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Corporations Are Governments.


chefranden
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Look out I feel contentious today!

 

1. Why is it that Libertarians hate government, but are ok with the dictatorship of the owner?

2. If a person is entitled to all the fruits of her labor, why do owners get to keep the lion's share or any share of those fruits?

 

..."[W]hat would you call a political system that regulates its subjects activities on a minute-by-minute basis; that often requires of its citizens prior restraint on freedom of speech; that controls where its subjects go, what they wear, and who they talk to; that restricts online reading material in a Beijing-style manner; that has a rigid hierarchy to enforce edicts from the upper echelons and do routine surveillance of the rank and file; that denies its subjects privacy even to the point of demanding the right to examine their urine; and that punishes infractions by permanent banishment?

 

Some people would call it a dictatorship. But many of us call it “the workplace.” Somehow, Libertarians never seem to object to restrictions of Liberty done by The Boss. “You can always get another job,” they say, as if that answers anything, as if the class of people who can leave a job blithely isn’t the same class that’s most likely to be able to pick up and move away from a conventional, state-based dictatorship. And as corporations extend their control to people outside their employ, with DRM and increasingly prevalent, shameless propaganda and their own armed forces and even co-optation of the nominal forms of governmental authority, the truth of our next useful sentence becomes ever more manifestly clear, that sentence being:“Corporations are governments.” FROM HERE

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1. Why is it that Libertarians hate government, but are ok with the dictatorship of the owner?

 

(1) If memory serves, you work as a chef. Now, taking your trade/avocation as an example, you would surely agree that certain standards must be adhered to concerning food and its preparation? OK. Let us suppose that you own a restaurant rather than work for a boss who owns one. (I'm not saying this to be a smart-arse but for the purposes of honest debate, all right?)

 

Then if you accept this premise, let's further suppose I work for you. I take it you would surely not accept it if I were in the habit of turning up for work so absolutely "wasted" that I could scarcely distinguish between flour and baking soda, or if I were such an habitual drunkard that you found you were paying for large amounts of (unnecessary to all but myself) essence of lemon, or if I were in the habit of taking a whizz in the sink and washing my hands therein afterwards? :twitch: And there are of course, a million other things I could be in the habit of doing of which you would not approve, not so much because you are a dictator manque, but simply because such actions would hurt your business. I respectfully submit that if I were constantly guilty of any of 'em, you would not approve. You would simply, as the American saying goes, "Fire my ass", and who would I be to call you a dictatorial owner? :shrug:

 

Might I at this stage point out this has always been so since the dawn of workplaces? As to internet access and the other things mentioned, well again, if I work for you and in the course of my work I have to use your computer for your business then surely you are entitled to (within reason) see that I do just that, are you not? The fact I just can't help myself when it comes to leafing through the internet equivalent of a stickbook is neither your fault nor is it germane to the situation. What is germane to the situation is that I'm stealing from you; I'm stealing your time and if I had rather do that than work for you, again you have every right to fire my aforesaid ass.

 

As to what I wear to work, let us suppose you own or manage a bank rather than a restaurant, OK? Let's suppose I am one of your tellers. Let's then further suppose that I had in my younger and more stupid days in for example the military, got my forearms covered in lurid tattoos, all right? Now you have some very important clients who happen to be extremely conservative. Very well, their politics is their business. You may say the same goes for my tattoos and you'd be right; it wasn't you that decided I should get 'em cut on, nor was it you who put 'em on me.

 

However, as there is a saying in business that "The customer is always right" and given your said conservative clients would rather not have to look at my 'orrible tatts whether they depict esoteric symbols, fornicating pigs or nekkid wimmin in a variety of lewd poses while I'm counting their money, then I should say you'd every right to insist on my wearing at least a long-sleeved shirt to work. Matters might well be different if I were working as a stevedore in a port facility you own, but the fact is, I'm not; I'm working as a teller in your bloody bank and that, as far as you're concerned, is all she wrote. If I don't like it, I guess I will find your door opens just as easily from the one side as it does from the other.

 

The author of this polemic does have a point I shall concede. If it should be the case that I'm in the habit of smoking a wee ciggy or two of whacky baccy in my own time and on my own premises, then I'll fully agree with him that that is no-one's bloody affair but my own, unless for safety reasons I must be drug-free at work and the same goes if I smoke only regular tobacco. (I mention this because I believe some firms in the US insist on testing for that these days and I happen to believe that is wrong.)

 

2. If a person is entitled to all the fruits of her labor, why do owners get to keep the lion's share or any share of those fruits?

 

What is often forgotten here is that the owner doesn't exactly get to keep the lion's share of what his business makes, not by the time the Government takes all that it (in your country and mine and by its own fiat alone) is owed. To paraphrase something Andrew Mellon (Secretary of the US Treasury in the 1920's) said, "If a man on his own iniative puts 100% of his own resources into his business and of course stands to lose the lot if he fails, yet is allowed to keep only 27% of what he makes if it succeeds, is that a fair bet?" With respect, of course it is not. Mellon's opinion (the result of which I believe, was tax cuts) was borne out in the Reagan years. Some of the members of this forum will know what a Laffer Curve is.

 

In brief, Laffer's curve shows that if taxes are set at 0%, the Government gets nothing. That of course is stating the obvious, 0% of anything is 0. However if the Government sets taxes at 100% or a bit less, it will get an amount very close to nothing. That too is obvious when one thinks about it; such savage taxation would force most businesses underground or their owners would simply cease to operate them. It has been found, should any reader care to research it, that a benchmark of sorts was set by the Tariff Of Abominations of 1828. That nearly caused the Civil War to break out then; had Old Hickory not backed down it might well have started then and there. The later Morrell Tariff was the straw that broke that particular camel's back, but I digress. The essential lesson to be learned is simply this, if the Government steals (let's not beat about the bush here) 20% or less, the Government may get away with it. If the Government tries to steal more than one fifth, there will be trouble, and plenty of it.

 

Over to you, sir.

Casey

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I work for a corporation within the government...it's the best job I ever had! Just a personal observance. I'm sure it's not that way for everyone.

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I will reply just not tonight. I'm too beat to think straight. ( :twitch: Some would think that this is a full time condition.)

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The last paragraph of the article says

 

Which is, of course, the libertarian socialist criticism of Libertarianism in soundbite form. I’ve never known a Libertarian to be able to answer that one without changing the subject completely, usually to a defense of Guantanamo from a Libertarian POV. At which point they’ve been made incapable of influencing anyone who’s not a fellow Libertarian, which means you can get on with your life. Try it and see!

 

Oh, I'll swoop in and give it a shoot.

 

**WARNING** SARCASM IS APPROACHING **WARNING**

 

The subject is "Corporations are Governments" now, that must be true because after all "Apples are Oranges" and "Blue is Red" right? Apples and orangs are both edible, it means there are exactly the same thing. Blue and red are both colors so that must mean that there exactly the same thing. Right? I mean, that must be 100% true and no one can refute that and if you have some off-shoot idea that these things are different with some similiar properties, then your just changing the subject.

 

**SARCASM HAS ENDED**

 

Now, it's true. Alot of libertarians, Libertarians, anarcho-whatever-migilistiarianists, don't know what they are talking about.

 

But heres the deal.

 

Corporations and governments are radically different because of one basic principle -- the initiation of force. Corporations don't force people to give them their money. However, government does, it's called taxation.

 

Corporations, companies, private firms all create/produce products, goods, and services that people buy voluntarily because those people decided that they need or want it. The people selling are compensated for the work that provided with the money that was exchanged for it. The owner of the product has every right to sell it or keep it. It's a "dictator" in the sense that your a dictator of your own life because you dictate whats best.

 

Everyone is entitled to the fruits of their labor, but because the labor is divided how are you compensated for something like screwing in bolts on a car in an assembly line? You don't get to keep the finished bolted door. Your hired to do a job and fruits of your labor is represented in how much you get paid, generally.

 

If your labor is poor and worthless your not going to get paid for it. Like Casey pointed out, people get fired generally because they have no value to the people who hired them in the first place. You have no right to work a job if someone doesn't want you to work that job for them. (meaning they hire you peacefully, if the government forces you not to work that's different, your being forced, not just simply denied.)

 

Corporations are different because you pay them, they don't take from you. The government takes from you in the form of taxes. They tax, tax, tax until like Casey points again until they reach the bad downward slop of the Laffer curve. But even then your still taxed in the form of credit/monterary expansion.

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Short answer,...you and the company entered into a employment contract of your own free will. You are not held against your will and do not have to work there. You could go out and start a business of your own. As much as I dispise most corporations, I am not a slave. A slave is held there against his will. I do think corporations are much like government are political, fraught with inefficiency, cumbersome, full of stupid people, and ass kissers. I know how to fuck with governments and corporate types...and I have done so to both...LOL.... :wicked: I have also seen some corporations who have done some people right. Corporations are no worse than individual people. Some people do not deserve to be walking out free on the streets, while others are really good people whom I respect and even like. It just depends on who's in charge.

 

Have to agree. You don't want to work for a corporation, then don't. Nobody is forcing anyone to. The only reason most people work is because we have bills to pay, and I personally like the benefits of working in a corporation in my current job (a decent cafeteria), for one thing. I've also worked in small companies, and they have their down sides, too. I guess it all depends on what you want to do and which of the down sides you can live with.

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(1) If memory serves, you work as a chef...

 

I understand the arguments for directorship of the workplace. What I don't understand is the libertarian refusal to extend these arguments to government. Somehow it is ok to be a boss, but it is not ok for the boss to have a boss.

 

Considering certain standards in the restaurant business you find these come from government in the attempt to enforce good practice. As a libertarian boss I'm supposed to demand that the government keep its nose out of my standards. If I can lower the standards to maximize my profit without wrecking the business so much the better for me. I can make an employee toe the mark, but no one should be able to make me toe any mark I don't like. Why is that?

 

What is often forgotten here is that the owner doesn't exactly get to keep the lion's share of what his business makes, not by the time the Government takes all that it (in your country and mine and by its own fiat alone) is owed... "If a man on his own iniative puts 100% of his own resources into his business and of course stands to lose the lot if he fails, yet is allowed to keep only 27% of what he makes if it succeeds,

 

This doesn't answer the question. A working man puts 100% of his resources into his labor, but does not get to keep all of the value added. A capitalist puts his resources in too including a pile of paper and somehow the pile of paper entitles him to keep everything above the costs he is not able to externalize. Somehow the pile of paper also entitles him to keep as much of the working man's value added as he can without forcing the working man to quit. Other than the pile of paper, what is the difference between the capitalist and the working man? Risk you say? Bah it's only a pile of paper. Mellon can loose his pile and he will still eat tomorrow. If risk were the real cause of the disparity of wealth, then soldiers, policemen, and firemen, and even sheep ranchers would be the richest people.

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Short answer,...you and the company entered into a employment contract of your own free will. You are not held against your will and do not have to work there. You could go out and start a business of your own. As much as I dispise most corporations, I am not a slave. A slave is held there against his will. I do think corporations are much like government are political, fraught with inefficiency, cumbersome, full of stupid people, and ass kissers. I know how to fuck with governments and corporate types...and I have done so to both...LOL.... :wicked: I have also seen some corporations who have done some people right. Corporations are no worse than individual people. Some people do not deserve to be walking out free on the streets, while others are really good people whom I respect and even like. It just depends on who's in charge.

 

1. Most people do not have a choice between going to work and not going to work.

 

2. Most people have to take the job they can get. And the unemployment rate helps lock them in.

 

3. Changing jobs doesn't very often change circumstance and doesn't ever change the fact that the company keeps the lion's share of your value added.

 

4. Labor is treated as a commodity. It is no skin off the employer if you quit, because you the worker are not much different than a lump of coal or a bag of coffee.

 

If people could just quit, then I doubt this would be the case. This is just one of those convenient fictions that helps keep workers in their place.

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1. Most people do not have a choice between going to work and not going to work.

 

That's not what he said.

 

2. Most people have to take the job they can get. And the unemployment rate helps lock them in.

 

That's just your negativity talking.

 

3. Changing jobs doesn't very often change circumstance and doesn't ever change the fact that the company keeps the lion's share of your value added.

 

So? That just shows something wrong with the current system.

 

4. Labor is treated as a commodity. It is no skin off the employer if you quit, because you the worker are not much different than a lump of coal or a bag of coffee.

 

I wouldn't say a "lump of coal" or a "bag of coffee", I would say, you are not much different than any other joe with working arms and legs.

 

That's because almost anyone can lift a bag of sand or hold a sign saying "STOP". Labour isn't a specialized skill (by definition).

 

If people could just quit, then I doubt this would be the case. This is just one of those convenient fictions that helps keep workers in their place.

 

They can find a new job, and quit their old one.

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I understand the arguments for directorship of the workplace. What I don't understand is the libertarian refusal to extend these arguments to government. Somehow it is ok to be a boss, but it is not ok for the boss to have a boss.

 

Considering certain standards in the restaurant business you find these come from government in the attempt to enforce good practice. As a libertarian boss I'm supposed to demand that the government keep its nose out of my standards. If I can lower the standards to maximize my profit without wrecking the business so much the better for me. I can make an employee toe the mark, but no one should be able to make me toe any mark I don't like. Why is that?

 

Up until 1913-14, the US Federal Government in general adhered to four principles, viz:

 

(1) national defense, (2) preservation of peace between states (civil wars, riots), (3) trade between states & nations, and (4) international relations.
(From here)

 

Granted, there had been times when the Federal Government had taken more upon itself than these principles, notably during the Civil War, but such times were exceptions that proved the rule. Governments may make laws regulating private business; indeed Governments may make any laws whatsoever, provided the laws they make and enforce fall within the four guidelines outlined. The author of the article you quote states the US had a Federal Government that (mostly) adhered to these guidelines up until the Wilsonian Progressive Era, which is correct.

 

He then however goes on to bemoan just how terrible that must have been, but one fact he takes care not to mention gives his theory the lie. Why would so many immigrants have come to the US in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries if laissez faire economic policies produced such intolerable results? Very well, he went on to cite the Triangle Shirtwaist Company fire, but such disasters still occur, Government regulations notwithstanding. As a case in point for that matter I could cite the Granville disaster of 18th January 1977 (a train wreck, qv) that occurred in the State of NSW in my country. And guess who ran the railroads in NSW at the time? The NSW Government, that's who, and they still run 'em.

 

I should say most of these immigrants were fleeing intolerable conditions in their home countries. To be sure, they faced grim living (and often working) conditions in the US as new arrivals, but the point was they had a much better chance of bettering themselves in the US than they did at home. If they did not, that would have been the same as jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

 

This doesn't answer the question. A working man puts 100% of his resources into his labor, but does not get to keep all of the value added. A capitalist puts his resources in too including a pile of paper and somehow the pile of paper entitles him to keep everything above the costs he is not able to externalize. Somehow the pile of paper also entitles him to keep as much of the working man's value added as he can without forcing the working man to quit. Other than the pile of paper, what is the difference between the capitalist and the working man? Risk you say?
(Emphasis mine)

 

In a word, yes. If one looks squarely at any capitalist, where did he "make his pile" as the saying used to be? His wealth has to come from somewhere. He may have started as a working man himself, many a rich man has done that. Sure, if that was the case he might have struck it lucky somewhere along the road, but what is one to do? Pass a law condemning a man for being lucky? Of course it may have been (much more often) the case that his ancestors were robber barons or even actual pirates, but again, what is one to do, given no one chooses who brings him into this world? Now he has two choices, he can risk his capital in business, or put it into far less risky things.

 

That, as it turns out, is exactly what Andrew Mellon was referring to as Secretary of the Treasury. In the early 1920's, owing to the Great War, the top tax rate in the US was in fact 73%. Mellon observed that despite this, there were more millionaires in the US than there ever had been before. Yet the economy stagnated because most of these millionaires would much rather invest their money in State and Municipal Bonds which were tax-free. That meant that many States acquired world-class baseball and football stadiums, but these arenas could only generate seasonal profits. Although it also meant the States were awash in cash, there were only so many stadiums, bridges and other public works that could be built. Thus the tax rates were lowered, and that was a major factor in the impetus behind The Roaring Twenties. Another factor was an inflationary boom, but that's another subject.

 

Mellon is quoted in context here. The economist who authored this recording also cites the top tax rate in the UK at one time, a vicious 95%. That's what lies behind George Harrison's famous line, "One for you, nineteen for me ..." (From The Taxman)

 

If risk were the real cause of the disparity of wealth, then soldiers, policemen, and firemen, and even sheep ranchers would be the richest people.

 

Why thank you sir, for including my humble self in your list. :thanks: For what it's worth, you're right. Those who take the most risks ought to be the richest people; that's why soldiers for example (well, officers anyway) were allowed to keep their loot for centuries. Then Napoleon came along and awarded medals instead. Governments thought that a bright idea and of course they still do. As a matter of fact, Royal Navy officers and sailors were allowed to share in the worth of any ship they captured up until the start of WW2. However I digress. The disparity of wealth lies not in the acquisition of wealth, but in the redistribution of wealth through the twin methods of taxation and inflation.

Casey

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Asimov, old pal, I'm not going to try to argue against your opinion. If you have anything beyond -- "that's stupid." I'll give it a try.

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Asimov, old pal, I'm not going to try to argue against your opinion. If you have anything beyond -- "that's stupid." I'll give it a try.

 

 

I didn't say "that's stupid".

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Casey, I'm not sure how your new post applies to my arguments to this point.

 

Concerning the coming of the immigrants one might say that a poke in the eye with a sharp stick is better than two pokes in the eye with a sharp stick, but that is hardly proof that laissez faire is the premier economic system.

 

However, your thesis leaves out the promotion (advertising, especially by the railroads looking for some farmers to exploit) of the land of milk and honey. And as I understand it many immigrants that could afford it went back home. I have a friend who's Norwegian great grandmother tried to save for a ticket back for years, but always lost the money to some emergency until she gave up. You should read a little about the Grange, and the Wobblies and the conditions that gave rise to them. FDR considered his social reforms necessary to protect the capitalists from their own greed as he was -- rightly I think -- worried about a revolution.

 

1. In a word, yes. If one looks squarely at any capitalist, where did he "make his pile" as the saying used to be? His wealth has to come from somewhere. He may have started as a working man himself, many a rich man has done that. Sure, if that was the case he might have struck it lucky somewhere along the road, but what is one to do? Pass a law condemning a man for being lucky?

 

2. Of course it may have been (much more often) the case that his ancestors were robber barons or even actual pirates, but again, what is one to do, given no one chooses who brings him into this world? Now he has two choices, he can risk his capital in business, or put it into far less risky things.

 

1. He may have started as a working man, but it is not likely. Horatio Alger wrote fiction. You could say that some people win the lotto too, but that possibility is not something to base an economic system on. The rather well to do middle class of workers came mostly via the temporary success of union movements that were able to force the capitalists to cough up a little larger share of the worker's productivity.

 

2. A family that made it via robbery, should be allowed to continue its robbery?

 

As you are one that is worried about fiat money, I sometimes wonder when you will notice that all money is fiat. None of it is real wealth not even gold. Money is nothing but psychological smoke and mirrors used to represent permission for some to have most of the resources at the expense of the many.

 

I actually agree with you that a person that works should get to keep all the benefits of that work minus costs. It is the capitalist that is against that concept, because he wants more than his own work can supply. He not only wants the benefit of his work, he also wants as much of the benefits of your work as he can get without compelling you to cut his nuts off. He bases his entitlement to a share of your work on the possession of bits of paper that don't even make for good asswipe. The deluded masses go along with this non-sense based on their state and media sponsored inculcation into the fairy tale that somehow this is holy, fair, and the only way things can be done.

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Asimov, old pal, I'm not going to try to argue against your opinion. If you have anything beyond -- "that's stupid." I'll give it a try.

 

 

I didn't say "that's stupid".

 

:HaHa: I knew you were going to say that.

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Burned, let's say you live in middle America in a town of 20,000 people and Walmart comes in and you lose your job working for the local grocery store because they were driven out of business, do you have much of a choice but to work for Walmart?

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Vigile,

 

Sure you do. If it were me, I would look to find a skill or a talent I had that could be turned into a business. If not, I would go to school or trade school to learn one. In reality, it is possible to do that because there are government programs to aid unemployed people with education. Now, I might work at walmart temporarily until I could figure something else out. All it takes is some imagionation. Remember, "Necessity is the mother of invention." I have been in a situation when I was out of work and it was in a recession. It was not easy. I figured out how not to allow myself to be a victim. There is work, there is ways to make money, you just have to beat the bushes.

 

 

A lot of companies support ongoing education, so you could work for Wal-Mart to support you putting your way through school, and then use that education to start something different.

 

Even though Wal-Mart has cheaper prices, that doesn't mean they offer better quality services or goods.

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Look out I feel contentious today!

 

1. Why is it that Libertarians hate government, but are ok with the dictatorship of the owner?

2. If a person is entitled to all the fruits of her labor, why do owners get to keep the lion's share or any share of those fruits?

 

..."[W]hat would you call a political system that regulates its subjects activities on a minute-by-minute basis; that often requires of its citizens prior restraint on freedom of speech; that controls where its subjects go, what they wear, and who they talk to; that restricts online reading material in a Beijing-style manner; that has a rigid hierarchy to enforce edicts from the upper echelons and do routine surveillance of the rank and file; that denies its subjects privacy even to the point of demanding the right to examine their urine; and that punishes infractions by permanent banishment?

 

Some people would call it a dictatorship. But many of us call it “the workplace.” Somehow, Libertarians never seem to object to restrictions of Liberty done by The Boss. “You can always get another job,” they say, as if that answers anything, as if the class of people who can leave a job blithely isn’t the same class that’s most likely to be able to pick up and move away from a conventional, state-based dictatorship. And as corporations extend their control to people outside their employ, with DRM and increasingly prevalent, shameless propaganda and their own armed forces and even co-optation of the nominal forms of governmental authority, the truth of our next useful sentence becomes ever more manifestly clear, that sentence being:“Corporations are governments.” FROM HERE

 

As a registered Libertarian, I don't understand how those who call themselves Libertarian can tolerate the corporate ruled government that we live under. I don't think the Libertarian philosophy is tolerant of the extent to which gigantic corporations have seized power even today, much less what they could do. As I understood it, the primary purpose for the government is to limit the power that alternate "governments" can attain. OTOH, I only registered as a Libertarian because I believed in the legalization of drugs and other "anarchistic" personal freedoms./ <_<

 

I just didn't know what to believe about "socialism". As I've gotten older, however, I've come to the conclusion that the Libertarian approach to economics and social welfare just won't work. For one, my best friend is living in abject poverty because she falls through the cracks of our social welfare...yet she is just about the hardest working, most moral people I know. Of course I never really studied their beliefs very thoroughly so I'm not really sure what their stance on social programs are. :49:

 

There was a time when I considered the Democrats who are currently in the government about 40% right and the Republicans 50% right. Now I consider the Democrats about 60% right and Republicans about 1% right! Sorry if I offend anybody, but most of the Republicans in office today are sick. And I'm not even sure of my beliefs on 90% of the issues that I disagree with the Democrats on.

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Chef, the problem with you is that you read and digest too much bullshit like the stuff Howard Zinn puts out.

 

I want to answer your questions but you may be too buried in lies to hear the what I have to say. You make so many mistakes and fallacies, but none of them are original. I've seen all these arguements before. That's what leads me to believe your too stuck in the irrational ideas of "the many" to understand that there is no such thing.

 

I want you to think real hard about what you said about the "capitalists" and the businessmen and their role in the factors of production.

 

What's the difference between the man who pulls the lever and the man who hired him to pull the lever?

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