- Capitalism and Alternatives -

Shuffling About.

Posted by: Dr. Cruel on December 06, 1999 at 11:52:07:

In Reply to: A lowering of cardstacking quality posted by Stoller on December 04, 1999 at 17:33:15:

: If one's competition were undercutting the price of our offering, it might be an effective tactic to improve one's product, to thusly justify a greater price. Advertizing the superiority of a product over that of competitors also might help. Increase the market-value, or, by your definition, "use-value". Those $15 sneakers might be utilitarian, but they're not Air Jordans. You will not be "cool" wearing them. And so on.
Yes, 'and so on' indeed...
Let's completely omit all mention of INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY---more goods per hour---and LOWERING LABOR COSTS---a combination of increased productivity (which lead to market gluts and corresponding stock-market crisis), automation (also known as unemployment), and good old fashioned wage hardball---shall we, Doc?

I have found that doing the opposite of what a communist advises tends to usually be the correct course. Let us see if this has any validity here:

Increased Productivity: This is what buried the Soviet Union, besides Product Quality. With an increase in the consumer goods valued as status indicators by consumers, distribution becomes an irrelevant concern. There is no needy, because there is produced an ample supply to meet any need. This abundance of productivity, fostered by better technology, is the true answer to poverty and want - not some 19th century humbug.

Lowering Labor Costs:
Increased Productivity: (see above)
Automation: The last people to claim that this is a bad idea were the Luddites - not counting the Unabomber. The fact is, of course, that automation is the answer to the inevitable problem with labor - to wit, that no one wants to do it. A fully automated society would not need unions, which might be why those who advocate their interests are so against the idea. I think that this sort of thing might be welcomed amongst the common people, i.e. "the ones what labor", however - barring Mr. Hobsbawm’s objections, of course.
Wage Hardball: A bad idea, but who can prevent strikes? The fact remains that, as in the teaching industry, when organized workers desire to paralyze a critical component of our society (like, say, teaching our children mathematics and reading), and correspondingly arrange a monopoly on that form of labor, there is little that can be done about it. This is why it is so important to maintain competition, i.e. vouchers (allowing parents to choose the schools, and teachers, that will educate their children and ‘automation’ (like more teaching via computers, an idea Mr. Gingrich seemed fond of). Yes?

: When one deals with the dynamics of economic behavior, it pays to think outside of the box. Unfortunately, Marxist "baggage" is more impervious to change and openness than Samsonite luggage. Both use guerrillas (gorrillas?) to press forth their product. One expects that the metaphor this invokes, that of simian devolution, will be religiosly followed as well. Or so the antics to those in Seattle would have one believe.
Oops, you lead off with a rational (but erroneous) statement and then followed it with an illogical dodge.
Don't you remember the cardstacking technique works best when the illogical dodge comes first (to confuse your opponent)---then you follow with the rational (but erroneous) statement (while your opponent is still stratching his head)?

Dodge? Like portraying Trotsky as some anointed "man of the people", then refusing to even acknowledge his actions in Poland? Like proposing some preposterous Marxist rehash like the ‘labor-theory of value’, then answering valid criticisms with hyperbole, all the while trying to clothe the market-value theory in Marxist terms? Please.

Get well soon...

I should think my condition will improve, sir, as soon as your peculiar remedy is withdrawn.

Dr. "Chemo for Colds" Cruel

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