Thursday, August 11, 2016

In This Economy, Production Is Like Exercise

Production is good for you. So is exercise. A long time ago, it used to be that work was really work, and you expended a decent amount of calories in order to provide for your family. Now we pay so that we can go to a gym. Most jobs are sedentary (and probably unnecessary).

We live in this oddball economy, wherein I think payments (linked to a good credit score) have become more relevant than the currency they are denominated in, or the goods one expects they will eventually purchase.

So production is likely to be a hobby. The most obvious case for this is in books, blogs, etc... Few of us can quit our day jobs.

I have a funny feeling a lot of the local food movement is going to find itself in a similar vein. People figure out a way to raise something themselves, which is good, but it takes out a share of the market. I've already seen price drops as new small farmers enter the local market- what about when automation makes it trivial to have a better-than-organic garden?

The idea of this post came to me due to my objectivist brother. I try to be in a particular mode. I want to observe reality, hypothesize, and try to come up with good experiments. Hopefully one of these experiments will help improve my life. I found out about retail arbitrage. I don't want to do retail arbitrage. I don't like being in stores that much, and already I can see there could be trouble with stuff like warranties. But, it fit in with this idea of payments being overvalued relative to goods. It seems pretty nuts to me a store would mark down something to the point where it is profitable for some random guy to buy it and put it up on Amazon or Ebay. But stores do this sort of thing, and, at least for a limited amount of time, a few people have been making money on this.

Unfortunately, my objectivist brother might as well be a caricature of the worst sort of Christian. It was nothing but value judgements. No observations. No hypotheses. Certainly no proposed experiments. And he picked up on none of the other ideas I presented in the emails. This was particularly frustrating, because I put several observations. Even a direct question- why is gasoline going down?

His advice is to ignore everything. I pointed out this seemed like Christians today, rather than Christians of old who would actually fight to defend Christendom. Just pray to St. Rand and everything will be okay.

But meanwhile, we've got objective reality here, in the real world. Among those of us who are amenable to free trade, a startlingly few actually make money.
Anyone making a living is usually an academic. And few are above replacement level in terms of reproduction, nor does it appear to occur to very many to think about breeding, whether the question be quantity or quality. So we can see there's a problem, probably with the theory, but even more obviously, with the intellectual structure of the ideology. Knowing that, in a certain sense, the modern economy is a scam makes it really hard to find the situations in which we can make money, and then actually build that which we value.

Instead, we live in a world were the left wins politically, but they also often win economically, and not just through evil political machinations. Value is subjective, and the leftist values things in a emotional way, but it seems to be the same way. The dysfunctional group-think actually works for the leftist producer, because he'll find a good chunk of fellow leftists who will value whatever he is doing at or above what he values it at. Sure, he has to put up with the "everything should be free" statement from younger leftists with no money, but he's not really selling to them- usually he's selling to people rich enough to buy stuff for the signalling value.

But I digress. We all ought to be producing. It is good for us. A healthy practice. But a novena to St. Rand ain't gonna make it pay. In fact, one of the reasons that we need our own communities, cities, etc... is because we need to be able to do the things that provide life without the exploitation that surely comes from this globalist economy.

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