Saturday, April 7, 2012

Fact of Fiction? Ying or Yang? (Scholarly Economics)

What all careers and jobs have in common is that they are part of a market situation, in which items are put on sale. The items are called commodities. Commodities are items that are available in exchange for money. But is there any time, any situation whatsoever, when commodities should be given rather than exchanged for compensation? Are there any conditions where compensation or payment could be eliminated, such that items of trade could transfer without the precondition of monetary or other compensation? Could there ever be a place for that? Do consumers at present ever receive commodities without paying?

Under the commodity system as it exists, there are the parties who exist relative to a given transaction. One party receives, the other pays. In this way, the commodity transfers, and that party that receives must proffer a payment to the other. A buyer buys from seller. This is the world we live in. And in this world, we find that persons train well in order to enter what is in fact a peculiar system of payments and transfers, referred to as the Economy, or Market. There are capitalized because they are the verbal constructions we use. There are words or phrases that use the word "market," but it is all really rather vague. This world that persons are sent into is referred to by use of the word "market," often preceded by article (a/the): a market, the market, the market system, and so forth. This is our world, and this is the world the elites go into upon graduation from the best schools. (see a recently published book, "Quiet," for a description of the Harvard Business School atmosphere) They go into this world after studying, at which time they either sell products to others directly or they help out in general with the system that does so, which is to say that they help out in all kinds of ways, supporting just this very commodity system, the system of buying and selling things.

The general idea of this kind of "economic" or "market" implies these sales and purchases (JKG distinguishes these two concepts). These exist. These are, of course, the sales and purchases of product items.
     No one is doubting that it exists, but there's a problem. And that problem is waiting to be discovered. And part of this problem is that, like so many things in this particular field called economics, the general view is completely incorrect. Believe it or not!

     Oooooops. Something went wrong? Well, let us investigate, then.
     Here's what we'll do. We'll make a list of all the things that happens to a commodity, commodity "x," as it passes on its way. Let's look at all these items of commerce, one be one. Are they to be thought of as existing only to be sold?
     1) a boyfriend buys an item of commerce (so far so good for our idea that commodities exist only as items that are sold) only (Oooooops) to GIVE it to his date. And, next:
     2) a husband buys, and he shares with family (he still has one of those; it isn't Huxley's Brave New World yet).
     3) the military, or else the government, buys things. They buy products on the market (so far so good, huh?) to operate their organizations. Where did they get the money for that? Ooooops. There's a problem again. They raised it from taxation. The originating firm (for the commodities purchased) makes a profit. In this case the money used is the government's. And thus when the taxpayers "gave" it it did not purchase a commodity for them except if you consider the operation of their government the commodity they purchase with their tax payments, which doesn't sound quite right (then they must have been forced to buy that, and that never, ever happens, not in the normal system as we know it).
     The buck stops here. And so does the idea that the nature of commodities is that they are "make to be sold." They are equally as much made to be given away (or perhaps purchased by money that is contributed via taxation). Thus there is no particular reason that we ought to characterize the economy as consisting solely of commodity payments.

     "The economy" is whatever we want that word to mean. (The word is the hinge; we are the ones in control, in my view). If we change our knowledge of what the economy is, It suddenly looks different.

     Husband buys a loaf of bread. He shares it with his wife or his son. Is that latter transaction also an economic one? Now make it more tricky, and look at the "commercial world" instead. But it's the same world. If some cat named D. Trump builds a skyscraper, certainly that one is dedicated only to commercial uses. We may believe so. He paid the Chinese for the raw materials (even though he hates doing it, he implies in an interview). Commercial, I'm certain. Then, he rents out (or sells) his "privately owned" commodity, his rooms or floors or living quarters for millionaires or office suites, to tenant others. Is this a totally capitalistic event?  It is only a transaction where some commodity or item of commerce is obtained through payment of sums of money? Is that it? It may be more difficult to comprehend in the case of a Trump skyscraper, but, nevertheless, if we cancel the economic value of a meal given by a mother to a child, why not also cancel the economic value of an office suite rented by arch-capitalist Donald Trump? There are people involved, and thus it is wrong to say, in any event, that life is solely an "economic" transaction; because, also it is part of living, being. Ying becomes yang, yang becomes ying.
    Therefore, every event in a fully capitalistic society is both an economic event and a life event. It is both. Maybe there is one penultimate monster out there (we change the names every so often; currently it is Bashar of Syria, because they done killed S.H. already), a pure ego, but there can be no comparison of any two events, such that we can say: "this one is exchanged on the market, and that one is not." 
    All events partake of the nature of the social system. This therefore is not a society with only things that are paid for. And not even a society in which only some things are only paid for. All things are both commodities and non-commodities. It is all integrated together.

     If you want to be successful at business, look at those people that say
they are doing things only for money, know the truth, and, since this is indeed the case, since it is the truth you'll be successful in business "without even trying."

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