Economic Symposium
#1
I am hoping to spurn some discussion and talks, so bring out the bottles of wine for a symposium.  So I am going to have these symposium over the next few weeks to discuss various topics such as economic, political, social, and educational issues.  Now they all do overlap to some degree, but I have some very specific topics in mind for each week.  This week I wish to discuss economic theories.  Mostly your ideas of how economies should be run or improved.  I would mostly like to hear opinions and some reasons behind them.  Who knows perhaps we can found the School of Fisheaters Philosophical Academy or found our own economic theory called Fisheaterism. 

Ok, I am giving to give some topics for the debate, though the debate doesn't have to pertain alone to these topics

1.  Just wages- how are just wages determined, should individuals negoitiate their wages or have it set by the government (or a union or a guild body), should a person's familar status affect the wages earned (single vs. married, though they do the same work)

2.  Taxation- which system do you think works better, progressive, regressive, fair, or flat tax (or none of the above) at stimulating and maintaining an economy

3.  Currency and Banking- do you support a fiat currency or prefer a standard (i.e. gold or silver), should we abolish the Federal Reserve, how should loans be made and what constitutes usury (which we all know is bad)

4.  Economic Growth- In captialistic societies, you have cycles of boom and bust (i.e. the current recession), in socialistic societies (i.e. the former USSR) you did not have these boom and bust cycles per se (they did have a lot of shortages) but instead you have "consistent" economic growth that was slow and low (too low to support the viability of the USSR).  What is the best way to minimize the effects of a boom and bust cycle on a large population.

5.  Economic and Environmental Sustainability- We have limited resources on the planet earth for the 6-7 billion (and growing)  people on it, what is the best to way economically to encourage practices that does not strip or destroy the land and other hazardous practices.

I reckon I ought to start off

1.  I think ideally, we all should be able to negotiate for our wages (which can be done in some fields).  Obviously, the problem is that well there is always some dumb smuck who will work cheaper, so I think there should be a bottom (dare I even say a mininum wage).  Now a second point I asked about was whether two people working the same job for the same amount of time should get two difference wages because of marital status, for example let's say Pedro is married with five children and Harry is single with zero children, they work a production line.  Now this may be an odd concept to many of us, but if you think of a just or living wage concept, in order for Pedro to live he needs much more money than Harry, therefore his living wage is higher even though they do the same work.  Now I know in reality, no employer would do this (well the US military do give allowances for every child in a family for food and housing) unless his name was Vladamir Lenin and I wouldn't support it (find a second job to earn the slack, be a man I say), but it is just some food for thought.

2.  Well if we are going to tax people, I think we should do several things.  Like have a kind of a flat tax, like I think we should set a mininum at which income taxation begins.  Like i think the national median should be the cutoff, if you are below it, you don't pay taxes, and if you are above it, you pay a maximum of 20% (why 20% well 10% is good enough for God, thus since Congress think themselves greater than God there).  Or have a balance budget amendment in the constitution, then have a 3-4% national sale tax (exluding basics) to cover the Federal expenses and if the states wants to tax people to death that is their right.  Or even a more radical plan is a pay as you go tax, essentially there is no tax system per se, but taxes are paid as the government needs to spend (thus need to have a call to raise funds, kind of like a poll tax of the medieval period).  I think this would be a good way to keep politicians accountable as they don't want to piss off their consistiuents with reckless spending and high taxes.

3.  I don't like a fiat currency, if you look at the charts of inflation over the country's history, it really took off when the currency was debased (and the original raise was when Fed was established).  Likewise, I don't think a gold standard is a way to go either.  I kind of like the ancient Spartan currency system of iron bars, but I don't have applicable that could be on a nation of millions, but it would probably be more stable than a fiat, and since it is much more common than gold, you won't have wild speculation about it.  The problem is though, I could see a bunch of hoods then stealing everything metal in sight for cash.

4.  I think we need to encourage both savings, investments and avoid debt like the plague.  I don't particularly trust banks, though I guess credit unions would be the prefer depository of money.  But on the flipside, if we don't buy the plasma tvs and other consumer products things will decrease worst.  Which is way I kind of subscribe to something I call Regionalism, where a particular county or township or city should be as self sufficient as it can be (produce their own food, glassware, etc what I call a basic economy), then have the more advanced consumer products brought in and sold (what I call the consumer economy).  And also, I don't think you should be able to buy consumer products (that is the plasma TV) with credit but only with cash.  Credit can only be used in limited situations (business capital, mortage, I guess education and healthcare to a certain extent). 

5.  Well, I think the government needs to give incentives for the economy to become greener (and this has been the case as the number of qualified "green" business has tripled in the last few years.  And while I don't buy any of the global warming bunk.  I do have concerns about the environment such as salination, pollution, and just plan rape of water supplies.  Water is a very important commodity and unfortunately not all of us can live in Canada.  Historically, towns and villages would grow from where there is a stable water supply.  To poison the water is to poison the community.  I don't know the best way to limit it aside from government control (which I am totally against), incentives works well to a point, I guess the best thing is to stimulate innovation. 

ok, I am done for now.
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#2
This is a noble effort, but not related to Philosophy proper unless there is given a philosophical argument for it rather than an economic or political one (cf. Plato's The Republic).

So, if it goes down the economic / political path of discussion, I'll just move it to the proper subforum.  Otherwise, carry on. :)
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#3
yay, I was hoping for more economic philosophy kind of debates, I guess everyone is away this weekend.  But if you think it belonged someplace else, you are the one with the power man
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#4
I'm sorry I didn't discover this one earlier.
It's a much-needed to be talked about and spread about topic.
Let's run with it.
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#5
Could the 5 points be categorize into various philosophy of economic thoughts? Should the social teachings of the Church be a factor in the discussion? regards, iggy
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#6
Good! There's been a great deal of good Catholic thought and material published on this (these)  issues. LeoXIII, G.K. Chesterton and hundreds of lesser known thinkers. I'm far too slow at typing to even make a (necessarily) long statement about the principles involved here.
Might I suggest that anyone interested in the subject should go to www.michaeljournal.org and checkout ARTICLES and anything to do with social credit, banks and monetary reform. It's a good Catholic site even though they don't consider that the New Church might not be all good.
There's much more info out there (and has been for a long time (I first ran into this stuff nearly 40 years ago and there was lots about it even then)) but much of it is protestant-based.

Let's dissect the beast.

(There are a couple of other good Catholic sites that I know about that deal specifically about this topic. But since I don't know how to shift things from place to place on this thing I'll put them up if someone wants).
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