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Post By
mtyoung

In Reply To
neil

Subj: Re: How isn't it?
Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2007 at 04:19:00 pm EST
Reply Subj: Re: How isn't it?
Posted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 at 12:19:34 pm EST

Previous Post

> In economics, a corporation is treated as an individual. You can't argue that one.

Of course you can. A corporation is a company formed through an economic agreement of individuals with various interests and involvement. It is, functionally, the same as a union - whether it fits with economics doctrine to admit it or not.

Economic theory, like any other disciplinary approach to the study of a system, is ideologically motivated - the only reason it treats corporations as individuals is because it's in their interest to do so.

> The fact that unions are based on socialistic ideas should be a big hint that unions and capitalism/free market are at odds with each other.

'Based on', sure, but unions are hardly oriented toward these broader goals anymore - in practice, they're aimed simply at the best monetary result for their membership, and those traditional concerns are mostly ignored. In this way, they are again very much like corporations with shareholders.

> Equilibrium is not ill defined. Its has a definition. An equlibrium is a situation in which the price has reached the level where quantity supplied equals quantity demanded.

And this is why it's ill-defined/imaginary. There is no point at which one can equivocally say that supply and demand exist in a one-on-one ratio in any product's context - because such a conception assumes the mututal exclusivity of that product, as if it can ever be isolated from all other connected products, industries, and contexts. And so it's a resoundingly reductive and entirely unuseful concept.

> But since a free market is ideal, there are no restrictions on laborers.

Which is funny, because you say that they couldn't form unions. So "free" in economic theory is something of a misnomer, at best, isn't it? It strikes me that your freedom - as an asset - would be the most valuable commodity in a free market.

> With your statements, I wonder about your grasps of the science of economics.

And with your own, I'm wondering if you've ever studied this stuff outside a textbook - or ever looked at workers' perspectives. Or ever looked to other disciplines to critique its weaknesses.

Your take on unions is particularly dogmatic and backward-looking; and your refusal to accept that corporations are not singular entities similarly so.

> I am curious to your background in this area.

From a counter-doctrinal perspective - political theory and critiques of globalization, and I'm a PhD student in a Social and Political Thought program. (But I can't offer particularly strong defenses of unions because I largely think they've turned too classically liberal - that they are run like corporations. If only the 'socialist' unions that you wrote about existed...)

-neil

> > In economics, a corporation is treated as an individual. You can't argue that one.
>
> Of course you can. A corporation is a company formed through an economic agreement of individuals with various interests and involvement. It is, functionally, the same as a union - whether it fits with economics doctrine to admit it or not.

In economics, a corporation is seen as a single entity. The equivalent of corporations creating a union would be when all the corporations come together to work on a single goal. And this simply would not happen. At least not in a true free market.

I am only talking about the "ideal/true" free market. I am not talking about what would happen in our "real" market.

> Economic theory, like any other disciplinary approach to the study of a system, is ideologically motivated - the only reason it treats corporations as individuals is because it's in their interest to do so.

True, and since I am at least talking only about the economics side of this, I am using there definitions.

> > The fact that unions are based on socialistic ideas should be a big hint that unions and capitalism/free market are at odds with each other.
>
> 'Based on', sure, but unions are hardly oriented toward these broader goals anymore - in practice, they're aimed simply at the best monetary result for their membership, and those traditional concerns are mostly ignored. In this way, they are again very much like corporations with shareholders.

You are correct. The goals of players in a free market system is to make profits.

> > Equilibrium is not ill defined. Its has a definition. An equlibrium is a situation in which the price has reached the level where quantity supplied equals quantity demanded.
>
> And this is why it's ill-defined/imaginary. There is no point at which one can equivocally say that supply and demand exist in a one-on-one ratio in any product's context - because such a conception assumes the mututal exclusivity of that product, as if it can ever be isolated from all other connected products, industries, and contexts. And so it's a resoundingly reductive and entirely unuseful concept.

It's not a useless concept in the study of economics. It's used in the real world all the time. People's wages are determined by this. The price of products are determined by this. The price at which you buy an apple is set by the price a seller is willing to sell and the amount a buyer is willing to buy.

> > But since a free market is ideal, there are no restrictions on laborers.
>
> Which is funny, because you say that they couldn't form unions. So "free" in economic theory is something of a misnomer, at best, isn't it? It strikes me that your freedom - as an asset - would be the most valuable commodity in a free market.

There are no restrictions on labor concerning where they work, in the free market.

Remember, I am looking at this from the ideal free market economic system. Not any real world system.

> > With your statements, I wonder about your grasps of the science of economics.
>
> And with your own, I'm wondering if you've ever studied this stuff outside a textbook - or ever looked at workers' perspectives. Or ever looked to other disciplines to critique its weaknesses.

Well, economics was never my primary area of interest, and I never intended it to be. I understand the weaknesses of looking at any single problem with only one focus. However, since this was an entirely economic discussion, I thought it only appropriate to use economical thinking as the basis of my thought.

> Your take on unions is particularly dogmatic and backward-looking; and your refusal to accept that corporations are not singular entities similarly so.

Thanks. I was not speaking from my own individual thoughts on the subject, but what the principles of a free market say.

> > I am curious to your background in this area.
>
> From a counter-doctrinal perspective - political theory and critiques of globalization, and I'm a PhD student in a Social and Political Thought program. (But I can't offer particularly strong defenses of unions because I largely think they've turned too classically liberal - that they are run like corporations. If only the 'socialist' unions that you wrote about existed...)
>
> -neil

I was asking for your background in the economics field.

Unions with primarily socialist goals do exist, just not in America. Socialist ideas have generally failed here in America, or at least met with extreme reluctance.

Most likely, I am done here since we both seem to at least understand each other, though apparently have some differences in our thinking.


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