Monday, October 31, 2011

Competition and Cooperation in Society

In school I was taught that capitalism was a society of greedy people set against each other in cut throat competition, while socialism was a system of enlightened people who engaged in beneficial cooperation.

Okay kids! Which is a better society: Competitive capitalism or cooperative socialism?

It took me a long time to realize that my teachers were projecting false images on the free market.

The idea that one society is based on cooperation and another on competition is absurd because there are elements of competition and cooperation in all socio-economic systems. Societies that try to force cooperation through political might end up creating a culture where people viciously compete for political power.

Feudalism is a top-down society in which people competed for the benefit of their lord. In return the ruling elite would grant entitlements. As there is a limit to what a lord can entitle, competition for entitlements became fierce. Feudalism was a brutal society.

Democratic-Socialism is a top-down society in which the ruling elite competes for the favor of people by lavishing supporters with entitlements. This equation has proven as brutal as feudalism.

There is intense competition for political power in top-down social structures like feudalism and socialism. As government gets larger, the political class spends more and more resources to control the government.

Forced cooperation is better called "coercion." Socialism and Feudalism both try to coerce people into cooperation and end up with a diminished society.

Regardless, competition and cooperation are not the primary issue. Forms of cooperation and coercion exist in all socio-economic systems.

Businesses need a steady stream of office supplies. When they buy from an office supply store they are effectively forming an alliance with that store in providing a good or service.
The foundation of the free market is freedom. Free individuals choose their own associations. I might choose to buy from store A instead of store B. I might sell labor to company C instead of company D.

The free market is a system of voluntary cooperation. Free individuals choose who they work with.

Every mutually beneficial trade in the free market is an act of cooperation. Trades involve people transacting goods and services to help each other achieve their different ends. Competition comes into play because free markets provide people with multiple choices. The competition is not the primary focus.

People have less say-so in who they compete against.

The idea that socialism is based on cooperation and capitalism is based on competition is bogus. All socio-economic systems have a mix of cooperation and competition.

What matters is the way that these ideas fit together. In a free market, businesses compete on their ability to cooperate with their customers. This leads to a better results than a system that attempts to impose cooperation that forces people to compete on base politics as we grub for limited entitlements.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cooperation in the Free Market

The enemies of the free market distort the role that competition plays in the free market.

Competition is not a foundational element of the free market.

The free market is about freedom.

In the free market, people own their resources and have the ability to use their resources as they see fit.

Intelligent people seek to make the most of their resources. Such people will study the market and engage in business with others who help them achieve their goal.

As a free person, I seek to engage with businesses and people who will help me make the most of my limited resources. I avoid those who waste my resources.

Free people actively seek cooperation. They engage in relations that help them achieve their ends and avoid those that do not.

In the free market people have the ability to choose their relations. This creates a system where people compete in their ability to cooperate.

When I slam my silver quarter down in exchange for a plate of grub, I am not competing with the restaurant. In this transaction I am engaged in cooperation with the restaurant in the task of getting food. The restaurant might be in competition with the two bit diner on the corner. The physical transaction is an act of cooperation.

Competition is not foundational to the free market. Sane people do not run out into the street to find a competitor. People actively seek mutually beneficial relations.

Cooperation is the key to the free market. Since we all want to make the most of our resources, free people compete to see who is best at cooperating with others.

When looking at a free market, one is apt to see a great deal of competition. I would even go as far as to say that lack of competition is a sign that a market is not free. The lack of competition indicates that an artificial force compels people to do business with a single vender.

Vibrant competition is a hallmark of the free market, but it is not a foundational principle.

The foundational principle of the free market is freedom. Free people choose their associations. Free people actively seek to cooperate with others. Since free people seek to make the most of their resources, they seek to associate with others who are best at cooperating.

The competition arises from people actively seeking mutually beneficially relations. Because people compete in their ability to cooperate they become more effective.

It is fair to say that the lack of competition is a sign that a market is not free. However, it is the freedom to choose our associations and our ability to cooperate that makes the free market a success.

The enemies of freedom de-emphasize the role of cooperation and over-emphasize the role of competition in the free market. I even had teachers who defined the free market as a socio-economic system where people compete with eachother and socialism is one in which people cooperate.

Defenders of freedom would be wise to counter this attack.

A sane person does not walk out in the street seeking competitors. Sane people actively seek those who can help them achieve their personal goals.

In a free society people compete in their ability to cooperate. By competing in our ability to cooperate, free people expand their capabilities and accomplish more than top-down structures that seek to force people into cooperative structures.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Middle of the Night

It is the middle of the night and, once again, I am unable to sleep.

I've had this same problem every night for the last three years.

I have a wealth of knowledge on free market health care reform, and there is not a single person on this planet who will talk to me.

I live in Utah, but am not LDS.

The LDS control the Republican Party and Conservative Think Tanks and lock out all non-LDS.

The Left welcomes non-LDS into the fold, but do not like to hear ideas ... especially those of the free market type.

Anyway, I had a fiendish thought before going to bed. I thought about crashing OccupySLC and giving my presentation there.

My presentation is actually very clever. I lead in with an attack of the insurance industry. I use solid mathematics to show that insurance concentrates wealth. My presenation also highlights the role that insurance played in the financial collapse.

The left loves to hate insurance; however, my attack is not an attack on the insurance company. It is an attack on group funding of individual consumption.

I would let loose with criticisms of big banks, big insurance, hedge funds and Wall Street ... but when the polemics where through, I would show that the solution is not socialism but the restoration of the free market.

The solution is to replace group-insurance with self-funded health care.

OccuplySLC would love the attacks on big insurance and Wall Street. Some in the audience my like that my solution is to restore health freedom.

The community organizers at the event would be aghast.

Anyway, once again I cannot sleep. If ever I found a group interested in learning about free market health care reform, life would be grand.

Sadly, I live in the most oppressive state in the nation (Utah).

Fortunately, the United States invaded Utah and the Constitution gives me the freedom to dream outloud.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Getting Over the Fence

The Republican Candidates are making a mistake of over-emphasizing the fence. What matters most at this junction in the immigration debate is internal enforcement of immigration laws.

Visa violations are as problematic as illegal border crossings.

America wants to have an open visa system that accommodates as much world travel as is possible.

When a large number of people violate their visa, the visa system breaks down and it erodes the ability for people to travel abroad and see the world.

The key to winning the immigration debate is to bring it up visa violations in the larger context of world travel.

The number of people who grossly overstay their visa is a small part of the population engaged in world travel. There is a small number of people making complications for the many.

Republicans should emphasize world travel because everyone dreams of seeing the world.

The issue of deportation should be discussed in the context of visas and world travel. A visa is a contract between the traveler and host country. A visa usually has fixed dates and other restrictions. Deportation is the expected response to a person who violates their contract by not returning as they said they would.

Taken out of context, deportation seems like a harsh and inhumane. But, within the context of a visa, it is the correct action. Failure to enforce visas puts a strain on the visa system. This strain impedes the ability of others to travel.

The number of Latinos wishing to engage in world travel outstrips the number seeking to engage in illegal immigration. Debating visa enforcement of world traffic might reduce ill feelings in the Latino community towards Republicans.

One might actually build support for law enforcement by bringing up the ugly topic of human trafficking.

A very large part of the immigration borders on the edge of human trafficking.

There is a massive machine build around illegal immigration in the United States. This machine includes coyotes and unscrupulous businesses who abuse foreign national workers to gain advantage in the market.

The massive machine built around illegal immigration in the United States feeds the problem of human trafficking.

The left has framed the debate to make it appear that immigration is about free individuals moving about completely on their own volition.

But this mass movement is not taken place in isolation. Much of the underground movement in illegal immigration involves people being pushed around and abused in very ugly ways.

This constant yammering about the fence makes conservatives look petty and cruel. They could win friends simply by addressing more compelling issues like the desire for world travel and the scourge of human trafficking.

The massive violation of visas makes world travel more difficult. The correct response to a visa violation is deportation as is written in the contract. The big machine built around illegal immigration has the negative effect of increasing problems with human trafficking.

The answer to both problems is aggressive law enforcement.

America is a nation that holds free movement of people in high esteem. I believe that aggressive enforcement of immigration laws will put our nation into a position that will allow us to develop more liberal immigration and visa laws in the future.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Systematic Theft

There is systematic theft in the American financial world.

Conservatives would be wise to spend more time trying to root it out and stop the theft.

One clue to systematic theft it that the theft often begins with appeals for the greater good.

Often systematic theft comes in the form of regulation. Whenever a regulation artificially increases prices or reduces competition, that regulation has the effect of taking from the many for the benefit of the few.

Our current regulatory system has regulation piled upon regulation. One will often find a regulation regulating the use of regulatory tools. A prime example: Insurance was created to regulate health care expenses. There is a massive regulatory regime built around this regulatory tool.

Another example. short selling was created as a means to regulate stock. There are regulations regulating this regulation method.

If you remove one removes the regulations regulating the regulators, then the regulators will run amok and wreak havoc in the financial community.

Read the regulations that created the derivatives. The derivatives were all justified with a belief that they would regulate stock fluctuations and result in unending prosperity. They had the effect of concentrating wealth.

Attempts to deregulate these regulatory tools resulted in chaos.

To restore prosperity, we need to start rebuilding sound financial institutions from the ground up to replace the captured systems that are destroying the country.

Property Paradox

A slogan from the Occupy movement shows a perfectly formed example of the reflexive paradox:

"All property is theft."

"Theft" is the denial of property. Implying that theft occurred means the existence of property.

The slogan tosses in the absolute "all." It has been known since antiquity that absolutes set up a reflexive paradox because statement's become paradoxical as soon as one applies it to itself.

If you believe that the rich have stolen from the poor, then the problem is the denial of property rights (theft), not the existence of property rights.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Skip this post, it contains a secret, evil plan

Dear Evil Koch Brothers,

Hi, my name is Kevin Delaney. I am interested in free market health care reform and have developed a model called "The Medical Savings and Loan." This is a structured savings program that helps people self-finance their care with savings and loans. The MS&L creates a generous grant program for those who are unable to self-fund their care.

The program is meant as an alternative to insurance.

When talking about this program, I am often accused of being funded by the Evil Koch Brothers.

Truthfully, I have no knowledge of your secret, conspiratorial group … beyond the fact that it is evil.

Anyway, I looked up your online bio and the volumes of criticism of your group on Soros funded web sites.

The bios say you are successful business people and you are hated by all the right groups.

So, I decided that, instead of just being accused of being funded by the Evil Koch Brothers, it would be super fun to actually be funded by the Evil Koch Brothers.

The Medical Savings and Loan itself is a business model. To be more precise it is a model of distributed businesses which provide tools to help people self fund their care.

At the center of the distributed business model is a non-profit association to define the model and interaction of the distributed businesses.

Creating the association and hosting a meeting to start the ball rolling would cost about $15,000.

Since I am already accused of accepting money from your evil group, I thought I should write an open letter requesting the funds.

If you wrote me a check for $15,000, I would hire a lawyer to create a non-profit group and give it the by line "funded by the Koch Brothers."

I notice that a lot of people like to preface your name with the word "evil;" So, I decided that if you wrote me a check for $20,000, I would have the byline read "funded by The Evil Koch Brothers."

The Soros-funded sites dedicated to criticizing the Evil Koch Brothers indicate that you have a fondness for secret meetings.

I am all for secret meetings, but I don't do secret meetings cheap. If you want to do a secret meeting, I would want $25,000 (assuming it costs less than $5K to get to the location of secret meeting).

A secret meeting would be really fun because then the byline of my effort could have the line "created in a secret meeting with the Evil Koch Brothers."

When I go to the Occupy Wall Street meetings, people would go ballistic seeing the words "created in a secret meeting by the Evil Koch Brothers." I can't think of any better way to start a project.

Anyway, I will be sitting loose waiting for the check to arrive in the mail.

Please, don't write the check in invisible ink, and write the check from a real bank account. The bank doesn't like checks written in invisible media from make-believe accounts.

I was accused of getting checks from insurance companies during the ObamaCare debate … but all of those checks were written in invisible ink drawn from make-believe bank accounts that only existed in the accuser's head.

BTW, If you don't like using dollars anymore, I would be happy to accept payment in gold. That'd be like 15 one ounce gold coins.

What better way to start a project than to accept a pile of gold coins slipped under the table during a secret meeting with the Evil Koch Brothers?


Kevin ....

Okay, so my plan of getting funding is silly. I have a good idea that could go far if ever I received any support. I would be happy to give a presentation for free. I could rent a room and have a public meeting for a couple hundred bucks.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Special Interest Groups and Special Elections

IMHO, the vast majority of politicians are crooks, and I want to see them all recalled and thrown out.

Unfortunately, the only groups with the political clout to hold special elections are large special interest groups. I find these even more distasteful than the politicians they own.

This last year we've seen a spat of special elections run by large political groups who did not like a politician's position on an issue. The Republicans who wanted to limit collective bargaining to wages were slated for recall. Russell Pearce who sponsored the unpopular Arizona immigration bill is up for a recall election as well.

In both cases the politicians are being targetted for taking on extremely tough issues.

I love recall elections when they are driven by ethical issues. I am less excited to pound the "throw-the-bums-out" drum when the recall is driven by political issues. As you see, only the most powerful special interest groups have the resources to run an election recall.

The danger I see is that powerful special interest groups would have even more power if they can intimidate their opponents with threats of recall elections. Special interest groups wielding threats of recall elections will make our bad political system even worse.

Much as I dislike incumbant politicians, I am not in favor of the game of holding impeachment hearings or special elections based on political issues.

The best way to get rid of bad politicians are caucuses and primaries.


I took some photos of occupyslc yesterday. I went to the march during the Salt Lake Farmers Market thinking that would be one of the events major events. The crowd wasn't that large.

I tried talking to a few of the protestors. They were mean and standoffish; so I actually spent more time going through the craft booths at the market ... a much more interesting crowd.

The occupy movement appears to be recruiting people for leftwing causes while slamming the brakes on the freedom movement. All of the sites I read are steeped in Marxian dialectics and full of inane demands.

My favorite shots were of a guy sitting in the tent city and two bearded ladies showing off their five o'clock shadows.

Friday, October 07, 2011

And That's the Political Truth

Let's face it. The real reason that I left my web sites off line for so long is that I've despaired about the ability of being able to communicate with other people.

I watched a video on NaturalNews.TV. In this video Bridget Brown argues that dollars are a better investment than gold because the dollar is backed by the might of the Federal Reserve while gold is backed by nothing.

I believe the reverse to be true. It is true that the value of a fiat currency comes from a political force. You need something really big and powerful like the Federal Reserve to make a fiat currency work. But politics is fickle. A fiat currency devalues if either the political force loses influence or becomes internally corrupt.

There is a long history of fiat currencies devaluing.

The value of gold lies in natural limitations. It is a scarce metal.

Now, I am pretty sure that a currency based on physical limits would outlast one based on political might.

People who already invest in gold would understand my argument.

Unfortunately, I cannot imagine any circumstance in which I communicate this idea to a person unfamiliar with monetary policy.

The US has a big impressive army and the Federal Reserve has a scary building with armed guards in the middle of town. There is a lot of political power behind the Federal Reserve.

People would have immediate sympathy for Ms. Brown along with awe of the might and power of the Federal Government.

Were I to try and argue with Ms. Brown, people would simply project false images and false motives in my direction until I shut up.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

A Politically Ambitious Church

Americans aspire to a society that does not discriminate against people for their religion. This aspiration begs the question of how one should deal with a politically ambitious church.

Classical liberals were not absolutists. They knew that ideals pushed to absolutes leads to paradoxes. A free society admiring toleration cannot tolerate intolerance.

Speaking of politically active churches …

It's conference weekend.

Conference weekend is the biggest political event in the Utah Political season.

This Conference Weekend is extra exciting because the LDS Church is not just fielding one but two presidential candidates. Best of all, one of the candidates is considered the top contender for the Republican primary.

Currently, the most powerful member of the LDS Collective is Senate Majority leader Harry Reid … the primary supporter of the PPACA health care bill. PPACA drew heavily from the health care bill passed by Mitt Romney in Massachusetts.

The first presidential candidate fielded by the LDS Church was none-other than President Joseph Smith.

Joseph Smith gained notoriety in the 19th century when he wrote a parody of the Bible set on the American Continent. In this parody, the Native Americans were descendents of the Lost Tribe of Israel called the Nephites.

The king of the Nephites, King Benjamin, granted the people Democracy. The society degenerated into a Hegelian-style conflict between the righteous followers of Nephi and an evil group of gentiles.

The righteous were superior in both looks and grace, but evil gentiles formed a conspiracy and won the election. This led to a big war that concluded with God smiting the Nephites and turning them into red savages (Native Americans).

(Early American theological-nonsense taught that blacks were the descendents of Cain who killed Abel. So, it is biblical that Mitt Romney, the son of the righteous, is running against an evil gentile bearing the Mark-of-Cain who actually has the name Cain.)

The Early Mormons sent missionaries abroad to recruit members specifically to build political block in the US. They first sought to establish their political dominion in Missouri. This effort was not turning out well. Other Missourians didn't like being under the yoke of a political dominion. Anyway, the leader of the Missouri LDS Church declared an extermination war against the gentiles.

Yes, the political leaders of the early LDS Church were so power mad that they openly preached genocide.

Of course, you don't threaten to exterminate Missourians with repercussion, and the governor of Missouri responded to the declaration of an extermination war with an extermination order.

Interestingly, to this day, the LDS Church only teaches of the extermination order and fails to inform members that the extermination order was in response to an extermination war.

When the Governor of Missouri threatened to exterminate back, the Mormons fled to Navou. While in Navou, Joseph Smith ordered the assassination of the governor of Missouri.

Smith burned presses of ex-Mormons who complained of corruption in the church. Smith was arrested. At the Carthage jail, he was shot by an unidentified assailant.

I contend that if the trial took place, the LDS Church would have come to a whimpering end.

Who do you think the assassinate Smith? 1) An evil gentile (non-Mormon) who killed Smith out of the evilness inherent in being a gentile. 2) An Ex-Mormon who was upset at Smith for whatever reason, or could it have been 3) a Mormon who was heavily invested in the hierarchy of the church and didn't want the investment to fail.

We are taught that the assassin was a gentile who killed Smith simply because gentiles are evil. Personally, I suspect that the assassin was either a Mormon or an ex-Mormon.

After consolidating the LDS Church presidency, Brigham Young marched his followers outside of the United States into the Mexican Territories to set up a new country called "The Empire of Deseret."

We not only have a politically active church with presidential ambitions. We have a church that rejected the Constitution of the United States and set forth on imperial ambitions.

The Founders sought to create a society that did not persecute the citizens for their religious beliefs.

This does not mean that people should be blind to the beliefs or political affiliations of their leaders. When faced with candidates backed by a politically active church, the American people should scrutinize that affiliation.

As long as I can remember, each and every time there was a good looking Mormon politician who polled well, the LDS Church vetted the politician as a potential presidential candidate. The LDS was very active in assuring Harry Reid retained his political post.

While we aspire to religious tolerance, one must to be wary of any politically ambitious group or ideology, even those that are religious in nature.

As an "evil gentile" living behind the Zion Curtain, I can attest fully that Mormons actively marginalize non-Mormons in their pursuit of political dominion. Having had direct experience with the hierarchy of the LDS Church, I will attest that this is a group that freedom loving Americans should worry about.

While I promote religious tolerance, I am not such a fool as to ignore that there are groups in this world hostile to freedom.

*Yes, Hegel's historicism (1770-1831) was already the rage in both the US and Europe when Joseph Smith (1805-1844) penned the Book of Mormon. The newspapers of the day were filled with fantastical fake-history centered on thesis-antithesis conflicts. That Smith wrote a fantastical history of the Americas with a thesis anti-thesis conflict centered on Democracy is not that far fetched.