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Comment Re:Immortality is scary (Score 1) 359

The value of a consumable good, just like that of a service, lies in the satisfaction of human needs and wants. The value of that milk after I drink it goes into the satisfaction of my thirst and the improved nutritional state of my body. (Pretending that I consumed dairy products, that is.) It's the same value I create when I give someone a shiatsu session: I have improved the state of their body in a manner which they value.

You were talking about how much "evil rich people" take to the bank at the end of the day. A glass of drinked milk, accounted in the GDP but used to keep you alive, is not part of this equation.

The workers are the only ones creating value. The owners of capital aren't creating anything, any more than I'm creating something when I lend out my hammer. Sure, the owners are a necessary catalyst under the current system; but their necessity is an artifact of an insane system.

That's just anti-capitalist-talk to me. A robot can build an entire car, without a single worker involved. That's a pretty good example of capital creating value.

A factory costs millions of dollars, borrowed from the past efforts of other workers. Every single thing in this world is based on past efforts. All the public infrastructure around you only exists because the workers who helped building it were paid using money obtained from past efforts of other workers. The machines and materials used to build that infrastructure were also paid using past work efforts.

While corporate profit is something with an actual participation in the economy that borders the intangible or inexistent, "work efforts" are real and needed for the world to move forward. Someone needs to do something that is useful to others, to obtain whatever they need for their survival or just plain comfort. Someone built the road in front of your house because they needed to buy stuff made by other people.

And these people deserve to be rewarded for the present use of their past efforts. After all, it's their participation in the whole value creation process that is the base of the activities of those employees.

Without investment, there's no value. Not even a workforce-intensive business such as door to door sales can be formed without investment. Jobs only exist because thousands of people devoted years of their careers to storing value so it could be used to invest in the company.

It's hard for him to save enough to buy his own hammer while I'm sucking away most of the value he produces.

So what? You're mostly saying the Mr. Retired Carpenter should just go fsck himself and forget about his retirement fund, because lending it to Mr. Active Carpenter is a "moral crime" and he should be actually DONATING his fund to the said active worker.

Ownership is defined by control. If you don't control the stock, if you can't vote it in favor of your interests rather than those of the fund, you don't own it. Making up an idea of "money owners" is a sad way to try to deny this fact.

Ownership is ownership. Period. While the power gained from managing other people's money is tremendous, other people are STILL the owners of that money.

such people often become confused when it is pointed out that modern corporate capitalism is not necessary the final apex of human society, that something other than the L-curve is possible.

I was right: you're just a lousy communist. Bitch about the L curve all you want. People do not hold the same capacity, effort or opportunities. The world is real. Get over it.

You kept talking about a cute and nice society where money is controlled by some kind of all-knowing fair and balanced government, instead of all those evil rich people making use of the evil free initiative that gives people job positions to work on costly infrastructure. That's just B/S communist utopia.

Comment Re:Immortality is scary (Score 1) 359

The GDP is "the total market value of all final goods and services produced in a country in a given year". It is exactly the measure of the value produced in the economy. (Putting aside for the moment the broken window problem and the need for a GPI.)

No. It's the measure of money moved around, using goods and services as a way of measuring it.

If we consider your argument (MONEY/COUNT - WAGES = RICH PEOPLE MAKING MONEY) as a measure of how much rich people are getting from society, the GDP does not reflect how much of net value was created every year.

Putting bold at "value" and "produced" on a quote doesn't change that. Summing the market value of all production will only tell you how much was produced. I can give you a bottle of milk. After you drink it, what's left of its value?

The GDP accounts for the gross movement of production-related money. Most of that production is wasted just to keep things working. Economy is not a zero-sum game.

So the GDP is not a measure of NET VALUE. And net value is what rich people take to the bank at the end of the day.

That "net income" is what's left of their gross profit of $100 billion after expenses, including payroll. So if your numbers are correct, each worker is on average creating $60,000 worth of value that isn't going to them, but goes to stockholders. (Of course some employees own some stock, but not enough to distort the general picture; it's not like GE is an employee-owned company.) That's bit higher than the $50,000 of my previous calculation but well within back-of-the-envelope tolerances. Thank you for the supporting evidence.

Actually, each worker and 500 billion dollars worth of debts, along with 120 billion dollars of assets, is creating 60k worth of value. GE is not a door-to-door sales company, most of the company is based on heavy investments on technology and infrastructure.

There are other people (mostly workers) putting their money at GE (even if they're not directly connected to that decision) in exchange for profit. It's not just a matter of going to the office and saying "TADA!!! I JUST MADE XYZ DOLLARS TO THE COMPANY". Other people are investing their past efforts (but it's only money now) on the company, you're not the only one creating value there.

Rubbish. That "financing" is an artifact of our system, of the centralized control of capital. If I loan a carpenter a hammer, and he creates $25 of value an hour with his skilled labor, something is fundamentally wrong with a system where I can charge him $15 an hour for the use of my hammer.

If you're the one with a good package for hammer renting (price + convenience + etc), there is nothing wrong with it. Your hammer is not a godsend, it has its own value. He can buy his own if he wants to.

And if hammers are too expensive for the average worker, there's an opportunity waiting for anyone who sells them at a better condition (again, price + convenience + etc.) or produces them at a lower price. IF hammers are expensive because it takes a lot of effort to manufacture them, then too bad. You can't expect to get for free something that is the product of a lot of people's work (workforce + invesments).

If their work (or job positions) is really important to society, we can build a governmental project that allows them to buy hammers at a low price, or even give them for free, in exchange for continuing to work.

Because that's not a fact, but a misconception. Stock owned by your pension fund is not owned by you. If you're invested in MegaBank's Growth and Income fund, and that fund owns 1,000 shares of Amalgamated Profits, Inc., there's not a share with your name on it, and you don't get to vote at their stockholder's meeting, MegaBank does. These funds are mostly a means of putting more wealth under the control of Wall Street bankers and managers, any wealth that trickles down to fund participants is a side-effect.

You're mostly saying that it is possible to operate a fund (pension or deposit based, whatever) on a way that creates more value to who owns the money? There you go: it's an opportunity waiting for someone smart to make use of it.

That does not changes who the money owner is. It is still the average worker. Your disagreement with the rules or management of these funds is a whole different issue.

In the end, all of your points were extremely weak and mostly based on anti-corporation ideology. The worst part of your message was all that nonsense and ranting about lending a hammer to a carpenter. Unless you're the kind of nutjob that "doesn't believes in private property", what you said lacked any meaning if you consider a modern society based on these principles.

Comment Re:Immortality is scary (Score 4, Interesting) 359

The investment class doesn't "provide jobs and growth" so much as it skims wealth off of the top. The U.S. GDP is about $14 trillion, the workforce of about 150,000,000: the average American worker creates about $93,000 worth of value per year. But the average annual wage is only about $39,000.

Except that economics doesn't work that way. The GDP is not about "creating value", but mostly about moving money around. You're also wrong when you talk about "the average American worker" when mentioning TOTAL/COUNT.

General Electric has a Net Income of 22 billion dollars, and 370 000 workers. That's nearly 60 thousand dollars worth of profit for every single employee. So an extremely profitable company will yield something like 2/3 of your estimate. Even worse when you consider that GE is a good employer.

If you compare GE's 60k USD and your mentioned average 40k USD, it's a pretty fair game: their profits are not based just on their workforce but also based on more than half a trillion dollars in debt and more than 130 billion worth of assets. Taking only 60k of profit per employee while having to finance such a massive infrastructure is pretty fair.

You also fail to account the fact that most companies are owned by the average american. While powerful banks such as Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan are the first-tier owners of billions of dollars worth of stocks, they're actually buying them in the name of pension funds and also using money borrowed from your bank account.

Comment Re:Distrust by the masses.. (Score 1) 610

No, you can thank the drug warriors for our loss of rights. We drug users are simply engaging in our right to pursue happiness. Nobody has a right to decide what does and doesn't go into my body except for me.

As long as you're the one producing your own drugs, that's ok. You don'thave the right to finance violent criminals just to get high. Only people with no morals at all accept that financing violent criminals is ok because "well, I need to put whatever I want into my body".

So while you might have a good point about people trying to control what substances are you allowed to use, purchasing drugs in the black market is never justified. Financing violent crime just to get your fix is a pretty good example of thinking that "the ends justify the means".

Let's say I really like Baseball cards. Not the usual Baseball card, but the very old and expensive kind. Let's say that the Baseball card market just changed completely and now the only way of obtaining this kind of card is through the mob and other kinds of violent criminals. They're all killing each other to compete on the card market, and their activities are also known to destroy lots of people's lifes.

Would it be ok if I continued to buy such products? Well, after all, "Nobody has a right to decide what does and does not pleases me". Should I just say "I want my damn card and I'm going to get it no matter what"?

That's what "you people" (as in "the scum of society") do with drugs. I don't give a fuck about when you're going to OD at a dirty corner because you're such an idiot. But I do care about how YOU DON'T GIVE A FUCKthat your little hobby might be destroying a lot of people's lifes.


Submission + - $100 laptop hits choppy waters in Nigeria (bbc.co.uk)

00_NOP writes: The $100 laptop project seems to be running into difficulty in Nigeria where, on the one hand the education minister says: "What is the sense of introducing One Laptop per Child when they don't have seats to sit down and learn; when they don't have uniforms to go to school in, where they don't have facilities?" and yet is also revealed to be examining alternatives from Microsoft and Intel, well known for their dislike of the project.
The BBC's report also has some video from Nicholas Negroponte.
Clearly both companies see the little green box as a big threat — either because of its use of Linux or it's use of AMD hardware. With deep pockets maybe they'll be offering the Nigerians some sweeteners to look at the alternatives?


Journal Journal: First Details of Windows 7 Emerge 615

Some small but significant details of the next major release of Windows have emerged via a presentation at the University of Illinois by Microsoft engineer Eric Traut. His presentation focuses on an internal project called "MinWin"; designed to optimise the Windows kernel to a minimum footprint, and for which will be the basis for the Windows 7 kernel.

Will Stallman Kill the "Linux Revolution?" 741

frdmfghtr writes "The October 30 issue of Forbes Magazine has an article speculating that Richard Stallman's efforts to rewrite the GPL could threaten to 'tear it apart.' The article describes how the GPLv3 is expected to be incompatible with the GPLv2, causing trouble for Linux vendors such as Novell and Red Hat. The article wraps it up: 'And a big loser, eventually, could be Stallman himself. If he relents now, he likely would be branded a sellout by his hard-core followers, who might abandon him. If he stands his ground, customers and tech firms may suffer for a few years but ultimately could find a way to work around him. Either way, Stallman risks becoming irrelevant, a strange footnote in the history of computing: a radical hacker who went on a kamikaze mission against his own program and went down in flames, albeit after causing great turmoil for the people around him.'"

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