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About garth

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  1. garth


    Hecate was a witch from Greek mythology, so there is some correlation there. Don't forget Dante wrote the Inferno partly as a way to condemn his political enemies in a subtle way. As for Erasmus, his character is probably the best thing to come out of the prequels, but apart from the philosopher from history, can't really think of a strong connection.
  2. garth


    *Sniff* the Time of Titans will be missed :'( Erasmus/Gilbertus Albans/Agamemnon are the only reasons to read the prequels.
  3. I doubt Bush will invade Iran even if he could. We simply don't have the troops to do so. Furthermore, he'd be dooming the Republican Party in the midterm elections if he decided to invade. If there are conservative Republicans in the House and Senate willing to break with the president on social security reform, there will be a helluva lot more that will break over something costing thousands of American lives (if Iraq is the baseline example). The Iraq venture is already a complete failure: what incentive does the Iraqi people have to build democratic institutions if the US has acknowledge
  4. Haha Edric and I just never argue over the stuff we already agree on. Start a topic on why secularism is the best thing since sliced bread and we'll probably be on the same side.
  5. "Oh, yes, it certainly does all those things. On the other hand, greed for property and goods also drives wars, atrocities and crimes of every imaginable kind." Thats why you have enforceable property rights that make the cost of fighting higher than that of cooperating in mutually beneficial trade. "You're assuming that it's okay to do anything to people as long as you give them a "choice" - even if that "choice" is between obeying you or starving to death." I make no such moral distinction of people's choices. It only becomes hopelessly muddled in conflicting value systems that are inherent
  6. "It decides what to produce, how to produce it, and how to distribute what is produced - just like any other economic system." And I guarantee you that any individual or collection of individuals in charge of deciding what to produce and how to distribute it will act in a way to benefit themselves. How many examples throughout history are required to prove this? "Also, like in any democracy, there will be laws to protect minorities and ensure that their wishes are respected and also satisfied as much as possible." Unless they want to live their lives whichever way they see fit. In which case
  7. "I thought you said that "wealth is defined as absolutely anything that people value". Therefore, by definition, the popular thing IS always the right thing (in economics at least). Whatever the people value - in other words, whatever is popular - counts as a good thing according to your own economic theory. If people value increased socialization and economic democracy (which they do), then THAT is what maximizes their utility, so THAT is what should be implemented as economic policy." You're making a leap of logic here, just because people want more of what they value that doesn't mean that
  8. Allow me to correct a misconception... "Isn't another economic assumption that people are always happier with more as opposed to less? As long as that holds, scarcity really doesn't seem to be an issue." Nope, people want more of what they value. That may take the form of a material or it may not. For instance, some people value banging their heads into the wall, when they do this they are generating utility for themselves (wealth). That said, scarcity of material will always be a problem with which to contend. Btw, having two threads on this is really confusing.
  9. "Organizations, countries and cultures are made up of individuals. They can make choices just like any group of individuals can make choices. And if the decision-making system of the group in question is democratic, the choices it makes are the aggregate of the individual choices made by its individual members." Whether it is a government, community, or corporation there is ONLY an individual making a choice somewhere. Whether it is a board of directors, a Senate, a House, whatever, theyre all made up of people who make choices. To say that a "country" is making a decision is wholly inaccura
  10. If any Dune novel is needed between already existing books, it's one between Children of Dune and God Emperor of Dune. There's lots of potential intrigue with a banished Wensicia and a recalcitrant Farad'n.
  11. "Actually, they're being overhauled because those with wealth and power decided to overhaul them, and those without wealth and power don't have too much of a say in the matter. "Happiness", or the welfare of third-world citizens, doesn't have much to do with it at all." Only individuals make choices, not organizations, countries, or cultures. Societies fail and are overhauled because they rot from within. They fail to address the problem of scarcity and the allocation of resources in a free market way. Individuals always have a say in the matter, they can refuse to buy consumer goods etc. e
  12. I would call the situation you describe as the division of labor, not slavery. You can cook your own meals, make your own clothes, etc. if you want. You don't have to have a car, fancy meals at restaurants, or any of that if you so choose. Don't want to work 40+ hours a week? Don't do it. The reason people don't do everything themselves anymore is because the marginal cost of doing so is too high. As cynical as it may sound, a choice between death and life at subsistence level is still a choice. I'm all for outsourcing; I think it's a great service to the nation. By shipping our manufactu
  13. About the workers being "exploited," I would argue that they always have a choice no matter what. They can choose not to work, starve, and then die. This isn't a desirable outcome for any party concerned, but we must always be careful that a solution isn't worse than the problem it was designed to fix. Banning international trade, multinational corporations, the collectivization of property, tariffs, etc. that could be possible solutions are far, far worse than the problem, in my opinion, in that they would usher in a Depression that would make 1929 look like a rainy day in the park. "If
  14. The situation you're describing is most fundamentally a problem of property rights not being respected and not an issue of human self-interest. Unless you value activities such as washing clothes by hand or riding a horse as your primary form of transportation, they are menial, and if you don't value said activities then anything that would alleviate you of them would be a "good" thing. Please see the first paragraph of my previous argument, I edited the post before you responded. :)
  15. Allow me to preface the following argument with a bit of background information. I'm currently working on a degree in economics and political science, so I assume that people are rational, self-interested, and respond to incentives. Furthermore, I define wealth (prosperity) as anything that people value (it could be cold, hard cash or snail shells). If you disagree with me on these points, then there is not much point in arguing with me in this topic, so make a new one. However, if you agree with me on the above, please continue. :) Greed for property and goods is a bad thing?
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