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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • While not generally a fan of Mises, I rather agree with the professor's central tenet that rent control is theft. However, he does himself no favors by actually saying "theft". When trying to be persuasive, calling people thieves -- particularly when they don't realize they are -- does nothing to win them over. I've met far too many Libertarians who don't seem to have the basic social skills to understand that they are doing themselves no favors. They merits of an argument can be useless when the other

    • I've met far too many Libertarians who don't seem to have the basic social skills to understand that they are doing themselves no favors.

      Kinda like being a geek, huh? :D

      I rather agree with the professor's central tenet that rent control is theft.

      You know, when I saw the subject of your reply, that was actually the last thing I expected you to say. :)

      But actually I was mainly focusing on the ban money thing, as I've heard this for years, and it's always amazed me how people can take Star Trek as a model for potential economic reality.

      --
      J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
      • You know, when I saw the subject of your reply, that was actually the last thing I expected you to say. :)

        That was my attempt to show how one can be provocative enough to catch one's audience without offending them, though I wonder if my "basic social skills" comment negated all of that :)

    • While not generally a fan of Mises, I rather agree with the professor's central tenet that rent control is theft. However, he does himself no favors by actually saying "theft".

      It's a loaded word. Strictly speaking, it is true, depending on context and definitions. In criminal law terms, it is not true, as it is only theft if the gov't says it is theft according to the law. In economic terms, it probably is theft. But the word is loaded and unuseful.

      A better thing to say is that the property owner, by virtue of owning the property, has the right to charge whatever he wishes. And the government by enforcing rent control therefore takes away some of his property rights. Laws

      • It's a loaded word. Strictly speaking, it is true, depending on context and definitions. In criminal law terms, it is not true, as it is only theft if the gov't says it is theft according to the law. In economic terms, it probably is theft. But the word is loaded and unuseful.

        I agree it's loaded and often particularly unuseful. It has been useful for me in religious discussions, however, as I attempt to persuade people who share my religious convictions that supporting such actions means they are supporting theft and therefore engaging in something they believe to be a sin.

        But that's not generally useful in intra-geek discussions. :)

        The question is whether that "theft" of property rights is justified.

        Since the ends never justify the means, then if you prove something is theft or infringement of rights, then I'd have to say the answer to t

        --
        J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
  • To truly be theft, it would require the seizure of value in a way that was unexpected.

    So building a property knowing that it will be rent controlled is not theft, it's a deal between the developer and the city to knowingly keep an area cheap and underdeveloper.

    Likewise, buying a property with rent control is not theft. They know what they are getting, and as a result pair fair (and as he says, low) price.

    Now having rent control IMPOSED on you when you current do not, THAT is theft.
    • Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] suggests that rent control was imposed a long time ago, but seems to suggest that it's not being imposed on new constructions. I would presume that buyers today would know their rent control status. So by this information, I agree that rent control doesn't seem like theft.

      On the other hand, Wikipedia also says that in some areas of rent control landlords are restricted in their rent raises even with respect to CPI. "The frequency and degree of rent increases are limited, usually to the rate

    • To truly be theft, it would require the seizure of value in a way that was unexpected.

      So building a property knowing that it will be rent controlled is not theft, it's a deal between the developer and the city to knowingly keep an area cheap and underdeveloper.

      Well, it is true that you can make that part of the contract terms, but that is different from expectations. If you own a building and you tell me that if I live there, you will take my bike from me at your whim, and it is in the contract, fine, that's not theft. Otherwise, however, it would be.

      So I agree with your point, I would just word it more strictly: it is beyond expectations, it must be part of a specific agreement. If I agree to let you rent-control my building, fine, it is obviously not theft

  • Most people proposing to get rid of money don't understand the large scale role of it.

    The availability of a fungible storage mechanism for effort and energy within a collective is a massive boon. It acts as a major influence on efficiency.

    If it wasn't so useful, it wouldn't be reimplemented over and over and over again.

    Even Star Trek has _something_ related to money. The small glimpses we get into the lives of the non-government sector in Star Trek suggests that the ordinary populace doesn't get to just tra
    • Even Star Trek has _something_ related to money. The small glimpses we get into the lives of the non-government sector in Star Trek suggests that the ordinary populace doesn't get to just travel around anywhere they want. I have vague memories of energy limits being mentioned once or twice.

      To be fair, I think that's a bit of a retcon that originated around the time DS9 started, possibly a little bit earlier. The early TNG episodes are pretty clear that "scarcity has been eliminated" and "there is no such thing as money," both of which are pretty much economically ridiculous. As you said, money is invented over and over again. If whatever we use for money now were eliminated (or, equivalently, all held by one person), something else would emerge as money.

      --
      J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
      • Eliminating scarcity is not just ridiculous but in fact impossible. In a finite universe, creating an abundance of some resource inevitably creates a dearth of complementary other resources.

        • That's certainly true even in the Star Trek universe: creating an abundance of perfect, godlike humans created a dearth of interesting stories.