their ability to pay. Health insurance costs are rising in the United States, but that is to be expected when we force hospitals to provide free care for the 12 million people living in this country illegally. A good liberal, I'm strongly in favor of immigration; why our leaders do not legalize the process is a complex issue.
"I wouldn't place too much faith in economists."
Spoken like a true socialist. Of course, the issue isn't about faith, but logic and evidence. Socialist disregard for economic analysis resulted in the deaths of millions of people in the 1900s, but you guys don't learn much from history, either.
The fact remains, idiotarians say the rich keep getting richer, and the poor keep getting poorer, while the evidence does not justify this. The poor today have a standard of living much higher than existed 100 years ago. In addition, the poverty line in the United States is the median income in Spain. Mugabe turned up the volume on socialism in Zimbabwe, and his country's GDP has decreased by 40% since 2000. In contrast, India has embraced capitalism, and their economic growth has been explosive 8% a year --capitalism is turning millions of their proletarians into proprietors.
The most innovative people in human history are individuals like the Wright brothers, Alexander Graham Bell, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Bill Gates. Bell labs -- the research wing of American Telephone and Telegraph -- invented the transistor, the people at Texas Instruments invented integrated circuits, Intel invented the first microprocessor -- it is not an accident all of the innovation over the past few hundred years has come from capitalist countries like the USA and Japan, and not from North Korea, Cuba, and so forth.
jason this really is getting tiresome.
there was rising standards of living in slave societies - is that an argument for slavery?
there wa sactually rising standard of living under stalinism and nazism - is that an argument for them too?
as for the inventors, although those individuals may have come up with certain ideas in a lot of cases they were working on certain principles that had already been worked out.
then, when their inventions began to work public money was used to construct the telepone networks and things like planes for the military. once the infrastructure was built and a lot more R and D done with public money they were then sold off to the lowest bidder who happened to be able to influence the government.
India has crippling social problems.
GDP is not always a good indicator of what is going on. Every time someone gets cancer the GDP goes up. every time there is a road crash the gdp goes up.
also, why dont you take up the offer to go to pine ridge?
p.s. the russians were the first in space.
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