An asset is basically anything that is valuable that can be owned. If something can be traded for something else valuable, it's valuable, and if you can own it, it's an asset.
This is why the paper money in your pocket, despite it having little if any intrinsic value, is an asset. This is also why stocks, bonds, directives, and everything else is also considered an asset. And yes, notes and futures contracts and derivatives, even convoluted ones, are assets.
When you are accounting for a loan you've made, you don't list it as a liability, or a source of income, it is an asset, exactly the same as your checking account is an asset. (When a loan payment is made, the "principal" part of the payment is transferred from the "loan asset" and moved to your "checking account" or wallet or wherever. The interest part is, perhaps unsurprisingly, accounted as income that is transferred to your checking account, wallet, or whatever.)
Everything on wall street is owned by someone, and is of tangible value to someone else, and is therefore an asset. That fact that it may be misvalued by any other party or even the party that owns the asset does not change the fact that it's still an asset. If you can think of something that serves as a counter-example, I'd be interested to hear it, but the mere fact that you can't figure out what the underlying value of some contract is, possibly because you can't understand it, doesn't make it any less of an asset.
(I'm referring here to our economy, mind you, not the world of economic make-believe known as Wall Street).
Our government gives fake money to a private bank which is loaned back at interest, distributed and redistributed, and Wall Street, which deals entirely in assets (convoluted and abstracted as they may sometimes be), is the world of economic make-believe?
Or rsync'ing a maildir. Seriously, NASA? This was the best you could do?
Government programs for the win...
Presumably, in the same way that any other tax evasion will. Does the police force, military, court system, fire brigade etc. enslave people?
Yes. How many people here would willingly pay to hurt other people because they like to inhale the smoke of certain burning plants? Or willingly pay to hurt brown people overseas just because they are brown?
If you are unwilling to pay for these government "services," then I must ask, why are you paying for them, dummy?
You might say, "because I'm afraid the government will hurt me by seizing assests/arresting me/killing me or my family."
If you could travel back in time, and ask blacks why the stayed on the plantation, what do you think they might say?
1. America has a "free" market for health insurance/care
No, we don't. Half or more of the health care dollars are spent by the government through various programs, and the industry is heavily regulated.
2. America pays more than most Western countries for health insurance/care
Health insurance is not health care. The fact that the government has so horribly conflated the two through various perverse incentives is a big part of the problem.
4. Most States have one insurer that has >40% of the insurance market
Because competition is not presently allowed over state lines. The monopolistic behavior of the insurance market is a direct result of government regulation.
Government regulation is fucking healthcare, the answer to broken regulation fucking healthcare is more regulation on healthcare? Puh-lease.
I think even most capitalists can agree that for profit news only perpetuates those who have money to buy and pay people off and threaten peoples jobs so we never hear about all the corruption.
I think you have no idea what real capitalists think, or perhaps don't even have the slightest clue what real capitalism is.
We've seen more real news out of Wikileaks then all commercial news sites combined
Wikileaks, a privately owned and operated news source, as an example of what's wrong with privately owned and operated news sources? While simultaneously being lauded for being better than privately owned news sources? Where's the punchline to this ridiculous train of thought?
Wikileaks, for lack of a better term, is private charity. Private charity is part of capitalism! Wikileaks is a capitalist outgrowth! In fact, one of the things that makes Wikileaks so special is that it specifically makes it difficult for governments (as well as corporations) to silence reporters! If Wikileaks were run by the US*, do you think it would ever publish any US government leaks?
Why it is that people refuse to associate private charity with capitalism is beyond me. Private charity is capitalism's natural way of dealing with the little segments of the economy where the profit model hasn't been figured out or is presently for some reason broken, be it quality reporting or caring for the sick or disabled.
Fact is, Wikileaks simply wouldn't exist is a society where all wealth was publicly/governmentally owned, because those in charge would eventually recognize the danger it poses to their power and "repurpose it for something more productive for the good of society."
To say that capitalism isn't solving the news problem is intellectually dishonest, at best. Wikileaks is, in and of itself, great evidence to the contrary.
*Insert any government here.
Pro-selfownership does not necessarily mean pro-IP. Don't know where you got that from, but a lot of non-libertarians misunderstand self-ownership, so I'll give you a pass.
Wikipedia sums it up nicely:
Many libertarians consider copyright and patent to be forms of enclosure â" illegitimate government creation of exclusive privilege by prohibiting most individuals from accessing commons. Copyright and patents are government-granted monopolies on production, and no better than a government-granted monopoly on producing food or oil.
Trademark, unlike copyright and patent, can be construed as a protection against fraud and misrepresentation: it ensures that others cannot abuse a successful product name to promote an inferior knockoff. Since most libertarians believe that fraud should be criminal, they agree, in this regard, with trademark law.
However, in many jurisdictions the concept of trademark dilution has developed to protect trademarks as a property right, securing the investment the trademark owner has made in establishing and promoting a strong mark without regard to likelihood for confusion. This has even been used to limit free speech about a product, something few libertarians would be likely to defend.
The price one pays for pursuing any profession, or calling, is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side. -- James Baldwin